Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kitchen Before and After

I thought it might be fun to take a little tour of my house starting with the kitchen.
We bought this place 3 years ago and knew there had to be a few changes made.
The kitchen had just been redone so it was a hard decision to remove a perfectly good kitchen but you will soon see why we did it.

The cabinets the previous owners put in blocked the flow of the house. In order to get more counter space they blocked off a walk through to the dining room and turned it into an impractical pass through. We also wanted to put in hardwood floors on the entire main floor and I think it would have been far too much wood for my taste.

Heavy drapes in the kitchen - blah!!!

It's all not working for me.

The sunshine ceiling has got to go!

Do not fret - this kitchen and appliances did not go to the landfill. I took these photos, listed it on craigslist and had them sold and removed within four hours of turning the key. Yay!
And I actually got a fair bit for it all which helped pay for the new kitchen.

Here is what we did with our limited time (thirty days) and a limited budget.
(Sorry these aren't the best pictures but it is a super dark rainy day here so I'm using what I have.)

The sunshine ceiling has been removed and replaced with pot lights -
sadly the ceiling still needs to be painted to this day. (On my to-do list though.)
Removing the tile was no easy task, and the subfloor might have been even harder to remove but it was worth getting rid of to have the floors that we have now.
We put in this beautiful wide plank hand scraped oak flooring.
My brother sells wood flooring and was able to get us a good deal,
if not for him we would never have been able to splurge on this!
We had the cabinets installed to the ceiling which I think looks much better.
The appliances were replaced with stainless steel and we had gas brought in for the gas range.
An over the counter microwave was installed to help save counter space.

On the wall opposite the sink we designed it like a pantry wall, I had the wine rack and little shelf for cookbooks thrown in to break up the wall of cabinet doors and we went with a counter depth fridge so it would look like it was built in.

Beside the fridge I added a few pot drawers, which you can never really have enough of.
I used a butcher block counter above the pot drawers and had glass cabinet doors put above it.
This little niche almost serves as a little butlers pantry, I really like this little spot and I think it makes the kitchen a little different and I like not having everything too matchy-matchy.
Of course we opened up the walk way - having that walk way open again makes way more sense in my opinion.

A better shot of the butcher block counter and glass cabinet as well as the only picture with the backsplash tiles installed. The tiles are a matte finish, oversized subway tile in a light gray green which is a colour that I gravitate to.

The heavy drapes were removed and replaced with wide slat wooden blinds and I had a bench seat built along with the cabinets. The top of the bench flips up and hides all our playdough, colouring books, and other assorted kiddie craft stuff.

With limited time and a limited budget this kitchen is be no means top of the line.
We looked for deals where ever we could, I scoured Ebay for deals on hardware,
and we did what we could do ourselves.
When this reno was happening I had a two, five and seven year old and my husband was working fourteen hour days in the film industry. We had sold our previous home, put everything in storage but the minimum, and were living in a rental which we could not wait to get out of.
I had my hands full, I shed a few tears, but am still happy with how it turned out all things considered.

Last but not least we added a few little things to make it our own......

I'm still in need of art work above the bench seat - thinking about a chalkboard or perhaps subway art like the one Ashley at Lil Blue Boo made.


  1. I adore it. You are a whiz with kitchens, Catherine. Truly. The transformation is remarkable. What I love especially is that you've created an elegant space that also looks incredibly homey and livable. Oh, and I agree with you about the walkway. Wish I could see the whole job in person!

    xo Gigi

    P.S. What is it with those awful sunshine ceilings? Why do people do that? :)

  2. Auntie Cath! I cannot believe that I never saw those pictures of the 'before' kitchen! It's hideous, isn't it? So glad you changed it. Also, I have never even noticed the unpainted ceiling before, haha.

  3. The kitchen came out gorgeous.My french sack
    would go perfect with your kitchen.
    Have a great day.

  4. Wowsers!!! What a beautiful kitchen Catherine! It totally looks our last house we did a butcher block (laminate) counter over my desk area, and a granite-look counter on the rest. I like mixing it up a bit too.

    I would love to open up the wall between our dining room and kitchen, but it is a load bearing wall, and the expense is out of our budget at the moment. And I'm positively drooling over your floors. YUMMY!

  5. Catherine, this is an amazing, gorgeous makeover. Wow!
    LOVE the floors and all the unique cubbies, cabinetry and bench seat. It looks fresh, uncluttered, and family-friendly.
    KUDOS on a brilliant job!!!

  6. WOW! What an amazing transformation! The black accents and hardware are exquisite!
    Oh my. I have to go look again.

    You'd never knew it rained in BC with THAT kinda white kitchen. :)

    BTW.. you have my EXACT tap set. Isn't it wonderful? Now where did you find that wonderful black light?!?


  7. Ooohs and Ahhhs! I love it and the table is fabulous!

  8. Wow! You knocked my socks off with this transformation! Beautiful job...and I'm quite envious to view an updated kitchen. Mine is not. :(

  9. Wonderful kitchen! Perfect make-over...

  10. I just happened to stumble across your blog and I am SOOOO glad I did!! Your kitchen makeovers are AMAZING!! LOVE your style! ;)


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