After a nice break for the holidays, and to recover from our mad scramble to get the dining room ready to host Christmas dinner, it's time to jump into the next house project: the kitchen.
In all of its wood paneled, dated tile floor, sometimes grey/sometimes pinky-beige counters (depending on the lighting), cream colored faux brick backsplash (with cracked grout due to it being installed incorrectly), and spaceship looking florescent lighting glory, I've gotten tired of looking at it from the family room.
We haven't really done much of anything in here yet, except on our first day in the house when we removed the bank of cabinets above the peninsula to open up the space to the breakfast nook and family room, and when I made over the pantry. The above photo was taken last March, and since then all we have done is get new bar stools for the nook.
Eventually we plan to gut the whole kitchen and re-do it all, like we did to the downstairs bathroom. In fact, my husband was ready right now to jump in and just get started with the full kitchen renovation. However, I talked him into a short term update for now, that will get the kitchen to a more tolerable state for not a lot of money, and hold off on the complete gut for 4-5 years.
I know, that doesn't sound like me at all, does it? Being responsible and not jumping to spend money on home projects! Is there something wrong with me??
But I've got a few good reasons to wait on the full kitchen gut job. First, because I think I can build new cabinets, now that I've gotten into furniture building. I really enjoyed building our dining room table and coffee table, and have learned a lot. But I don't think I'm ready yet to take on a whole kitchen worth of cabinets, and I would like some more practice first. But in the long run, this will save us considerable money if we can DIY all new cabinets. My second reason is that our existing appliances aren't in horrible shape. In fact, our dishwasher is only a couple years old, but of course, isn't the color we would choose for ourselves. So it seems like a bit of a waste to me to trash (or list on Craigslist for cheap) them just yet, when we've definitely got a few more good years in them. And my final reason, and probably the most important, is that I'm not yet set on the final configuration of the kitchen. To me, the kitchen is the most intricate and important room in our house to organize and renovate it just right for our needs. And considering I've only been an actual cooking adult for a little over a year (prior to that I was only a pro at sticking frozen meals in the oven!), I don't yet feel ready to settle on a new kitchen layout. It was as recent as cooking during Christmas, my first attempt to cook elaborate meals for 8-9 people, that I had new thoughts on how I'd change something in the current kitchen set up. So it makes sense to wait a bit longer to make these decisions, and make sure we're incorporating everything we could ever want into a new kitchen.
So for now, we're just doing a few small, budget-friendly updates to make us happier with the room until we're ready to do the complete update. I present to you, my quickly Photoshopped plan:
There are 9 key things I want to do to brighten and modernize our kitchen a bit, to get us by for several years.
1. Get rid of the ugly florescent lights and put in recessed lighting. Luckily the area above our kitchen is largely just open attic space, and we've already got wiring running to light switches, so this won't require an electrician.
2. Remove the scalloped 70's style pelmet above the kitchen sink.
3. Install a pendant above the sink. Specifically this one from Pottery Barn that I got for 20% off on sale a couple of weeks ago.
4. Add a shade to the window.
5. Build some floating shelves to fill the gap that was left when we took down the cabinets over the peninsula.
6. Paint the existing cabinets white, with paint left over from our Fireplace Facade project (which I would link to, but, uh, I never finished blogging about it!).
7. Get a new range hood that actually works. Our current one doesn't have a cover on the bottom, so the fan is exposed, and it is a non-ducted kind that weakly blows smoke in your face. Which makes no sense, considering we already have the duct work in place to have one that vents outside. I also want to build a little cover for the new range hood with some moulding detail. Similar to these:
8. Get rid of the old backsplash that I don't like, and replace it with white 3x6 subway tile. And install it correctly so the grout doesn't crack in a year or two. The tiles I found are only $0.22 each, so the total cost will be around $36, and since we already have a tile cutter and all the tiling supplies, it should be an inexpensive update (and hooray for no more cracked grout!). I will be doing a medium light grey grout, to tie in the counter color a bit. Inspired by this:
9. New cabinet hardware. Always a quick and easy upgrade!
The best part about this project? Other than the fact that it will have a decent impact on our downstairs, for not a lot of money, but that we have not assigned any strict timelines to the project! Yes, that is right. No pressure, no deadlines, just a leisurely home project for once, where we can accomplish a bit each weekend, but also have the flexibility to sleep in, go for a hike, or whatever.
It will be a nice change to not be a slave to a project for once!