Thursday, July 21, 2011

Remember, It's Gonna Look Worse Before It Looks Better

I'm not sure these pictures are going to make any sense to those of you interested in our kitchen remodeling adventure, but I'm so tired tonight it's the best I can do. (I just ended my work day by picking twenty-one pounds of strawberries.)

Before we took out the half wall (and teeny-tiny living room), to have this viewpoint you would have been standing in the living room looking right at the half wall. Now that the room is becoming all kitchen, you're looking at the refrigerator and stove at the far end and sink on the right. They aren't going to be moved. To the left free-standing in the room will be an island which will be my main work counter. That's not the real island you see in the left of the above picture, but a pretend one so I can get the feel of it and decide how big I want the real one to be. (It's a section of cabinet we took out which will probably go somewhere in the garage soon.)

To the right is currently a double window that looks out onto our enclosed porch and doesn't really let in much light. We are taking it out and building a floor-to-top-of- cabinet height pine storage unit in that space. (The cabinet unit you see to the left of the windows is one that used to be up against the kitchen side of the half wall.)

Moving into the kitchen to the left and looking across pretend island. The windows we're taking out are just to the right of this picture. (That white strip on the floor with the red tape in it is where the half wall was previously.)

On the other side of the kitchen you see the unit that used to be on the far left of that wall. It's now in it's new permanent spot under those windows but doesn't have the permanent wood top on it yet.

Moving farther to the left along that wall is my pride and joy. A kitchen table that is big enough to seat more than four people . . . which is all I've had for the past 15 years! I am so thrilled to have this big a table (with room to pull it out from the wall) that you'd think me crazy if you knew just how happy it makes me. Stay tuned for some wild dinner parties. (Well, not this summer yet. Maybe come winter. When things slow down. And we're completely done with the remodeling. And have recovered sufficiently to function normally.)

Continuing on around the room to the left, we'll keep this unit with the TV on it that has always been in this spot.

And the wood stove (in the left of above picture) will stay where it is because it heats that whole end of the house.

Even though there's still lots to do in the kitchen, I'm enjoying the opened up space immensely and getting all kinds of ideas that I hadn't thought of before seeing and being able to move around in the actual space I have to work with.


  1. Good idea on the "temporary" island so you can see if it works for you & how you may need to change the size BEFORE you put in the real one.

  2. I can see it and it look marvelous! There are standard measures for doing kitchens but it's always good to try them out first. I know a little about kitchens because my dad and brother ran a kitchen renovation business.

  3. I love all the pine.
    I have pine in my kitchen too. It looks so "warm" and on a sunny day it just "glows".
    I'm getting so excited FOR YOU. This remodel, though tough to go thru, is gonna be just the ticket. And think, you won't have to do it again for another 20 years.

  4. What I want to know is, what is a pretend island. Cause I can see it there, so has the heat effected me so much that I can see your imagination? Because I have been trying to make a pretend air conditioner and it has yet to appear.

  5. you are driving me crazy with these tease photo's --I'd die for a tiny wheeie island if I cared right now and a table people could actually use [ mine has a computer on it ] so I guess it is being used. but I mean one that children could sit at. I use a oil cloth table cloth on the floor but that hasn't helped my off-white color carpet [ I sure in the h ---e double l did not choose that color. Don't worry momma pea, I won't rant and rave at you today [ oh- I guess I did a little ] but I really let Jane have it today and plus I mis-spelled everything murhahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa OK OK I only lost it for a moment- no knead to reply there is nothing anyone one can say or do but at least I know your here-I KNOW I'M NOT KNEADING BREAD BUT I CAN'T THINK WHICH IS RIGHT RIGHT NOW KNEAD OR NEAD--OH NEITHER AND NO I'M NOT DRUNK

  6. Your plans sound perfect. We redid our kitchen a few years ago (a complete gut job), and I would pretend cook different meals to work on the layout. Ryan thought I was cuckoo, but, hey! it worked for me. taking out the windows for extra storage space is also a GREAT idea.

  7. Your really moving along! It will be so nice when your done, just removing the wall makes it "feel bigger. Can't wait to see what you finish up with!

  8. Dr. Momi - Ha! That's what I keep chanting!

    Carolyn Renee - I'm such a visual person that it's helping me a lot.

    Sparkless - Arrrgh! So why didn't you do the whole plan for me . . . with input from your dad and brother?? ;o}

    Sue - Ya well, the pine has certainly been "warm" lately! :o} I won't have to do it again for another 20 years? If I live to be 125, I am NEVER doing it again!!

    Jane - What? Your pretend air conditioner hasn't appeared yet? You are just not beeleeving enough, my dahling. Ohmmmmmm . . .

    judy - I'm really hoping that after this especially terrible, awful rough period you're going through, things will start to take an upturn for you. Your liveliness and sense of humor will pull you through. Hugs.

  9. Since I've seen the kitchen before the half wall, I can honestly say, the island setup is fantastic! It really opens up the space to be able to see clear through, and traffic will be a breeze in there! I noticed you don't curtain your windows (I don't either), I've see shelves spanning windows holding jars or pots and pans that area really pretty and you can still get a peek of the outside, but if you need a cabinet with doors that's a great place to put one since it's the window to the mudroom. I'm so excited for you! My dream is a big farmhouse table, too - someday!

  10. Just read Jane's comment... LMBO!!!!

  11. Melissa - For guys who don't cook, it's hard for them to understand just how important a kitchen is for gals who do!! I've been tempted to block over that window we're taking out to get a feel of what it will really be like. But doesn't really matter, I guess, 'cause I WANT that storage cabinet there!

    Katidids - We can't BELIEVE how much bigger the area feels! Currently we think we're hearing echos. (Good to hear from you!)

  12. Wow! You have been busy!!! Looks great and I can only imagine how much pleasure it gives you to see so much progress.

    And I maintain that your pantry is not pink :)

  13. PS - since everyone always ends up hanging out in the kitchen anyway, I'd say this design looks even more perfect!

  14. What a difference already! What are you going to do with all that storage space, hmmmm? And 21 POUNDS of strawberries? It must be something in the Minnesota air. I love big dining room tables with lots of people sitting around them - it just oozes with warmth, love and well-being. And it's about time - 15 years??? How could you stand it?

  15. Erin - Yupper, we've already noticed how much better the flow of traffic is!

    Jen - I appreciate you maintaining the pantry is not "pink." I'm just not sure I can embrace your label of "flesh" much easier! ;o} And that's just it . . . I will now have room for people to gather in the kitchen and not have to climb over each other to move.

    Susan - How could I stand my cramped little space for 15 years? Well, let's just say that I have not been a totally happy camper. (Right, Papa Pea?)

  16. It is looking great! The pretend island and all! I think you will love it. And yes, "yipee!" for a big table!!!

  17. APG - Thanks for the encouraging words. This morning I feel so tired I could care less about the whole project. Can't seem to get enough rest (which isn't a good thing obviously) but I'll keep trying to manage my time better . . . and hope that crew of seven (a cook, a maid, a gardener, a ground's keeper, a gofer, and two strong construction workers) shows up soon!