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Kitchen Musings - Tables, Cooktops, and Sinks on My Mind

Following my last post, Happenings at Hill and Valley Design, a couple of you asked to see the whole tulip style table, not just the top. I am glad you asked, and here it is!


tulip style table in kitchen eating nook

As soon as I saw this table online, I made the purchase almost immediately, since I had been searching for this exact size and style. What I love about this Lippa round dining table is the beveled table top edge and the sculptural base. It has a high-gloss finish on the MDF table-top and the sturdy metal base. It was also a reasonalbe price (around $450) for a sturdy table.

My new table is a new interpretation of the original Tulip Table designed in the 1950s, so it has that mid-century vibe. I can mix it with practically any kind of chair - modern or retro. I chose to go with a mix of cafe chairs that I bought last spring and simple wood chairs that I already owned.


Next up, kitchen maintenance! I am specifically talking about our gas cooktop. This appliance has been reliably serving us, daily, for the past 17 years. Over that time, it has gotten grimy and caked on with spills from multiple kitchen helpers. Despite our repeated efforts to clean it, we could never get it back to a state of appearing clean and spiffy.

I knew that drip pans on electric ranges could be removed and replaced, but I didn't realize I had that option with this gas cooktop. All the fasteners are concealed beneath the gray metal burners, I it was hard to tell the drip pans were removable. It wasn't until my neighbor recently told me she was able to replace hers that I finally investigated and decided to invest the $100 or so that it took to order the 5 new drip pans. Once the new parts arrived all it took was a little time and a Phillips screw driver to look almost new! Who knew?!

cooktop before drip pan replacement

dirty drip pan (left) and the shiny, new drip pans (right)

17 year old gas cooktop with new drip pans

Now the only thing I wonder is WHY did I wait so long to do this?! Do you ever put something off for so long and then when you finally clean/fix/change whatever it is you discover it was so easy? Yes, I could kick myself for waiting a decade, but now that it is looking so good, I think I might be a little militant in keeping it clean!!

With that in mind, I will still be dreaming of a new kitchen, but until those four kids are out of college, it will be piecing together small, gradual improvements to keep me content.


Ikea apron front sink for kitchen

DOMSJÖ sink from Ikea

So, here is another idea I have to enhance the appearance and function of my kitchen - a new sink, faucet, and garbage disposal. You may remember that in our laundry room renovation, we installed a single-bowl apron front sink, but for our kitchen, I will be aiming for a larger 2-bowl sink.

Right now I am not sure if we will replace the countertops or simply work with what we currently have. You know how it goes, start with one small thing and it turns into multiple! Stay tuned as the kitchen refresh begins just in time to make a big mess (and hopefully a pleasing fruition) as we enter the holiday season!

Next up - a mood board and continued musings about a kitchen refresh! Oh, the possibilities, even on a tight budget!

As always, please email me (at, your questions comments, and feedback. Special shout out to Sheila, Beth, and Nancy - I love it that you send me comments and sometimes questions or requests!

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Until next time, Valerie

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