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February 05, 2007

One last look.

Today the last of the kitchen cabinets made the move from their original home to our garage in preparation for the upcoming kitchen renovation. We're feeling a little overwhelmed by all that needs to be done (especially since we'll be doing it all ourselves), but we're also pretty excited. So before the fun begins, I thought I'd post photos of the "before" while it's all still intact.

Here is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house (the wide angle lens makes it look quite a bit bigger than it is). Bear in mind, it was a 92 year old woman who lived here before us, and it was last renovated 36 years ago.

Before we moved in, we peeled off the fruity border, painted the walls, and painted out the oak trim on the cabinets to brighten things up a bit (which, two years later, is looking a little worn in places).

It's really not a bad little kitchen, but as you can see, there's not a lot of room to work, and the storage space is seriously lacking (especially since I like to can and stock up on bulk goods). The corner base cabinet seems to have a hidden hole leading directly into the crawl space, because I'm blasted by an arctic cold front every time I open it.

This is the opposite corner of the room. It looks just fine, but when the table is pulled out so that we can all sit around it, the chair on the left is butting up next to the refrigerator, and it's almost impossible to walk through the kitchen (the benefit is that we can get anything we need out of the fridge or adjoining cupboards without getting up!).

My biggest beef with the house is that you can't see the back yard (or the garden) from anywhere in the house but the kids' room (unless you peer through the little window in the back porch), so the plan is to take out the wall between the kitchen and the porch (the wall behind the fridge and stove in the top two photos), and put a large window into what used to be the porch, turning that into the dining area. The corner with the buffet and hutch is where an "L" shaped configuration of cupboards will go (after a shorter window is put in to that wall so the countertop and sink can go in front of it).

We've discovered that there are hardwood floors under the multiple layers of vinyl and linoleum flooring, so we're hoping that those can be restored. We're also planning to insulate the exterior walls while we're at it.

I suspect we've got months of work ahead of us, but we've got my brother (a structural engineer) and my mom (who's an expert do-it-yourselfer, having done almost everything, including drywall and electrical) to help us, so I'm optimistic.

Hopefully we won't have any major surprises (quick, touch wood!).



8 comments:

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Don't worry Cheryl:
It may take longer than you think and probably will. O.K wait: it ALWAYS takes longer-- but you CAN do it. Really!! yes, some things have a small learning curve but none of it is "PHD required" Just wait until you get down that wall and put in the new windows! What a difference it will make! You'll be doing a jig in your "new" improved space :-D

Lu said...

Cheryl, that's always a good idea to take the "before" photo.

Would it be silly to consider a built-in, or bench seating against the wall, to make more room at your table and no need to push the table in and out? Or, perhaps you will be keeping the same table?

It will be fun (and headachy!) but you have good support and the end result will be worth it!

Oh - and yeah, "touch wood"!

Caroline said...

Good luck with your project!

I would suggest making a list (I love making lists) of everything that needs to be done, then re-writing the list in the order things can be done. There is great satisfaction in crossing things off lists. :D

I need a lot more storage space in my kitchen, too.

heather said...

Good luck on this huge but worthwhile project. I'm a sucker for renovations so please keep us posted through the journey. We too renovated an old kitchen. (in a very Ikea/Trading Spaces kind of way, as I call it) Basically, a little money and a lot of imagination. Our home is a Bungalow built in 1899, we pulled up 2 layers of junky linoleum also. The wood floors revealed underneath were pretty trashed. The wood floors in the rest of the house were lovely. So we sanded away anyway until they were acceptable, then finished them. There are some old water stains here and there, we just tell people "doesn't it look like an old country store wood floor?" Truth is freshly finished wood with um, character is much better than who knows how old nasty linoleum. Sounds like you have quite a team behind you!

Steffi said...

Hi Cheryl!
Your "old" kitchen is not bad!Now I ´m really curiously about your new kitchen.I know it´s a lot of work to renovate a kitchen but your work is wortwhile itself.Much success!
We want renovate our kitchen too.It´s time for it but we must save still " a little bit" money because my wish is a new kitchen from IKEA and that´s not so cheap...But I love Ikea.

Have a nice day!
Steffi

Carla said...

I was a little confused by the first picture...fruity border and all, until I read on. I kept thinking, that's not Cheryl's style and what happened to her lovely chairs. Anyways, the improvements you've already made have improved the look a lot. I can't wait to see the finished renovations. And you sure are keeping us hanging with those new cupboards you purchased. When do we get a peek?

Chelee said...

Wow! What a fun project! It's going to look totally different. It takes me so long to make decisions. I'm just now picking paint after 8 years. I'm so excited to see your progression through this project. I hope you keep us all posted.

Cheryl said...

Monica - I'm fully expecting it to take at least twice as long as we plan for - all of the other renovations we've done have. I'll just keep a picture in my mind of the kitchen being more spacious and full of light!

Lu - You must have read my mind, a bench is exactly what I've been thinking of doing there (because it would take up less space, and we could put more storage in it, something we desperately need in our small house).

Caroline - I'm a list maker too! I've already got a list of what needs to happen, and now I'm trying to put them in the most logical order. I can't wait to start crossing things off!

Heather - Our reno is going to be paid for mostly with elbow grease also. I won't mind too much if the floors are slightly "distressed", we'll see what happens.

Steffi - I know, I almost feel bad about ripping it out, because it's really not awful. It will be nice to have more space and light, though. We were going to do an Ikea kitchen, but it would have been a lot more expensive.

Carla - I'm sorry to keep you in suspense, I just thought I'd show you the before and after at the same time (I'll think on that some more). They are very much like the ones we had in North Van, so we'll be doing the same kind of paint job restoration.

Chelee - It's been two years of living with things the way they are for us to decide what needs to change (although I'm getting used to it now, so it seems less urgent than it did).
I'll definitely keep you posted!

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