With so much of our first floor mostly complete (as in, walls have been painted – well, we know how I feel about that – and we’re simply in a stage of nitpicking and over thinking), there are only a handful of rooms that need big, big help: the small bathroom (to which we can close the door), the blue storage room (again, to which we can close the door) and the kitchen – to which there is no door closing.
And now? It’s time to talk about the kitchen!
For so long, Scott and I thought we’d slap a coat of paint on the walls and cabinets, band-aid the issue for as long as possible and call it a day. Ha! We’ve waited so long to do anything about this room, that now, we’ve decided to just do it and do it right. We’ve been stashing and squirreling away money when we’ve been able, not really knowing if we’d move to the bathroom or the bedroom next – but ultimately, we decided to face the beast and move to the biggest, baddest room of them all.
Since we’ve never actually done a kitchen before, we called in our friend Nancy for help – the same Nancy that became our shoulder to lean on for every wall we moved, every door we widened and every panicked moment we faced upon moving into this house. We’ll also be working closely with a new-to-us contractor and cabinet builder, and you guys, we are so excited and freaked out and happy and nervous. In other words, it’s going to be great.
The good: Our kitchen is huge! (Pinch us!) The bad: The layout could not make less sense. Nancy came over for a full evening of wine and room layouts, and after fussing with this and tweaking that, we’re thrilled with the direction we’re headed! Let’s break it down:
- The windows, while large, are too low to allow for proper cabinet placement.
- The cabinets are smooshed to the right of the storage room door, which was probably the easiest solution when this room was upgraded a handful of years ago – and we say that term very, very loosely.
- Not to mention, they’re only on one side of the room.
- Drywall repair is needed for days. For days! It’s tough to tell in photos, but the finish work on the drywall is less than stellar.
- We’ve got a furnace to work around. See?:
I can’t tell you how many of our guests have tried to open those doors looking for a bowl of cereal and come face-to-face with the world’s loudest furnace. There’s no where else for it to live, so it stays – but all is not lost! Let’s talk about how we can work around that and the other funny issues.
Below, that arrow is pointing to a capped off gas line. We’ll be utilizing that gas line (and moving it back) to allow the stove to fit on the same wall as our refrigerator:
The furnace closet will get new doors, and we’ll add cabinets to the left and right of the stove, as well as the entire wall above it. Those cabinets will be full of all sorts of clever little tricks – such as a pull out sliding pantry and spice rack (if we can make it work!) and, oh yeah, that window is going away, too; more on that in a minute.
We’ve been working on collecting all new white appliances, starting first with the refrigerator, a stove and a dishwasher, and we’ll also be adding a built in microwave. When we’re done, this side of the room will look more like this:
On the opposite side of the room, you can see the door to the extra storage room; that room will eventually act as our indoor garage space, which will serve our needs well. We imagine it to be an organized heaven, and my goodness, I get goosebumps just thinking about how wonderful it’ll be to find the sandpaper without cursing! But, that’ll come after the kitchen.
We’ll be adding additional cabinets to the left, which will make room for a dishwasher and, of course, storage! This means the door will slide down as well, and while we’re at it, we’re just going to turn it into a pocket door – and odd as it may seem, this is something we’ve wanted to include somewhere in this house since the day we moved in!
There will still be about 20″ of space to the left of that door, giving us room to add a vintage buffet (or something) on the same wall as the back door. Because, you see, the other window is also getting closed off. (I promise this will make sense soon!) When we’re done, this side of the room will look like this:
But, let’s get to the part where we’ve decided to close up all those windows. We love the light they provide, but we thought, hey, let’s bring in even more light! And because we’ll be closing up the windows, the back of the room that looks like this …
… Will get one of the larger overhauls in the room! We’ll be bringing in a large glass paneled security door, and for extra credit, we’ll also flank it with sidelights and a wide transom window above – like this!
There’s so much more to discuss, and we’ve been pulling apart the details for weeks, so here’s a mini taste of our punch list:
- We’re salvaging the cabinets we can to save money, but we’ll be refacing with all new doors. The cabinets will be done entirely by a maker that came highly recommended, which is more cost effective than if we were to paint them ourselves and piece together more cabinets for the stove wall.
- There is a lot of electrical work that needs to be done to make our work flow safe and efficient. This is no fun and costs a lot, but it will make such a difference in the long run.
- We’re still deciding if we’ll be adding soffits to close up the negative space above the cabinets. Or maybe we’ll just add a piece of finishing trim to the cabinets themselves? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this one! (Our ceilings are pretty tall, and it’s not in the budget to do extra tall cabinets, so in turn, the soffits would be tall.)
- The drawings (done by Nancy) show a subway tile, but right now, that’s just to give us an idea of how tile would look. Nothing is set on that front – yet.
- As we decide on finishes for the permanent fixtures, we’re leaning clean and classic – think: whites and grays. We know, we know, but we’ll be bringing in some contrast with an island, and we’ll have a little fun with the pocket and back doors!
- Baseboards. We’ll need new baseboards when we’re done – you know that’s my favorite! (Har-har.)
Up close, you can see that our counter tops are your run-of-the-mill laminate, and while they’ve served their purpose since we’ve been in this house, we’re looking forward to choosing something that’ll last for the long haul. Whether it’s cabinets, counters or our sink, our goal is to stay mindful of this home’s age, while bringing in a bit of modern convenience. The best of both worlds!
Just as we’ve done in the past, we’ll be taking on as much demo as we can upfront, which not only saves on cost, but we enjoy doing it! We also feel incredibly fortunate that we’ll be partnering with a few fantastic companies – something that we don’t take lightly or for granted. We’re looking forward to sharing those with you as we go along!
As we navigate these kitchen waters, so to speak, there are still a lot of our own questions that don’t have answers, and I’ll admit that, quite honestly, it scares us! We’ll be starting some light demo this weekend, and if all goes well, the contractors will start their work early in the new year.
Let’s do this! One step at a time, that is.