When we bought this house, our kitchen was already a great size, with plenty of cabinet space and decent appliances. We often laugh that when looking at this place I famously said something about how we could move right into it as it was... which was true! It's just that it had so much potential that we couldn't resist a few improvements in the end:) One thing we didn't love about the kitchen was the layout. The cabinets formed an L shape, which pinned the refrigerator in the corner and created a phalanx of cabinetry on the long side. The bad lighting, cheap looking oak color, mass of cabinets and lack of variation all, as Jady pointed out, made the whole place feel a bit like an office break room.
So we decided to close off the doorway in the photo above, leaving us with extra wall space and the ability to pull the refrigerator around the corner to create a U shaped layout. We also decided we needed to replace the worn parquet floor as well as add under cabinet lighting and a permanent island in the center of the space. I'm feeling overwhelmed just thinking about how much we decided to do! To help me visualize and decide if what we were planning was even possible, I whipped out some graph paper and a tape measure to sketch the new layout. The goal here was in order to save money to use all of our old cabinets and not to buy new ones, except to make the island base.
In this shot you can really get an idea of the fan shaped, textured ceilings that covered the whole house. This point was really the calm before the storm... the new recessed lights had been installed, which instantly improved the feel of the room, but the ceilings hadn't yet been sanded, the floor hadn't been replaced, and the cabinets had not been rearranged or painted (little did I know it would take me months to finish painting!).
What really pushed me over the edge into committing to the new layout was finding our new stove. The one that came with the house was alright, a good basic model, but since we were rearranging I started looking at possible upgrades, maybe something a tiny bit bigger than the standard 30". In a way a larger range could help to save us money by filling up space we would otherwise need to fill with new cabinets (at least that what we're telling ourselves:)). I searched all kinds of sources online, hoping to find a professional style range without breaking the bank. That's when I found it-- a huge beast, for sale on eBay somewhere in Vermont, at about 1/3 of the price of a new one. After getting quotes for shipping all 800 pounds of it freight to KY, we placed our bid and were SO excited to win! I'm obsessed with this range, and using it makes cooking even more fun. All in all, this was definitely an unnecessary splurge, but a worthwhile one.
More details to come!