Good-bye, Kitchen.

 

I never liked my kitchen. I loved my old kitchen. Not so much love for the new one. It always felt wrong to me. I did not like the counters, tile, the finish of the cabinets or the sink (forgive me for sounding ungrateful, my commentary is purely from a design point of view and not a matter of life and death, I realize there are greater issues in the world than my feelings on my kitchen).

The configuration of the cabinets chopped up our space and made everything feel awkward and too crowded.

There were so many visual barriers it drove me crazy!

Three lights hanging down blocked the view across room. The light over our dining table (the photo above is NOT our furniture, that was pre-move in) was not centered in the room. The flooring changes part way through the room.

A long counter jutted out into the middle of the room breaking the entire kitchen up into tiny awkward spaces rather than one more spacious room. In some kitchens that type of counter works great, but in this case, it just wasn’t working for me. Not to mention that the bar counter was simply a clutter magnet. We don’t need any clutter magnets at our house!

If only I could have bought the house before the builder designed it. Don’t even get me started on the original “swine” paint color.

So why did we buy this house? We just needed a clean place to live that did not need immediate remodeling so we could get right to work on starting the church. And that was the right decision for us at the time.

Over the years I removed a small wall cabinet and took doors of off some cabinets to try to open things up a bit and buy myself some time. I love quick, easy and affordable solutions! But after three years of living here, not only was my house showing wear and tear but my true feelings about my kitchen are emerging. I just didn’t like it. At all.

 

Fortunately, I’ve had three years to think about the kitchen first. If I had re-designed the kitchen too soon, I might have not come up with the solution that would have been best for us. I find it takes awhile of living in a space before I can come up with creative solutions that are cost effective and will work design wise.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I decided I didn’t want to go through another winter with my kitchen as it was. I was ready to take a sledge hammer and bid it farewell. I had a vision in my mind of a “simple” rearranging (and removal) of our dishwasher and a few cabinets that would still leave us with plenty of storage and yet open up the room so it would feel more spacious.  And of course, would update the design to work better for our home.

I pictured this as a little more than a cosmetic makeover, but not as extensive as an entire kitchen remodel. Although from the looks of it now it might seem a little more extensive than I care to admit to myself. HA! We are keeping our stove, refrigerator and dishwasher to save costs (my dishwasher is new but some day I hope to update my other appliances).

I’ll share more details as we go.

I found a good contractor who could work me in to his schedule and today they came and ripped out everything I disliked. Now, I’m committed. Or should be committed. I cannot say for sure that this will be a quick before and after (but I dream of that), money is so tight that I might be living in a bit of undone for a bit. We’ll see once I get all my bids in what I can do.

But honestly, even if we didn’t do another thing, I already love my kitchen more today than I ever have.

It feels so spacious and less cluttered now, like a real family kitchen!

So, now you know what is happening in the kitchen. Don’t worry, I do have plans for the wall on the right of the kitchen and for above the stove. They won’t look empty and useless forever. And, we do need to replacing the flooring so there’s that.

Is anyone still around or did everyone leave for the holiday weekend?

Maybe I”m talking to myself.

But I’ve got lots to talk about.

Tomorrow I’ll share my new sofa story!

TO KEEP UP WITH THE KITCHEN RENOVATION IN PROGRESS, CLICK ON THE KITCHEN RENOVATION CATEGORY!

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Comments

  1. Nope, still here and all ears (or eyes). You.are.brave and patient. I could not rip out without know for sure I’d see results in a few days. I’m super excited for you though! I can’t wait to see what you have brewing up in that brilliant noggin of your :)

    P.S. Jack looks adorable way back there chillin’ in the back ground
    Sonya recently posted..The Balcony Deck {Finally}My Profile

    • Ha, well I am kind of nervous that my kitchen was just destroyed, but I know where I’m headed. Hopefully I can just work out the details to make it happen SOON! :-)

      • Meredith says:

        I am in about the same place as you were right when you said you can’t take another winter with that kitchen! Mine is like yours was–a small enclosed space–ridiculous for a 2100 sq ft home. And like you, I remember I CAN get by, but it seriously impedes family life, teaching/working with kids in the kitchen, etc. Yay for you just calling a contractor to rip out stuff! My hubby would like the shortest duration from start to finish, or I probably would take a sledge hammer to one part of a wall in particular that blocks my view entirely to our eating area…Excited as well to see how things come along with your kitchen! And LOVING a bunch of your ideas and style on your entire blog I just found today, Melissa! BLESSINGS in Jesus.

