There are so many things that I love about our big old 1917 house. I love that she is 100 years old. I love her built-ins. And I love her massive custom windows. For an older house she has so much light! Every room has at least one giant window.
The only drawback I can find to her big windows is this: lack of wall space. Being that the windows are so large, there isn’t much room for pictures or shelves.
No place is that more evident than the kitchen. I love my old house; I do NOT love the kitchen. There is just no heart and soul in there.
The kitchen was remodeled in the late 90’s in the 90’s fashion of cheap, fast, and bargain basement. I’ve got stained linoleum floors. I’ve got cabinets and counters that are obviously seconds; they don’t exactly fit. For some reason, the walls are tiled from the floors up to my eyeballs. The kitchen is one of the spaces that I would love to have the character of the old, original house. Unfortunately, it is the one space in our house that the previous owners took all of the character out.
But… the kitchen does have one of those giant windows. And it looks out onto my magnolia and birch trees, and I love that view.
When we bought the house, every window was covered in cheap plastic blinds and most of them in drapes as well. I LOATHE cheap plastic blinds. They break, they’re a hassle, and they just look…cheap. I like windows for the natural light, and prefer to keep them uncovered if possible (obviously, bedrooms and the front windows facing the street are covered for privacy). I’ve been on a mission to bring back the light to this house over the past 3 years!
So, with all my projects, I try to take a before picture for you guys. Of course, sometimes I get so excited and start them without even thinking of it! To show you what I had going on, here’s an old picture of Becker in the kitchen mixing up some cookies. You can see the awful 90’s maroon quilted drapes that were on the windows. And like with everything in the house, if I’m not happy with the space, it becomes a dumping ground. Thus, the windowsill is covered in junk.
You may recall from my Mason Jar Succulents blog that we recently installed window shelves in the living room. Those windows also had horrible drapes, but in yellow. Opening them up has brought so much light and air to the space, so I decided I wanted to do the same in the kitchen. I also lack storage space in the kitchen because it is not well-designed, so a window shelf was a great option to make it look bigger and give me some storage.
We started by taking down the drapes and the hardware. This picture shows you the scale of the windows; I’m standing on the counters and they reach almost to the ceiling! It also shows you that we have very tall ceilings, which I love.
Taking down the hardware revealed that the previous owners had never repainted before putting the drapes up. Nothing a good coat or two or white paint can’t solve!
To keep the cost of the project down, Jason cut a 1×4 ($2.50) board down to size and painted it white to serve as the shelf. We used 3 brackets for support, which were purchased at Home Depot for a total of $6. Jason pre-measured the spacing and drilled the brackets to the board to make for an easy install.
We drilled right into the frame to give it a look like it it had been there all along. Again, giving this old house back some of her character.
Installed and ready to be decorated!
I was able to display several of my kitchen treasures that were hidden away, as well as store my beans and grains. This gave me more pantry space in my limited lazy Susan. It also looks pretty! (Please disregard the messy kitchen; planting season is in full swing around here!)
Do you live in an older house? What kinds of projects do you do to give your home character? Drop me a comment down below or catch me on IG as tacklemayhem_susan. Have a beautiful and blessed day!