MOTHER F-ING MASON RENOVATION (KITCHEN EDITION)
Hi! I'm not sure if I can adequately express how excited I am to share the before and afters of our house with you guys! Cole and I poured everything we had into remodeling our first home and 18 months after we moved in, it's finally ready for it's close up! I figured I'd would do separate posts about the different spaces so I can go into more depth about our process. First up is the kitchen! This is how the kitchen looked the first time we saw our house. Our realtor did warn us before we walked inside for the first time that the reason the house was still on the market was because "it's just really ugly." My heart was so so happy to hear him say that because that was exactly what Cole and I were looking for. We wanted a old house that we could completely gut and not feel guilty about demo-ing out something semi-new or decent. The older and uglier, the better in my eyes. As long as the bones were good, Cole and I were pretty much game for anything. Here she is, in all of her 1962 glory.
Yikes. I mean, it's even terrifying for me to look back on and we actually bought the damn house. (Funny side story, the night we moved in, I went to set a box on the counter and caught the edge of the hideous yellow tile and about 2' of the bull nose edge fell off on my foot. It was such a nice little welcome home surprise.) I really don't know what's worse, the yellow crackle tile with brown grout, the vertical blinds or the laminate floor (which we soon realized was installed directly over 4 other layers of glorious laminate floors that took 4 people a total of 17 hours to scrape up). No wait, it was the florescent dropped ceiling. That was the worst. Literally, you could push one of the light covers up with your finger and there was about 16" of space to a nice flat ceiling. Why, seriously why, did anyone ever think this type of lighting situation was a good idea? Think about it. A grown, intelligent adult actually said, "I know, let's make the ceiling lower by 16" and then add this god-awful florescent lighting, oh, and then let's trim it out with wood just to really draw attention to the low ceiling and make it feel even lower." Thanks for creating all the extra work, Mr. Builder Man from 1962. I don't even know who you are but I should send you our bill.
The kitchen was a very generous space, actually it almost felt too big in relation to our 1500 sq. ft. house. As soon as we walked into the house, I knew we would remove the wall that separated the kitchen and living room in order to even out the spaces and open everything up.
Here is the "before" of the floor plans, so you can get a better sense of the space:
Here is a run-down of the major structural changes that we did:
1. Removed the load bearing wall between the kitchen and the living room. This required us to put a beam in the attic for structural support. This also means we got rid of one of our hall closets.
2. Enclosed the opening from the entry to the kitchen. I actually really liked the opening from the kitchen to the entry, but with the wall between the kitchen/living room gone, we needed the extra wall space for cabinetry.
3. Make use of this empty wall by adding more cabinetry and relocating the range.
Here is the "after" floor plan:
Cole and I decided to do this remodel in steps (a.k.a - as soon as we had enough money for one project, we would tackle it and then save more money to do the next thing on our list.) Call us crazy, but it's just what worked for us. The thought of saving up everything to do all at once seemed a little daunting, so breaking it up in steps was our plan of attack. Don't get me wrong, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend doing it all at once if you can, that way you're not living in a construction zone for months at a time. But, you gotta do what works for you! See below for our progress pics!
So, there it is! And, just because it is the most satisfying feeling on the planet, feel free to click through the images below to see the before's and the final after! Then, keep scrolling down for more pics (taken by the talented Jessica Alexander) of our finished kitchen!