Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kitchen - Before!

I have always hated my kitchen. They say "Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses" but neither of those encouraged us to buy this house - it was the yard. From the second I moved in and started to unpack I realized that there isn't nearly as much storage as you think, and the storage it does have is only partially functional. The layout (or lack thereof) is frustrating and tiring, constantly walking back and forth when cooking a meal. And once you get over how bright and sunny the room is, you quickly realize how poorly all the past renovations have been done (but this shouldn't be a surprise to someone who has revealed other poorly done renovations in the rest of the house).

At one point I planned to completely rip everything out and put in all new cabinets and floors. I even went as far as mapping out the cupboards I would need on the Ikea Kitchen Planner and purchasing them as I found them in the as-is section (these eventually got used in my laundry room). We knew it was going to be a big job. Also (this might make me seem like a hoarder) it was a way for me to be able to use the apron-front farm sink and antique gas stove that I have stored in the garage that I love so much. But you really only notice how terrible the kitchen is once you're actually using it to cook so if we needed to sell without renovating it, it wasn't going to be a big deal. And now that we've decided to finish up the pending house renovations as quickly and inexpensively as possible, we're going to try to make the best of the original cupboards and layout.

Anyway, I know you're just here for the pictures...
This is the view from the backdoor and laundry room. The carpet to the right is the living room and the rest of the house, the door straight ahead is the bathroom (and yes it is extra short), when you walk forward and turn left you see the rest of the kitchen, and the silver rectangle on the floor is the trap door to the creepy cellar - the only form of basement we have in this house.
This is the same are as the picture above, but from standing in the kitchen. That cabinet was originally in the laundry room and holds things that I still need to either get rid of, display or find a home for. It wont be staying there.
Basically the same view - to show the whole trap door, how terribly orange the floor is and how badly I need a pantry.
Still in that same little area - the "broom closet" soon to be "pantry" and the only closet in the entire house, obviously very well organized... You can see into the laundry room to the left, and trap door on the right.
As we come into the kitchen (this is standing on the trap door) looking southwest. You can see how narrow the kitchen is, there's actually only 42" between the edge of the table and the front of the stove. And look - a sneak peek at the yellow paint I've chosen! I also hope that I get a new table and chair set for Easter... *hint hint*
And coming around the corner, that window faces west. (I've removed the switch covers in preparation for painting.) The pipe behind Ella is from the hot water heater in the cellar below, nothing can be done about it.
A great way to tell if something is painted with oil or latex paint is to try to remove it with liquid nail polish remover. If it comes off (like it did here) it's latex, if it stays put it's oil (and you will either have to use oil again or an oil-to-latex primer).
The bottom half of the walls is paneling that is supposed to look like tile, it has been painted white but it's filthy and is scratching off to reveal all it's 1970's beige and yellow glory.
There's this great (sarcasm) 12" wide gap in the bottom cupboards. We imagine that they removed a cupboard to install the dishwasher but the counter is lower then modern standards so instead of building it up they just stopped the old counter and put a "butcher block" (read "plywood") counter on top of the dishwasher. Right now all it's good for is storing a basket of potatoes.
Here's a better look at most of the south wall.
Looking east now, that's the plant shelf I put in when doing the laundry room last week.

We also have this beautiful (sarcasm) gas meter in the kitchen. I love it (sarcasm) when the meter readers have to come in my kitchen with their muddy boots on to read my meter once a month. Because you know - another cabinet wouldn't be any better there.

And to come full circle - the square wall to the left of the fridge with my to-do list is the "broom closet".
A close-up of the counters. They have "gold" specks in them straight from the 50's... Unfortunately they've accumulated burns and stains since then too. This is as clean as it gets, it's supposed to be white.
So there ya have it folks! The kitchen in all it's useless, outdated, unorganized, cramped glory!
And now that I think about it, I only have 9 days to have this kitchen project done for Easter. To make it even better, I have plans for parts of 5 of those days. What am I thinking?!


  1. WOOOOO!!!! You can do it! ps - I *love* your vintage table and chairs!

  2. I knew you would Sara! It's actually my mother's and I *used* to love it before it became mine. Although it's neat and handy the the two sides pull out, it's really thick and your legs don't fit under it very well while sitting. So after loving it for it's looks, I'm hating it for it's lack of practicality and comfort.