Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kitchen: Kitschy to Modern

Hi Knitters,
Here is my old kitchen. I wish I had an even older photo because this version is after my do-it-yourself remodel about 8 years ago. Our house was built in the late 1970's. The really old kitchen had dark brown wood cupboards. I painted all of the cupboards inside and out in white. I knocked out the inside panel on the upper cupboards and had glass put in. Over the stove there was a vent and more cupboards that we removed to open it up. There was a dropped plexi-glass ceiling that had florescent lights, big tubes of lights. Why? It was awful. We ripped all of that out. A good friend of ours did all of the electrical wiring and added new canned lights for us. No more florescent lighting.

The back splash was so fun. I collected tiles and mugs and silly stuff and created a funky mosaic back splash. It was so funny and fun. The kids even painted tiles that we broke up and added to the mosaic. I had shelves and 2 big chalkboards and a filing system that hung on one wall with a cubby for each child. It was a funny little kitschy kitchen and we used it hard for years.

I spent about 4 months remodeling the original kitchen into the updated version above. I did everything myself. I walked around in paint stained clothes and hair for months.

The problem was that with four children, three of which are big adult-size now, we simply could not fit in our kitchen comfortably. Entertaining for a sit-down meal was out of the question. Even adding a couple more people left us without enough places to eat. We had a large farm table and benches to sit on. You had to shuffle sideways to slide into your seat and once everyone sat down you could forget about getting up again. It was tough and uncomfortable.

It was time for drastic action! The wall with the double oven was knocked out completely and the kitchen was gutted and every inch was reworked. We also added a sliding glass door and a deck onto the back of the house. We added all new windows which really brightened up the room.

We started last June and the new stone back splash was installed and grouted last week. Now you can look at the entire process! It was painful to say the least but we are in love with our new kitchen.
Funny little mosaic strip left all alone on the wall. No more handmade kitchen for us. We loved it but it was time to move on.
Ugh.
Yikes.
Love the old linoleum you find under other flooring!
There is the new doorway to the deck. This adds so much light to the room.
Filmy Green from Sherwin Williams, the best color ever! I have had three people I know paint this same shade in their homes since it went up on my walls. It's beautiful.
Hard wood floors are the best.
Excitement ran high as the new cupboards arrived. It was like a giant puzzle.
The lighting is simple and beautiful. No counter tops yet.
Taking shape.
I LOVE the stone back splash with the gray grout and how it goes with our counter tops and wall color. It is heaven on earth. The Ming Green tile is from TileArt, a Madison tile shop on Monroe Street. The counter tops look like concrete, all speckled gray and fun.
Joy! The back splash is so sleek and cool. I can't believe it is in my house. I go crazy over stuff like this. I like it so much.
The sink was filled with cookie sheets, maybe I'll take another photo when it is clean and empty. The sink is one huge deep basin, no divider in the middle. I am in love with my huge sink and the faucet is so cool. It has the nozzle that pulls out and can be used like a sprayer. It is such a joy.
There is so much seating now. We have storage drawers built into this big bench that is under one of the windows. All of the cabinets are birch wood. To have storage is a new thing to me.
We have two islands. One is a breakfast bar with seating for four. The other island holds our stove. This is the first time I have ever had a gas stove. That is a treat.
We can all fit around our table comfortably now. I can't tell you what a difference the new kitchen has made in our lives. We love everything about it.
I am a baker. I love making cookies and now I have 3 racks in each oven. These are convection ovens and boy do they work fast. I have had to happily adjust to speedy oven time. Now I can bake an entire batch of cookies at once. That's a thrill.
When I have been out on the road so many knitters have asked me about the kitchen. I was waiting for the last bit to be finished up before I posted on the project again. I haven't even hung any artwork back on the walls yet. I am enjoying the clean freshness of it all, I guess. I will get to hanging some things on the walls again soon.

This is the first time in my life I have ever had something new that we created from scratch. I am so appreciative of it all. I am used to always making do and now I don't have to so much.
From my kitchen to yours, happy holidays!

Much love and good wishes to all of you, sweet friends.
best, susie
p.s. The cookies are my mom's ginger snap recipe with chocolate Kisses plopped on top. Yum. They were gone in a flash. Not kidding.

32 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful!

~yolanda said...

What a lovely kitchen! Enjoy!

~ Dawn Sparks ~ said...

Very nice!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful kitchen. Thanks for sharing the photos. You sound like you are very pleased with the results.

Laura

Allegra said...

wow. gorgeous and such a wonderful space. enjoy your first christmas in your new kitchen!
(i want a cookie!)

