Flowers for the Kitchen

We fixed up our kitchen about a year ago, and ever since then I’ve wanted to write a post about it. The process was lengthy and painful but necessary – the cabinets were falling apart, and you can glue things back together only so many times.

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The whole process took about three months. Someone should invent a cryogenic process that would allow homeowners to hibernate during kitchen renovations. In the absence of that option, we lived with no stove or sink and the refrigerator and microwave in the living room. Lots of takeout and frozen food.

The contractor was a nice guy who really did hold himself to a high standard. On the other hand, I found him a little bit too much of a night owl. He would show up at our house after lunch and work until 11 or 12 at night. He also had a personal catchphrase, which he would repeat frequently during every conversation. It went something like “ALL riiiiiiight!”

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But the point is, he got the job done. And what made Judy and I especially happy were the stylized flower tiles that Judy had found at Wildflower Graphics. Setting these tiles was an exacting job, as many of the surrounding tiles had to be precisely cut.

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Of course we had to have a Tithonia tile.

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There was some conflict concerning how many native versus exotic plants should be represented, but we found a reasonable compromise.

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There were some other good things about the new kitchen, in addition to the flower tiles. We have a lot more shelf space. Judy reorganized where everything goes, though, and I still have trouble putting stuff away after washing the dishes.

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Here’s the view from the entrance to the kitchen.

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There are vegetable tiles as well, though these are usually somewhat hidden by the toaster.

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To get to the back porch you have to walk through the kitchen. I refer to the space between these 2 counters as the Straits of Gibraltar. Our kitchen is on the cozy side.

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On a completely different note, when our contractor opened up the old walls, he found several pint bottles of whiskey left among the studs, presumably by the carpenters who built the house in the 1930s. This may explain why the walls in our place tend to be a bit slanted and curvy here and there.

Anyhow, flower tiles in the kitchen can be just the thing to help get a gardener through the winter.

77 Comments on “Flowers for the Kitchen

  1. And let me just add, I cannot recommend Wildflower Graphics highly enough! The tiles are gorgeous. They keep adding new designs, and there are many more than we used. They come with (or without) hooks for hanging on the wall and plastic feet so they can be used as trivets. There are also notecards. It’s a small shop, and they print to order. When I suddenly needed three more tiles in a rush, they were very accommodating. Also, our contractor was a genius at figuring out the spacing, and beyond patient and meticulous at implementation. http://www.wildflowergraphics.com

    • Judy, those are gorgeous tiles! Wish I’d known about them when I had my kitchen redo in 2013. Thanks for info on Wildflower Graphics. (I really miss my pegboard, but didn’t have space for it in my kitchen.)

    • I can’t get enough of William Morris, and it took about five seconds to figure out that this was another source for Morris-inspired designs. They’re beautiful — both yours, and those they have in stock — and I’m putting them on my list as a place to do some Christmas shopping (not to mention a bit of shopping for myself). Thanks so much for the link.

  2. I love your kitchen and those tiles just make it..I can’t decide which one is the most striking. So nice to see a kitchen with individual touches. I insisted on bathroom tiles that were eucalyptus leaves with pretty flowers, but the tiler came from Italy and put them on the walls upside down! Luckily we had a really good builder who made him do it again the next day.

  3. How nice that you have flowers all year long. I really like those tiles. Your kitchen looks so cheery. Your kitchen looks about the size of my kitchen. We call our kitchen a one-butt kitchen. 😉

  4. When I had someone do some work in my basement, he found a six-pack up in the enclosed rafters. My kitchen redo was in 2000 and took two months – July 4 to Labor Day. We frilled a lot. Love those tiles!!

  5. What beautiful tiles! And your kitchen is really handsome. Living at home during a renovation takes a certain mindset to survive but it’s certainly worth it. (Did either of you have a meltdown at any point?😊)
    I love those tiles so much that I’m going to that site right after I finish typing this.

  6. Beautful! I love those tiles and the yellow is perfect! I’m impressed that you could stand the renovation, but the results are worth it! Enjoy the new kitchen.

  7. I can well imagine how painful it must have been, but oh, the results! To say I love and covet those tiles is a big, big understatement. Lovely!

  8. Great and glad yours is done, I’ve lived through several and still one going on now…but on a very small scale, not the whole kitchen, it is tiresome…but 3 months! That definitely would make me NUTS!! I love your tiles, so warm, welcoming and friendly.

