Let the Kitchen Renovating Begin

Alrightey folks.  Remember how I’ve been agonizing over planning a kitchen renovation?  You may remember that I even took a stab at making a mood board a while back (see the full post here).

Well, I’ve thought long and hard about our kitchen.  I’ve lived now in our kitchen for ~6 months.  And so I’m finally ready to make some changes (and it probably doesn’t hurt that we’ve got a baby coming soon, so that’s kind of kicked things into a higher gear).  I was surprised to look back at the original mood board and realize that I’ve actually stuck with some of what I had originally planned; so that also tells me that I’m committed and I’m not making any rash decisions here.

Alright, so since we’ve already updated some of our appliances (more on that here), my next decision has been the layout and what, if anything, should be changed.  Without boring you with my entire thought process, I’ll sum it up for you: we’re not going to undertake a full gut job on the kitchen; instead, we’re going to work with most of what we have and just make some minor tweaks.  Why aren’t we doing a full gut job?  Well, part of it is because this is a well-designed U-shaped kitchen.  With lots of secret awesomeness that I didn’t realize until we moved in . . .

Yep, that’s right–there’s lots of cool functionality in our cabinets, mostly in the form of pull-out drawers.

But there’s also some cool divided drawers (you may remember them from here).

And then some random stuff that I’m not sure what exactly it is . . .

Those are metal bins.  I’ve decided that they’re meant for things like potatoes and onions, but who knows if that’s accurate.  The house was built in 1962 and this is the original kitchen, so if any of you readers are from that era and have any ideas what these are for, please share . . .

Either way, they’re peeling and we obviously aren’t using them, so I’m thinking I’ll take them out and put in some sort of tray divider:

Image from here.

Given all that secret awesomeness, and the fact that our cabinets are in good shape, if not a little dated in appearance, we’ve decided to keep them.  Well, most of them.  However, we do plan to make some changes.  First, let’s look at how the kitchen looked when we moved in:

Kitchen

And here are my crude attempts at drawings to give you an idea of our plan:

In case it isn’t clear, the big black X’s mean that we’re going to tear that stuff down.

So the plan is to remove the upper cabinets above the peninsula, as well as the upper cabinet to the right of the window.  In conjunction with removing those cabinets, we also plan to have the soffits removed, including the soffit over the window.  We have to keep the soffit over the cabinets on the left side of the kitchen (since our cabinets are actually stick-built, meaning they were built on site when the house was constructed and therefore aren’t just standard cabinets screwed into the walls).

By removing those upper cabinets, I think it will really open up the kitchen.

The rest of our plan involves extending the countertop on the peninsula to make a bar to sit at, and to add open shelving to the right of the window.  We’re also going to add an actual ventilating range hood above the cooktop; in fact, it will probably be this one:

And it will be hung high enough to not really block the new openness that we’re creating by tearing down the cabinets.  (Range hood is Whirlpool’s 36″ island hood from here amongst other places.)

We also plan to paint the cabinets.  I feel confident in my ability to do that given my success in helping my sister with her mini kitchen renovation (you can check that out again here and here).  Of course, with the baby brewing in my belly, the painting of the cabinets will have to wait until after the baby’s out of my system, but we can get the rest done before it gets here.  Plus, I have even more confidence that our kitchen can end up looking great after I found this eerily similar kitchen redo:

Images from The Lettered Cottage.

And the homeowner actually just added some thin wood strips to get those quaker-style doors:

How genius is that?!  Again, image is from The Lettered Cottage.  I’m definitely planning on giving that a try.  And then all the cabinets will likely be painted white, but since that’s going to be one of the last decisions we make, who knows?  Maybe we’ll end up going crazy and painting them a soft shade of gray or something (I know–we’re wild, right?).

So next up–lots of decisions, including countertops, flooring, sink, back-splash, shelving, hardware, faucet, contractors, and who knows what else that I’m forgetting?  Expect lots of posts over the next few weeks in which we ask for lots of opinions.  Oh, but don’t be upset if we ignore them ;).  Ha–j/k.  Sort of.

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