Deciding on a dime

After purchasing these beautiful woodmode cabinets over a year ago (see here), we couldn’t wait to get a layout doing. However after a year and half it became crunch time… so its a good thing we finally made a decision.

After getting the cabinets Greg and I mathematically placed the cabinets on every inch of wall space, great for practicality right? Well it did mean that our appliances were all lumped together in order fridge, sink, stove and nothing really appeared functional or aesthetic.

Therefore we asked a designer friend of ours to sketch up plans for us. However with some mis-measuring and we taped the layout on the floor and after a few weeks of going back and forth we decided this layout still felt closed off. (Which was opposite from our 892374932 reasons to gut the kitchen).

Notice the doorway on the right only gets opened by 6 inches.. which isn’t the open feeling we were hoping for. And after walking in the “newly taped” space we realized it was going to feel more enclosed and smaller by the sink then we had originally intended. With 2 people in the kitchen the lack of countertops already.. space would still be hard to come by in addition to the addition of a second empty wasted space corner cabinet (left corner). (Because we only have 1 lazy Susan corner cabinet)

We loved the open shelving, and the fact that we actually could have a functional pantry.

However the plan also required multiple fillers, skins and edge panels (something we had expected going into this) but in addition to having to purchase 2 additional cabinets ($1500-$2000/per cabinet) the $$ started adding up pretty quickly for a layout neither of us were jumping for.

So after a day of thinking on it, I landed on this sketch and we both fell in love.  We could take down the wall to the dining room opening up the entertaining space, which so many of our friends and families had also suggested, in addition to adding an island for the helpers in the kitchen.

This layout still utilizes the same cabinets from craigslist, a few modifications to the pantry and above fridge cabinet, and the abundance of open shelving we wanted.

Did I mention I also get my pretty stainless steel hood vent fan 🙂 and lots of open upper shelving paired with an extra base cabinet for even more storage!

We are using this as our base layout knowing that since both of us are indecisive there is a 99.99999% chance modifications will be made as we start diving into the details, but for now this is just the motivation we needed to MOVE THAT WALL!

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Reasons why we hate our kitchen #9497392874

Before we decided to completely gut the kitchen and start over we decided to chronologue why the kitchen didn’t work for us (and most likely anyone). Here are the before pictures of the kitchen area and adjoining walls when we purchased the home:

our.home.place kitchen reno before

our.home.place kitchen reno before

our.home.place dining room / kitchen

dining room to front of house

Besides the dark hole in the center of the house, the first thing we noticed was that there was all of this light coming from the kitchen that was being blocked by that wall.

Here are the pictures of the kitchen as we lived for the last year and a half…sprinkled with our laundry list of complaints:

reasons why we hate our kitchen

  1. We NEVER USED the items on the top shelf.
  2. Un-functional Storage – No accessible storage for towels, oven mitts, and napkins.. (hence junk piled onto open shelves next to sink)
  3. Under Cabinet Radio – Cool idea, however this beauty and its plug took up the entire outlet rendering any capability of having a plug in there useless.
  4. Double Sink – Each basin was too small for trying to clean pot, pans or cutting boards. We realized we prefer a single basin, and while we’re at it we’ll add a garbage disposal.
  5. No Microwave – While Greg is anti-microwave to begin with, this wasn’t as issue, however we then rely heavily always used electric water kettle, so while we’re at it we’ll add a mini hot water tap.
  6. Nonfunctional Storage – the stove blocked access to a full bottom cabinet, including upper cabinet, counter top, bottom cabinet and pull out drawer on the right hand side.
  7. Cabinets – Being original the shelves are discintigrating daily leaving a nice layer of dust and particles over my clean pots & pans. {BOO}
  8. Lack of Counter top – Once we stored all of the items that were unable to be stored elsewhere, we were left with little to no usable counter space.

  1. AGAIN the nonfunctional cabinets – here is where you can actually see the <12 inches of space between the stove, cabinet upper, lower and counter top.. talk about crashes in the kitchen..
  2. No hood for stove {not cool for a gas stove} Even a charcoal filter is better than nothing.
  3. Poor  to non existent ceiling lighting.
  4. No light switch accessible at the doorway near the dining room for when you’re leaving the kitchen.. (think walking to bed in the dark..)
  5. Pantry has lots of wasted space. There is nonfunctional space between the shelves and the door, and the sqft of space the is unused between pantry opening and shelves.
  6. More Wasted Space – We turned this into Guinness little area, however the heating vent was here, and is just  more waste of space usually.

  1. Lighting
  2. Clausterphobic doorway opening
  3. The Fridge- huge barrier sticking out when walking into the kitchen from the side door. {BAM Hello fridge..}

While I could probably go on.. and on.. and on to end on a good note here are some examples of kitchen styling and function we love (or that I dream about)