I am here to try and help undo the damage I might have done to your psyche yesterday by showing you what our kitchen looked like when we moved into our house. I want to show you how our kitchen slowly, and I am talking tortoise here, moved along. Over the first few years, we didn’t make any significant changes, just little things here and there that needed to be attended to. Remodeling life and real life butted heads, and real life won? Go figure! ( I had two babies, with long barfy pregnancies, and learned how to be a mom- a kitchen remodel was the least of my worries.) But here are the few things we did do:
1. Changing the sink and Faucet
The first thing that HAD TO GO was the tiny (scummy) sink. Since we had just remodeled our last kitchen and put in a new sink(I found and awesome Kohler sink for $75 bucks and the Habitat store in Asheville), I knew the joys of an awesome deep, large kitchen sink. I was not going to deal with a 4″ deep kitchen sink, heck my bathroom sinks were bigger. So one day while exploring Fort Worth, I found a discount home builder store and a great deal on a sink sink for about $125.00. Not an impulse buy, but also not a huge investment, and since the mid-range sinks cost $300-400 dollars, I thought I had done pretty well.
The new faucet at about $60 bucks, was a good deal and I really liked the look of it. Not to mention that it was twice as tall as the last one, and it has a soap dispenser which is a requirement for me! I love not having a bottle of soap on my counter.
2. Raising the Half Wall
Between the kitchen and living room there was a bar. I am not a fan of eating over carpeted living room space, and it made the living room feel really small, because it expanded the kitchen into the living room space. But there were two other reasons I didn’t like the bar, our piano and my sink… There was no place to put our piano on a full interior wall. So we wanted to raise the height of the bar to allow for the piano to be placed on that wall. And the sink. I don’t like it if people can see if I have dishes in my sink (…and I probably do), so raising the bar (ha ha) to hide the view from the living room was important as well.
(you can’t see it but the piano was overlapping the stairs, and wasn’t looking so great there!)
First thing that I did was to remove the counter top when Justin was at work so I couldn’t get in trouble for my shenanigans. Then we just took some scrap 2×4’s to the right height. I also added small spacers to the sides, the same width of the sheetrock, to nail the new molding on to.
I ended up nailing the top on first.
Then, I nailed on the base molding trim upside down, for a nice finished look. Now the piano can sit better on that wall and feel better in the whole space. (Although ultimately the location wasn’t ideal and we moved it upstairs with the help of some awesome friends) Not long after we made that little change to the bar, I started thinking about adding columns to the living room…
3. Installing columns:
I talked about installing the columns and my thoughts about it so feel free to check that out there. While I know people like a big open space, the columns to me still left the space opened but defined rooms AND added MUCH needed architectural character. (this house had NONE!)
We gained a bit more wall space in the kitchen and the height of the bar changed a bit. But I have to admit, the project came to a standstill at this point. We were debating about how the kitchen plans would effect the columns, so we didn’t move very far on this end for about a year.
4. New Dishwasher
The old one just didn’t wash dishes, which is sort of a deal breaker to me when it comes to dishwashers.. Why have it, if it doesn’t clean, I don’t need a glorified dish drying rack. So we found this one to replace it. We went for stainless steel to match the fridge.
Here is the old one.
Kitty is always wondering what is going on in our ever changing house, and looking for items she can get a better view from.
New dishwasher installed! I love that the controls are hidden, so sleek! And guess what, it actually washes dishes, amazing I know!
5. Range Change
I told you about our multi-colored range yesterday, and while a multi-colored coat was cool for Joseph in the bible, I don’t quite love the split personality the range was causing in our kitchen. I couldn’t paint the top at home, because of the heat and scrubbing issues. But at least I could unify the front of the range. So I used glossy black appliance paint and painted the drawer. It made a huge difference especially for only $4.00 in paint with plenty to spare.
6. New lighting
Well newish light. I didn’t like the fluorescent light so I switched it out with one I found at our local habitat store for $15.00. Then we hung a pendant light from Ikea above the sink (the same one we used in our last house before installing a hardwired light) And installed some under cabinet lighting. ( you can see in the picture below that Justin changed out the swinging pantry door to a pocket door a while back I count that as a laundry room remodel, but you can read about part of it here)
I never really got an after picture… so here are a few shots that have some view of the light ( I miss Buddy! my cat on the top cabinets I had to add this picture cuz he is so stinking cute, and you can sorta see part of the light. That counts right?)
So here we are, with the overall kitchen. We’ve installed all the door trim, column moldings and crown. I painted all the doors in my house black it started with the front door and went on like wild fire from there! I LOVE the look of black doors right now!
Okay, so that, in a nutshell, is all the changes we made for three and a half years. At this point in time, we have decided to move. And move quickly. We had about 4 weeks to finish our entire house. Yes, I just said every unfinished project had to be done in 4 weeks. That included the kitchen, living room, entry, half bath, stairs, family room, Etta’s Room, the extra bedroom, staging and photographing (for the blog) and packing up the entire house, patching walls, cleaning and painting all the patches. So remember when I showed you the dream plans I had for the kitchen yesterday?
Well this is precisely where the wrench got thrown. Because the housing market isn’t great, we decided to rent our house. When our Realtor came through and we told her our plans to paint the kitchen a beautiful, gleaming white. She told us absolutely NO! I tried to restate my case for painting in different ways, ya know like maybe somehow she would change her mind. But she said, that if the property was going to be a rental, wood was best. Having a white painted kitchen that would eventually get nicked up would look awful- fast with renters and that by keeping the wood tone we could keep the wear and tear hidden more easily.
I could not deny that she was right, in our first apartment we painted out little tiny rental kitchen white, it was gleaming and beautiful for about 3 weeks and it was dinged up ever after and I didn’t really care cuz I was renting… but how in the world was I supposed to face the readers of my blog (yes these are some of the thoughts that I had) with my still orange kitchen. I’ve been complaining about my orange kitchen for as long as I can remember. And I don’t complain about something unless I know that I plan on changing it. If it can’t be changed, then whatever, I don’t have time to waste complaining .
Besides the truth of the matter was that we did not have TIME to paint them anyway. But I wasn’t going to give up transforming my kitchen, at least a little bit. So let the fun begin…. tomorrow! I mean, let the fun begin tomorrow, when I post about the next stage of the remodel! Hope to see you there!) If you want, you can go back and see our kitchen before we did anything to it and to see how we updated the back splash with included tutorial.