Friday, April 3, 2009

Remodeling the Kitchen - Part 1

When we purchased our current house we knew it would need some work. Out of all the rooms in our 110 year old house, the kitchen and adjoining breakfast nook floors had the most pronounced incline from foundation settling, so we chose to start our renovation efforts with these two rooms.

On the left you can see three photos of the kitchen as it was when we first moved in. We quickly assembled a (mental) list of pros and cons for the kitchen.

-We like the old wood paneling. The panels are a full 3/4" thick which is about twice the thickness of wood paneling you can buy from the big box home improvement stores today. The knotty pine also adds to the house's country charm.

-The fireplace and mantel are great additions to this kitchen's turn-of-the-century country atmosphere. Although the fireplace does not work, it serves as a great focal point for the room.

-The built-in shelf and cabinet in the NE corner of the room (adjacent to the fireplace).

-The space, the kitchen is roughly 250 sq. ft. which, although not huge, is ample space for our hard working kitchen.

Despite the cheery pros, there were some major cons that desperately needed to be addressed.


-The floor angles from the high point along the outside wall down about 5" towards the center of the house.

-The dark green vinyl floor absolutely had to go!

-The base cabinets were under standard height to accommodate a previous owner who was in a wheelchair. This made it very awkward to work at the counter top and was literally a pain in the back. The cabinet drawers were also shoddily made and the layout and flow led to vast areas of unusable cabinet space.

-There did not seem like a great place to put the refrigerator. It looked as if previous owners in April of '56 (I found a signed board leading me to that date) extended the wall about a foot to make a place for the frig. This made a great work triangle between the frig, oven, and sink, but it also made the room feel a lot smaller and visually separated the breakfast nook from the kitchen.

With those thoughts floating around in our heads we came up with some ideas to address the worst offending issues. In short order I had made some conceptual drawings illustrating our most popular ideas for renovation.

In our next installment we'll explore the plans we came up with and start demolition!

1 comment:

Lawrence said...

I could tell that the kitchen really needs a facelift. It's a bit saddening to finally let go of the original layout from decades ago but it's also a wise decision to solve the problematic issues.

My own kitchen is also in the middle of a huge remodeling (MN-area pros are currently working on the floor and walls).

I wonder how did your remodeling go, DIYer.