Our Kitchen Remodel is Underway

After nearly 10 years in our house, we are finally remodeling our kitchen. It was a big upgrade from our previous house, offering more counter space, more cabinetry, and better materials. We traded laminate counter for solid Corian with and integrated sink, eighties particle board veneer cabinets for solid wood with lighting, and linoleum flooring for porcelain tile. We made a few changes by installing new stainless steel appliances, painting, and changing out the cabinet hardware but otherwise left it alone. While small by most kitchen standards it functioned fine for the two of us.

As the boys grew up and we started cooking more at home, the lack of space became a huge problem. Sally and I constantly bumped into each other and the boys constantly ran in and out of the space to ask questions or go into the dining room. Our stove, dishwasher, and drawers were stuffed into one corner, making it impossible to fit two people at the same time. We had one length of counter for food prep and often had to be creative if we needed more space.

After 9 years we had enough and started planning for a remodel. We did high level research last year about what kind of layout  and materials we wanted but got serious after Christmas. Sally drew out different layout options over several weeks, trying to maximize space and minimize collisions. We needed more physical space so an addition was a must. We met with contractors and refined the design until we had something we were happy with. After two months of discussion we signed on the dotted line and secured a loan.

The work started in late May. It has been slow at times but has really picked up speed recently. In the last week we’ve gone from having an inaccessible room attached to our house to having a big open space. Our old cabinets are gone, our appliance are relocated, and there are holes in our walls. It’s real now.

Below is a slideshow of the progress so far.

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All in all there is a bit more happening than just a kitchen remodel. Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Replacing our failing sewer line
    • Our sewer backed up this winter and needed to be completely replaced. They ran the sewer pipe through the basement instead of tearing up our yard and it turned out really well
  • Adding an addition that will double the size of our kitchen.
    • The addition includes a frost wall that will provide another 225+ cubic feet of storage in our basement.
  • Replacing our cabinets with Aristokraft espresso cabinets
    • We will have more drawers spaced throughout the area, will gain 4 cabinets above, 3 cabinets below, and a much better layout
    • 8 of our cabinets will have frosted glass in their doors
    • We will no longer have Lazy Susans in our corner cabinets. We hate them.
    • We will have improved under cabinet lighting that doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall socket to work.
  • Exchanging our single window for two windows on the corner of the addition.
    • This will provide a better view into the back yard.
  • Installing a black Blanco granite composite sink with a half-height divider.
    • It is deeper than our current sink and has a 45/65 split (versus our current 70/30)
    • The half-height divider allows us to fit long items such as cookie sheets and pans in the sink easily. We get some of the space advantages of a large wide sink while still being able to separate things and have a garbage disposal.
    • It’s black, which looks cool.
  • Installing Silestone countertop
    • love the way that stone countertop looks and feels. Silestone is easy to maintain and looks fantastic.
    • The color is Stellar Snow and contrasts well with our dark cabinets. It has shiny silver flecks in it that reflect the light to make it sparkle.
  • Installing a backsplash
    • We like backsplashes and didn’t have one previously so we’re getting one now.
  • Replacing the light square ceramic tile with something different and heated
    • We have never liked our tile. It is very light and shows dirt easily. The grout is supposed to be white but never looks that way. It’s just gross.
    • We are going to go with either gray patterned rectangular tiles or some sort of trendy “wood-look” tiles. We haven’t fully decided yet but I’ve included an image of what we are thinking.
    • Sally never likes to wear shoes so her feet get cold on the tile in the house. She won’t have to worry about that anymore with heated tile.
  • Rotating the refrigerator 90 degrees so it faces into the kitchen
    • This will keep our kitchen self-contained
  • Adding pendant lights over the counter
    • Sally doesn’t like hanging lights but she’s letting me put two of these over the counter because they are small. Yay.
  • Cutting our half-wall down to counter height in the kitchen
    • Right now the wall goes several inches above the counter, separating the spaces. We will cut it down and put counter over it so that you can see right into the kitchen and have a more open feel.
  • Replacing our two hanging lights with can lights
    • Sally hates hanging lights because they gather dust. We have one that fixture that faces up like a bowl, a dust bowl…
    • We will end up with six lights in that space that will keep it bright
  • Adding a pantry in the dining room
    • Rotating the refrigerator adds space for an 18 inch deep 6 foot tall cabinet that will provide additional storage
  • Cutting a pass-through into the dining room
    • We originally wanted to use part of our dining room for the kitchen expansion but had to scrap it due to structural issues. The pass-through will open the space a bit without causing structural issues and incurring extra cost
  • Replacing the hardwood in the living room with new hardwood
    • This is less about replacing the floor and more about bringing the hardwood all the way up to the kitchen wall and down the hallway. Right now it is kitchen tile and we don’t like it.
  • Putting can lights in the living room
    • We don’t have enough light in the living room as it is, we don’t like having lamps, and the ceiling is so low that anyone taller than me hits their head on our fan light
    • Can lights will replace all of the other lights to brighten up the room and reduce clutter

It feels real now that we don’t have a functioning kitchen and it’s awesome to walk through the new space. We’ve still got 5 – 6 weeks of work left so it’s far from over.

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