Kitchen – Before

There is a project that went down this weekend, but before I show you, I wanted to do a kitchen tour so there was a Before and After situation. Without further ado, this is what our kitchen looked like when we moved in (oh, so empty and clean!) and what it looks like now (oh, such useful storage and surfaces!). Enjoy!

This might give you a little better idea of how the bathroom and the kitchen relate, since I’ve mentioned the rest of the bathroom renovation is going to wait until we do the kitchen, so everything looks good together. The other door leads to our backyard and porch. That transom is sadly covered up and painted shut, though we’d like to open that up, since we love using the other transom windows in our home. I am in love with that giant window, which gets tons of fantastic light in the evening (it is west-facing). You may be able to tell from this photo that our ceilings are extra-tall on the fit floor.

The only thing to say about this view is about the island. The kitchen had old cabinets when we moved in, which we’re likely not going to keep, though we maximize the space. The real problem is that there are NO drawers available anywhere. We moved this island down from the upstairs kitchen and it is just perfect for the space (and provides a drawer which we needed desperately). It originally had this terrible cracked butcher block material in it, but Tim picked up a cheap piece of counter scrap from the Habitat for Humanity Restore and replaced that bit. I could not be more in love with the kitchen island, it is amazingly functional. I do look forward to a nice one with fewer seams (and maybe something I could cut directly on), but for the time being, I do almost all of my prep here.

This was it on counter-space, so clearly the island was necessary, right? Also, some people love our old cabinets, and they’re fine for now (I do love that they’re white at least and brighten the kitchen), but they don’t close correctly, so that half of the kitchen always looks a bit ashambles.

We use the counter for additional storage, but there’s actually room for prep in front of all of those glass canisters. Also, in this shot you can see the open storage below the island. It’s not my favorite solution, though it is nice to grab things quickly. The shade on that window is still pretty transparent, so lots of light comes in, even when it’s down (which is necessary some evenings, as the sun comes directly into the kitchen in a blinding way sometimes).

Sink that I can’t wait to replace, fridge that is bigger than any apartment fridge we’ve had in Columbus (so, upgrade!) and a gas stove. The door behind the fridge leads to the stairway, but is a second entrance for…no particular reason. We’ll likely be getting rid of that when we redo the kitchen.

I love how this view now is simultaneously more cluttered and more homey. Kitchens are made to be used, yo. The little shelf above the stove is a great place to prop open cookbooks and provides easy access for cooking oils and a pepper grinder.

We’re constantly daydreaming about what to do with this stretch of wall between the doorway to the family room and the bathroom entrance. Honestly, our plans change monthly, but I would love to see a ridiculous amount of built-in storage here.

Currently, it houses more of our storage carts, plus a hook for my aprons, a shelf on which we put our laptop when we’re using it for recipes, and our vacuum and steam mop. That wall is less blank now, but more on that tomorrow!

And just because I’m always curious about things like this, here are our cabinets and countertop. We have mostly white dishes because they’re easier to pair with each other and bright linens. Tim bought our giant set (dinner plates, smaller plates, coffee cups, saucers, and shallow bowls) at a garage sale. We got the condiment dishes and the wide shallow bowls (which we use for TONS, but mostly salads) with wedding gift cards. All of our silverware is stored upright in plastic mugs because of the limited-drawer situation, but we kind of love the system now (it’s easy to pull out the mugs when serving a crowd).

This is the third spice organization system we’ve had. I love these tins, though, they’re very colorful, though sometimes the lids stick. Tim got them from World Market.

Glass canister storage for flours, sugar, quinoa and brown rice (things we use a LOT). Basket for various odds and ends. We have a Britta filter in the fridge, but these decanters of water sitting on the counter end up tasting just as good (and better than our tap water, which is still fine), without needing to remember to change a filter.

So that’s it! I love being nosey about people’s kitchens, and when people come over I usually throw the cabinet doors open to show off my husband’s awesome organization skills anyway (those glass canisters are ALL HIM). Even though we’ve done very little to it (replaced a light fixture, added a temporary light fixture over the sink, added a few wire shelves), it’s one of my favorite places in the house. Our last few kitchens were tiny so it’s lovely to have tons of space. We’ve got some Big Ideas for this, and I look forward to tackling it, but that’ll come towards the end of the house remodel!

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6 comments on “Kitchen – Before

  1. Doug and Marty Huss says:

    so – now I’m really curious about what the weekend project was…. looking forward to tomorrow’s update.

  2. 75yearplan says:

    Tim’s organization skills never stop amazing me.

    • Kate says:

      I know, I am a super-lucky lady. I would do a little of that, but not nearly to the extent that he does. I love that he appreciates the right container for things!

  3. […] admit that I sometimes chose dinner based on whether the oven would be needed, because it turns our kitchen into a lovely warm wonderland. Last week I made the sweet potato soup that calls for roasting the […]

  4. […] right away, and it involved garlic oil. Rather than reach for the bottle garlic oil we have in our well-organized cabinet, I opted to try and make my own garlic confit. That lovely jelly jar full of cooked garlic and […]

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