The Kitchen Is Finally Finished!

OK, it only took us about a year, but the kitchen is finally finished and I've got some great before and after pictures to share...  The honeymoon bungalow had a very unlovely kitchen when we bought it, but we didn't want to spend a ton of dough fixing it up -- so that meant no moving plumbing, windows, etc. -- we had to work with what we had.  The kitchen also had solid wood custom cabinets that went all the way up to the ceiling, and I would've felt awful ripping them out when they were totally fine.

After - Yay!
Sink Area - Before
Sink Area - After

Fridge Area - Before
Fridge Area - After
So this is the sink area before (left) -- you can see the white tile all the way up the walls, the white tile floor, and the icky fake butcher block formica counters.  On the right you see the cabinets painted, the new granite counters, sink, faucet, and tin back splash -- which kind of reminded me of the chrome tiles I found behind the stove when we were doing demo.

I have to laugh when I see the original fridge (left), because that's what got the whole party started -- we got gift certificates at an appliance store for wedding gifts, and we wanted to get a new, bigger fridge.  I tried to measure the space carefully, but to be honest, I thought we might have a problem getting it to fit -- I was thinking we might be able to hack off the cabinet to the right.  What ended up happening is that we had to rip out the base cabinet on the right, and when we did that, we found the original maple floors underneath -- they had just tiled around it.  So of course we had to rip out that nasty white tile -- an unexpected expense but totally worth it.  And I was able to talk our handyman guy into slicing off the cabinet bottom with his Sawz-All -- that after about 5 different cabinet-makers refused to touch it...  We installed an restaurant supply stainless steel microwave shelf below the cabinet, and it's perfect to keep the microwave out of the way.  We didn't want to spend extra to get a counter-depth fridge, but I also didn't like how much the regular one stuck out -- we ended up pulling the base cabinet forward to meet the front of the fridge, and the extra-deep counter that resulted is really useful.

Base Cabinet - Before
Base Cabinet - After

 I'm really proud of the stove wall -- we started out with a cooktop that wouldn't light and a teeny wall-oven that never worked -- I'd bake cookies and half would be raw and half would be burnt -- ugh!  All I wanted was a regular stove -- it didn't even have to be fancy!  We ripped out the base cabinet (saving the bottom doors), put in a white gas stove, and a small base cabinet with drawers from Ikea -- I painted it to match the rest of the cabinets and you really can't tell the difference unless you look closely.  We were trying to figure out what to do with the space left from the wall oven, and we were able to turn it into a pantry by building out the sides and installing some rolling shelves from Shelves That Slide.  I was thinking we would need to have a cabinetmaker create doors to match for the pantry, but we were were able to cut down the four doors from the cooktop base cabinet and cabinet near the fridge to make new doors -- we even connected them so you are only opening two doors -- not four -- pretty tricky!

Oven Area - Before
Oven Area - After
Our New Pantry

Wall with Radiator
Wall with Radiator Removed

So the most dramatic thing we did was remove the giganto old radiator that was hogging the entire wall near the door so we could install more cabinets and counter space.  We got a new, more fuel-efficient radiator for under the window from Baxi.

We didn't have a lot of depth because of the back door, but were able to find shallow wall and base cabinets from Ikea, and I painted them to match.  I had been bummed out there wasn't room to do a pull-out trash bin anywhere else in the kitchen, but I was able to create my own, by screwing the right side cabinet door to a small rolling shelf from Shelves That Slide.  We have a recycling bin on the left side.

Our Home-Made Pull-Out Trash Bin

If money had been no object, we could've installed a smaller window here and gained a whole wall of counter space, but that wasn't going to happen, and now I'm glad we didn't do it -- our windows are about 100 years old and I love the wavy patterns in the old glass.  So all we did was install a new light fixture and fan, and got a restaurant supply rolling work table and two stools for more room to sit and work.  The wheels lock on the table, so we can move it to the middle of the room when we are prepping for dinner, or push it out of the way to the window.  It's a great place for people to gather when we everyone is hanging out in the kitchen during parties -- and a ton of room for making Christmas cookies, etc.  I love it when my daughter sits there in the morning eating breakfast while I make school lunches for her and her brother...

If you're interested in sources, the sink and faucet are both by Vigo, the light fixture is by Philips, and the fan is by Monte Carlo.  The backsplash is by M-Boss.

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