Kitchen Final Reveal

Our kitchen’s been “complete” for oh, about 5 months now, but any blogger knows that it’s no fun to take reveal photos until all the little details come together.  A big part of that was the cabinet in the dining room, I gave up on finding a table I liked or that fit.  Since it’s one big room now, I had to make the dining room look halfway decent too.

All that to say, I’ve finally gotten my act together and took pictures over the weekend.  I’m warning you, I took a lot.  I took so many that I’ll probably do this in a little series.  Obviously, you’ll see the dining area, but I’ll do a separate post on those details.  Then, I have the nitty gritty details of the kitchen.  All the little nuances we found along the way, and the fancy Ikea features we’ve used.  I’ll have some tips and tricks that cover all the way from the design to the installation.  Finally, you know there’s got to be a budget breakdown in there somewhere.  We’ve actually not totaled everything up, so it’ll be somewhat of a surprise for us too!

On to the good stuff.

We started with a small closed in kitchen that had all the right stuff, but due to size, wasn’t very efficient.  After removing a wall and reconfiguring almost everything, we have a kitchen that best utilizes the space and works a million times better than the space before.

This view shows the most dramatic difference.  What once was a wall with a closet, (mirrored door), and the wall cavity with the old chimney (that ran from the basement to the roof that we removed after installing a high-efficiency furnace):

Now has a much different view:

After the wall was removed we were able to bring the kitchen footprint further into the dining room, (which admittedly we didn’t use very often).  By adding the peninsula and bringing the refrigerator over, we added additional seating, as well as more space inside the kitchen area.

I knew from the beginning design stages I wanted a two-toned kitchen, dark lowers and white uppers.  I’m so happy I held strong and was able to convince Mike, because we both love it!  It caused some turmoil because that priced us out of some of Mike’s preferred cabinets like Kraftmaid, but it was Ikea to the rescue.  We’ve been very satisfied with the quality of the cabinets so far, and hope that they stay strong.

The style of the kitchen works well with our house and fits with the trim that Mike mimicked from the original woodwork.  It also looks modern and matches the tone of the updated living room.  Which is a good thing because due to the large opening between the living room and dining/kitchen, it can be seen from the front door

The view from the back door, (and the main door we use), shows the kitchen and dining area.

It reads less as separate kitchen and dining rooms and more as an eat-in kitchen, which is more our lifestyle anyways.

The new peninsula adds an additional 3 seats, and about 15 sq. ft. of counter space, which. is. awesome!

Moving around the kitchen we have the main prep area, the u-shaped zone that houses all the dishes, and space to prepare.

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It’s so much bigger than it was before!  Mike and I hated cooking together in the old kitchen, but now we can both be in here in full working mode and not get in each other’s way.

The sink and dishwasher stayed in the same positions as before, which with two kitchen windows this really was the only spot it made sense.  The dishwasher has a cabinet face so it blends in.  

Our dishes are in the two sets of cabinets above the dishwasher and pots and pans are in the base cabinets of the peninsula.  

I was worried about the placement of these, thinking that if the dishwasher was opened I wouldn’t be able to reach the cabinets.  But, luckily there’s still room for me to fit in between the opened door and base cabinets and I can reach everything!

On the other side of the sink is our “pantry”.  While I would have loved to fit a tall cabinet in here somewhere, it proved impossible.  We’ve made due with uppers and the two corner cabinets. One upside is it forces us to use less packaged foods and go grocery shopping for fresher options more often, so I guess that’s good!

Next to the door used to sit the oven, which was where everything landed when you walked in.  Not the best place to set a purse, but like I said, we weren’t doing a lot of cooking in the space anyways.  Now, we have space to drop mail and things that need to be picked up on our way out the door.

It’s also where the trash and our shoes our hidden, but I’ll go into that in another post.
I painted the back door black.  I’m glad I was lazy and didn’t paint the door for almost 4 years because back in the day I would have gone white, but it looks so much better black!

On the other side of the kitchen is the cooking area.  The range and refrigerator take up pretty much the entire wall.  The size of the cabinets on either side of the range were determined by the space available after factoring the standard 30” range and 36” fridge. 

We were very lucky because with the creative trimwork around the basement doorway, (when you’re making your own, who will notice if it’s a little smaller than the rest of the house’s doors), we were able to get the standard 18” cabinets allowing for a good amount of space on either side of the stove.  For those curious, in our area 15” on each side is code, but 18” feels like such a luxury!

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We mentioned before than an important upgrade for us was a counter-depth refrigerator.  It cost more, but with the configuration it was important not to impede the flow in and out of the room.

We’re very happy with the amount of space we have between the fridge and cabinet and can pull out the freezer entirely while standing in front of it.  You can even have someone move passed you with while you’ve got the doors open while searching in the fridge.  Although it’s my experience that Mike gets a little handsy when he passes ;)

Overall the project took five months as night and weekend warriors.  It might have taken less time, but we also started a week before Thanksgiving, so a lot of time was lost due to the holidays.  We did all the work ourselves, except for the solid surface, which was done by contractors through Home Depot.  We love our new kitchen and not to sound dorky, but it’s actually changed our lifestyle.  We eat a lot healthier now that we cook mostly at home, and it’s much easier to entertain now with the open space.  We have already thrown two parties here since we’ve finished and it’s a lot nicer having everything open and lots of room for food and prep.

And, because there’s nothing better than seeing before and after's, I tried to take photos from the same angle that I took the original photos back in the day.  Technically the actual before’s should be the way the kitchen was when we moved in, but I’m using our “Phase One” kitchen after the $89 makeover.  

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Before & After
Sometimes it’s hard to spatially read a room you’ve never been in, so here’s the floorplan from before:

And, after:

We lost some space in the dining room, but gained so much more than just space in the kitchen!  We’re loving the new space and it feels weird to have the final large scale renovation project of this house behind us.  It’s nice to finish on such a high note though!

I’ll be back soon to share the dining room, sources for the kitchen, Ikea tips and tricks, and of course more photos of our kitchen because I just can’t help myself!

1 comment

  1. Lovely, same kitchen i am designing, How long is your peninsula?