To show you my kitchen I have to show you it in stages. When we first saw the house, the kitchen wasn’t in very good shape. Don’t believe me?
This was the view from the old doorway. There was a soffit wasting valuable space, and very few cabinets.
Even this side wasted space. And the color, ugh!
Over here we had an old stove, no counter, and a space so small that a specially-sized fridge used to be here.
The sink wasn’t bad but the counters could use some work.
The cabinets left something to be desired both inside and out.
We started thinking about how to manage the kitchen and what to do with it. The room was closed off and down a little hallway, it wasn’t big enough to hold a fridge, and it needed a makeover. When we thought about it, there was an obvious solution.
The bathroom next door also had a problem. It was tiny. So tiny I could reach from my place in the bathtub in the photo above and touch the mirror without even leaning forward.
So tiny that the linen cabinet inside of it had a notch cut out of the door so it could open without hitting the bathtub or entrance door.
Not to mention that the bathtub could use some work
The tile wasn’t exactly my #1 choice
And don’t even get me started on the toilet or sink.
When it came down to it, it was a fairly easy choice to make. The kitchen was opening up. Unfortunately, that was the last time anything about the kitchen was easy. Tomorrow I’ll show you what a home renovation looks like.
Our dining room has been less of a dining room and more of a storage room for all of our renovation projects since we’ve started this whole crazy makeover. I can breathe a huge sigh of relief now that it’s all done, or at least mostly done. Here’s the room before so you can see where we started from.
You might remember this shot from the living room post. It’s a view into the dining room from the living room on the day we first toured the house. The junk is leftover after the house was abandoned.
This is the view from the dining room into the old hallway. The door you see in the back was to the bathroom and the chimes you see are from the doorbell. On the baseboard you’ll catch a glimpse of our air vent.
This is a view from that same hallway into the dining room. The door there lead to the original homeowner’s office/business and the curtains were not my first choice. Here’s a closeup of that light though:
Cool story about this light: my mother-in-law’s grandparents gave this light to the original homeowners (my MIL’s aunt and uncle) as a wedding gift. During our renovation we decided to swap the light for another so we cleaned this one up and gave it to her for Christmas. Now she has a lovely antique that’s been in her family for years and we don’t feel guilty for going more modern.
When my husband first moved in he had a new pathway cut to allow access to our new bathroom. One day I’ll get a floor plan up here to show how drastically we changed the layout. We had the path cut with an archway to mimic the arches found in the rest of our home. He also painted the walls a deep rose color that just ended up being too much color for such a small space.
We ended up replacing the windows and doors in the house and that required some new trim and some patching. We have plaster walls so they can crack from all the shifting so we patched that too. Do you spy the new baseboards too?
The view into the dining room from the living room
The old and the new archways. We’ve added some color to the doorbell, we’re testing a new air vent color, and the magnolia tree art is by my uncle.
The view from each of the archways back into the room. You can see the table makeover here. The wall color is Sharkey Gray by Martha Stewart for Home Depot. I used the Glidden paint they were already phasing in and I have to say the coverage was incredible. The light was from Lowes, the curtain rod and curtains are from Ikea and so is the hutch. Here is a closer view:
The hutch is actually the Edland linen cabinet from Ikea.
Here’s the view from the office back into the living room. You can see how many rooms lead into the dining room and why we wanted a light color to open the place up. The room is so bright that we added the tangier rug from the Martha Stewart collection at Home Decorators Collection to soften the place up. If you’ve never bought from them they offer coupons and discounts quite regularly and they’re affiliated with Home Depot. They even have a store based in St. Louis (and Atlanta) if you’re local.
To Do List
We’re mostly done but we still have a few more steps to make this room complete.
- Finish painting the air vent since it’s supposed to warm enough to have the heat off this weekend
- Paint the new door (it’s only primed right now)
- Decorate above the hope chest. I’m thinking shelves, art, or maybe a mirror.
- Refinish the hope chest. It has sustained some damage along the way so it’ll need some work and if it wants to stay in this room it needs to fit the look of the room.
- Add some color. We just need some warmth and more accessories so it doesn’t look so stark.
- Wash and hem curtains
- Order blinds
- Repaint ceiling. I’m waiting until all 3 rooms that open into each other are finished before I paint.
I’ve started moving up from craft projects to DIY projects. My husband is a bit of a This Old House addict so we’re never short on tools in our house. I first started “borrowing” some of his tools but recently I’ve made some purchases of my own. Here are some of my top gift ideas for that home renovation junkie or HGTV fan.
