Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Kitchen

So, we picked up our house for a steal. Why, you may ask? Because it was in foreclosure. Good for our wallets, bad for the interior of our little cape. While the prior owners were clearly lacking in funds to pay their mortgage, they were also lacking in a little thing I like to call taste. This is the second post in a series I'm doing about different rooms in our house, and I chose the kitchen because it has come such a long way. When we moved in, our kitchen was a hot mess. It had a teal linoleum floor (gag), teal countertops (barf), and a nasty pink sink (pass the hand sanitizer). At one point, they had installed what had been nice cabinets, and then proceeded to abuse the heck out of them. Yah, the kitchen needed work. Where do I start?

See those gangrene colored floors and counters? I was literally afraid to walk barefoot or prepare food on them. They had to go. As did the appliances from 1983.

And there's the disgusting pink sink. I think I dumped an entire bottle of Clorox on that sucker and it would not come clean. ::shudder:: And please check out that faucet/sprayer situation. Functional, no?

With that much work that needed to be done, we had to prioritize. First, we trashed all those horrifying appliances and purchased shiny, sanitary new ones. Next, we attacked those heinous counters. We had a miniscule budget for this project, so we opted to refinish them instead of replace them. We used a product called Spreadstone and it turned out ok. We don't love it, but it is worlds better than it was. See?

Next up: that lovely floor. My one BFF (who also happens to be my cousin and former college roommate) came over for a weekend to help and I told her she couldn't leave until it was done (kidding). It kills me that I can't find the pictures from this process. We were truly empowered home improvement goddesses! We scraped all of that old linoleum up and found a subfloor that was in pretty good shape. Woot! We cleaned and primed it, and laid the new tile floor ourselves. Yes we did. And here's the proof:

So, with the biggest offenders taken care of, the rest of the project consisted of cleaning, painting and decorating. My mom and I also put up a wainscoating backsplash for some visual interest (I couldn't handle any more tile at that point!). This is the result of all of my effort:

The cabinets got sanded primed, painted and fitted with new hardware. The interior of that built-in cookbook shelf got a coat of terra cotta paint, and all the trim got cleaned up with bright white paint. For the walls I chose greige (grayish-beige). Yeah, paint and I were besties for awhile there.

Behold the shiny new, clean sink. I thought Hubs was going to throw it out a window in the process of installing it...it put up quite a fight. Our dirty little secret is that there's like a gallon of caulk on the underside of that bad boy.

We at one point had a much larger kitchen table, but it was simply taking up too much valuable floor space. So we downsized and I love the new breakfast table with fold-down sides.

As a general, but very predictable rule of thumb, houseplants and I do not get along. They're just so demanding, what with their constant need for water and...air. So all these beauties are really doing is sitting on death row. But they sure look pretty until I kill them, don't they? I've taken to planting them in inspirational pots in the hopes that will inspire them to live through my negligence.

This is a very important area, because it's what we see when we walk in the door, and where we dump crap: keys, mail, packages, etc. My efforts to organize it include that salvaged green shutter where we clip photos, notes, cards and mail, the wire basket that holds envelopes, stamps, pens and sunglasses, and the little key cup on the second shelf so we always know where our keys are.

This is the view from the kitchen into the family room. More on that space in another post!

It was a ton of time and effort, but we learned a lot and are much happier with our kitchen now! I find that the kitchen is so often the heartbeat of a home - it certainly is for us - so it had to be homey, stylish, and clean!


  1. looks great! we were lucky we had a whole year to fix up our house before we moved in; i cant imagine doing all that work (especially the kitchen) while living there with a baby! you must have the patience of a goddess! everything looks AWESOME!!

  2. It looks awesome! I can't wait to get rid of our laminate floors in the kitchen and swap them out for tile. I really can't imagine why you wanted to get rid of those old appliances....they look so, um, vintage? ;)

  3. Thanks girls! Before you think I'm that skilled, allow me to tell you that we moved into this house nearly 3 years ago and almost all the renovating was completed before we had a baby....no WAY would I have been able to do it otherwise! Now I can't even manage to shower some days ;)

  4. It makes my heart happy to see the results of the teal eradication project! And may I say, for the record, that she really did tell me I couldn't leave until the floor was done...