Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our mini kitchen makeover....

The makeover is mini but, then again, so is our kitchen! (I'll give you the "grand tour" in a bit)... After the "tour" be sure to visit Susan's Metamorphosis Monday where you'll see how she transformed her dining room walls (teaser - her dining room is soooooooo elegant!); not only that, there's also a list of bloggers who are all sharing makeover or "before and after" projects! Okay, on to our little kitchen...


Here are Before (mid-80's) and After (2009) photos, both taken from the same vantage point.

All that remains of my 80's kitchen are the tan tiled backsplash, faux butcherblock counters, and stainless sink. I'd love to put up beadboard as a backslplash and get a white sink at some point; but I have to admit that the countertops (that I used to hate!) have grown on me over the years and I quite like them now...

We replaced the floor with inexpensive stick down tiles a couple of years ago, and the original almond appliances were replaced (as needed) with newer bisque-colored appliances. The old dark brown cabinets & hardware were treated to a coat (actually many coats) of creamy white paint about 4 years ago...

And last year, I made fabric panels for the cupboard doors over the sink... Little by litttle, it's coming together...


I've often said that some man with serious mother issues (i.e. he hated women) designed this kitchen... What it doesn't have: not one single window (for view or light) and no elbow room whatsoever... What it does have: tons of "dead" space in the backs of the top and bottom corner cabinets (which are not the lazy susan variety). I now store my pots and pans on a small shelving unit behind the family room sofa (seen in above photo) because everything kept getting pushed into the dead space way back in the corner cabinet next to the dishwasher, making things impossible to find unless you were on hands and knees with a flashlight..

So now I just keep my griddle, roasting pans, and a big Texas sized frying pan in the cabinet... I'd love to have a pot & pan rack, but there's no ceiling space to hang one from that wouldn't involve a cabinet door opening into it or people banging their heads on the hanging pots and pans!! In all seriousness though, I realize how blessed we are to have what we do... So all this complaining is superficial (to a point! ha ha)


Okay, so on to the grand tour... As you are coming through the dining area (there is no formal dining room), you have the kitchen off to the left, with the step-down family room straight ahead...

On the left, we're passing our little 'recycling center,' which is butted up against the fridge.... Coming into view is our stove. We replaced the old hood/fan with a microwave/fan a few years ago in order to free up counter space (which we are sorely lacking)...


Take a step into the kitchen and you'll see the dishwasher and sink area.

Okay, I know I just told you we have very little counter space, but I still found the need to set up a little "50's vignette" with some parakeets and a vintatge cat planter to give a little oomph to that corner....


.... because I've been so inspired by the many little lamps and vignettes on kitchen counters in blogland that I had to take a little chunk of counterspace and try one of my own!


Turn slightly to the left and -whoops - there's the fridge already!


Turn your head a tad more to the left and you'll see the side of the recycling center that I said was butted up against the side of the fridge. The toaster and blender are over on the counter behind the fridge. Wow, that was quick!! The tour is over almost before it began!!


To add some natural light to the kitchen, we removed the original light fixture and in its place installed a sun pipe (like a skylight except it's a highly reflective tube that fits between attic rafters and evenly diffuses the light throughout the room). We then installed track lighting over the work areas.
So there you have it... You can see the entire kitchen in this photo, and if you stand in the center of the room you can touch everything you need to (which makes it a breeze if you're the only one in there trying to cook, but just try adding one or two more people - ha ha! - my family says that's the reason they don't ever offer to help me cook!)... The floor tiles are 12" square, so you can easily do the math and see how tiny my kitchen really is!

The one change that made the biggest difference was painting the cabinets creamy white. Why I didn't do that until four years ago is beyond me. It at least made the room seem bigger, even if it didn't add any real square footage...


So if there ever is another house in my future, Dear God, I promise I won't ask for much... I don't need a stainless steel kitchen or granite countertops or a nice big island... I don't need top appliances or fancy floors... But do you think I could have a window so I can watch all the birds and Chips and Sammies you send my way? I would so love that!!!!

Donna

28 comments:

Joanne Kennedy said...

Well you may have a small kitchen but you sure have a lot of love going on in there while you cook! You have made some mighty fine dishes in there!

Hugs,
Joanne

Änglahem said...

Hrmmm....I will never ever complain over my small kitchen again! Your´s smaller....much smaller! Think my kitchen feels quite roomy after seeing yours*tihi*.

But I must say, You´ve done a wonderful job with what you have! White paint can do ALL the difference! Makes it feel so much brighter and happier!

I even saw a little Pete in there too*hihi*, he´s everywhere that litte guy!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs, Ulrika

Cottage Lifestyle said...

I think you have down a fabulous job. I love your use of baskets.

Renee

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

It may not be huge Donna, but your kitchen is sure cute, bright and cheery. The painted cabinets really look wonderful.

My kitchen is pretty small too and it is basically in the center of the house so I don't have an outside view either. Overall though, I like my kitchen. Most of it is fairly functional. My dream kitchen wouldn't be huge, or have stainless steel (yuck-much too industrial looking for a cottage kitchen, IMHO. And I wouldn't even care about having granite. Instead, I wish I had a small walk-in pantry space and a cute little island...not like an extension of the cabinets but one that looks like a piece of furniture that has been repurposed. ::big wistful sigh::

Joyce said...

