Six years, 11 months and a few days (don’t make me do anymore math, please…I beg of you), and this kitchen is finished-ish. We still don’t have a darned hood for our darned range. But other than that…
Oh, the memories:
The ‘before’ wall with the door you’re looking at in that photo is what separated the kitchen from the dining room/living room area. It was immediately apparent to us that we wanted to take it down just for flow and aesthetic reasons–so we had to dive into the usually tricky business of “is it a load-bearing wall” thing. Um, no. No it was not. A sheet of plywood covered in wallpaper does not a load-bearing wall make. Seriously, it was like a prop wall in a middle school play. Down with the wall!Ahhh, demo…that moment when you think: I and my place of residence shall never be clean again.
I love the following shot because you can truly see how the walls were made of planks (and in some spots, plywood). Look really closely at the righthand side of the righthand door. You can see how thick the ‘walls’ were. True story.
The next photo was the first moment in the renovation process when I walked in, took a deep breath and thought–this is really gonna be awesome.
I love the abandoned broom. It wanted to help. It really did.
Et voilà! Wide open (clean) spaces. I mean…taking down that wall, in this case, was a no-brainer. I don’t think that, universally, opening up walls is always the answer–in fact, I think people get a little crazy with the whole open-concept thing…but in this case, it was necessary. The prop wall had to go.
Within the belly of the old kitchen…
I look back at that faux brick with fondness only because it still gives me a good laugh. Whoever thought faux brick was a good look…I just want to pat your little head. And extra pats for the faux wood paneling in the next room. (But hey, at least there was a range hood!)
The following photo gives you another great look at what the walls of this house were made of. And see on that back wall? See those lovely specks of daylight? WELCOME TO THIS ENTIRE HOUSE (pre-renovation). And after:
Clearly, we rearranged a few things. I like my kitchen sink to be looking out a window. Even if said window is really looking at nothing but the scruffy side of our driveway hedges. Said scruffy hedges mostly prevent us from having a view of our neighbors’ bathroom window. Mostly. Heeeeey, neighbors!
The opposite wall of the old kitchen was just a lot more of the same brand of odd, dated layout:That’s it. That’s all the counter space in the whole kitchen. I do have to give some props for the open shelving. Storage can really be quite useful.
I don’t know how you feel about it, but that fridge placement/situation wasn’t really doing it for me. He kinda seems like the awkward guy at the party, trying to stand out of the way, but totally, completely, utterly in everyone’s way. And leaking stuff on the floor.
We decided we must push the kitchen back to absorb the strange familyroomish room beyond the kitchen. So, clearly, we gained a lot more storage and counter space overall, but most especially on the wall opposite the sink. Room for a range, room for a microwave, and even room for a shiny new, less-socially-awkward fridge.And those double french doors at the end there? Had to have them.
The kitchen was in dire need of some light. And since our house is small and we don’t have a real dining room (because, er…we may have removed it)–we use our deck as the dining room. Southern California- and tuxedo cat-approved.
Still missing that range hood, though. Dang.
The new backsplash? Not faux brick, but someone should probably let me have it for using faux beadboard panels. In 100 years someone is gonna be mocking the silliness of it. I totally deserve that. But I digress. The backsplash: beadboard *ehem* paneling cut and pieced on the diagonal for a zig-zag (it’s not technically chevron, but FINE. We’ll call it chevron) effect. See how we did it here.
I really, really, really, really wanted soapstone countertops, but the budget was having none of that. So our contractor buddy helped us pour concrete ones to look like soapstone. We tinted it dark, and left it pretty imperfect (ON PURPOSE!! Seriously!) with a honed finish. It wound up looking rather soapstoney, if I do say so myself.
Suffice it to say, we are loving having a nice, big, open, airy, functional kitchen. The parrot enjoys having a view of the whole house, too. Gotta keep the bird happy or we get a lot of expletives thrown at us. Along with some bird seed.
Product Sources & Names:
Kitchen Cabinets: Shaker style from CabinetsQuick.com, painted Dunn-Edwards Swiss Coffee
Cabinet Hardware: Martha Stewart for Home Depot Soft-Iron Cabinet Hardware Collection
Pendant Lights: Sundance Catalog (no longer available, I got the last ones, hehehe)
Farmhouse Sink: Signature Hardware (exact model no longer available but they’ve got a good selection of similar)
Wall Color: Behr Butternut Wood
Wall Trim, and Ceiling: Behr Swiss Coffee
Stools: Ikea (no longer available)
Console Table/Kitchen Island: World Market (no longer available)
Large Floor Rug: World Market (no longer available in color shown)
Small Entry Door Rug: Dash & Albert
Set of Three Steel Floral Art: katerichards.com
Pretty much everything else shown, furniture-wise, is up-cycled or handed down.
If you have questions about anything I’ve missed, please shoot me an email.