Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beginning a Kitchen Remodel

Hi everyone!  I hope all of you had a great weekend and hopefully enjoyed celebrating a bit o' the Irish.  I have a partial metamorphosis to share with you today.  We're having our kitchen remodeled; that's right, we're dragging it bringing it into the 21st century.  This is so exciting for me because I've waited 16 years to do this.

Our house was built in 1972, and we're the third owners.  The first owners had it custom built and lived here 22 years.  The second owners lived here two years before they relocated to Atlanta.  And as of this summer, we will have lived here for 16 years.

Thankfully, the second owners did some re-modeling and updating to the house while they were here.  When we viewed the house, they told us that most of the house still had its original 1970's decor when they moved in.  The kitchen had orange Formica counter tops, yellow, tile backsplash, and avocado green appliances.  A Brady Bunch kitchen for sure.

The young couple who sold us the house updated most of the kitchen as soon as they purchased the house.  They took down the original wallpaper and replaced it with a pattern that I really liked for many years.  They replaced the orange counter top with white Formica, which has remained in pretty good condition.  They replaced the yellow backsplash.  They also replaced all the appliances with shiny, new white ones, and a white porcelain sink.  What they didn't replace was the linoleum floor and the cabinets (the most expensive part of the re-model).

Have a look at our 40 year old cabinets.  I'm trying not to cringe when I see them in photos.

They look pretty sad, huh?  I will so not miss that hardware.  These cabinets were carpenter built on site; the doors are real driftwood, so the texture is not smooth, but filled with little holes.  They're heavy doors and no longer hang quite straight after all these years.  In addition, my husband and I have both picked up some nasty splinters from the rough texture of the wood.  Aesthetically, they're just very dark and dismal looking.  Below you can see how badly scratched all the drawers are around the handles.  Ugh.

Now the good thing about these cabinets is that they are spacious and hold a lot of stuff.  But although they're spacious, they're not terribly efficient.  They don't have any of those nifty features that all the new custom cabinets have; no self-closing drawers, pull-out shelves, or corner cabinets with built-in lazy susan.  They have those blind corner areas, where you can store things, but you have to be a Chinese acrobat to be able to get to said stored items.  And folks, I'm just not as limber as I used to be.

At the first meeting with our contractor, we realized that tearing out the existing cabinets (which are nailed to the wall and floor) and replacing them with new custom cabinets, was going to break our whole budget.  We weren't too surprised because we had been pricing them for a while.  So we chose to keep the existing framework and get all new doors and drawers.  They will then be painted a stoneware color (kind of an off-white or creamy white), and we're going with antique bronze hardware.

Our pantry was built as part of the cabinet units.  That wouldn't be such a bad thing except it was actually designed to be used as a broom closet.  It's plenty deep and tall, but it has no shelves.  Storing our food and paper products has really been a pain.  In the case of our kitchen drawers, we only have five, and they're all the exact same, shallow depth.   It's next to impossible to get all my dish towels and dish cloths, measuring cups and spoons, and assorted utensils like ladles, spatulas, large spoons, etc., in those shallow drawers.

To address our storage problem, our cabinet person is building an insert to fit into our existing pantry.  It will have one stationary shelf in the center, and then lots of adjustable shelves for storing our canned foods, sauce bottles, cooking oil, boxed foods, etc.  The lower cabinet to the left of the stove will be converted to a drawer stack, with some deeper drawers for my kitchen linens and utensils.  I can't wait (squeal)!! 

As for the rest of the kitchen, the wallpaper was removed last weekend, and our contractor, Tim, has prepped the walls, chair rail molding, and door frames for painting.  Here's a before of the walls (this is our eating area).

When we bought this house, the sellers told us the name of the wallpaper pattern was "French Country."  I liked the pattern and border paper, but have grown tired of them by now.  I think this wallpaper makes for too much "busyness" in the kitchen.

The green shelf above will not be put back on the wall, but my shiny copper pieces will.

