August 15, 2011

My Kitchen: Before and After

Early last year I blogged about redoing our kitchen here and here and promised before-and-after pictures.  However, like a lot of renovations, we lost some motivation and the last bits took a while to be completed.  In our case it was the back-splash; but we finished it this summer!  


This is the original kitchen to our 1979 house.  When we moved in 7 years ago, the walls and cabinets were all painted an off-white colour, which just seemed dirty.  I wanted to brighten the kitchen up so I painted the cabinets a colour called 'carotene.'  Since the counter arborite was yellow, this seemed one of the only colours which would go. Some people loved and and some hated it, but it was a quick makeover to the kitchen that eventually needed to be redone.  I particularly disliked the pantry (seen in the last two shots), which was so narrow you had to be a contortionist to reach into, and the wall between the kitchen and living room which made the room really small.  Invariably when we had a party, guests would congregate in the kitchen and lean against the counters.  I was always asking them to move so I could reach into drawers.

The biggest change was to pull down the L shaped wall that separated the kitchen and living room.  Behind it was a small hallway that was a waste of space.  This was an expensive reno, since the builders put the electrical box in this wall (even though it was a non-supporting one).  So we had to hire an electrician and relocate the box and all the wiring.  

Ta Da!  Here is our new kitchen, with recently installed back-splash.  As you can see the horrible pantry is gone, we added an island for storage, and the refrigerator was relocated to the other side (where the pantry once was).

We hired a local cabinet maker to build and install the cabinets, and got just what we wanted with a European style with the grain of the fir veneer going horizontal.  Our cabinet maker did a fantastic job matching up the grain from door to door.
  Since we couldn't find a quality stainless steel sink (like they used to make) we opted for a composite sink.  It is really deep!  
There is no dishwasher.  Since we weren't used to having one we opted for more cupboard space instead.  We are so happy to work in this kitchen now with all the counter space.  Guests automatically sit at the island and I feel like a much better hostess!  And since that horrible wall is gone, there is a better flow to the living room and we can set up long tables to seat numerous guests.  The island makes a perfect buffet for these large dinners.
Here are a few closeups of my mid-century decorations...
 End-of-the-island bookshelf with my Goebel piggy (and fishy) banks.
Figgjo Flint Folklore wall plaque.  I love those happy Norwegian people with their huge spread.

Our inspiration came from many places, and loosely from this wonderful house tour at the blog,  Of course their home is much older than ours, but I was inspired by the pops of red and orange, the mid-century Scandinavian and English touches, and the natural tile and wood.

I hope you've enjoyed my kitchen tour.


acorn hollow said...

What a wonderful redo. I can see that you would enjoy the openness of it. Great island such a great work space.

Jill said...

Very nice -love it!

Bindu said...

I love your new kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

Reduce, Reuse and Rummage said...

Thanks for all your comments. It feels good to finally have it done and be able to blog about it!