We’re still living in what I call “phase 1” of our kitchen redo. Phase 1 started, and was mostly completed, soon after we moved in but some recent finishing touches have made it as good as it’s gonna get until we move on to bigger (probably not major…though I’m taking suggestions!) changes in the future.The kitchen was pretty decent when we took ownership of the house so we opted to do a lot of surface updates to visually streamline the space instead of major renovations. We installed maple floors, removed wallpaper, removed some decorative trim, painted all cabinetry and walls, painted the pocket door bright yellow, swapped lights, put in a new range hood and faucet, and added new hardware on doors and drawers. Just those semi-easy, semi-cheap changes made a huge difference. We kept the existing appliances and sink (all beige whomp whomp, except adorable original black oven!) and the grayish tile counter (which isn’t my favorite because GROUT but isn’t awful either).
BTW, all sources at the end :)
Our ugly, old beige dishwasher finally gave out a few months ago and I was ecstatic to get a clean-looking white replacement. We were really close to buying this Kitchen Aid, when we remembered Sears and bought this model from Kenmore instead…both made by Whirlpool, just sold under different brands. They are nearly identical inside but the Kenmore has the plainer exterior look that I was searching for. And it was majorly on sale for Memorial Day. I am so so happy with it (proof of middle agedness)! Bonus, it fits like 50% more than our previous dishwasher so there has been a 50% reduction of dirty dishes covering what little counter space we have. Hooray!
Also, we finally finished all the trim work, thus officially concluding phase 1…a mere 5 years after we started. Ha…
(Isn’t this the cutest 60’s looking toaster? Our old one crapped out a few months ago and when I went to buy a new one, this sweetness was waiting for me!)
Behind the pocket door is our laundry room (which has seen some recent action too), a small walk in pantry, and garage access. I LOVE the convenience of having the laundry room located right here in the work zone, but am grateful for the option to close the door on that clutter sometimes!The other side of the room has an eat-in-kitchen space, an original built-in desk area, and an old fridge covered with artwork and pictures to hide all the beige. I love having a table in the kitchen with kids and this vintage one that we’ve had since we got married is still indestructibly holding strong. Chairs are cheap knock offs that I’m completely ok with my children wiping meals all over. The desk, across from the table, is an original adorable and funky feature that actually gets a lot of use. We store art and homeschool supplies here as well as the day-to-day household office type stuff: mail, bills, stationary items, phone book, junk drawer, etc. I try to keep it clean since it is the first thing you see when you walk in the door, but it often serves as our cluttered drop zone. That hole in the wall is a pass-thru to the dining room.
All in all, not a bad refresh. I’m so thankful we didn’t need to dump in more time, energy and budget into this hard working space to get it to an enjoyable place while we wait to spend a little more on new appliances and countertops. Here’s where we started and how far we’ve come. Way less beige, way more crisp… The plan is to continue with a bright white kitchen for “phase 2.” Mostly because it lets my unavoidable hoard of colorful vintage dishware and cookware shine. I’d love beautiful, moody walnut kitchens but really think the bright, light vibe we have now is the right move for this house.
Future changes include white solid surface counters, some kind of colorful backsplash tile (why don’t these come in chartreuse – heartbroken), a new sink (white or stainless, undecided), a new white fridge, and a new cooktop. We’ve considered building new cabinetry but honestly are pretty happy with the existing layout, and since we would probably go white again, the cost and hassle don’t seem worth it.
The only thing we might change with the layout is adding a few feet of counter space by moving the wall oven to lowers. But it’s such a cute detail and I’m not sure how much moving it would even improve our day-to-day. I love having an eat in kitchen (maybe one day we’ll make it a built-in banquette like this gorgeous one!) and I love the charm of that weird original desk so I wouldn’t want to mess with those spaces.
We sometimes think about opening up the oven/cooktop wall partially to the den, but I’m not sure what we’d gain other than backyard views and the den then becomes even more confusing of a space. Living through a full kitchen remodel in our first house where walls were torn down and my husband custom made all our cabinetry was brutal, and is a project I’m not looking to undertake again if the improvements aren’t massive. What would you do if this was your kitchen??!!
pocket door yellow – Behr Lemon Lime
walls and cabinetry – Behr Ultra Bright White (more info about painting them here)
cabinet pulls similar
lights -discontinued Jonathan Adler for JCP
vent – Broan similar
canisters – vintage
fruit bowl -discontinued Jonathan Adler
hanging mugs – vintage Franciscan Starburst
yellow pot – vintage Dansk (similar)
table – vintage
desk stool similar
Thanks so much for stopping by!!! xoxo Jenny