Ma Cuisine, Week III ~ Little Missed Soffit

Wasted space drives me batty.

I don't like it.

But, I'm getting ahead of case you missed the first two weeks of Ma Cuisine...

I know I said I'd be showing you the nitty gritty before pictures of this side of the kitchen...but not yet.

I want to show you something else first.

As I was saying,

"Wasted space drives me batty!"

"I don't like it!"

So, when I first saw this in the untouched (by me) gross ~ previously rented (and renovated) ~ 100 year old kitchen....

and this...

(Note the lumpy bumpy lathe and plaster walls...and layers and layers of equally lovely paint!)

I knew I had to do something about it!!!

So, I did this...




Mmm...that's sooo yummy!  Just look at all of that delicious space!!!

Now, before we move on, there's something you should know about me.  I'm a pretty thrifty chick.  I like to use what I have before running off to the store to buy brand new materials.

So...when I did this....

(I'll be talking about the plaster treatments I did to even out the previously mentioned lumpy bumpy 100 year old walls...another day.)

I used the facing board from the old soffit to add depth to my newly exposed space.

Like the walls, the cupboards were a little wonky...but this is the "in-between" kitchen.  I wasn't ready for a full-on overhaul.  So, I just started working my way around the cupboards, organically, with materials from previous family projects....

until it looked like this...

A little patching

and a few coats of prime, paint and wax later...

...and I have a perfect place to store some treasures!

The ruffled cake stand came in a set of two ~ An Easter gift from my mama...via me

The wee milk glass plate stand ~  $1.99 St. Vincents ~ It was stuck in a bright blue chip and dip basket

{I immediately re-donated the basket}

I know it's not perfect.

That's the nice thing about dealing with a Frankenstein of a farmhouse...

....less pressure.

The bowls, pitchers, mugs..etc...are thrifty finds from various treasure hunts.

 The Fenton hobnail cake stand is another purchase from my antique dealer friend Thelma's sweet sister, Penny.

I found the scalloped ironstone pedestal bowl at GW last week for around $5.99

The milk bottles are more rescued loot from the bungalow my mom and I moved.

The plates on the second ruffled Easter cake stand are Myott Meakin and Wedgwood.

The embossed teacup under the cheese dome on my newly acquired, gold rimmed, scalloped glass cake stand is also Wedgwood....Wellesley.  I found the cup at GW a few years ago for $1.99 and than found the matching saucers more recently at a different GW...for under a dollar each.  I may have bought the cake stand at a garage sale around the corner for a couple of dollars.  Love that!

Can you see the wee bit of Christmas light peaking up as if to say, "Hello?"

I had the electrician put an outlet up in my new space...and then I attached the Christmas lights to a remotely controlled plug from Costco.  I did this so I'd have a more varied use of the space then if we'd just installed fixed lights.  

I'm pretty happy with how it illuminates some of my cake stands....

 and frosting.

: )

It makes me happy to work with neutral backdrops in my home, because then...

you can do this...

and this...

....with just a few more hops up and down off of the counter carrying stacks and stacks of heavy dishes!

The flowery valance is from Park Designs and was made in India (the ivory curtains were Simply Shabby Chic)  All were fab thrifty finds.

The Portmeirion "Pomona" salad bowl ~ Value Village ~ $9.99

I used to work in a European Country boutique that carried that was a pretty happy thrifty find.

I found the provincial couple music box in an antique shop in Billings, Montana...whilst my mom and I were on a road trip to move my grandma out to Washington State from Nebraska.

A nice elderly man gave me the milk bottle with red details....instead of giving it to GW

and I just can't remember where I found the fluted cake stand and lid.  Hmmm...

My friend Alice scooped up the mis-matching clear glass ruffled cake stand and lid at GW whilst we were treasuring hunting in Seattle...and then offered the $9.99 purchase to me.  

What a good friend!

The fluted red bowl was purchased for $4.00 from the Portland, Oregon Anthropology when my mama and I were in town for The National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual conference in 2005.  

We ended up doing more shopping then lecture listening.

Oh, well....

: )

Doesn't everyone keep dish towels on top of their cupboards?

