Subtle improvements...
...can make a significant difference. I like how calm it is here now. The perfect stage for a family of cooks.

White Tie

I painted our kitchen shelf white. White Tie to be more precise. It is a pale creamy white by Farrow & Ball.

Some of you might remember how this space used to be. For those who don’t, let’s just say I felt our kitchen was starting to look quite worn and dingy.

That’s okay though. That’s what happens when you use a space a lot, especially when there are people and pets around all the time, and real cooking is a daily activity. Life is messy.

But there was one problem. You would think that a living kitchen like ours would develop a beautiful patina and be aesthetically warm and cozy. Sadly this was not the case. Instead, the combination of winter light, pale grey walls, cold metals, offwhite cabinets and aged oak surfaces managed look harsh. And harsh is something I find difficult to live with. I like things soft and warm.

We sanded and oiled the white oak worktops. Now that I look at the end result, we could have sanded them a little bit more for a cleaner look. On the other hand, as I wrote, life is messy, and a spotless kitchen will never be my reality.

In terms of the atmosphere and the daily life that happens in this room, perfection would a much more tricky starting point than imperfection. People get paralyzed when they have to be constantly careful not to ruin something.

To protect the worktops, we wanted to find non-toxic coating, and managed to find an extremely good one from Belgium. Made on a linen oil base, it is called Rubio Monocoat, and as the name suggests, you need one coat only.

We found a local dealer who did not only help us find the perfect shade (15% white) but also came to our home to explain and show how the stuff works. Thank you Olli!

The end result is both beautiful and forgiving. You can spill wine and oil and grease and get it off, yet the wood looks alive and almost untreated. And with the lighter back wall, the room is not just more fresh but somehow so much warmer too.

Next up, installing lights that I bought ages ago.