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.
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.