Monday, January 26, 2015

Before & After: The Owner's Kitchen

When we started the project, we fully intended to keep the maple cabinets that were already there.  They looked very nice and were in good shape.  But as we tried to figure out how to add a dishwasher, we realized that there were some challenges ahead.  So, when one of our contractors expressed some interest in them, we decided we should just pull them out and let him put them to good use.

It's a good thing we did.  The plumbing vent wasn't up to code, the electrical needed to be redone and when we jacked the floors back up, the plaster crumbled so badly, we ended up ripping the wall out and rebuilding it!  In this case, it was easier to start from scratch than maneuver around all those challenges.
New wall, plumbing, electrical, lighting and more!

And once we opened up the wall to the dining room, the space started feeling much bigger!

We also had the opportunity to change the layout a bit and provide a lot more storage.  And the old kitchen didn't have a wall light switch - you had to fumble through the dark to find the pull chain on the fan.  We fixed all that!

Kitchen Before 
We included some of our 'signature' touches - upper cabinets with glass shelves, an outlet with a USB charger for all your gadgets, and lots of counter space for cooking and entertaining

We also added lighting above the sink, quartz counters and custom glass/marble inset tilework.  And we tried open shelving for the first time - love the look!


We also got rid of the leaky old back door to the deck and installed a new energy efficient one!

I love how it looks as you walk down the hallway now, vs. before.  Look at all that beautiful red birch antique flooring!  And we were also able to update the hallway built in hutch, to increase our storage.  

Of course we totally blew our budget, but in hindsight, we still think this was the right decision.  What do you think?

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  1. It's beautiful! How you and the team are able to take something so dark and poky and turn it into a light, airy, and beautiful space is wonderful. And hopeful!
    Is the dining room accessible through two openings from the kitchen, or just the opening by the back door? It looks to me as though the opening by the back door has trim, but the opening I see in the 6th picture does not have trim. I need to revisit the floor plan. :-)

    1. Thanks Mitzi! There is one opening to the kitchen, without trim. The door by the back door with the trim leads to the 3rd bedroom (which could also be a nice home office!).

  2. How did you supply heat to the kitchen with the large radiator removed? It looks beautiful! Have you suggestions on how to paint old radiators? Love all of your posts!

    1. My plumber and I spent a lot of time figuring that out. In reality, old houses have way too many radiators (because they didn't have any insulation!). With all the insulation we've added (plus new windows and doors) and opening the walls up, we think there will be plenty of heat in there. But if it turns out we are wrong, we can add a kick space heater under the cabinets (I just hate them because they are noisey!).

      As far as painting radiators, the easiest way is to thoroughly vacuum and clean them and then use a paint brush and latex paint while they are HOT (otherwise they will rust). But for a top notch job, you can do what we did, which is remove them, pressure wash them, spray them with a high quality rust resistant primer and then top coat with enamel. It's more time consuming and expensive, but they look like new!


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