Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kitchen Renovation - The Before Photos

Now that I have shown the new kitchen design mockups it makes a bit of sense to show what we had to work with... and it wasn't pretty!  Let's take a tour of our lovely '80s kitchen! For the record, everything looks pretty clean in these photos, but trust me those counter tops never came clean no matter how hard I scrubbed or what product I used. 

Here is the view of our kitchen from the exit to the den.  When the hubs and I first saw the house I fell in love with the bay window in the kitchen. My childhood home in New Jersey had a bay window and I always wanted one.  We'll come back to that point.  Please note that the window is not centered on the way at all! 

Now here's the view from the opposite wall and this exit leads to our separate dining room.  Yes, there's a broken cabinet at the far left and there's more of them sprinkled throughout the room.  On the plus side the MASSIVE overhead light matches the cabinets perfectly. That's a keeper! (insert copious amounts of sarcasm here)

And finally here's the view from the bay window across to the door to the basement, the pantry, and the fridge.  Now, when we bought the house there wasn't a fridge in the kitchen. The hubs and I bought a fridge and we didn't care how tall it was because we knew we could rip down the upper cabinets. Sure enough, we had to rip out those cabinets to fit our new fridge because the fridge was 1/8th of an inch too tall. That led us to finding that this kitchen wasn't original to the house because we found the original wall paper behind the cabinets. AWESOME! 

That big, beautiful, bay window that first captured my heart soon became the biggest pain in my rear. The window is low and sits only 29.5 inches off from the floor. It had this odd overhang which wasn't exactly sturdy or finished underneath. I tried sitting on it once and the entire window moved. Not awesome! This meant the window area was basically useless and the biggest waste of space. 

Other random tidbits about our kitchen:
- most of the cabinet panels were broken and half the pulls were cracked.  
- duct tape kept our sliding drawers together
- only one hinge on our pantry door was functional, so we took the doors off and just incorporated some very trendy open shelving. 
- Jax would routinely lose tennis balls under the cabinets because the cabinets were open at the bottom in random places
- our dishwasher didn't work and rather than spend money getting it fixed we ignored it. Actually, this is terrible, but when we moved in there were still dishes in the dishwasher. I knew this house was a foreclosure and there was a chance for something fishy, but the sight of those dishes made me cry. 
- every single electrical outlet plate in the kitchen was a different finish. Someone clearly couldn't make a decision! 

So as you can see we took the approach that everything goes! The wall between the dining room and kitchen is out and in goes a peninsula.  At this very second the only things remaining in the kitchen are the overhead light (taken out next week) and the electrical boxes. We're prepping to put in the floors this weekend and I can't wait. 

What's the quirkiest thing in your kitchen? Our random outlet covers win in my book. The kitchen might be old, but it's just weird that all of the covers are mismatched. 


  1. I cannot wait to see the finished design. The mock ups look amazing...I think you have great space to work with. Keep us posted!!

  2. i'm looking forward do your finished design!

  3. “…I first saw the house I fell in love with the bay window in the kitchen.” – Who wouldn't fall in love with that window? The bay window is really the highlight of your kitchen. I agree with you saying how the overall appearance of your kitchen may look sweet and traditional, but everything is a mismatch. Renovation would, indeed, be a wise move.

    Francis @