  2. HUGE improvement already!!! Can’t wait to see what you end up with! I have the same awkward breakfast bar in my kitchen too. I just about have the family convinced that it should go.

    Hugs!!
    Fiona’s Mosaic recently posted..Just Dreamin…….My Profile

  3. Adrienne says:

    I’m still here – and loving every minute of the journey! Now I wish I could remove the peninsula from my tiny kitchen! I’d lose too much counter, cabinet and drawer space. Can’t wait to see more.
    ~Adrienne~

  4. Looks great! Open kitchens are so much more fun to work in… I am much more motivated to create a delicious meal in wide open space :) I just put up our own kitchen renovation if you’d like to check it out!

    http://www.rivercitysammon.com/2012/06/kitchen-renovation.html

  5. Wow! Those are some big changes. I can’t wait to see what you have planned! Any chance you will be painting your cabinets? I’m trying to work up the gumption to do that in my kitchen (and just posted about that on my site).
    Carrie recently posted..Kitchen CabinetsMy Profile

  6. Oh, I love Before & Afters!! Can’t wait to see how this turns out. And I love when somebody just digs in and goes for it.

  7. Yep, here too and I love your ‘go gettem’ attitude – just rip it out!!! I wish I was that gutsy. Can’t wait to see what you do, might give me some ideas on what to do with my kitchen that needs help!

  8. are you kidding? we’re all in town just so we can keep tabs on your excitement! it’s already looking fabulous and I’m sure your final result will be as terrific as everything else.
    PS I love how Jack is carefully supervising this project from afar
    PPS is it terribly surprising to you how much we all look forward to seeing Jack in your pictures?
    Cynthia Robertson Shaffer recently posted..gigi’s legacy.My Profile

  9. So what’s the new plan? I”m dying to see what you have in mind – my kitchen is so similar in layout and also needs remodeling one of these days!
    Lisa recently posted..Build Your Own ShelvesMy Profile

  10. Barbara (WA) says:

    Jealous :o) So, the pantry is in the bathtub, cooking should be really interesting, huh? Looking forward to see what you come up with & know it’ll be great.

    • Haaa yes it is! And now I have no microwave or range hood and my dishwasher is in the family room. I’m not even sure where my dishes ended up. FUN times! If I wasn’t trying to save money I’d say we were eating out! ;-)

  11. I haven’t been in the blogging loop for a bit but I saw your post pop up on FB and I had to come by and see what you are up to! So smart to have waited and lived with it a bit. I can see what a difference the demolition has made already! I have that jut out too but mine also has my sink on it as well as my dishwasher. So more work then I can do right now. So I just painted them, added glass doors and removed other doors and love the difference. Need to post on that soon! Looking forward to seeing your new plan :)

  12. Love that you get to change some of the things you are unhappy with! That’s so exciting. Kitchens are the most used room in the house and it should make you happy and feel good in there!
    Meaningful Nest recently posted..Bookcase DilemmaMy Profile

  13. Yea! All opened up now! I remember when you moved in and the swine paint. I laughed and laughed over that one. (I know to you it was definitely NOT funny stuff!) I’m so happy for you. Hard to believe it’s already been three years. Where oh where does the time go?
    Brenda
    Brenda Kula-Pruitt recently posted..A Red, White & Blue TablescapeMy Profile

  14. I’m interested to see what you’re going to be doing with your kitchen since mine is quite similar in design. Some day we are going to redo it, too.
    Lorrie recently posted..In ProgressMy Profile

  15. Linda in AZ says:

    *** Melissa~~~ THANNNNK YOU for a most interesting/ fun/ informative and delightfully written blog… I’ve been here many times before but never signed up to receive your new postings by e-mail (I don’t “twitter” or do “facebook” or any of that… truth IS, I’m LUCKY to just be able to do THIS! Smiles!), but after just spending a lonnnnng time “back-reading”, I knew it was TIME to do so!!!

