Open Concept? Check. 

Let there be light!

We finally took down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Er, well, by “we” I actually mean that Mr. Bunches took it down, but I provided much needed guidance and moral support ;). Remember what that corner of the kitchen started like?

So dark and, well, gross. So we took down most of the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room (which meant tearing out the pocket door. I love pocket doors but there was just no saving this one).

Here’s a progress shot which you might remember . . .

And now, the mess has been cleaned up and most of the wall is gone.  Here’s the view from the dining room.

And a comparison from the front entrance . . .

I like that you can see right through to the sunroom now.

So why didn’t we take down the whole wall? Well, this kitchen is tiny! As in 10’x11′ tiny.

Sorry for not moving the ladder but you get the idea.  That shot above shows you the whole kitchen. If you go back to the before shots, you’ll see that not much can fit in there:

 And with the removal of the wall (the wall that used to anchor both the stove and fridge), that means our layout choices are limited. There’s really only one option–the sink and dishwasher have to go on the wall with the window, the stove and microwave on the wall straight ahead in the picture above, and then the fridge tucked into an alcove by itself. Which is why we aren’t taking down the full wall. Here’s one rendering of the finished kitchen to give you a visual:

Now don’t freak out–that’s not exactly what our final kitchen will look like (and mostly bc we’re not planning to put in a builder’s grade 90s-style kitchen with linoleum floors). That was just the first rendering we got from a kitchen renovation place. The company (The Kaz Company) came out to the house, measured everything, and then invited us to their showroom to present the initial design and quote. Needless to say their style was a bit traditional for our taste and their prices were way out of our budget (they came in around $23k for the kitchen remodel–that price included the drywall, cabinets, new electrical panel for the house, all new electrical in the kitchen, and countertops, but it didn’t include flooring or appliances so I still think it was pretty outrageously high given the size of that kitchen).

BUT, looking on the bright side–it did help to have a rendering of the space to work from. And once I saw the layout, I realized it made sense to keep just part of the wall in order to cover the side of the fridge. Otherwise the fridge would just sort of be hanging out there in no man’s land.  And since there was only one option on where to put the fridge, it was either have the fridge showing or keep the wall to somewhat cover it.  So we opted to keep the wall.

This next picture shows really how tiny this kitchen is–that corner is basically the only area to have cabinets and countertop space. And since the window is so large, it’s not even possible to have upper cabinets on either side of the window.

Since I took these pictures a couple days ago, there’s been even more progress. New electrical and plumbing have gone in and we hope to get the place insulated and drywall up very soon. I’ve also already picked out the cabinets, sink, counters, faucet and hardware (all from Home Depot, but more on that next week). We’re still probably at least six weeks out from a new kitchen but that’s going to go by quick. Especially with the holidays in the meantime.
Until then, here’s one of my inspiration images:

That one is probably the closest image I could find of a kitchen with a similar tiny layout, although ours is even smaller!

Before I pull the trigger on the cabinets, though, I’d like to at least price out IKEA cabinets. For those of you that have done IKEA kitchens–how’s the quality? How easy was install?



  1. We had IKEA cabinets in our apartment on school st. They looked nice but b/c the house itself was crooked the cabinets always looked a bit off. We didn’t hang them but in general they looked nice, clean and had good storage… P.s. You guys are amazing. Truly amazing.

  2. So glad I saw your blog, it’s great!! Mike & I decided to do the same thing to our home- taking down the wall b/t the kitchen & dining room, leaving a small area of drywall for the fridge. You have done a fabulous job & I’m sure your home will be perfect!

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