The walls will be painted a very soft yellow and all the trim will be glossy white.  I can't wait to get rid of all the stained woodwork.  The door will be painted, as well.

Here's how things looked as of this evening.  The walls are now prepped and partially primed for the new paint.  Please excuse all the stuff piled on the table.  The stained door you see to the right of the microwave cart will be replaced with a newly painted six-panel door.

Do you think I have enough refrigerator magnets? ;)  We don't always realize how things look to other people until we see them in a picture.  Believe me, not all the "do-dads" in the existing kitchen will be part of the new kitchen.

You can see our pantry/broom closet to the right of the door in the photo below.

When Tim removed the original crown molding this weekend, he found these strips of the original 1970's wallpaper.  Don't you love it? :)  I can't wait to show my mom and mother-in-law.

Our cabinet guy is building a stationary cabinet to replace the microwave cart in this corner.

Tim will remove the chair rail molding in that spot to make room for the new cabinet, and it will have a granite top to match the rest of the counter tops.

This island table we found at an antique store several years ago.  It will be painted a glossy black (unless we decide on another color) to provide a  contrast for the other cabinets.

We replaced the original linoleum floor several years ago with a better quality linoleum, and it will remain for now.  It's still in good shape, and it's not in our budget this year to replace it.  The refrigerator and dishwasher will remain, but we're replacing the sink and we're replacing the stove with a free-standing range.  We're staying with white appliances because I just like white appliances.

This checkerboard backsplash will be replaced, too

At the moment, this isn't a very pretty metamorphosis, buy I wanted to show a few of the stages on the way to the finished project.  It will be several more weeks before it's completed.  But I just know we're going to love it.

My vision for our new kitchen is an English cottage or English country kitchen, with American touches too, of course.   I'll leave you with a few images of English country kitchens that I thought were just charming.  Wouldn't it be neat to have one of these Aga cookers in your kitchen?  Definitely not in the budget.


What's your favorite style of kitchen?  Do you need an update like me, or do you already have a kitchen you love?

Thanks for stopping by today.  I always appreciate your visits and your comments.  I do make an effort to reply to your comments and look forward to visiting your blogs.  Have a great day.

I'm joining Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.



  1. Good luck on your renovation, I did my kitchen when I moved it, I am sorry I hired the contractor that I did, but no use crying over spilled milk. I am sure you will love the new look. xo

  2. I bet you are excited! What plans and I know with your vision that your new kitchen will be fantastic! I think a kitchen should be warm and homey -- a place where you can tell a cook lives and with good smells coming out of it! It is, after all, the "heart" of the home!

  3. Congrats on your kitchen redo. That is so exciting. I can't wait to see the finished product. We just recently made some updates to our kitchen. I love it now. The best thing we did was get granite counter tops and make our island all one level. It used to have a higher level (more bar like) but we cut that off even with the existing cabinets and now I have one HUGE work space. My husband also tiled out back splash and we got new stainless appliances. Since our kitchen is open to the living room and I spend so much time in there, I am so much happier now. Oh... and I finally painted the walls a color that I LOVE. I painted them 5 years ago and the paint color did not turn out like I wanted. But I hate painting so I convinced myself to live with it. It took 5 years to forget just how much I hate painting before I would tackle is again. Congrats again. You are gonna love it.

  4. Good luck on the renovation...I will be looking forward to all your updates...Sounds like you definitely have a great plan...The 70's real blast from the past...I hope you saved some to frame it in your new kitchen..!

  5. Squeal!!!!!! I love things like this. I will be watching as you post the changes. We are so much in the same boat,too. We've lived here since '96 and I've made a few cosmetic changes (just recently too) We removed our wallpaper and painted and changed out fixtures, but our floor and cabinets and countertop remain. I'm hoping to get really inspired by you. This is fun!

  6. Oh I'm so excited for you. Just can't wait to see the finished results!

  7. I am happy for you. Look forward to the finished project.



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