29 Jun Reno Before & After
Clearly my future does not lie in photo shoots for shelter magazines. While the colours look dull and some shots are too yellow, I assure you, in reality the rooms are actually quite bright despite the deep claret walls.
Looking back at the pre-reno kitchen I wonder how I functioned in it. To all those people who wrote to assure me that it would be worth it, know that you were right. Very-very-very right. So if I use a lot of exclamation marks in this post, I hope you will forgive me. The kitchen deserves them. I’ll return to normal punctuation tomorrow. Promise.
And without further ado, here are the before and after shots you requested!
The BEFORE shot was taken standing in the doorway between the dining room and kitchen. I was worried the claret colour from the dining room would be too dark if extended into the second room and had attempted a test patch. When I ran out of paint, the results looked more like a crime scene that a decorating experiment. How bad was it? I kid you not, it actually scared the cat.
The AFTER shot: We added crown molding to the ceiling and the cupboard tops. With the appliance garage gone, we extended the under cupboard lighting, tiled the back splash and replaced the counter top. After several years, my copper finished stand mixer has been rescued from my parents’ basement and now has a permanent home. I’m not sure who’s more please. It or me. So far it has been used twice to whip meringue for pies.
Fancy side-by-side shot for your viewing pleasure.
If you stood with your back to the counter shown above, you would see the sink area. Before we had an 18-inch sink with a 24-inch stove beside it. The vent above it was actually just a cheapo circulating fan that whipped grease around the house. How bad was it? I had to wash fat off the bathroom ceiling on an annual basis.
The AFTER SHOT: Crown molding, tiled back splash and new counter tops. We removed the cupboards from above the stove, moved in the refrigerator and adjusted the counter cupboards to hold the wider sink. You can’t tell from this photo, but this arrangement accommodates all three garbage categories our municipality requires we separate. No more hanging gargage bags from door knobs. If you lived here, you too would be disproportionately pleased with this feature.
Fancy side-by-side shot:
This BEFORE shot peeks into the dining room from the vantage point of the sink. The useless bulk head to the left of the dining room door gets removed along with the wall. With so many angles, no wonder the room was so boxy.
And this BEFORE shot shows the fridge with its accompanying 30-inch wide pantry. When we couldn’t incorporate the pantry into the new design, we moved it to the basement to house seldom-used items. See the cupboards above the fridge? They reappear later above the stove.
In the AFTER SHOT, the wall has been removed and an island divides the two areas. See the ugly Ikea racks on the left? That’s where the new 66-inch wide custom-made pantry cupboard is going to go. Kind of ruins the effect, but in the meantime, it’s practical and keeps me humble.
Fancy side-by-side shots!
If you stood in the living room, the BEFORE SHOT shows the dining room, looking into the kitchen.
As the wall comes down, the contractor is working where the stove will go.
The AFTER SHOT: The stove is finally installed. The cupboards that were once above the fridge have been reduced in depth and now hide the hood vent’s piping. Bonus points to Master Carpenter Frank (Love him!!! He gets 3 exclamation marks all on his own for being so accommodating and professional!!!) for having the vision to add shelves and extend the crown molding so the area wouldn’t look clunky.
Even fancier side-by-side photos. Three this time!
From the dining room, you can see into the bathroom. In the BEFORE version, the tub had no shower curtain, just a semi-clear liner. A wire rack with baskets held our toiletries while we performed our ablutions at a tiny pedestal sink that provided no storage and didn’t even have the decency to hide the copper pipes that fed its taps. The primed-but-not-painted walls set off the scratched and stained linoleum floor. Early hillbilly at its best.
In the AFTER SHOTS, the room is painted a soft biscuit colour. My grandmother’s handmade bureau has been converted to a spacious vanity that boasts a vessel sink and a funky retro faucet shaped like a water pump. This vanity houses all the towels, toiletries and first aid supplies. My mom made the linen shower curtain from drapes I’d bought for this very purpose more than — gasp– 10 years ago. Heated tile floors replaced the cold linoleum. Since we were changing everything, we replaced the toilet that constantly ran with a low-flow, right-height toilet with an easy-close lid. I now love this room and am pleased to report I no longer respond to guest’s requests to use the bathroom with, “Sure, but be sure to jiggle the handle!”
Another triple play side-by-side comparison set up.
Did I mention the island has a butcher block top? No? Well, it does! Here are some shots of the island/stove set up. I adore all the storage space it provides, but my favourite feature is the little open shelf at the end that holds my teapots and special serving plates.
Are you beginning to see why it took longer than expected? Beyond the changes we knew we’d make, there was a lot of custom cabinetry. Plus, we also …. refinished the wood floors in both the kitchen and the dining area, moved a lot of electrical outlets and switches, installed new ceilings, replaced the potentially dangerous pot lights and installed a reverse osmosis water system. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few items, but you get the point.
And when it all comes together, it looks like this:
Funny how knocking down a wall changes what people notice. See that big window? It’s 80-inches wide and almost 70-inches high. You’d think it’d be hard to miss. Yet since the renovation, two people have asked, “Was that window always there?” Yup. That’s one of the few features we didn’t even touch. It just got lost because the room was so small and crowded.
Now before you think I’ve gone all chi-chi on you, I admit, I decluttered a bit for the after shots. This is what our refrigerator front really looks like.
And as I was snapping the last shot, the glue holding the magnetic strip to the calendar’s back gave way.
Murphy’s back! My life returns to normal.