Monday, February 27, 2017

Kitchen Renovation: The Before

It's been about six months since our kitchen renovation was 100% complete. We still don't have blinds, so I guess 99% complete. Why we haven't gotten around to getting window treatments after all the other work we put into that room, I don't know. Just one of those things I guess? Anyway, we've had plenty of time to enjoy it and I can honestly say there are only two things I *might* change about what we had done. And even those are fairly minor. It'll take me a bit to document the entire process, so I thought I'd start with the before.

A little background. We started our home search knowing we wanted to find a place we could redo the kitchen. I would have been fine if we'd stumbled upon a house that already had a great kitchen, but deep down, I really wanted to create our own from scratch. When we decided to make an offer on our new house, we knew the kitchen was a dump, but that was OK, because we wanted to fix it up anyway.

We didn't account for just how much of a dump it actually was, or for the fact that we'd be living in it for several months before the work actually got started. #contractordelays This was a terrible experience, but on the plus side, we had time to live in the "before" kitchen long enough to really know what we wanted the "after" kitchen to look like. It also made us appreciate the new kitchen A LOT more when it was completed. Which by the way, about 3.5 months from start to finish, 7 months after we moved in. So we spent 3.5 months with a dilapidated kitchen, and 3.5 months with no kitchen at all.

Here are a few pictures from the home listing when bought our house. To some it may not look that bad, but trust me... it was bad. The cabinets were ancient, and in terrible condition. The floor was made out of what I can only describe as vinyl tile. The appliances were falling apart. Literally. The refrigerator had tape on the inside holding the shelves up, and the oven handle broke off the second time I tried to bake something. Oh, and every single surface was pretty much ancient and/or filthy.

No counter space next to the stove, or between the stove or the refrigerator. Weird microwave box area above the stove. Useless soffits.

This weird nook of wasted space drove me crazy. No cabinets, no furniture, what is the point? And don't get me started on that peninsula.

Former screened in porch turned interior kitchen space. Clearly no one was actually eating in there though, so again, wasted space. Also, this "room" was a step down from the rest of the kitchen. AKA a death trap for toddlers and clumsy people like me. This area was also very poorly insulated and completely FREEZING cold in the winter. And two more words: drop ceiling. Bleh.

I'd been saving images for months and months of inspiration for our new kitchen. This pinterest board was my best friend. Here are a couple of the pictures I went back to most when trying to envision how we'd turn the above into my dream kitchen.

I've lived in brand new homes, homes that were over 100 years old, and everything in-between. There is good and bad on both ends. One of the "bad" things about having an older home is that you really don't know who did what when, whether or not they did it right, and what the heck you're going to find behind the walls or under the floors when you go to make a change.

While we found plenty of surprises, it could have been worse. Next I hope to post pictures of our during, the drawing our contractor worked up for the new kitchen, the drawing after I made changes, and more about our process in general.
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