Hi! I’m off to Haven tomorrow to meet fellow bloggers and brand sponsors. If you are a fellow Haven Maven, then welcome to my blog.
Today I am finally going to show you the finished kitchen. I started the kitchen back in September of 2012, when we moved into a 164-year-old federal-style brick home in north central Ohio. Initially, all I wanted to do was remove the wallpaper and rip up the carpet. I swear. That was it. This house has a way of changing even the simplest of plans. Here’s where I ended up.
If you haven’t seen the before picture, you are in for a treat. This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house.
Green gingham and grape wallpaper, stained Berber carpet that probably looked good for five minutes, until someone spilled something on it. Carpet in the kitchen really ought to be against the law.
I’m going to take you on a clockwise tour of the kitchen. The sink is 12 o’clock. Let’s talk about the sink wall. We removed all the cabinets, which I didn’t like because they spilled over into the door frame. We also switched out the dishwasher and moved it over to the other side of the sink. When the dishwasher was open, it blocked entry into the main space in the kitchen.
We also moved the pantry out of the corner and then exposed the brick wall. Here’s a during shot, to show you what we were dealing with.
We retrofitted the sink cabinet to hold the Ikea, DOMSJÖ farmhouse sink, which I love. You can party in that sink it’s so big. We sacrificed some precious counter space for the sink, but it was well worth it.
We also built the open shelves out of 1/2″ plumbing pipe and some wood boards. I love the open shelves. They are very easy to use and I love the industrial look it gives the kitchen. We installed the light and bent the pipe to house the electrical wire using a tool our local hardware store let us borrow. I had to fill in some holes in the brick wall from the old electrical outlets, using bricks we had in the yard. I got the bricks back too far in the wall, but it’s not really that noticeable unless you are looking for it.
I should stop and say that when I say “we” I mostly mean that I did it. Hubs helped me with a lot of projects in this kitchen, but about 85-90% of the work done in the kitchen was done by me.
Turning to the right of this picture is the window wall. Tall windows are a key design of Federal homes. I have two of them in the kitchen which seriously limits how things can be laid out.
My problem with this wall was the cabinet there. Initially I was excited for a cabinet with glass doors. Until I tried using it. With the door on the left open, I had to reach under it to get to the shelves, which meant I could reach the bottom left corner of the cabinet. The right side wasn’t much better. I also didn’t like how short the windows were compared to the cabinets.
I found a solution I liked better.
All the wallpaper you see in the above Before picture, was attached to a false wall. When we pulled the false wall down, we found some lovely mold growing in that space, missing chunks of plaster, rotted window casing and we were left with a wall that looked like it’d been riddled with bullets.
We added the board and batten to cover up the majority of the problems. We beefed up the trim around the windows and built a heater cover for the exposed radiator. In lieu of the cabinet, I installed a wide shelf.
Since we have already moved from this home, I had to style the after pictures with things from my neighbor’s house and other items I could find. I actually had my spices up on that shelf and loved having them close to where I cooked. The teal wall was an exercise in patience to get smooth again. I probably did twelve rounds of plaster to get that wall smooth again.
We left the cabinetry for the stove area as is. In order to remove the carpet from the kitchen, we actually had to remove all the base cabinets because some genius put the carpet in first and then the cabinets. We played with many layouts while we had things removed, but we ended us sticking pretty close to the original layout. With three doorways, two large windows and a chimney run in a small space, layout options are severely limited.
Let me just say that painting these open shelves on the end had me on the floor on my back, twisted sideways to get all the little nooks and crannies. It didn’t help that I had to paint 1 coat of primer and three coats of paint to get them finished. You can read about my painting woes on my Diary of a Sad Painter.
We also added a wider counter to the stove space for a small bar, to make better use of the space. I used barn wood for the back of the peninsula and I love the rustic look it adds to the kitchen. Finding the exact right stools took me awhile, but after months of searching, I found some on Craigslist and snatched them up. A little spray paint later and they were perfect for the space.
Turning to the right again, we are now looking at the wall opposite the sink. This wall started out looking like this.
I made this the new home for the pantry cupboard. The bump out in the corner is for pipes to the radiators upstairs. Since the house was built before radiators, the pipes had to be added after the fact.
I copied an idea I saw on Pinterest to make the open shelf on the side of the cabinet. It’s not deep enough for books, but it’s perfect for some pretties.
Again, this is make-do styling, but you get an idea of how the space can be used.
The full view of this wall started out quite different.
You can see the cabinets go all the way to the archway. There is a desk area in the kitchen with a small counter in the corner. I removed the little cabinet (third door from the left) and moved that cabinet behind the cabinet you see closest to you on the far right. I’ll show you that in a minute.
We removed the desk, put the large cabinet that used to be by the sink in it’s place. The cabinet to the right of the fridge area is now on the sink wall.
It’s a little confusing, but here’s what it looks like today.
