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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kitchen face-lift {part one} – The Before

We have decided that home improvement stores ought to just go ahead and sell cans of worms at the check-out stands where you find the candy, drinks and other impulse buys.  Because you get something in mind that you need to do… oh, like paint a hallway for instance.  Then when you go to the store you begin to think of something else to do while you’re at it… like scrape the popcorn texture off the ceiling. 

And before you know it, you’ve opened up a can of worms and the kitchen is getting a face-lift. 

Our story could really be another in Laura Numeroff’s series of children’s books.  It could be called, “If you give a man a paintbrush…”

If you give a man a paintbrush, he’ll want to paint the hallway where you had to repair that hole in the wall.  So you’ll have to buy him some paint.  While looking at paint colors, he’ll look at the old popcorn texture on the ceiling and decide that he might as well scrape that off and re-texture and paint the ceiling while he’s at it.  And while he’s looking at the ceiling, he’ll remember that it joins in with the wood paneled ceiling in the kitchen and he’ll decide he ought to go ahead and replace that also.  Along with the lights…..

You get the idea.

So I decided I’d take you along on this face-lift journey with us.

This is my kitchen:

100_9023Our house was built in 1980, complete with wall to wall (and ceiling) wood paneling.  We have only lived here since 2006 so we don’t know the exact history, but by the looks of it we believe a kitchen face-lift may have been done by some previous owners back in the early 90’s.  We talked with the woman that we purchased the house from and we know that she did not do anything to the kitchen, so it would have been at least two owners ago.

It’s by no means my “dream kitchen.”  I sometimes complain about it a little and my dad gave me some good perspective a little while back by saying, “If it turns out food this good, it can’t be all bad.”

100_9026It’s not all that bad, really.  I mean it works and totally gets the job done.  All the appliances work fine.  But it is far from perfect or visually appealing to us.  We replaced the dishwasher not long after moving in out of necessity and really just have not had the time or money to do anything else to it.

We dream of doing a major remodel to it some day that could include knocking out walls and dropping in a professional grade stainless steel dual fuel Viking range.  But that day is not today. 

100_9020What we’re able to do right now is going to cost us WAY more in sweat equity than actual dollars.  In fact, we’re hoping to get everything done that we want to do with our birthday money this year. 

Our list includes new lights, back splash, and paint on the cabinets, walls and ceiling.


Things that will go:

The wood panel ceiling and fluorescent lights.  The number one project and thing that has to go is these fluorescent lights and the accompanying wood paneling on the ceiling.  Nothing says 1980 like a wood paneled ceiling and fluorescent tube lights.  Taking out the paneling will lighten up the room quite a bit I think and in the process of taking out the lights, the ceiling will be raised just a little to open the space up just a little.


The backsplash.  It doesn’t bother me as much visually as it does my husband.  I think the hand painted herbs are kind of cute.  But he is dead-set against this tile.  So new backsplash will be going in.



The knobs on the cabinet doors.  I hate these brass ones.  They’re being replaced for sure with some kind of brushed stainless steel looking ones.


Things that have to stay:

The red granite counter top.  This counter top is not what I would pick if I were doing a kitchen from scratch, but it is just not feasible for us to drop the money on new granite right now.  Because it’s staying, many of our design and color choices have to be made with this red granite in mine. 


The floor.  As much as I’d love to chip up all that red-ish tile, it’s just not going to happen right now.  The tile covers not only the kitchen, but the eating area and the entire way down the hall to the garage.  That’s a lot of tile.  And a lot of expense in both money and time that we just cannot afford at this point.  We’ll have to save that project for another day.

100_9025The cabinets.  They are in pretty sad shape in places.  The drawers don’t slide well any more, there is this AWESOME decorative edge straight out of 1980 around some of the lower cabinets and there are some places where they are coming apart as evidenced in the picture.

We obviously can’t afford all new cabinetry.  So for now we will give them a new coat of paint (because boy are they chipped up pretty bad right now) and hopefully try to spruce them up and fix some of the major problems that they currently have.


So please forgive me if I’m not around very much over the next month or two.  If I’m not at work, I’m probably helping my hubby or keeping the kids out of his way.  And the kitchen will be fairly closed as far as cooking goes over the next several weeks.  I won’t be baking any bread for my Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge and this is also the reason that I mentioned I would not be officially doing my Cook’s Illustrated challenge this month.  I don’t know about you, but I prefer my food without sheetrock dust in it. 

I just realized that I didn’t show you any pictures of the hallway that started this whole mess.


Tell me that we’re not the only ones who get sucked in to this whole “can of worms” thing at the home improvement store.


ricecake said...

i'm looking forward to following along. we inherited a kitchen that at first seemed perfect for us but after living with it, we have a laundry list of changes. thanks so much for sharing and for your blog.

Susan said...

You're not alone Donna!

A few years ago, we determined to re-do the floor in our master bath and laundry room. We had been blessed by the gift of several boxes of ceramic tile (Freecycle), so we had plenty to do both rooms. My husband did do both floors (thanks Honey!), but then we ended up painting those two rooms, the hallway, the foyer and all the trim in the house. Yikes! My husband even put in new baseboards for me in a few rooms. We had no idea that a so-called simple flooring project would turn into all that. :)

But it was a wonderful change and we are glad now we did it!

We had re-done our kitchen/dining room/living area about 5 years ago and now the paint is peeling right off the wall in the dining room...I see a whole new can of worms opening in my near future! (wink)

Looking forward to seeing your kitchen transformed. :)

The G's said...

Before you replace the brass knobs, check this out.

Deirdre said...

you are SO not alone. We take the baby into home improvement stores with us because having her along means our trip is somewhat limited. Before we had Ginny we were a danger to ourselves and our pocket books EVERY time we entered the home improvement zone.