So, as I mentioned yesterday last Wednesday, our kitchen is in no way done but it is “done” for awhile. My in-laws came a couple of weeks ago, and generously lent us their time and hands for painting. We ended up painting the walls and all of the trim aside from the sliding door hardware. We also painted the exterior of the island. We are eventually going to paint all the island cabinets gray, replace the appliances, replace the hardware, raise the cabinets to the ceiling, build some additional under cabinet shelving, and get some barstools for the bar. Oh, and finish painting the trim in the eating area (when we can keep the doors open for extended periods of time–when we painted it was only 30 degrees!) But for right now, everything is more than functional! And I love how big and open it all is. All of those upgrades costs $$$, so we will do what we can for now and take it slow. I know, nothing dramatic, but it’s real life. We figure we will be in this house for a long time so chipping away at one project at a time is what is realistic for us (and most homeowners.)
Some background: our kitchen opens up onto the eating area which is essentially a sunroom (it has sliding doors on three sides) and we love it, the back hall/ entrance to the garage, and then the living room. I love how open it is, and it is easy to keep an eye on B while I am preparing dinner (although she is usually literally underfoot.) The island is pictured above. It has an area for barstools eventually, but the stove range pops out of the granite (it was added by the rehabbers when they took out the cabinets with an integrated range hood.) Unfortunately, it is not very practical or effective so we plan to replace it down the line (and fill in that slice of granite they took out ;(
You can see here, the family room off to the right, the front hall to the left through the doors.
This is a shot of the cabinets and oven (picture taken while facing the living room). The cabinet to the left of the oven is right next to the dishwasher. We found ourselves doing all of our prep over next to the stove and having to walk across the kitchen to throw out garbage. So E took out this cabinet and built an integrated garbage and recycling drawer. Reveal pics to come!
The rehabbers who owned the property before us and bought it out of foreclosure took down the cabinets that were over the island thankfully which really opened it up. Eventually, we would like to remove the soffit and install a range hood (the one the rehabbers installed is horribly ineffective as I explained above because it is too far from the original stovetop.) We usually end up opening up all of the doors in the house whenever we sear meat which isn’t so fun when it is below freezing!
The most pressing issue in the kitchen wasn’t cabinetry but lighting. When we first moved in, the lights were so dim! They had 40-60W incandescents in all of the overheads and with the room in the shade most of the day it was depressingly dark. My generous in-laws gave us a house warming gift of replacing all of them with LEDs (these ones specifically from Amazon.) It was something that needed to be done but we couldn’t afford to do at this time. And it has made SUCH a difference! I am no longer preparing things in the dark! And I swear it contributed to my depression during the first part of the fall and winter. Morning sickness didn’t help either… We still need to replace a lot of the lighting in the house (I swear all of them are flush-mounted oil-rubbed bronze with tan covers which sheds such little light.)
We sat down to dinner a couple of weeks ago with my parents, and my mom politely asked if we could turn on the lights in the eating area, to which I laughingly responded: “They are on!” And unfortunately are at max wattage!” It has become a running joke. So replacing the fan/ overhead light in the eating area is an imminent project.
Also, eventually, I would love to add some pendant lamps over the island (after we remove the soffit). This is one of those projects that is also an EVENTUALLY project. No need right now. These David Hicks have always been a favorite (but way out of the price range!), but this Ikea DIY is so affordable!
I tend to think I would have more luck convincing E of doing something like these though, or these:
Or something much more classic…