Well we did it. It may have taken several months, but our kitchen has been remodeled! We used a company called Builder’s of Hope, so we can’t take credit for the actual remodel but I’d like to think we had the vision for the project.
If you’ve ever been in an older home that was built in the late 60s/early 70s you will see what we had. Small kitchen, awkward space, little storage. I took tons of before photos so that you would get the full effect of the after photos! While we didn’t have anything moved around – that would have been a nightmare involving plumbing, what did have done completely transformed this level of the house.
To start, the photos below show what our house looked like before the renovation. When you walk through the front door you would see the bottom left photo. Up a few stairs there is a tiny doorway into the kitchen and the green wall is a false wall (bottom right photo) that effectively blocks the person from seeing straight into the kitchen when the go through the front door.
And don’t even get me started on the faux parquet linoleum flooring. Can we say outdated? It made the house feel even older than it actually is.
Then, when you go into the kitchen, the island was too close to the refrigerator so that when you opened the door, no one could get by you. There was also an outdated wine rack hanging in the middle of the ceiling and awkward shelves down the side of the wall. It’s hard to explain now because the renovation makes the kitchen look and feel so much bigger.
The first day, our contractor shortened the island by about 18 inches, removed the wine rack and shelves. You can see in the photos below where the 18 inches of the island were removed. This had to be patched before the new flooring could be put down. He also removed the linoleum flooring. Already we could see a huge improvement!
We had a little bit of a hiccup at this point where the flooring we wanted had not come in yet, so we had to live with the base floors for a while. Probably about a month or so. It wasn’t ideal, but livable.
Once the flooring was on its way, the doorways were opened up and the false wall removed. Below you will see the before photos of the false wall (top three photos) and the after photos with the wall removed (bottom two photos). My very own pantry is going to where the false wall was located!!!
Next up, opening the doorways. This probably made the next biggest impact to the flow of the room, right after removing the outdated wine rack/shelves and shortening the island. The drywall was removed first to determine that the studs were located in good areas as well as to allow the contractor to reinforce the overhead load bearing wall. The photos below show how far out the doorways ended up being.
The next series of photos show the doorways being opened up, drywall repair and spackling, as well as the initial impact of the opened up doorways.
We also had the parquet linoleum in the foyer area removed. Guess what was underneath? HARDWOOD FLOORS! Why in the world anyone would want to cover up hardwood floors is beyond me. We still need to work on refinishing them a little bit, but the removal of the linoleum was a huge change.
Repair to the floor where the doorway was opened up also had to be done. The right hand doorway had the most repair done. The contractor did a really nice job matching the hardwood and staining as best he could. If you don’t know that it’s been patched you would be hard pressed to find it just looking around. The repair section was similar to the left hand photo below (I must have forgotten to take that picture). The top right hand photo is the first coat of stain and the bottom right hand photo is several coats later.
The new vinyl flooring was a perfect fit to bring the kitchen together.
Have I mentioned yet about the lack of storage space in our kitchen? One of the best things about this renovation was that I got my pantry! The one I’ve wanted for years. Literally. Best addition to the house ever! And so pretty.
So now, instead of having the false wall that “hides” the kitchen from the front door, we now have a pantry! I purposely put the lowest shelf relatively high in the bottom cabinet to allow for storage of my pots and pans. I found a really nice storage rack specifically designed to hold pots, pans, and lids at Lowe’s. I had to finagle it a little bit to fit all of my pots and pans, but this was a great investment. When you have little storage space, you learn what works to increase the storage you have to work with.
Nate’s Dad, being the handy woodworker that he is, made shelves that fit the newly shortened island.
We are totally in love with our new kitchen. The extended doorways, shortened island with additional shelving, new pantry, and new floor makes this floor very appealing.
The photos below show the left hand side of the floor as you walk into the house (top left and right photos), and then as you go into the kitchen (bottom two photos).
The photos below show the other side of the floor looking in (left photo) and a view from the kitchen side (right photo).
Before, During, and After:
Happy times in the kitchen!