DEWALT D26441K 1/4-Sheet Pad Sander
I used my last sander so much that it died in front of me. My new Dewalt sander hasn’t seen the same fate. I use it to sand out the uneven walls in my house, decorative projects, and even when I refinished a table. If you plan on refinishing furniture this is a must-have tool.
Martha Stewart Crafts Dual Temperature Glue Gun
How did people live before glue guns? I’m sure you can see the many fine points of a glue gun but I’ve used mine on fixing up furniture, household items, decorating for parties, or even on my wedding invitations. This one is dual-temp so you can use it on wood or metal or even something delicate like silk flowers.
Great Neck Saw 128 Pieces Tool Set
Know someone just starting out? This is the perfect kit for a new homeowner or someone who is looking to start their first home project. If you know someone looking to build up a tool supply, this kit is perfect. Among its many items are a glue gun, a staple gun, an adjustable wrench, 4 screwdrivers, clamps, and even picture hanging accessories.
9 Amp 7-1/4 in. Mitre Saw
Having a mitre saw has changed our house. If you plan on doing trim work or even designing your own frame then a mitre saw is incredibly useful. Prices have dropped in recent years and this one is on sale for the holidays so if you know someone looking to add finishing touches to their home this is a perfect gift idea.
Martha Stewart Living Tester Sampler Interior Latex Paint, 14 Pack
Know someone whose more of the painting type? I’m a recent convert to the Martha Stewart paint line at Home Depot. I’ve painted my kitchen with her cornbread shade and I’ve got 2 more of her colors selected for future projects. I think anyone looking to paint their walls or even their furniture will like these samples to give them a good starting color.
In 2006 my husband bought a house. It used to be his great-aunt’s house and she built it with her husband in the early 1940s. Her husband died in the late 1960s and she relied on family to help her keep up with the house but eventually her health failed and she needed to move into a nursing home.
That’s where my husband comes in. The family was looking to liquidate her estate quickly and my husband got the house for a low low price, knowing it needed tons of work. I joined in on some projects and in 2007 we got married and the house became our baby.Since then we’ve done some crazy renovations (brand new kitchen), some major maintenance (refinish floors, new roof, windows, doors), and some in between projects that basically made a room livable for the moment. One of those rooms is the living room.
Above are some shots of the living room on the day we were first given a chance to tour it, circa January 2006. It’s a bit trashed as the family was in the process of moving out all the valuables and they sort of decided leaving a trash-filled house was a great housewarming gift. I don’t even know. My husband was taking measurements of the wall in the first shot. In the second shot you can see into the dining room and also see some places where cracks had been repaired. I remember really liking this room for its fireplace and hardwood floors.
In these shots it’s Spring 2006 and my husband was now the home’s owner. We set to work painting the living room a green shade called Gold Infusion. You can see all the original trim and windows here and even the original door. The front door ended up having to be replaced due to a burglary and the fact that it had no insulation. Our new door works great though and will hopefully keep the burglars out as well as that old front door did (which it did, they had to try another door) so it wasn’t a total loss.
If this room looks like a work-in-progress, that’s because it is. We plan to do some major makeovers this winter before planting season (when we’ll switch to the outdoors) so I wanted to give you a rough and dirty look at our current living room. To give you an idea of what we’re planning, here’s my pinterest page for the room.
To Do List
- Finish baseboard trim in the entire room
- Trim out the windows
- Trim out the fireplace and build a new fireplace mantel
- Paint all the trim
- Repaint walls
- Repaint ceiling (the whole house needs it but we’re waiting till this room is done so it all flows nicely)
- Buy new bamboo shades and hang
- Install our new curtains from Ikea
- Rearrange furniture
- Rearrange wall art
- Put in some sort of shelving on arch wall
- Work on entry station
- Buy new lights
- Replace all wall switches and outlets with new color
- Redo vent covers in the room
- Get an end table (depends on room rearrangement)
- Buy accessories to complete room
- Create a dramatic mantel display
- Figure out what to do with random chair in room (relocate, reupholster?)
So if you’re up for a fun time, stick around and watch our room begin to transform itself. I’ll be posting some other rooms soon. You might notice in the current living room photos that we’re patching in the dining room and there’s a new interior door. The dining room makeover is already underway and the kitchen makeover is nearly done. I’ll be showing them off soon enough so stick around.