Let the Kitchen Remodel Begin!

So the last few weeks of summer “vacation” have been busy to say the least. We started out building doors for our office bookcase, painted the front door, then built a golf net over my daughter’s play area and a pergola for our neighbor, and then decided “what the heck, lets remodel the kitchen!”

Why we hated our Kitchen

My husband and I hated our kitchen from day 1, but decided we could live with it for a while when we bought our house. My husband is the primary cook in the family (and he is good at it) so I was all for a kitchen remodel, especially if it means he cooks more. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the problems our original kitchen had:

  • When we moved in, our kitchen had 2 of those big bubble ugly florescent light fixtures that catch deed bugs in the covers. We took them out almost immediately, and put up a temporary fixture, but overall our kitchen has had horrible lighting and feels like a dark hole in a very bright house.
  • The sink and dishwasher were on a 45 degree angle directly next to each other, so when you were standing at the sink washing dishes with the dishwasher was open, the door was hitting the back of your ankles.
  • We bought a refrigerator before moving into our home, and what we didn’t realize was that standard refrigerators are about 6 inches deeper than the traditional 24” countertops which made the refrigerator look very awkward (you can buy 24” deep refrigerators but you lose a lot of storage and they tend to be pricier).
  • We had a closet in our kitchen with sliding closet doors and all. Yes this was a “pantry” but it was not functional what so ever, and it looked completely ridiculous.
  • Our peninsula had a bar height back which made the kitchen look closed in, especially because the ceiling height drops from 10’ to 8’ when entering the kitchen. It also broke up what could be very usable counter space.
  • We had linoleum floors and a very ugly gold carpet to linoleum transition strip. They also made the transition a few feet into the living room instead of at the kitchen, so the strip was about 12’ long.
  • Overall, our counter space was broken up, and we didn’t really have a large work surface for cooking or baking.
  • Standard counter to upper cabinet height is 18” and ours were installed with a 16 ½” separation. An inch and a half might not sound like much, but it really made our kitchen feel dark and closed in.
  • We had outdated oak cabinets that left about a 10” gap between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling. Not enough space to add anything decorative, and just enough to look very odd and dark.
  • We hated the tile that was used on the counters, especially since it had a raised bullnose. Also, with an above counter sink, water was constantly getting trapped between the bullnose and the sink edge.
  • Appliances need room to breathe, but the openings for the stove and refrigerator were left way too wide, so food and other stuff was able to fall in those openings.

The Plan

So obviously in our new kitchen design we wanted to fix all of the problems listed above, but we also wanted something that reflected our style and would increase our home value for resale.  With a $4,000 project budget, this would be a challenge. Having a tight budget meant granite countertops, new cabinets, and new appliances were out of the question, so we had to get creative and repurpose what we could.

After going through hundreds of ideas, here is a very rough draft of what our kitchen will look like (cabinet details and lights are missing, but the idea is there).

I am sure we will make some more changes along the way (in fact we have already made some since this drawing was made), but I am so excited for our new kitchen! I will be documenting various aspects of our remodel adventure, and I encourage you to follow along on our journey. If you have recently remodeled your kitchen, please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.

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