See the little cabinet on the right, above the microwave? That’s the one I pulled off the other wall. Hubs thought I was weird for wanting to put it sideways, behind the other cabinet, but it works there. I didn’t sacrifice any cupboard space and it helped with design for around the fridge.
Here’s a better view of the space.
We built our own countertops using porcelain tile. I loved the idea of soapstone counters, but not the price. I found some large tiles (12″x24″) and butt-joined them together. We sealed the joins with epoxy. It is hard to tell they are tile and mostly looks like a solid surface.
We did have to trim the edges with wood because the tile did not have the same color all the way through the tile and my idea to use tile for the edges didn’t work. However, I ended up liking the wood trim better because it ties the butcher block counter from around the stove to these counters and makes it look intentional. Which it wasn’t.
I had a gap there to fill in front of the chimney, so I built some open shelves.
Originally, I kept my ice cream dishes and banana split boats in this space. It was just the right size for them.
In front of the chimney, I took the old cupboard that was above the stove and cut it down to fit in this space. We pulled the cabinet out from above the fridge area, built a fridge surround and then used the glass doors for the cabinets on either side of the fridge. Again, Hubs thought I was weird and didn’t understand where I was going with this idea. I think it turned out okay, and Hubs ended up happy with the arrangement, too.
To make the cupboards all look more finished, I filled in the space above the cupboards and added crown molding. Our ceilings are only 7.5″ tall, so there was just a lot of light-sucking dead space above the cabinets.
Some 1/4″ plywood on the side of the rebuilt cabinet connects it to the other cabinetry.
Another one of my projects in the kitchen was the DIY Chalkboard fridge. It’s a fun way to use the fridge. The menu was a big hit with my family and heaven help me if I didn’t stick to it. People’s taste buds were calibrated for whatever I wrote down, so deviating from the plan was NOT appreciated.
Underneath the ice maker chalk pen holder, I wrote the recipe for No Bake Cookies, a family favorite. I also have some math going on as I was trying to figure out the spacing for my new stair runner. We have friends who love to come over and write messages on it to us. I use a chalk pen, which is easier to use than real chalk and just wipes off with water. I suggest my friend buy the pen and try it on her black fridge. She did and it worked.
Okay, we are almost done. Whew! Next to the fridge is an area I needed to fill when I stole the original cabinet from this spot. I had a table that I rescued from off the side of the road that was just a little big for the space. When I had a dog that kept turning over our garbage can ever time we left, an idea was born. I repurposed the cabinet into a built in garbage can.
I loved how the original top of the table had paint that matches my walls. I did not add that. It’s actually distressed for real and I didn’t do anything to the top of the table other than clean it and cut it to size.
The little shelf was originally designed to put the dog food and water there. I nixed that idea when I discovered what huge mess the dog made when he ate his food. Plus, his butt was right in the main walk way. Now it holds more pretties.
Some left over barn wood from the stove peninsula, a rescued table and a $3 cupboard door from the ReStore made of a great solution.
This is pretty much where I got to before we moved to Utah. I had one more project in mind for the kitchen and when I came back to finish up the remodel of the house, I squeezed in some time to make my final project.
This is where the pantry originally lived. I didn’t really have an issue with it being in this spot, I just liked it better in the other corner.
Out in one of the out buildings on our property, we had an old shelf I thought would work for this space.
A little spray paint, some wood taken from our family room/bathroom remodel, some sanding and drilling and screwing in a ton of screws later, I ended up with this little beauty.
I am seriously debating taking this with me when I go back to Utah. I love it and I will be able to use it in my new kitchen which has even MORE of a storage issue than this kitchen does. #HardToBelieveButTrue
Just a few more things to mention and I will wrap it up. We planked the ceiling to hide some issues up there. We used 1/4″ plywood and I believe the boards are about 6″ wide. I can’t remember. I built the light for the space using a tin tile I found at Goodwill for $4.99
That’s another thing I want to take with me, but I won’t. It goes too well in the space and I don’t want to try to find something else. I can always make another light. I show you how to make the light on my Bare Edison Bulb Chandelier post. #TrustMeItsEasy
It is hard to take pictures in this kitchen because there is either too much light or not enough light, but I wanted to say that this shot is the one with the truest to real-life colors.
The colors are Sherwin Williams Iron Ore on the base cabinets and Passive on the upper cabinets. However the Passive was mixed in Advance Paint by Benjamin Moore and came out more green than the original formula. The ceiling is Valspar’s Glass Tile, lightened by 80%, although I think I would have been happier with a 60% lightening. It’s just a touch too light for me. The upper walls are Patina Blue, also by Valspar. The white is just high gloss white by Olympic but Lowes is discontinuing that paint in some stores. Ask me how I know. :-/
I don’t have a step-by-step break down of pricing, but we stayed very close to our budget of $1,500 for this remodel. It was long and hard and I wish we could live here longer with the finished kitchen, but we are hoping our efforts help our house sell quickly.
I will be writing some follow-up posts in the coming months on how I did some of these projects. If you have questions, please ask and I’ll be happy to help. Tell me, was it worth the wait?