    I look forward to “reading” you~~~ and your projects are so great!!! We just bought a golf course lot in the mountains (gotta get away from the Tucson HEAT here in the summers & catch a little snow in the winters!!!!), and I get to design it from start to finish (It will NOT be a “mansion”, BTW!!!), so am getting ideas I love from everywhere, and I love some of yours!!!

    My husband said he hasn’t seen me THIS EXCITED since our wedding!!! (Insert smiles n’ silly grins here!)…

    Warmest,
    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

  16. Oh yay, it’s going to be awesome and that cute little dog in the far background made me laugh!!! He needs a spot on your home page :) Looking forward to seeing what you do with this space :)
    jessica recently posted..My gramps response to our This Old House magazine {feature}My Profile

  17. Wow! I loved my old kitchen and hate the one in our new house. It’s a lot like your before pic, but cabinets hanging down over the jut out counter and a wall when you fridge is (since that’s my laundry closet). Unfortunately it’ll be the last thing we do to the house, but it looks like you have a great start! I look forward to seeing more pics!
    Young Wifey recently posted..Radish SaladMy Profile

  18. One of the best things about living overseas and having an apartment provided for us is that I can watch all you bloggers work your magic on your homes so that I can come back with fresh eyes as we house hunt, knowing a bit of paint and some other tweaks can do wonders!
    Tara G. recently posted..Final Days in UkraineMy Profile

  19. So exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do next! It’s nice that the floor wasn’t put in after the cabinets.
    Jo recently posted..Pretty Menu PlannerMy Profile

  20. Great post but…..I LOVE Jack in the background…..:)

  21. I’m still here and up late again. I can’t believe there were nice floors under that cabinet that is now gone! wow! Good luck with yet another I-know-this-will-be-good project. Can’t wait to see Anthro curtains and dishes, right? ha ha. I did love your old kitchen, but I am sure you will make this one beautiful too.
    kelly at Talk of the House recently posted..Bathroom TweakingMy Profile

  22. Can’t wait to see how this kitchen turns out! It really does look so much more spacious.
    Mel recently posted..Enjoy the RideMy Profile

  23. Cheryl Thornton says:

    still here – and always inspired – what you did takes lots of guts – kudos for that! We’ve been living in our current home for 16 years and there are tons of things I would change, but the budget is always the deciding factor – hoping to do a few small projects this weekend…cant wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!

  24. Wow, you are ALOT braver than me:):) I am so happy for you though that you have the vision and are willing to GO FOR IT!!!! Can’t wait to see what all you do! XO, Pinky

  25. Donnamae says:

    Still here…not going anywhere. Your kitchen (before demolition), is almost identical to ours. When we remodeled 10 years go, I left the arrangement exactly the same because it worked for me. You are SO BRAVE!! Really looking forward to seeing your vision come to life! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

  26. You are a brave girl. You do have a great vision and that you are willing to go for it says a lot. Can’t wait to see it finished.

    Cynthia
    Cynthia recently posted..This Treasure Chest Holds The UrnMy Profile

  27. I´m here! lol
    I´m sure your kitchen will be great!
    And you know what? I always prefer to have something to work on in the house: Or I move the furniture, or I move myself from it… lol. So… Even if your kitchen stays in remodeling process for awhile, it´s better than not done at all!
    Good luck!

