Kitchen Makeover – Part 1

Well, its a new year and it’s time to catch up on sharing all our projects around the house and adventures over the past few months. I had great intentions of posting regularly a few months ago, but my day job and mom job did not make it possible. Despite my lack of action, Ryan has been super busy starting the process to update our kitchen to suit our style and “foodee” way of life. We knew moving in to the house over a year ago that the kitchen was going to be a huge limitation on daily life, but also an opportunity to improve the house and make it our own.

Here is a “before” shot of the kitchen. Well, almost, we replaced the boring vinyl with the hardwood floor earlier in the year – this simple change has really helped us envision the future of this space.Kitchen Makeover - BeforeI have no idea if you can tell what’s wrong here from the photos, so here is a summary of what we think. The counters are usually pretty full due to the lack of cabinet space and, admittedly, too many projects on the go at once. Plus, the kitchen has not been updated ever and since the house was built as a spec house in 1989 things are pretty basic. Although the appliances were replaced just before we moved in – bonus!- and it’s not a terrible layout. Surprisingly, the cabinet doors were in really good condition, and we really wondered if anyone had ever cooked here, but just not quite up to date. A summary of our design desires for the kitchen makeover include:

  • More counter space
  • More cabinet space
  • Single basin sink
  • Garbage disposal
  • Updated surfaces
  • Task lighting
  • Integrated rubbish and recycling
  • Baking station
  • Spice rack
  • Pot rack
  • Space for a side by side fridge

Our vision for the “new” kitchen looks a bit like this:We have a larger and more high quality fridge that we brought with us from our previous home that will fit perfectly in between the windows on the left of the photo. There is room to expand the kitchen island, while still fitting a kitchen table next to it. We are also talking about a pot rack over the island, but I want task lighting over the island too – so we need to reconcile these two ideas. Needless to say the design is a work in progress, but that won’t stop us from diving in.

So, where to begin! The red sink was a hit with guests due to how unique it is, but not very practical for our purposes. It has two basins, and they just did not seem like an efficient use of the space. I think that stainless two-basin sinks have more capacity than these due to the thickness and mold of the cast iron. This was getting really old while washing a large high chair tray several times a day. The next major issue was the pile of recycling that kept accumulating on the floor next to the trash can. Another issue with the little guy once he started crawling – and just simply too much clutter. Apparently we generate a lot of recycling – luckily our local transfer station takes single stream! Here is a photo of the offensive pile at its worst:These two issues can be remedied by beginning work on the kitchen island, so that is where we have started. To commence work on the island, we have to make some considerable decisions about style and materials. We have determined at this point, that we will be pouring concrete counter tops using a concrete specifically for that purpose. We have also selected maple as our wood of choice in regards to the cabinet doors/island material. All of this is handmade by my favorite handyman. I can’t wait to share the island with you, which is currently underway, we just a have a few finishing touches before it is blog ready.

2 thoughts on “Kitchen Makeover – Part 1

  1. The new island is going to be awesome, and so helpful! Personally, I would replace all upper cabinets with tile back splash and open shelving (white subway can be v affordable, use dark grout and then it is low maintenance too). However, it is difficult for me to express how much I hate upper cabinets using polite language.
    I wonder if the sink used to be under the window?

    • Oooh, thanks Jasmine, I like the idea of tiling and open cabinets. I bet that would look great. Unfortunately, not all of the stuff in the upper cabinets is not currently pretty enough to display, but I wonder if we can rearrange things. We do need to think about a back splash though, so I will keep dark grout in mind! I am pretty sure this is how the kitchen was built with the house, so they were probably being fancy with the sink in the island, which just does not work with our volume of dishes and needing a place to let things air dry too.

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