One of my must haves for our new house was a large kitchen. If you ask people what their idea of a big kitchen was you will hear anything from 150-500 square feet. My idea of a big kitchen was about 300-400 square feet. The problem was that no one made kitchens that big in the neighborhoods we were looking in. Our house was built in 1966 and the “U” shaped kitchen was all the craze. Almost every colonial we looked at had the same exact layout. And the only kitchen that I found over 300 sq. ft was a ran down foreclosure in a less desirable neighborhood. I settled for 240 sq. ft and a lot of potential. Here it is prior to move-in.
I love how the light pours in here in the morning. With the white cabinets, it’s even brighter.
And this little hidden pantry is great also. I know it seems small but you would be surprised how much stuff I can stash in here. By using this for stuff like canned goods and condiments, it leaves more room in my full size pantry for the recycle bins and boxed goods.
I can’t complain as much as I’d like to regarding the condition of this kitchen prior to move-in. I saw several houses that were 10 times worse. At least this one had good working appliances and beautiful hardwood floors. The owner made a special note to tell us that the fridge circa 1985 was crap and that we would have to purchase a new one soon. Like I was really banking on having it for the long haul. The hubs felt it was too much of an energy suck to use in the garage (and he is all about saving every penny he can) so we let the electric company take it and they gave us $40 for it. Cha Ching!
The huge white box hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room were upper cabinets. They were number one on my list of changes. I could not stand the feeling of being boxed in. And that blue paint, don’t get me started. I can’t believe “I” of all people bought a house with such an ugly appearance. I think my Diy brain was turned on when this decision was made, all I saw was the bones of the house.
First we removed the cabinets and relocated them to the walls in the garage. This was very difficult. Those screws were at least 4″ long and some of them were hidden. Although these were three different cabinets, they were all screwed and glued together. It had to weigh like 60 lbs. Imaging trying to hold that over your head while someone else removes those really long screws.
Then I replaced the brass knobs with brushed nickel ones throughout the entire kitchen. Temporarily, I painted the kitchen faucet and the cooktop trim with satin nickel spraypaint.
This may have been one of my most clever and original ideas ever. The cook-top and kitchen faucet were in perfect working order. Since I had no means to replace them, I certainly had means to spruce them up. Spray painting indoors can be quite difficult. The paint never goes just where you spray it. It goes everywhere and you have to be on alert to wipe off anything that has over spray before it dries. Secondly the fumes are atrocious. So for the record. Avoid spray painting indoors. You have been warned.
Moving on. After we removed those cabinets over the peninsula, we painted the kitchen in Martha Stewart Sunken Pool color matched to Olympic ONE paint & primer in a satin sheen.
I knew I wanted open shelving in place of upper cabinets so I started searching for white shelves. I hit the jackpot and found these at Ikea for $9.99 each. How did I get them for such a low price when they are clearly marked at $49.99 each you ask. By being a savvy shopper I tell you. Ikea listed these shelves in their 2012 catalog for $9.99 in error. When I looked online to see if they were in stock at my local store the price was $49.99. So like a good consumer, I took my catalog to the store and
demanded requested that I receive these shelves for $9.99 each. After all, I drove there for 45 minutes in rush hour traffic just to buy them. The manager realized the mistake and did not put up a fight. I bought four of those shelves (all that they had) and one of the shorter ones. The funny thing is that the one short shelf cost the same as all four of the longer shelves $39.99. You may notice the kitchen faucet is different than my spray painted version. That’s because the mechanics of the faucet did not hold up very well over the course of the year. The spray paint was still perfect but the hose broke. After getting sprayed several times every time we turned on the faucet, I swapped it out for a new one.
Swapping these out was a breeze. I think it took me longer to empty the cabinet underneath than it did to replace it. One point for Ayisha, Zero for the plumber. In case you are wondering how to do this yourself, I promise you that I will show you how in the near future. The master bath has a faucet that needs to be replaced so I will be sure to show you step by step.
I’ve got plans of changing the pantry doors and removing all of the upper cabinets. I will also consider relocating the double ovens for more counter space and an over the range hood. When funds allow, I plan on re-tiling the backsplash with something like this cool Arabesque design.
I also plan to get rid of two of the chairs and building a banquette with storage. Since I will be removing the cabinets, I will need the storage for my small appliances that don’t get much use.
This is what my kitchen looks like today. You see those cute roman shades over the sink. I made those myself using a combination of every diy tutorial that I could find. I’ll be sure to show you how I did mine as soon as I finish making the one for the other window in this picture. I know most people would never pick this color for a kitchen but I needed something that stood out but still complimented the space. After living with it a year, I’ve decided that I will paint it a couple shades lighter. It photographs as a very deep aqua color but in person it’s slightly more calm. I’m also going to paint the base cabinets a cool grey color and replace the counter tops with some really cool diy ones. Sounds interesting huh? Yes I’m just giving you more reason to come back here and see how it turns out.
As usual, please give me your comments, questions or suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.