  28. we are tweaking our kitchen now as well–so far, the wall dividing the kitchen and living room has received a grand opening–not ‘grand’ as is elaborate, just big–new flooring, and the cabinets have been shifted around about 90 degrees. it is not by any means a large space, 9 x 12, BUT i will have full sight of the kitchen, dining room and living room from ‘command central’ and THAT means success for me! and just last night, we ordered our new counters that cost more than the entire original kitchen remodel 4 yrs ago. but i love them.
    NanaDoll recently posted..Are you distracted by your food?My Profile

  29. Wow! I agree it looks 100% better. It’s amazing how much just taking down that one “upper” cabinet helped!
    JoAnna recently posted..re-Ufeatures: A crafty mommyMy Profile

  30. Amanda S. says:

    I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like. You were very wise to wait on the renovations until you’d lived with it for a while and saw how it worked for your every day life.

    I bought my first house a few months ago and am living with a very ugly, tiny 1965 ranch kitchen. The cabinets were handmade out of birch plywood, but have been painted a few times, the current color being a peachy, baby poop brown color. The cabinets also stink like an old barn. There is white laminate counter tops and matching backsplash, and the most recent addition was blue ceramic tiles that were poorly laid and brought the level of the floor up almost 2″ and you can’t fit your toes under the cabinet edges. Whenver I see photos like your before photos on blogs and people comment on how they hate their ugly kitchens, I can only shake my head. If I had a blog, I’d be able to post a truly tiny, ugly kitchen for all to see. :) Good luck with your reno!

    • Ha oh yes I know what you mean! My kitchen was definitely not the worst! Send me your pics! I love to see potential :-)

      • Amanda S. says:

        I certainly will send kitchen photos! I do plan on stripping and painting the cabinets and changing out the hardware in the next few months, but everything else will have to wait for a while.

        Thanks for being an inspiration to those of us who are starting out from scratch!
        Amanda

  31. I think it’s going to look amazing! I love open & bright kitchens, too. I have survived 2 major kitchen renovations, so stock up on some good, calming teas & try not to sweat the small stuff….lol! It will all be worth it in the end.
    CAS

  32. Sara M
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have to admit, I love your posts, but my new game is to always find Jack. I absolutely love how he shows up in your pictures somewhere. :)

  33. I love your posts, but I must admit, my new game is finding Jack. I absolutely love how he shows up somewhere in your photos. :)

  34. giddy with excitement and anticipation! How awesome!!! Those gaps get me dreaming of lots of ideas!
    {darlene} recently posted..Atlanta shopping with a pro {don’t we all need a toilet mirror?}My Profile

  35. You are a brave one! It looks so much better already, I personally would have left part of the counter on the window wall extend all the way out to the window edge so that the window looks more balanced, and not just hanging off the edge of the counter… but that’s just my humble opinion and it’s probably not worth much.

  36. Lea Fry says:

    I feel your pain. I hate my kitchen!!! I have lived there 2 yrs and have spent my time and money updating the other rooms since they don’t need a demo job. I will get to it but have to live with it for probably another year (or two).
    I love your kitchen better already too. Feels much more open and sunny. Can’t wait to see the progress. I think it is important to feel good in the kitchen. So much time is spent there and when you spend the time thinking “I hate this color, these cabinets, the tile” it gets frustrating. Not a matter of life and death but who doesn’t want a pretty house right?

  37. I just checked my crystal ball and I see cute open shelving in your future. {As if I had one and believed in them – teehee.} What an exciting project! I like the openness and brightness already. And living where the sun doesn’t shine, much, that would surely be super important. I’m so happy for you Melissa. God does make a way for the little stuff too.
    p.s. I’m around all weekend. We’ve guests in…YAY!!
    Diane recently posted..What? Not pray?My Profile

  38. Melissa,
    It’s really taking shape. I agree with you, sometimes a delay in decisions where home design is concerned, is a good thing. This is going to be so great for your family. Can’t wait to see it finished.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Karen
    Garden, Home and Party recently posted..{Garden} The gift of a benchMy Profile

  39. Bernice says:

    Love this post! Love open shelving, I had it and love it. BUT I saw those plates hanging on the wall , those beautiful colored plates and I swooned!
    And yes, if you dont use your dishes frequently even tho you have doors, they get dusty and grimey! Also Open shelving helps to keep junk dishes etc …gone! That in itself is cool! Not every cabinet has to be open, so no panic! Good post!

