Monday, January 16, 2017

Kitchen Renovation - Part 1

So remember back over a year ago now, before we moved, and I was super excited about our new house full of renovations and how great it would be to blog about all the excitement? Hahaha! Oh if only I knew then what I know now. Here's what I have learned: 1) renovations take over your life, 2) renovations depress you and don't inspire you to write, and 3) renovations take forever and you lose pictures and motivation to write. But since I know you all are very invested in the outcome of our house and really do care about how things are progressing, I thought I would finally take the time to sit down tonight and write a post about our kitchen renovation.

Once again, here is something that I have learned. When a renovation takes over 6 months, you take lots of pictures. And when you have over 70 pictures of kitchen progress to share, you kind of can't write only one post. So folks, here is part one of a who knows how many part series! Exciting right?

Now, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (are you singing yet?). Remember when we first moved in? Do you remember what the kitchen looked like? Here's a refresher.

Okay, so looking at those above pictures, it doesn't look so bad. But admit it, it doesn't look so great either. Kind of dated and dark and not enough wow factor. Or counter space. Or open space. Oh it really is amazing to look back at these pictures and compare it to how it looks today. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First thing we did to help out our kitchen is take down that wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. Dan handled it for us.

It opened things right up and let in so much more natural light. Woohoo! I'm all about the natural light.

We lived with our kitchen still in tact but surrounded by other renovations for quite a few months, something like 4-5 months to be exact. It worked and we were focusing on other things, like bathrooms and bedrooms.

But in May of 2016, we decided it was time to tear up the floor in the dining room and kitchen. And so we did. In super super hot weather too.

But to truly take up all the floor and lay new floor, we had to remove our lower cabinets. So out they came and up came the floor. All five layers of it!

Super fun that was. But once the floor was up, the 5,000,000,000,000,000 nails/staples were removed and the sub floor was screwed down to reduce squeaking, we were ready to lay new floor! Fortunately it went down fast and made everything look 100x better.

Isn't it gorgeous? Nothing looks quite as nice as a freshly laid floor.

Dan then super kindly installed my temporary sink and I set up a fun little washing dish washing station.

I thought it was cute and made for a great story, so I happily showed everyone. Little did I know how long this dish washing station would be a part of my life for...

Next step was removing the upper cabinets! And then tearing out the old back splash.

We were super excited for progress and were feeling good at how fast everything was going. But we were so so hot. We had no central air and it was a brutally hot summer. See faces below for proof.

Once the cabinets were out and the back splash removed, we brought in our new (to us) base cabinets to figure out what layout we wanted. It took some shuffling but we finally made it work.

We upgraded the cardboard to a plywood counter and we put the "kitchen sink" back in, to finish off our temporary set up. Our next steps were to be electrical, before we could patch the walls and paint. Except for remember how it was a crazy hot summer? Ya, that put a damper on our motivation and it also put a damper on getting an electrician in, since the attic was so hot. So my "temporary" kitchen ended up being my kitchen for 4+ months.

Yup, that above photo is what I lived with from June until October. So.many.months.

That's the thing about renovations, they always take longer than planned and life almost always gets in the way. Fortunately I did have a working sink, fridge, stove and counter, so I wasn't that put out. Having all the kitchen stuff in boxes spread around the house made things trickier, but I made do and it really wasn't that bad for the interim. It's when the dust started flying again that things got more complicated, but that is for another day.

I'm leaving you here, since this is what I was left with for months. I will try and get part 2 up soon, but until then, just keep scrolling through this post and be amazed at what we took on this year.


  1. So many months! But worth it, right?

    1. Yes, so so many months. But I think it was worth it, because my kitchen is so beautiful now. Not sure if I'd do it again though!

  2. holy long haul.... I CANNOT wait to see the final kitchen!!! =)

    1. Yup, total long haul. The finished kitchen is beautiful! Like seriously, so so nice.

  3. In spite of your concern that it's been slow, I think you're doing great! All that in less than a year! That's a fast renovation when you're doing parts of it yourself and working at the same time! And it looks like really good progress. We took on a 100 year-old house that needed work years ago, and renovated and built a big addition, with me learning the skills as we went. It took six years, so cheer up and enjoy the progress!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I know that in the terms of renovation time, we are getting through this all pretty quickly. I think I'm just impatient and don't cope well living in a mess. But the main floor is basically done now so that's good! The basement will be easier, since it's kind of out of the way.