You know that feeling when you’ve been watching too much HGTV and you suddenly find yourself in the mood to undertake some major home renovations? Well, that was me this past weekend.
While my husband has since talked me down from that particular ledge (for the time being anyway), I find I’m still craving a little bit of that fix. So after fondly perusing a bunch of the before and after pictures from our home renovation projects last winter, I decided I’d at least blog some more about it and recreate a little of that feeling of “Look! It’s so shiny and new!” It’s obviously not the same, of course, but it helps placate the reno beast a little bit.
So, to that end…
In addition to making over our living room and fireplace as I wrote about previously, we did a full renovation of our kitchen and dining rooms, as well as installing new flooring throughout the whole living area.
We started out by opening up the kitchen to the rest of the living space. Our house was built in 1979 and featured a closed-off galley kitchen, which was cute its own awkward and dysfunctional way, and came complete with washer and dryer (because who doesn’t love having their linens and towels smell like last night’s dinner?), upper cabinets that didn’t fully close (and were topped by an ugly bulkhead looming pointlessly above them) and an awkward and shallow ceramic sink not big enough to wash my pots in. Oh, and faux wood vinyl flooring — because 1979!
Step one was actually relocating the laundry out to the garage. We did that project first, then left the space as-was for a few months, keeping the fabulous accordion doors in place and creating a makeshift pantry/mop closet behind them.
When it came time to really tackle the kitchen, I couldn’t wait to knock that wall down and kick the ugly accordion doors to the curb. I cannot stress enough how frustrating it was to come in from the garage and run smack dab into those doors (if you didn’t shut them just right they would pop back open and then wait there to trap the unsuspecting upon entering).
So those were eliminated first thing, and then the main wall separating the kitchen from the living room went, opening up the whole space. My husband and I love to entertain, so our primary goal was to have an open floor plan where we (and by “we” I mean “I”) could continue to labor in the kitchen but still chat (and by “chat” I mean “drink”) with our guests. After that, there was some shifting around of appliances (the stove/oven combo was replaced with a cooktop and the fridge was moved to the opposite wall, allowing for double ovens to be installed in its old spot), a complete cabinet remake, and the installation of a new stainless steel apron sink big enough to accommodate a Labrador Retriever, should we ever so desire.
I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. First, the old kitchen:
Followed by the new, open kitchen:
And the other side:
Which was replaced with this:
The view of the kitchen from the living room, previously:
Same view, including new couch, the tea table we brought back from China, and an updated color scheme:
And then there is the dining room. We went from this:
Among the other little gems from the redo was our idea for open appliance shelves. They are located next to the garage door so access is quite easy, but they aren’t visible from the living room. I LOVE them! Not having to dig out the Cuisinart or my CrockPot from the very back of the lower cabinets every time I want to use them is such a blessing for my poor, put-upon lower back!
Taking in the whole space, from the living room area:
We are delighted with how the project turned out. It took about 11 weeks start to finish and it came out almost exactly like the plans we drew up beforehand. (We did our own drawings, picked our own design and finishes and did some of our own demo, but we used an excellent contractor for all the work.) It was a royal pain to live in a construction zone for close to 3 months and we went a little bit over our original budget, but for us it was well worth it in the end!
Now if I can just stop watching “Fixer Upper” we should be good for a while…