I thought it was pretty.  It's by Kosas...and was also made in India.

When I saw the wee loungin' cow-lidded butter crock at an annual golf course neighborhood garage sale for a buck a couple of years ago...I scooped it up...just in case its packaged twin in my dish room didn't survive the mooove up the mountain.  

It was in the kitchen of my childhood home.

Isn't that great?

Oh, and yes...I do bake cakes! 

{ : from scratch : }

Thank you for visiting my blog!  You can also see some of my soffit photos on television via Studio 5!

Have a lovely weekend!

: )

Julie M.

Shop for all sorts of cottage garden kitchen goodness at!

To see more show photos, etc...please visit my facebook page, where you can also follow The Little Red Shop, or you can visit us via Pinterest and Twitter.

pps  Whew!  That's a lot of blog parties!!!  I did NOT make a habit of doing that!  (Julie, 8/9/11)


Julie ~ this is not only a terrific idea and space finder, but so darn cute and useful! You did a spectacular job. It turned out perfect. I enjoyed viewing every photo! You must have developed some strong leg muscles hopping up and down during this project and decorating!

So nice visiting!
Kindly, ldh
you are the magical interior decorating fairy! everything you touch gets amazingly transformed!
So, so, so cute! I love it and even have several of the same cake plates as you have. I do have some of my cake plates above my cabinets, but never thought of putting plates on them and up there. Good one! I also use your same theory of neutral backgrounds so you can change the "stuff" out! How awesome to just use your wood from other projects to complete this one. Can't wait to see how you did the walls! Following!
Alison Agnew said…
You go girl! I love love love the space makeover. I know exactly what you mean about the old monster of a farmhouse....I'm right there with you.

Secondhandrose said…
I just stumbled into your blog neighborhood and jumped the fence to get in! he-he! What a cute re-do and the lights add a nice touch. come for a visit.
It turned out fabulous!!! I am another one who has to put something in every available spot. Glad to hear that I am not alone. Except I am not as good at dusting.
lindimity said…
Thought we might see you at the estate sale today. Not much there, but I did get a beautiful cutwork tablecloth for $10!
Wow! Thank you so much for your sweet comments!

Linda...I closed out the estate sale. : ) I'm sorry I missed you. I heard that it had been packed. I bought the 3-tiered dessert stand, the wee french crystal goblets, a funky doctored vintage pink step stool, and a few other goodies.

What fun!

: )

Julie M.
Susanne said…
First time to your blog, I've got to admit, I had my doubts, those before pictures were truly Frankenstein scary! Fantastic transformation, beautiful!
Kristy Carberry said…
What an amazing transformation! I'm fairly new to blogland and just discovered your blog through "Furniture Find Fridays". I'm glad I did, I hope to see more soon! Thanks for sharing.
Gay Vaughan said…
Beautiful post, amazing transformation. Thanks for bringing your hodgepodge to the party! I am featuring this. Hope to see you again.
Lisa said…
Awesome!! I love the space AND all your cake plates! They are a weakness of mine!! I like your redo!
Hugs, Lisa
What a fantastic use of space! I love both versions! So beautiful! This is inspiring me to do something prettier above my cupboards.
Allison Shops said…
So cute! You did a fantastic job!
Angie said…
I am in awe of how beautiful those dishes look all lit up. You did a fabulous job creating that new space!
Kammy said…
Great transformation ! Love how you can change the colors and love that light up light - very cool !
Hugs ~ Kammy
Sonjia Hill said…
Holy Cow...dear Cousing! I am SOOO impressed. What a gift you have. You can truely 'touch' something, and turn it into something wonderfully beautiful and charming! Those pics definately need to be in a magazine..seriously! I just always leave your blog....happy! Thank you!

Sonjia Marie :-)
Jenn said…
WOW! I dream of doing that all by myself!! (well... kinda) anyway.... beautiful!! Love the open space... love the love the curtain!

