Kitchen Project – Part One

I have been putting off writing this post for so long now!  Not because I don’t want to write it, but because it’s been such a blur of demo and decisions and kinks and successes that I haven’t really been confident in just where to begin.  So instead of putting it off any longer and forgetting details, I am just going to pound it out!

Hubby and I have lived in our home for almost nine years now.  We moved in in August of 2006.  I remember that specifically because we had only moved the basic necessities over (clothes, TV, food) and I took a digger off of a pissy mare’s back and broke my hand, so I wasn’t able to help move the heavy stuff.  Oops.  Over the years, we have talked about what our goals were as far as updates and that, and every year we have worked to improve our 125 year old home.

This year, we decided to tackle the kitchen!  I have been dreaming of this one for a long time now.
When we moved in, the kitchen was a terrible shade of dank mint green.  Our first project when moving in initially was painting everything.  And I mean everything.

So to begin, let me give you a tour of our kitchen as it looked at the start of this project (and has looked for 8 years now).

Yup. Red. And you know what? I freaking still LOVE the red! So much so that I am about 90% sure we are going to keep the red. Those colors were chosen based on the wallpaper border that we tacked up. Say what you want about my red, but I have loved it and I have never second guessed my decision! Here is a look at the south wall without all of the daily clutter.

This wall is definitely the ‘hub’ of the kitchen. The space itself is very large, but what you see is about all there was for cabinet and counter space! There are two uppers above the refrigerator as well. Counter space is at a premium around here.

To the left, we have the east wall.  This houses our fridge, stove and the bathroom door.

 

I began typing something along the lines of ‘please disregard the mess’ just now with an explanation of why it’s messy, but then I said screw it because you know what?  I think it’s refreshing when I read other blogs and discover that they don’t live in a home décor magazine.

Swinging back over to the right, we have the west wall.

This wall had room for nothing.  It was only in the last six months or so that my lovely Craigslist table made it’s way in just so we had another surface to throw stuff on.  We don’t eat there, we just store junk there.  **smiles**  Really I just needed the surface area to put a lot of the counter stuff on so we could get started.  The door leads to a landing that to the right goes down into the basement, or to the left is another door to the outside patio and backyard.

And finally, the north wall.  This wall separates the kitchen from the living room.

 

That ‘window’ there was actually a window in the original house, and the doorway actually lead outside. I never had a huge issue with the wall, as the window opening made it feel like it was a part of the house. But what chapped my rear was the fact that the other side is a long room and the space right on the other side of the wall was probably meant to be a dining room, but only if you had a tiny table. We actually fit a family sized dining table and chairs there for a couple of years in the beginning, but since we never ate there we got rid of it. Then without the table, it was a big empty space that couldn’t really be utilized for anything. So I filled it with junk.

But back to the project at hand.
Here is the floor. And Sylvester the cat.

Those are square linoleum tiles that were stuck down onto the floor, and none too carefully either. It looks like it’s in decent shape in the photos, but in actuality the edges of the kitchen are chipping and peeling up, and nine years of dogs coming and going has made the white impossible to get white again.

You’ll also notice around the three sides of the wall, there is tile about five feet up the wall (painted tan). That has been an eyesore to me since the beginning. Additionally, the base of the north and west walls have boiler heating lines, which also aided in limiting what we could put there.

Here is a closer look at our sink.

Those dark streaks are actually marks from pots and pans coming into contact while we wash dishes. It doesn’t really come off. Frustrating.

And our countertop.

It’s made of this weird plastic laminate and the color has faded down to white in some large spots near the sink. It ran up the backsplash to the bottom of the upper cabinets. The edges of the counters even had aluminum borders! In several attempts at Google searches to find a kitchen redo that began with metal lined plastic counter tops, I found one that was similar. ONE!

One last thing I wanted to add here as I wrap up part one is a mention of the cabinets themselves. Those cabinets, both top and bottom, are full on custom built-ins. As in, they built them on the wall, jimmy rigged some shelving and added sheets of wood and hinges to create doors. Same with all those drawers. They are hand built drawers and they do not slide on rails. They just slide in a hole that was carved there for them, wood on wood.

Now, when I first began dreaming of my kitchen redo years and years ago, the first thing I imagined was taking ole Rhino (my sledge hammer) and going all Hulk on that entire wall of hand built nonsense. So nobody was more surprised than I was when that day finally arrived and I suddenly decided that nobody was going to touch my crooked, chipped, badly painted cabinets! Why did I fight tooth and nail to keep them? I have several reasons, but mostly it boils down to the fact that cabinets in this day and age look cheap to me. Well, at least your big box store options anyways. I hated everything we looked at. The designs in the doors were stupid (very mature of me, no?) So, those babies are staying put!

Stay tuned! We’re about to knock some stuff down!

Kitchen Project – Part Two

Peace & Love,

Emily