Friday, February 21, 2014

Kitchen Progress!

   I know you're just dying to hear all about my amazing renovation plans for our house, aren't you? Okay, okay, I'll indulge you.  ;)  (Thanks for putting up with me.)  We'll start with the room that has the most dramatic plans for change, the kitchen.  Remember what we started with:

   It's hard to tell from the photo, but the ceilings are REALLY high in the kitchen (and living room), which is awesome, but sort of dwarfs the kitchen as it previously stood.  The orangey stain is about my least favorite color of wood on the planet. Also note, there is no microwave.  Also note, the refrigerator is older than I am.  We won't talk about how old that might be.  The dishwasher, oven, and vent hood are original to the house, which was built in 1999 (par-tay!) so they aren't ancient, but are definitely tired.  I don't have photos of it, but the countertops are a grey-beige Formica type material that is cracking and peeling and bowing away from the walls, especially in places where it got wet.  And finally, the tile.  The color is not offensive.  There are a couple of cracked tiles in the corner by the sink--looks like the previous owners dropped a heavy pot or something.  The major problem with the tile is that it is a super high gloss shiny tile and it is SLICK. AS. SNOT. if it's wet or if you have dust on your shoes.  You know, like if you're coming in from the back yard (the door is in the dining area) or if you are a messy cook (I am). I have very nearly busted my can just about every time I'm in the house.  So here's where we are now:

   Pardon the mess, but so much better, right?  Here's a list of what has been accomplished in this picture so far:
  • Upper cabinets were raised 6". This makes the kitchen feel taller, decreases the awkward space above the cabs, and allows us to install a microwave! They were so low before that there wasn't enough space between the stove and the upper cabinets for a microwave, thus only a vent hood.  
  • Tile and countertops were removed.  (Duh.)  To be replaced soon.  The tile will likely go in next week, and I'm currently waiting on the countertop folks to schedule installation.  Hopefully end of next week.  
  • Cabinets painted off-white.  (Also duh.)  I love white cabinets.  They feel so airy and clean and fresh to me.  I know it's a matter of preference, and lots of my family believes it is a sin to paint woodwork, but I LOVE IT.  We added some oil-rubbed bronze hardware to the cabs too.  There wasn't any before.  Call me lazy, but I like me a drawer pull.
  • You can't see it in this pic very well, but see that lower cabinet in the left?  The one with the tiny tiny little door?  See all that space in that cabinet, going clear back to the corner?  Wasted.  Completely and utterly wasted.  The huge cabinet space was accessible only through that 6" wide door.  There's a shelf in there and everything, like it thinks it's usable space.  It's wrong.  So a hole was cut in the adjacent cabinet's left wall to access the space a little better.  It's still awkward and will still be tough to get stuff in and out, but it's a heck of a lot better.  
  • The island has been moved in these photos, but it's going back where it was.  Just needed some elbow room.  
   Here's another "before" shot for you:

   So many things drove me nuts about this picture.  I hate that horizontal "decorative ledge."  What's the point?  It's like no one told the room not to wear horizontal stripes.  I need to get rid of the "boob light." You know, that little round flush mounted fixture over the sink?  I heard another blogger call them that once, and now I can't un-see it.  Therefore it must go.  You can also see that super-rad 80s/90s fluorescent light box peeking over the dust catcher ledge. Not my fave.  And last but not least, there was some pretty hideous wallpaper below the chair rail in the dining area.  And it was peeling off.  Classy.  Here's a refreshing "progress shot":

   Sorry for the blurry iphone pic.  But again, so much better, yes?
  • No more dust catcher!  Such a tall svelte kitchen now!  
  • No more light box!  Chris's dad installed some can lights in the ceiling for us, and it gives great light in there.  We are planning to hang a pendant over the island using the existing wiring.
  • No more boob light!  Going to hang another pendant there over the sink using that wiring.
  • You can get a glimpse of the pretty off-white painted beadboard that now resides beneath the chair rail.  (Warning: I have a beadboard problem.  You will get tired of hearing about all the places I'm putting beadboard.)
  • You can't see in this photo, but scroll up to the "before" if you need to. There used to be two rows of tile on this side of the "bar" area.  I have no idea why.  It looked strange.  Luckily, the home-improvement force was with us, because we found two more boxes of the laminate flooring in the attic, so when the tile came up, the wood was extended all the way to the partial wall.  It looks awesome.  

   Clearly, there's still a lot to be done.  Paint on the walls, tile, countertops, and (spoiler!) shiny new appliances.  I'll do a full source list for anyone who cares when I post pics of the finished product.  And lest anyone think that I did anything in this kitchen other than write a check, I did not.  Not one thing.  We have some seriously talented and generous family members, y'all.  My grandpa and uncle are doing most of the work in the kitchen, from raising and painting the cabinets to removing the old tile and leveling the floor to installing beadboard and tile and a zillion little things along the way.  I'm over my head in gratitude and "I owe you's."  I'm putting in my sweat equity in other rooms of the house, but I had no part of the work in the kitchen.  And it's amazing. 

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