In Traditions

House Updates Part 2: Kitchen

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Here is the long-awaited kitchen update post. We didn’t do an entire kitchen renovation, but instead made a few changes to a corner of the kitchen plus added new hardwood floors and an opening to the hallway. Essentially, when we added the second bathroom and re-arranged the layout of the back side of the house, we gained some space on one end of the kitchen. We extended the wall in the corner and covered up the walkway to the sunroom.

Here’s the “Before/Early Progress” of said corner.

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Click here and here for some fun pictures of the kitchen from when we first bought the house. Basically, the refrigerator was 12″ to the right of the stove and it wasn’t a very usable 12.” You couldn’t fit much in the cabinet below and the surface above wasn’t enough for cutting anything, so it might as well have not even been there. We ended up doing all our prep in the corner of the kitchen to the left of the stove and it wasn’t ideal. Now that the refrigerator went to the corner, we gained about 44″ of work surface between the refrigerator and stove—a much better spot for prep.
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We didn’t have a lot of money to spend, so everything was just framed and drywalled in. The countertop was a free drop piece from one of Jaga’s projects at work, and all the trim was salvaged and free as well. Most of the money spent was from the hardwood floors, which we bought years ago. The boxes of hardwood sat for 2 years in our dining room and we even ate Thanksgiving dinner on those boxes (no joke). I’m not exactly sure, but it was probably just a few hundred dollars for the framing lumber, drywall, and paint – and even a lot of those items we had in the basement – so I really don’t think we spent all that much aside from the floors. Oh, I did buy those louvered doors to create the storage cabinet. They are actually window shutters! I wanted to find some salvaged doors for there, but could never find the right size, so I just went ahead and ordered a custom pair of window shutters to do the job. We created a recess into a new wall for the refrigerator, which allowed for some decorative niches to be added. I actually like having this area built-in because it adds some charm to the kitchen, and it actually looks original to the updates_IMG_9812

I now have a place for cookbooks and my dutch oven. They comfortably sit in the niche above the fridge.

And Jaga made this cute little spice niche for me with scrap pieces of wood and updates_2017-02-19 14.46.32kitchen updates_IMG_9846kitchen updates_IMG_9849 kitchen updates_2017-02-19 14.46.57

I designed the new wall in such a way that the existing backsplash tile had something to terminate into. This allowed for a little shelf to the right of the stove for salt and updates_IMG_9817

I suppose I could have added some upper storage on the new wall, but I preferred leaving it alone and displaying some art. This is a painting that Jaga’s Opa in Germany painted. The wall color is Sherwin Williams “Aloof Gray.”kitchen updates_IMG_9825

I added some knobs from Rejuvenation to the cabinet doors. Behind the doors is a simple wall-mounted wire shelf for storing pots and pans, the crock pot, and the big bags of rice and potatoes. It’s even more functional than a regular base cabinet because it goes all the way to the floor. At some point I might try to find a rolling storage cart to go in here that can just pull out.
Here’s the new opening to the hallway, which was the last house update post.

And for reference, here is the other side of the kitchen, which didn’t really get changed except for new wall paint and the wood floors. We installed those cabinets and concrete countertops back in 2007. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years now! At some point I’d like to consider replacing the countertops because the concrete is failing in some spots. And the relic of a  dishwasher was apparently originally purchased back in ’92 or ’93 – soo last century. I also prefer gas ranges instead of electric, so that’s another appliance on the long wish list.
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Now, here’s the thing. While I am so pleased with the progress of our kitchen in these 10 years, I also now want to make another big change. Of course I do; I mean, what would I do without endless project?? At some point last fall, I decided the wall between the kitchen and dining room really needs to get opened up. That would be Joanna Gaines’ first recommendation and I completely agree. Knocking down that wall would make a huge difference, and now that the vision is there, I honestly cannot wait to do it (maybe later this year after painting the exterior and wrapping up some interior punch list stuff). Since this is one of the top changes many homeowners of an older home without the desired open floor plan want to make, I plan to document it. Until then, Jaga and I had a conversation just last night about the other new hallway, and making cubbies and a built-in bench there, so at some point soon I’ll be coming up with some ideas and new drawings for that space.

Other posts you might like:

The completed Sunroom

Inspiration for the Built-in Kitchen Details

Goodbye office, Hello bathroom

Bathroom Addition Reveal

Whitney House. The Kitchen.


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