I’m Trying to Keep My Home as Designer-Perfect at all Times – But Life Takes Over!

I love my kitchen and I love my backsplash and countertop.  Many times I cannot always see my backsplash and countertop because there’s “stuff” on it.  I have almost given up putting things away – because they always return. Apparently my husband, Richard, needs to have the toaster, plus the coffee grinder and the bag of coffee – plus our coffee mugs – with a spoon in it (for morning efficiency), the spoon rest, his favorite glass, the dishdrain, the sugar bowl, dish detergent (even though I had a dispenser installed), a sponge and one or two other cleaning untensils, Windex – you get the picture. 

Looks better than the toaster, the coffee grinder, the bag of coffee etc

The frying pan apparently needs to be on the cooktop – at all times too. I guess he doesn’t want to bend slightly to open one of the 4 huge drawers that we have underneath to store it. And – to top it all off – he always puts the dish towel to “dry” over my antique ceramic rooster.  And it’s never the countless pretty dish towels that I’ve purchased that go with the decor.  Oh no – he dredges these up from I don’t know where (he has a secret stash of 70s memorabilia that slips out every now and then).  I need to search and destroy (or at least hide this stash so I don’t have to see it!) The one that’s on the “drying rack” now is adorned with strawberries – and it used to be white but now it’s a lovely shade of gray.

How can I be a designer and decorative artist (and a home stager) – and my kitchen coutertop is always crowded with “stuff.” It’s just life and life isn’t always how you see it in magazines.  My studio space (with half done projects and samples, brushes, paint cans) and office (with fabrics, folders and countless slips of paper with notes) isn’t the designer showcase that he would love to show off to his friends…so I guess I just have to continue to put stuff away when company and clients come!

My cook top:  When we were re-doing our kitchen I tried really hard to get a gas range (Viking preferably) but my very sensible engineer husband said that houses with gas usually blow up. So – no beautiful gas burner for moi.  In the beginning everyone was careful cleaning the cooktop.  Then life took over. My kids and step kids cooked with abandon and “clean up” wasn’t in the vocabulary.  So, our cooktop doesn’t look like it did when it was first installed.  It’s not noticeable from afar – but when you’re right on top of it – oh boy.  So maybe the frying pan on the cooktop IS a great idea!

But today I wanted to clean it, so I asked Richard to get me the glass cooktop cleaner. He gave me this…

I guess he doesn’t understand French.  But I used it (’cause I hardly understand French) and it didn’t do anything.  I guess I should have looked more closely at the container…because when you switched it around

It was a Stainless Steel Cleaner! So then I proceeded to clean the microwave, the oven and the warming drawer (which I didn’t want to do until after Thanksgiving).  Then – back to the cooktop.  After using the right product – it improved.  Not perfect – but better. 

So now I guess I just have to buy a beautiful copper pot – that I won’t use – to hide the worst ring on the cooktop.  Richard will just have to bend to get the frying pan out of the drawer!

If anyone is interested – the backsplash is all hand troweled with textures…it’s not tile.  It took awhile to do because I wasn’t sure of what colors I wanted and how I was going to approach above the cooktop.  The space had taped out diamond shapes for quite awhile until I decided on colors! But once I made samples and designed the smaller squares and the handpainted middle square over the cooktop – it went fast. It cost me a lot less than if I had purchased tiles.  I looked at so many tiles before I did this.  I just couldn’t get the right colors – so I took things into my own hands…literally!

Here are some recent pictures…

Ahh…there’s the dreaded cooktop!  Looking better than it did. I also did a Tuscan texture on my range hood.  I think it looks more cohesive than before, when it was cream colored.
Close up of the “tile” over the cooktop.  Adapted from a toile by Covington Fabrics. I like to think that the woman is saying to the man “Don’t take away my wine,” which is a pretty accurate picture of what goes on in my house sometimes! Oh yes – I love wine!

So now that everything is clean – just bring on a messy Thanksgiving to dirty it all up again!  Hope you all have a Happy!!

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