  9. Apart from the beauty of the tiles, I was reminded that pegboard is one of the best inventions ever. And those copper-bottomed pans are akin to those I grew up with: Revere Ware. As a matter of fact, I still have some of my mother’s, and they’re still my go-to pots for assorted dishes. Your kitchen looks perfect to me. I like cozy.

    • I love the Revere Ware- I also grew up with it. Some of these pans were a gift from my mother as I set up one of my early apartments, and a few I inherited from her. They last forever! (Except the one big pan lid that was a shield in sword fights when the boys were young, but I can’t really regret that.) Pegboard is the best! It started as a desperation measure because the kitchen is so small, and now I wouldn’t do it any other way.

  10. Those tiles are just splendid and really make the kitchen. A kitchen re-do is a painful process and a learning experience, for sure. My least fave part was having to wash dishes in the tub. I’m glad yours is finished and turned out so very nice.

    • We washed dishes in the laundry sink in the basement- and used some disposables. No running water on the first floor for ten weeks was just awful.

  11. LOVE them! Especially the Tithonia one! Before we got our kitchen in our new house we ate a lot outside with a camp stove! 😉 Washing the dishes was a pain though…

  12. Great job. I particularly like the fact that your kitchen looks both contemporary and appropriate to the age of your house — not something that is easy to pull off. I wonder if the whiskey was hidden during Prohibition.

  13. It looks very nice and I love the flower tiles! I got a chuckle over the whiskey bottle. I wonder if we would find any in our walls? Almost everything in this old house is crooked! In some rooms the floors slant in at least 2 different directions…though more likely that is from years of frost heaves!

  14. I LOVE those flower tiles. And our one-week renovation of our small kitchen in Asheville just about tipped me over the edge, with the noise, pounding, etc. I was up there by myself for that week to keep an eye on things. When the contractor nicked the radiant floor heat line (so we had to turn the water off overnight), I said, no problem, I’m a former camper. I just wanted peace and quiet overnight!

  15. This tale made me smile as my parents who are in their early eighties have just had their kitchen redone. Although pleased with the result I think they are more pleased just because the contractor is gone. He was pants. How fun to have found the whiskey bottles. Contraband?!

  16. I love the flower tiles!! The renovation process sounds awful, though, the end result was great. I had to laugh at the whiskey. Our first house might have had a similar issue with the contractors – I don’t think there was a 90 degree angle to be found anywhere in that house!

  17. Thank goodness you have your kitchen back, everything working, and looking so nice. The flower/vegetable tiles are gorgeous. Our kitchen is awful and could use a lot of work but the thought of living through the process keeps us from dong anything.

  18. Your new kitchen is great and I love the graphic style of the tiles. Perfect for any gardener 🙂 Love the design of the old Bourbon bottle label, too. Not long now until spring…

  19. OMG I love fixer upper posts, especially kitchens, and these tiles are gorgeous. Your kitchen is beautiful, and it seems so “Chicago” or “midwestern” to me…..makes me homesick for the midwest!!

  20. I’d say your kitchen makeover turned out quite nice! I like the yellow cabinets. And the flower tiles are a nice touch too. I wonder if we would find whisky bottles in our walls too. Time will tell, I suppose. We are WAY overdue a kitchen renovation!

      • Haha, I know what you mean – renovations can be a stressful, expensive pain… Kind of like travel. One can look forward to, and enjoy the destination, but have to endure the actual travel part first.

  21. It’s horrendous having a kitchen replaced, I remember it well! How lovely it is though, well worth the three month wait. Those tiles are just fantastic, wish I’d have thought of something like that when having ours done. Those whisky bottles had me smiling.xxx

  22. I love the personal touches to your charming kitchen. Your contractor sounds like a character, but at least he had high standards. I have my own kitchen remodeling story, which was a nightmare that haunts me to this day.

  23. Hello Jason, I love the hook board at the back where you have the handing pans and utensils. It looks so neat and ordered. The tiles have an Art Deco feel to them and the font also reminds me of Poirot. They’re beautiful tiles, you contractor must certainly have had patience to cut the numerous tiles needed to place even just one.

  24. Hey!! The innovative idea of flower tiles is very innovative and refreshing. It helps to create a fresh environment in the kitchen area! The tiles greenery makes the mood cool to cook. It gives bold look to kitchen.The idea of flower tiles is useful to one who willing for the renovation of kitchen.

  25. Love the tiles! We hibernated during our remodel. We were on sabbatical in Germany for a year and let our contractor friends take their time.

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