Saturday, July 4, 2009

Recycle the old

C.S. Lewis said one of the distinctive aspects of the modern mind is the assumption that newer things are always better. We’ve become preoccupied with things we don’t have, rather than the nurturing and stewarding the things we do have. (Huh? Me?)

The old metal cabinets in our kitchen were peeling and corroded. I did not like them any more. Refinishing seemed a huge ordeal and I imagined to do them right, we should take them out sandblast them and reinstall. A good friend advised me to just go to Home Depot and get new stock cabinets and zing, zing, in they’d go, and we’d have a nice new look at a pretty reasonable price. Walking through the displays made me realize that what I really liked were custom-made and cost the earth. Dejected. I finally decided we should repaint as best we could. They wouldn’t be perfect but what in life is? We kept them glossy white and didn’t replace hardware either. Anyway, after years the handles still don’t show a lick of wear. I lined the inside shelves with black contact paper – which gives them a surprisingly cool look.

When Anita, and okay, she did most of this work beautifully, was doing the panel under the sink, she popped off the metal logo that was covered in old white paint and Denis decided to look on-line to see what color it was originally. Or if we could even find out anything about the manufacturer. He discovered our old 1950s cabinets - GMK by Geneva - and learned they are a sought-after vintage item. Who knew?! Suddenly, their value soared and I felt more brilliant (and righteous) by the second.

Turns out the metal logo thing was brass and the letters are sort of reverse embossed so when Anita stripped off the paint and polished it, they glowed fair. She then, clever girl, gave it several coats of bright red auto paint to fill in the background, re-buffed to remove excess and snapped it back in place.

The old metal cabinets fit our “industrial” theme after all, (renaming makes it look like we planned to expose those pipes on the ceiling) and I still grin when I walk into the kitchen and see that little flash of red and brass beneath the sink. So: keep the old and be green. Woo, I’m into them now.


Anonymous said...

I like the look a lot! Can't wait to see the entire kitchen.

Greg Pitchford

domandkat said...

I really like what you've done to your kitchen! The natural wood makes it all look SO MUCH BETTER!!!!! And the fact that your cabinets are retro originals is amazing. Congrats on your new kitchen :-)

Karen said...

You are too cool and I am inspired by your beautiful kitchen.

david, kelly & sam said...

i LOVE your kitchen! (and the peeps who cook in it!)

Jeff said...