Nice redo and yes I pray that your wish comes true for another house with a kitchen window.
Joyce

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Lovin' your kitchen.. it's fresh and clean and more than sufficient. The white cabinets really make a difference!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Lisa said...

Oh MY! Over your sink is fabulous! I also love your storage baskets on the shelf! What a great kitchen!
Happy Pink Saturday!
Hugs, Lisa

Lisa said...

Your kitchen looks great! In my small kitchen, the view from the window is a neighbor's backyard. Watching their kids jump off a shed onto a trampoline, is not my idea of fun. See, don't you feel better, now?

Brenda said...

Painting the cabinets made a WORLD of difference. It lightened up the space considerably. I'm like you, no window. So I'm glad I have the light cabinets and appliances. I also have the bisque-color like you. I have no desire for the stainless steel. Seems awfully sterile to me. I love your house.
Brenda

Hidden Springs Farm said...

Hey, I think we have the same fridge! I absolutely LOVE what you have done - you made the kitchen look SO spacious with paint and imagination. And, although you don't have a window, I think my favorite part are the beautiful fabric on the cupboard doors above the sink area! It makes me "feel" as if there is a window ... I am so impressed! Great job!

Janelle said...

Our last kitchen was in a rental condo, no windows, and it was like a PIT. I never wanted to go in there, LOL. I have a nice window over the sink now in this house, and what a difference it makes.

But you have worked wonders in your kitchen! I'm sure having the white cabinetry brings in a little more light than all those dark cabinets did. And the butcher block really looks wonderful against the white now.

We have dark oak cabinets in this house now--not as dark as yours, but pretty dark--and I am trying to psych myself up to paint them. I love seeing examples of what a difference it makes!

Allidink said...

Aw you've done great things with your kitchen! I really like the white it does make it seem bigger. I like the fabric on the cabinets! Pretty!

All the best,
Allison

TattingChic said...

You've done a lovely job making it all work! I have a tiny kitchen with lot's of dead space, too! So frustrating!

Tea and Margaritas in My Garden said...

Lovely!

Jean Tuthill said...

Your kitchen is small but bright and cheery! I like how you used the white on the cabinets to brighten them and the fabric in the cabinet doors over the sink. The good thing is, you don't have to walk far to get to the appliances. I bet the food is good anyway.

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Your kitchen is so light, bright, and airy with the white transformation from dark! Very nice! ~Rhonda :)

abeachcottage said...

it never ceases to amaze me what painting cabinets white does, I love it, a great transformation

oh and I think mine is smaller, but I love to work in a small kitchen, can't stand having to walk around...

happy met monday

Sarah

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

That looks amazing! I'm so impressed with what you've done.

Linda said...

You surely have made the most of a dark, small space. It is cheery, light, and you thought of so many perfect touches - well done! Linda

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

You sure did wonders with that little kitchen! I do love the creamy white cupboards. Wish I could do that here but the landlord won't let me.

You have your space an amazing transformation!

Kady

Shelia said...

Your kitchen may be small, but you've filled it with plenty of charm! I love your white painted cabinets. I have a very small kitchen do and do the best I can with it!
Thanks for sharing!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

bee'nme said...

Hi Donna!

Wow - you certainly made the most of your small kitchen - it is absolutely precious! White cabinets are a must for small kitchens,IMO, particularly ones with such a dark stain for starters. White really transformed it! I LOVE your fabric gathered in the two cabinets above the sink - such a sweet, cozy look! Wonderful transformation!!

Have a great week!

Hugs & Blessings,
Becky S. at Just Bee 'n Me

Barb said...

Your little vignette in the corner, and your fabric panel doors are wonderful.

blessings and thanks for sharing pics.
barbara jean

Mary Ellen said...

I love your kitchen, Donna. I can appreciate working in a small space, as I do the exact same thing. I've been wanting to paint my cabinets too. I think you've given me the push to do it. I love how your's are. It's a delightful room. You do have a knack for decorating.

My Casa Bella said...

I just saw this post on your sidebar and had to take a look. When are home sells, we have an apt waiting for us, the owners don't mind me painting cabinets, they're dark as well, BUT the issue is the counter tops, they're an off-white, not butcher block like yours, just a solid off white and I wanted to paint the cupboards white because the doors have nice details to them, they're just old and dingy, but I fear the countertop then will look dingy if i paint the cabinets white, not sure, but I sure like yours, very nicely done!
MCB

Beth said...

You have done a great job..I think the kitchen is beautiful..just what a cottage kitchen should be...the kitchen is spotless, and that just makes it look so perfect..don't have to have big space (would be nice), but doing a makeover like you did with everything in its place is what makes it look sooo pretty.

Janae said...

I painted my kitchen cabinets white too! What a huge difference it makes! Yours looks great!

dkzody said...

We have a similar layout except I have kept my 70s kitchen pretty much as-is except for white refrigerator and dishwasher. I do love having a window that looks out on the front yard and street. It does make a difference. Hope you can some day have that view.