The People Have Spoken…

… and they want to see some pictures!  Pictures, you shall have.

This is a “before” photo of our kitchen. It doesn’t really look as terrible in these photos as it did in person, but trust me, it was pretty bad.  Those cabinets? Consensus is that they were likely original to the house, almost definitely at least from the 1970s. The reason we know that? Because they had obviously never been replaced while the PAISLEY laminate countertops were in place and I can’t imagine that someone installed paisley countertops any time post 1980.

You can’t tell that the countertops are paisley unless you look at them up close (we didn’t even notice it the first time we saw the place) and we didn’t take a close-up photo, so you’ll just have to trust me.  Actually, the small section of countertop to the right of the stove was a different countertop. It must have broken at some point… most likely after paisley countertop stopped being manufactured.

The refrigerator and dishwasher were probably between 5-10 years old, both in working order. The range on the other hand, was much older (mid-80s, maybe?) and you could not use multiple burners and the oven without blowing a fuse, so it had to go. (Not to mention, it was ugly.)  We decided we might as well just replace all of the appliances at once so that they’d match.  We donated the dishwasher and sold the fridge… the range went to appliance heaven.

The vinyl flooring was new.  The previous owner had replaced the floors throughout the first floor before listing the house – vinyl in the kitchen, hallway, laundry room, bathroom, and foyer, and carpet in the dining room and living room. We wanted hardwood floors throughout most of the first floor (we left the vinyl in the laundry room and bathroom for now, until we do those renovations), so even though the vinyl was new, it came out with the rest of the kitchen.

And here’s the view with my back to the window/sink area, facing the dining room…

Yup, a wall. We pretty quickly decided that needed to go. Also, you probably can’t tell from the above two photos, but those are actually two different big globe lights, which were just sort of oddly floating in a non-symmetrical and not centered fashion.

Okay, that’s an overview of the “before.” Now, onto the “after”…

As you can see, we took down the wall between the dining room and kitchen and added a peninsula.  We’ll eventually get two stools to stick under there, on the kitchen side.  We moved the dishwasher to the right side of the sink so that we didn’t have two appliances right next to each other (it wasn’t an issue functionally, I just didn’t like the look of it), which meant that we could actually center the sink on the window.  (You can’t really tell in the first photo, above, but the sink was off-center to the right of the window a bit.)  We also added some narrow (technically, upper) cabinets to the left wall where we set up our “breakfast” station.

Here’s a before photo of that wall (next to our laundry/utility room)…

And the after…

See? It was just wasted wall space. Now we have a place for our blender, tea maker and bananas.  (The blue dessert glasses are just hanging out there temporarily… I bought them this weekend.)  Underneath, we store our other “breakfast” items… tea, coffee, french press, coffee grinder, smoothie cups, travel mugs, and toaster.  There’s also room for a bunch of Pyrex that we received for our wedding that we had to keep packed in the box in the guest bedroom closet in the apartment.  We’re not sure whether we’re going to put a metal spice rack up there (or make some sort of magnetic spice rack on the back of a cabinet door) or if we are just going to hang some artwork.  Since our stainless steel fridge isn’t magnetic on the front, we hung a magnetic white board on our laundry room door.

Here’s the old view when standing in the hallway…

And here’s what it looks like now…

Ahh… so much better. (Don’t forget, that was a closed off wall to the dining room before.)  We’re going to hang some pendant lights above the peninsula, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.  We just didn’t have time to go looking at pendants so hadn’t made the decision before the contractors were finished. All the electrical that’s needed is up there though… we just need to actually make a decision and then have them come back and add it. (We think we’re going to do ball jar pendant lights after seeing them in a restaurant the other day.)

Here’s a close up of our finishes. For those who are curious, we have GE appliances (yes, that IS a double-oven!), Caesarstone countertops in Raven, RiverRun cabinetry in Mt. Vernon Snow (which doesn’t appear to be on their website), Daltile Semigloss subway tiles in Desert Gray, and Benjamin Moore paint in Pear Green.  (The paint color is reading a bit more yellow on my monitor than it does in real life.)

(We also got under-cabinet lighting and lights above the sink, which I forgot to turn on for the photos. Adam would also like me to mention the soft-close drawers, which he was very, very excited about.)

Our design was to be neutral with all of the more permanent fixtures, with greys, whites, stainless steel, and polished nickel, but then use bold colors to accent it. If we get tired of the bright green, we just need to repaint.

Much better than the before, right?

And here’s what it looks like when standing in the dining room…

I can’t believe that view used to be a wall!

We still have a few things left to do. Eventually, we’ll paint all of the trim and doors in the house a crisp white, rather than the off-white that they are now, but that’s kind of low on the list of priorities since we want to do it all at once.  We’re going to add some sort of curtains and/or blinds to the window.  Also, as I mentioned, we need to add something above the breakfast area (either a spice rack/shelves combo or some artwork), stools for the counter, and the lighting above the island.

We love it. In fact, I love it so much, I get sad that it ends up dirty after we cook in there… I wish it could stay sparkly and pretty all the time.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The People Have Spoken…

  1. Sarah

    It looks great…I really love the color! You should be getting (or hopefully already have) something from us in the mail soon.

  2. it looks great!! i’m sure opening up that wall made a huge difference in the overall flow of the house.

    • Stephanie

      Yes, it is SO much better now. It’s not open to the living room or anything (you can just sort of see into it around a corner through the dining room), but taking down that wall makes it feel so much more open in general. There were even doors closing the kitchen off from both the hallway and the dining room. It was so depressing in there before.

  3. I love the green color. That was in my old kitchen.