Tuesday, February 23, 2016

lol, remember when this blog was all about our kitchen?

Once upon a time, we remodeled our kitchen. And I diligently documented the process here (like, 25 posts' worth of documentation) for the entire nine months it took us, right up until...I got knocked up. Just like that, all my blog posts shifted to BABY BABY BABY, and I never actually got around to showing our "after" shots.

So, you know. Here it is these days.

Just because I know all of your lives have been on hold while you waited for this big reveal, I decided I'm bringing the Bitchin' Kitchen back, for a limited time only! (It's fine if you have to take a minute to reign in your excitement. I understand.) Just a few final posts to show our before and after pics, to dish about our remodel hits (*~*~hex tile backsplash~*~*) and misses (screw you, garbage cabinet), and to share my kitchen organization ideas.

For those of you who never saw the kitchen posts, here's the basic story. When we moved into this house in June of 2009, the entire place was in need of some...um, let's say aesthetic updates. The previous owner, a sweet 92-year-old woman who moved in when the neighborhood was built in the '60s, had stopped decorating somewhere in the '80s...possibly earlier. We had floral wallpaper, salmon-pink bathroom fixtures, and green shag carpeting. Little by little, J.J. and I (mostly me, since redecorating is not J.J.'s cup of post-workday tea) chipped away at each room, which we were mostly able to afford to do thanks to President Obama's First-Time Homebuyer Credit. In case you don't remember, anyone purchasing their first home around 2008-09 (and who met some other qualifications that I don't totally recall) was gifted 8,000 shiny government dollars, ostensibly to put back into the house. {Thanks, Obama!} We spent a huge chunk on new windows, since ours, being original to the house, (1) didn't lock, and (2) kept randomly falling out of their frames. The rest went towards paint, light fixtures, some plumbing and electrical issues, and I don't even remember what else.

Eventually, we reached the point where the only room we really hadn't addressed was the kitchen. And...it needed to be addressed.

Circa June 2009 - move-in day.
Everything worked, technically, but there was almost no storage (no pantry at all), the appliances were on their last legs, and aesthetically, it just wasn't us. We had painted the walls blue and tried adding some furniture, but I just kept thinking the room had so much more potential. For example, it'd be great if we could open the dishwasher without it getting stuck on the oven door handle.

So we scrimped and saved for a long time and finally bit the bullet: We purchased some new appliances and started demoing left and right. When all was said and done, we (with the occasional help from family members and a few professionals):

  • Replaced the refrigerator, range, range hood, microwave, and toaster (everything but the dishwasher)
  • Reconfigured the cabinets/shelving to add accessibility and more storage (including adding three new cabinets, hidden trash and recycling, an Ikea dresser, and a fridge surround)
  • Built and installed a pantry
  • Added decorative moulding to the cabinet doors, painted all the cabinets white, and replaced all the hinges, knobs, and pulls
  • Swapped out two ceiling lights and the light over the sink
  • Had a new quartz countertop, new sink, and new faucet installed
  • Had a new backsplash installed
  • Laid new vinyl tiles over the old flooring
  • Added a console table and frame wall by the garage entry

Ugh, I get tired just thinking about all the work that went into this kitchen. Thankfully, more than three years after we finished it, I still look around almost daily and think, "I am so glad we did this."

For befores & afters, I'll go clockwise around the room...

...Starting with the fridge and range wall. I didn't really get a good "before" shot of this area, but here's our original range, range hood, and sexy copper backsplash. For the remodel, we relocated the range way over to the left to accommodate a new bank of cabinets where the oven had been.

That curved range hood = one of my fave things in the new kitchen.

Moving to the right a bit...

Demo in progress...
...and final result.

And here's the dishwasher/sink area, plus our long island of cabinets:

Another in-progress shot...
...and another happy after.
Ahh, much better.

Moving along the open wall - look closely, and you'll see that there used to be an iron gate between the support pole and the far wall. Also, our desktop lived in the kitchen until I turned our guest room closet into an office. Now that big blank wall houses the pantry and Rowan's little table, where she eats and does projects every day.

After scooting the range and refrigerator over, we still had some blank wall space to contend with. I originally wanted this to be a work station with a desk, but the right desk eluded us (those bitches are hard to find!). So I ended up going with a console table and frame wall. Oh, and I added two baskets underneath the table. One stores Rowan's shoes, boots, and winter gear (or towels and swimsuits in the summer), and the other stores grown-up shoes.

And some final wider shots of the kitchen, before (check out that checkered flooring and boob light in this progress shot!)...

and after:

I'm serious when I say I think about how much I love this kitchen almost daily. It's so much brighter, has so much more storage, and doesn't have any dead landline wires poking out of the wall by the sink (always a bonus). As for whether we'd make all the same decisions if we were to do it all over again? That's another post for another day, but for the most part, absolutely. Um...as long as someone else was in charge of the manual labor. :)


  1. Replies
    1. lol, I meant to say something about bonus points for anyone who could spot you or J.J. :)

  2. You made a great transformation, not just you kitchen but a total home make over.

    1. Thanks! It was definitely a labor of love!

  3. Your home turns as beautiful as you are.



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