  40. Can’t wait to see your plans! My kitchen is so similar in configuration and sometimes just stand in it and move everything around in my mind : ) I’m sure it will be fantastic! Best of luck.

  41. Oh wow… you are brave. Love the new open look already! I can imagine you have some awesome ideas up your sleeve. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
    kimber recently posted..Life in the Review MirrorMy Profile

  42. I can’t wait to see your end results Melissa! I know it will be fabulous:)
    Midwest Magnolia – Melissa Lewis recently posted..No Posts Were Found!My Profile

  43. tiffany h. says:

    Ooooo…love all the space you created by removing the long counter. Can’t wait to see what you do with all that great space!

  44. I didn’t even know this was in the works! I see something yellow in your future! So exciting- you know I’ll be watching every step, Melissa.
    Bettsi recently posted..The Ten Month SlipcoverMy Profile

  45. O yes, we are in town. How could we leave when I knew you would have remodel updates? I compliment you on your fearless attitude. But… no dishwasher?? that is scary! Looking forward to seeing your plans.

    I, too, removed the peninsula from our kitchen. It is wonderful and I love the open space. Ours doesn’t open into a family room but it does provide great space, especially for our annual Christmas cookie bake when 12 women are baking and decorating and chatting.

    But I admit, I am really looking forward to the living room makeover. You have much going on and it is so exciting.. even for those of us who are “just visiting” your remodel.

  46. Wowza! You’ve got a lot going on over there! Your kitchen reminds me a lot of the one I had at my last house, so I feel your pain. So excited to see what you do with it. Sometimes I think the hardest part of any project is just getting started!
    Julia recently posted..“How Facebook Helped Me Sell My House”My Profile

  47. I always love a kitchen makeover! Can’t wait to see the end results! As an interior painter I’ve been in so many homes with the same exact kitchen. None of them have any personality. I know that’s what you’re striving for and surely you will succeed! Best of luck!

  48. My kitchen layout is very similar to yours – can’t wait to see what you do!
    missy june recently posted..Moody Monday – General UpdatesMy Profile

  49. I’m impressed that you started the renovation even though you’re not sure how long it will take….that takes courage….especially, if you cook in your kitchen 6 nights every week, like me. How are you cooking?
    tara recently posted..Art with a story, my favorite kind.My Profile

    • Oh no the stove/oven is still hooked up so I’m fine for cooking. The kitchen will get done for the most part in about 4-5 weeks, we are waiting on our one new cabinet and then once that arrives it will be three weeks of no kitchen. No biggie! The things I’m not sure of are like when we can refinish floors in here, not the functioning elements of the kitchen!

  50. I have a similar dilemma – except my “jut out counter’ is a WALL! I am so ready to tear it out!!! I need for my husband to go out of town for a few days – the kids and I could remove that thing fairly fast. I am showing this post to my husband – he believes you have to have every detail worked out before you tear down anything, I disagree.
    -Trish
    Trish recently posted..Dream Houses Numbers 4, 5, and 6My Profile

  51. Please let us see what you are planning for your kitchen…..this is taking too long!

  52. I just found your site. It’s 10/23. Your old kitchen looks just like mine. I’m ready to demo my exsisting island. Now I’d like to see your final project. We’re thinking about building another island parellel with the outside wall. I like Trisha’s post about having her husband go out of ‘town’! I just need a wrecking bar to get started – lol!

  53. Hi there :) I can see you are going the direction of wanting a more open feel for your kitchen which really does make things feel more spacious. I’m just wondering if you have an alternate plan for storage since you got rid of a lot of your cabinets. Is there a walk in pantry that we don’t see here? Just asking because I’m always complaining that I don’t have enough cabinet space! LOL! Good luck on your project :)

  54. I LOVE the look of this kitchen and all you’ve done! It looks absolutely great! Can you let me know what color you painted the walls? Sorry, I might have missed it somewhere. It looks like a perfect shade of neutral gray and I’m looking for just that! Thanks! ;-)

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