Many of the homes in our neighborhood have similar features (although none are quite the same) and so I can see how one might want to tour through another person’s home to see what they’ve done with those quirky design elements. Case in point: I’m currently dying to see what others are doing with their indoor charcoal grill as I’d love to vamp ours up a bit, but am not quite sure how to go about it.
This was taken the day we moved in. It serves as a pretty good example of how that giant black rectangle commands the space. And not in a good way.
The brick that makes up the grill enclosure (which is about 2′ deep and 4′ long), along with the bricks directly above it, are currently coated in what is most likely fire-rated black paint and we’re not sure if that’s a functional feature or not. By that I mean, did the previous owners paint it dark to cover soot stains? If we take the brick back to white like the rest of the wall — at least up top, if not within the inset — will we be sorry later if we ever fire it up?
We have yet to use this grill for it’s intended purpose since we have a four other — far less involved — methods of cooking just steps always (two wall ovens, a stove, a toaster oven, and who can forget my trusty microwave?). On the few occasions we have grilled we’ve used … our grill. You know, the one in the backyard. Like normal people.
Here’s a horribly over-exposed photo that shows off the grill plate better than the rest. According to our neighbors it’s pretty unusual to see one of these grills that has actually been used, which ours obviously has been.
While this bad boy has his own flue, Kirk is a little weary since we haven’t had it professionally checked out yet (although since I can lean back, open the flue and see sky I think we’re in the clear). Bad pun. Anyway, regardless of whether the flue is clear, purposely lighting a fire in your home can be a scary thing and we both worry that smoke will billow out into the room instead of going up the chimney as it’s supposed to.
Over the last 6 months, we’ve done our best to make it a more useful space. It’s where we keep our wine rack …and other odds and ends.
Truth is, most days it ends up looking more like this. Hey, just keeping it real.
Those are the days I really wish it WERE a giant black hole.
FYI, in case you’re wondering, the wood plank going horizontally across the top of this wall is one of the three florescent light fixtures in the room. You can see it lit up in the first photo. Might be cool to strip it back to bare wood and stain it?
When we were house-hunting we saw some surprising solutions, but none really that work with our vision for the kitchen. In one home, countertops had been installed over the grill area for additional work space.
We saw plenty of kitchens where the homeowner had just plopped a TV or a microwave right over the grill plate and called it a day.
Some had custom built-ins installed. At first I thought these might be original since they match the lower cabinets, but see? You can still see the brick lip of the ledge there below the upper row of cabinets. They must have redone both at the same time they swapped their double ovens for a built-in microwave…to each their own!
We’ve even seen a complete kitchen remodel where the grill — and the entire brick wall — had been removed and a new snazzy stovetop/range hood had been installed in its place. (If you can believe it, this is the same house as the blue kitchen shown above!)
These were all interesting solutions (except maybe the TV scenario), but regardless of whether or not we use it, we’d really like to retain the grill. We think it’s a neat feature and we’d hate to alter such a unique design element.
Unfortunately, it’s currently a huge black gaping space in our kitchen and, aesthetically, that just doesn’t work for me. With a tight budget to consider, I’m thinking simply painting the whole thing white and dropping in an Ikea butcher block counter might be our best bet. With a little work, I think we’d be able to lay a slab of butcher block right over the grill plate without even having to remove it.
As a plus, we could easily pop it off again if we did decide to use the grill as, you know, a grill. And for indecisive folks like me, that’s huge. HUGE.