Wednesday, January 2, 2019

House updates: Kitchen


Thanksgiving a year before the big tear out.
The picture on the left is a reminder of what this house looked like when we moved in. From inside the kitchen, one could look into one of two living rooms on the main floor. This living room, we turned into our bedroom by framing in the wall in between the two spaces. Once we had done that, we left the kitchen untouched for two years and worked on the rest of the house. The bedroom side of the wall was finished and the kitchen was not. The picture above shows a little bit of the unfinished wall (on the right hand side) that would later become the master closet.

The layout of the kitchen was crazy tricky.  The Island extended way out and over into where the master closet would need to be framed. Consequently the master bathroom, closet, pantry and kitchen all had to be done at the same time since they all built off each other. 

This became really tricky, because we still had to live in the house. So we began to tear things out that we could do without, piece by piece.  We began by tearing out the large wrap-a-around island. The first problem was an uneven floor since the cupboards were laid on the sub floor. The second problem was holes in that floor since there was venting and ducts that removing the cupboards exposed. We remedied both issues with class: Cardboard boxes taped on the floor with painters tape and creating a large table out of our smaller table, and my sisters old counter top she was getting rid off.  We then moved the fridge over to the left so we could tear up the tile.

Ingenuity in practice

We had a flood, which started this whole thing off. The washing machine hose became dislodged and dumped a whole lot of water upstairs.  Below is toward the end of a week long clean-up. Here you are also able to better see the wall that we created to separate the bedroom and kitchen.

The next process was creating the master bedroom closet by taking a portion of the kitchen (to the right side of the stove). The back wall of the closet we would build would also become the side wall of the pantry we would also build.  My brother, Jon came over and kindly taped off what this should look like as I had no idea. He also came up with the brilliant idea of angling the pantry door to utilize the space better, which ended up being awesome!  Next came time to frame. You'll notice that now the counter top is removed and we just have the stove chilling there as well as a cupboard with no counter top. It was getting prettier and prettier by the minute. 

The tape line shows where the closet stops and the pantry begins. My husband, Travis is awesome at having the kids help out. So my oldest helped frame for a bit. The baby is lazy and just stood around watching. The picture above and to the right, you will notice the existing pantry door. We removed the door so we could build it out bigger. By "we" I mean Travis.


 There she is. That was one of the easier projects we have done, mostly because I did very little of it. The other door in the picture, leads to the laundry room. At this point,it had only been a few weeks and spirits were still pretty high. I could still cook and the dishwasher and stove were still in so it was no problem, besides the occasional twisted ankle when someone forgot about the uneven floor.

 We had a fantastic drywall guy who did all of our drywall work in about a week, and for a lot less than our other bids. This project was also easy for me, as I was once again not involved. Once we got to here, we had no idea what the new kitchen layout would be. We had multiple people come give us bids on cabinets, who also didn't know how to do it.

We experimented by moving the counter top  my sister gave me all around the kitchen to see what an island would look like in the space. 

 We finally realized that the island could not go horizontal or it would sit too far from the sink and not leave enough space for walking around it on both sides. We flipped it vertically and perpendicular to the sink instead of parallel and it worked way better than I had imagined it would. Incidentally, that was Travis' idea from the get go, but I think he secretly loved that it took me 2 weeks, and many hours of rearranging the space to get back to his original idea (guys love that kind of stuff.)

I included this pictures for no other reason than to understand that when you remodel and live in it, this is what it looks like. Needless to say, this was getting old fast.

The next thing that had to be done was the floor. However, we couldn't do the floor without tearing everything out. We couldn't tear the remaining cabinets out, until the new cabinets were done, so we weren't without a partially usable kitchen. But anyone who has ever remolded knows that no matter how well you plan, you are still going to be without a kitchen for way too long. Our cabinet guy did a great job, but we ended up getting them months later than planned. Because our floor guy was on a schedule too, we had to bite the bullet and tear everything out. 


And because we were turning the Island, Travis was gracious enough to let me tear out a larger opening in the kitchen/dining room wall.

We had to have a HVAC guy come because there was a cold air return in that wall. I was very worried what it would cost to move it. Ended up being $450.  I thought it was well worth the price for what we got in return with the large opening.

Up until the night before the floor guys came, we were still using the kitchen, and this my friends is what it looked like.

Re-doing the floors was not on the agenda when we were deciding what to remodel in the house. I was bummed because I didn't love the orangey color. However it's a pricey job to hire out and it's pretty time consuming and dirty to do yourself. Because of the flood, our floors had to be re-sanded anyway, so it became a blessing in disguise to be able to get it done.  

This is where they had to lace in wood to cover the old cold air return opening. 

Because we weren't doing tile in the kitchen, we had to have new wood laced into the old wood floor. While we do like to DIY and can do a lot of things ourselves, it was tax season and Travis was working a ton, I was on a book deadline and we were all at the end of our ropes. We made the wise decision to let the professionals handle this one and I'm so glad we did. What would have taken us a year and cost us our marriage, took them a couple of weeks and saved us all. We moved to my sisters house and a couple of hotels during that time.    

 The above photos show the floor after it was sanded and the new kitchen opening from the dining room.



For whatever reason I cannot find my "after" floor pictures and I grow weary of looking, so below, is an "after" picture of the floor as well as the greatest day of my life (yep. you heard me right. The greatest day of my life.) When the cabinets began to be put in.

I designed the island. By "design" I stole someone else's design off the internet. That is the back of the island where the chairs sit and looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

And here is another great day. When it was finally done!!!!! 


  From the dining room after we encased the opening

The lights over the Island are from Bellacor. Again, full disclosure, I stole the idea from someone's blog. I don't remember who, but that likely doesn't matter, since she also took the idea from someone else's blog. By all means, please feel free to do the same to mine.

 Our awesome neighbor did the back splash. We still need to build a hood above the stove and we probably will one day.  I love how the floors turned out against all of the white and with the dark blue paint!

Here you can see the pantry. I ordered a glass door online and then painted it the same color as the dining room to off-set all the white.

 Here is the other side of the Island. Incidentally. I love having drawers that pull out. We didn't do any cupboards, except under the sink.  The counter top on the Island and desk is called "Super white" in Dolomite Stone and the back counter tops are a black matte granite.

This picture was taken from the laundry room. We got all our pulls and knobs from Pottery Barn (the pulls were about the same price as Home Depot's) And we added the leftover wallpaper from our master bath to the back of the custom cabinet with the glass openings.

 Whew! That blog post took about as much time as the remodel. We have since added can lights, courtesy of Travis' electrical skills.  We love love love how this project turned out! We spent under $30,000 on the kitchen, master closet, pantry and flooring (in the kitchen). Insurance money helped with about half the cost, but for all we had to do: adding walls, wood flooring, refinishing the floor, all the finishing touches, custom cabinets, drywall, running vents, electrical, decor, doors, etc. I think we got it done for a great deal.

I hope we never have to do kitchen again. :)

Happy Decorating!

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