Betz White said...

Gorgeous! What a treat to see since I lived with virtually the same "before" kitchen when I lived in WI. I always fantasized about tearing out that wall to the dining room and adding a door there to the deck! I'm so glad you did it, it's fabulous!

Kekumukula said...

It's shaping up well, Susan! Looks fantastic. You would laugh at my apt. kitchen - from the Brady Bunch era. I love those cookies. My mom would make them all the time when I was in elementary school.

Ginny said...

It looks amazing!! Straight out of a magazine. Thanks for sharing! :)

Linda said...

What a beautiful kitchen!

Anna said...

Wow, wow, wow! Gorgeous kitchen! Color me jealous!

Kar said...

It was worth the wait Susan! Beautiful everything! To have all that space would be nice. Enjoy every minute of it!

xxxx

christine m. east of toronto said...

well susan, that is ONE AWESOME SWEEEEEEEEET kitchen! enjoy it! :)

Ann Hiltner said...

What great space to be a family! Congrats, you made beautiful selections.

Laura said...

It is absolutely gorgeous!! May I confess that I was sorry to see the mosaic back splash go? I suppose all good things must come to an end. :)

Enjoy your beautiful kitchen!! The cookies look de-lish! :)

TAMI said...

Well, that is quite an impressive transformation!! And you must be SUPER organized to have found all those photos for this post!!

Sandee said...

Cookie Recipe? Please?

MaryLou said...

Beautiful kitchen, with lovely soothing colors. It looks like a joy to work in. There's no better investment in a home, it makes every day so much more enjoyable.

Have a very happy holiday!

Sara in WI said...

Thank you for sharing your new kitchen! Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

The Blake's said...

Oh my goodness, it is exquisite - enjoy Christmas baking in your beautiful new kitchen Susan. And thanks for sharing the journey with us.

Christina said...

What a gorgeous new kitchen! My family recently did a few adjustments on our home, kitchen remodeling included.
Enjoy it, and Merry Christmas!!!

Lucy said...

I love both your old and new kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

Have a great Christmas! And I'm really looking forward to your 4th and 5th book, please keep us posted on their progress.

Linda Gilbert said...

Wow!! What a dream kitchen. You must be thrilled

Miss Julep said...

LOVELY!! I want to be YOU!:) Merry Christmas to you & yours!!

Jeannie D said...

At long last! The Dream Kitchen becomes a reality! We had our 2 car garage remodeled into a "Mid Century Modern" game room for my son and his gang of friends. I know the wonderful feeling of building from scratch. Congratulations and ENJOY!

PS Just had a cup of tea that would have gone nicely with those cookies! ;-)

adventure knitter said...

wow! talk about making me kitchen jealous! what a gorgeous kitchen!! we gutted our kitchen when we bought our house 2 yrs ago (we're talking it had the ORIGINAL 1950's metal cabinets in it....yuck). I like my kitchen, but it sure is small....I can't wait until I hit a point in life when we live in a bigger house and I can have a grand kitchen like that!

Kim said...

Congratulations! A dream kitchen for Christmas.

Amybel said...

OK, love the filmy green! Any chance you would share the cookie recipe with us???

youcandoit said...

Thrilled for you! It is just gorgeous. Not surprised you needed a bigger kitchen being the heart of the home and yours (heart) is so big. Baking a whole batch of cookies at one time...magical. Congratulations on your son's accpetance to your almamater. My niece (hub's side from Kirkwood, MO) goes to UW-M. I'd love to come for a visit and see your charming town. It is warming to have things going in a wonderfully happy stride. You've been working hard. Merry, merry Christmas my cyber knitting friend. Thank you for the joy you've placed on my needles this past year through your knits. Can't wait to see what lies ahead.

snoodlebugg said...

Gorgeous! Would you be willing to share the color shade of your wall color? I love that beautiful tile.

The cookies look delicious! What a great idea to top them with a Hershey's Kiss. My son is highly allergic to nuts, and I've been looking for an alternative to peanut blossoms. I would never have thought to do a ginger cookie dough instead.

Bev said...

It's beautiful - good for you!

Maegwin said...

I love the new kitchen! My husband and I have been talking about remodeling ours and adding in an island with a sink & range. I also really love the double ovens. Thanks for posting, it's great to see some of these ideas in real life. Congratulations on the new space. Enjoy cooking again!

Jaime said...

I am filmy green with jealousy! A convection oven?!?! OMG, Susie, you are my hero. Thanks so much for sharing this! Now I can just see you baking away in your gorgeous kitchen! You deserve it! xxx