Anonymous said…
Honey,you ROCK.....From a cheerful visitor.
vignette design said…
What a darling kitchen. Love how you reclaimed that no man's land above the cabinets. Looks fantastic all staged and lit up!
Anonymous said…
looks so wonderful thanks for sharing, makes me want to run out and buy a hundred year old farm my dreams..again, thnaks for sharing Cassy W
Ally said…
Love it! You did good.
shannon i olson said…
nice job, good space and great use of it.
You and me, both, sista! I want little pretties in every spot possible! ...AND I opened up that same space in my kitchen when we moved in, I looooove your photos! so charming and inviting! I hopped over from Between Naps on the Porch and am so happy that I did! Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place when you get a moment. I have become a follower and would be honored if you choose to do the same! until later...
ImagineCozy said…
You did such a fantastic job that I want to share your great idea! Thank you for allowing me to share your photos on my TV segment next week.

I love how you created a collection and made it part of your kitchen. The lighting makes all the difference --- and the dish towel adds a perfect softness and color. Wow - it looks great!
All of your treasures look so great up there! I love the lighting too!

Beautiful. Your blog is so cute!

Unknown said…
Love both the neutrals and the color and loved the way it was lit up!! All the best . . . liz
What a fabulous job you did!!!!I love it! Just became a follower:) How could I not follow someone so talented, right?
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens
Jess said…
That is so pretty! Thanks so much for posting this on Favorite Things Friday!
Lynn said…
That's a beautiful display, you've used that space well!
Angela said…
Oh my goodness Julie, I adore your kitchen and I'm a follower now. I'm looking forward to coming back to visit and drool even more..I will have to bring a lot more kleenex,,LOL..and I am soooo lovin the and I have similar tastes..lovin it!
★Carol★ said…
What an amazing transformation! And I'll be interested to hear how you even out plaster walls. Ugh! The walls in a couple rooms of our house are horrid. I hate plaster, but what can you do. It's an ooold house!
Happy REDnesday!
Sherrie said…
I don't even know where to begin. It is a fabulous renovation job and your finds are just fabulous. I too hate wasted space. You totally transformed the kitchen space. Love it.
Fabulous! You've got a keen eye for creating space - and filling it! Great job! I love the lighting idea - makes them all look wonderful.
Robyn said…
OH MY! That's a wonderful project that makes this girl's DIY LOVIN' HEART GO PITTER PAT! GORGEOUS!
Oh, Julie...this post is awesome. I love the creamware and milk glass collection on top of the soffit. Great work!
Room to Inspire said…
What a great way to use that un-used space! I love the outlet idea for the Christmas lights - brilliant. Thanks for linking up to Be Inspired today!

Anonymous said…
So much to enjoy! What a wonderful post. You are an inspiration. I love how you just dig in and start making it better. Thank you for linking to the Boardwalk Bragfest!
❀~Myrna~❀ said…
Wow , What a wonderful place to display your treasures ! Great Idea !
Wow, this is amazing. I absolutely love it. And love that you can change up the colors.
Ann said…
Wow! I have enjoyed sitting here looking at all of your pictures. They are great and your decorating is fantasatic. You have quite the eye for finding fabulous treasures!
Thanks so much for posting such great pictures. I love the eye candy!!
Wow, Julie, this is wonderful! What a clever solution for that space. And your collections look beautiful up there!
what a great transformation, and who woulda thought so incredibly versatile? and i have to say, i actually enjoyed the music that was playing, i didn't check, but i think it was ella fitzgerald.

thanks so much for your kind words on my sunroom redo, and for stopping by the cape on the corner!
WoW... it looks fabulous. Love how custom the cabinets look now. And you have a GORG collection of dishes and serving ware.... that ruffled cake plate is SO PRETTY! Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us at the POPP.
Chris said…
I'm pretty sure I'm madly in love with every single piece you put up in the soffit! It was a brave and brilliant idea to remove everything so you could add your charm! Well done!
Wow! What a transformation!
It is so, so,so pretty. :)
Anonymous said…
This post inspired me to change the decorating above my kitchen cabinets. It is the prettiest vignette above the cabinets that I have ever seen. I now have white pitchers and glass cake plates and hidden christmas twinkle lights :) Thank you. I love how you changed it a little with color - and the hand towel hanging off the corner is just the right touch.

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