Dec 13, 2011

Kitchen Makeover - The Beginning

Well, now that we're in the middle of planning a wedding, I think it's high time I revealed to you another big project John and I are embarking on -- his kitchen. We've been in the process of start a renovation on it for about 2 or 3 months now and it's finally about to start! I've never mentioned it on the blog, but John owns this adorable little house here in Little Rock. It's a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home that is, in a word, awesome. He's lived there for about 2 years now and he loves it (so do I!)... BUT there is one problem -- his kitchen is smaller than Chelsey Handler's midget.

From the get-go, we started daydreaming about a new kitchen. Knocking down walls, adding new fixtures, the works. And it was a fun little game we would play: who could come up with the best plan? But one day, after burning myself on some spoons located in a drawer under the stove, I'd had enough. Not only was the kitchen dangerous (hello, I'd just burned myself on a spoon!) but it just wasn't functioning for what we wanted it to do! 

Here are the problems we're dealing with now (yes, I spend a lot of time over at John's house so from now on I will refer to this as our problem. Hope that's cool).

• Drawer under stove too close -- fire hazard? I think yes.
• No hood/vent for stinky smells (or the occasional smoke pit) to escape
• A mere 1.5 sections of counterspace (see image below)
• Closed layout -- if someone is cooking, you can't see in, you can't see out. No bueno.
• Ovens heat entire kitchen
• Not enough room for two people
• Outdated appliances. Not the fridge, just the oven. And the stove.

As you might have been able to tell from the photos, there's NO counterspace. Okay, there's like 1 foot of it. Here's the sketch with the usable counterspace we currently have highlighted.

Okay, are you following me here? I know I'm rambling....

Anyway, my best friend's mom is an interior decorator who specializes in kitchens & bathrooms (but she does EVERYTHING and she's amazing!). Can you see where I'm going with this? I'd said all along that I would love to use her because she has impeccable taste and I love her to death, so when the kitchen thing started getting a little more serious, we called her in. We needed help  Clearly.

At first, our plan was to knock out the walls on either side of the kitchen (top and bottom from the plan above) so that it would be open to the living room and to the den (the living room is the room at the bottom, the den is at the top in said drawing). Here was her first layout:

We were pumped. Our kitchen was gonna be rockin' and we could finally use the space how we wanted to: for entertaining and, obviously, cooking.

After we slept on it a few days, though, we got to thinking that maybe it was too big. Did we really need ALL that space? Was the new layout too big for the house (which is quite small)? Would we be able to get our money out of it down the road? All of these were questions that finally led us to the fact that we didn't need a kitchen that big. Scaling it down a bit would fit the house better, and probably fit our budget better too. Always a good thing!

So back to the drawing board, this time trying to utilize a smaller space and keeping the back wall. This time, we think we've hit the nail on the head! Here's the newest layout:
As you can see, the bottom wall (which separates the living room and the kitchen, currently) would be taken out. In it's place is a countertop with a raised bar area, so we could sit stools there and people could interact with the cook without being in the kitchen. She also added a pantry (!!) since we don't currently have one. Combining the stove and oven saves even more space, and she added upper cabinets to the walls. 

Can I just say that I am in love? Especially when I did this to see exactly how much counterspace we'd be gaining.

Holy. crap.

Since John finished his exams today he is going to start the demo-process this week. And that wall between the living room and kitchen is getting knocked down by a pro at the end of this month. SO EXCITING! And, if you need an interior designer, I know just the person! Click here for her facebook page!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay! Remodeling, planning a wedding, and moving all before August. I commend you, my dear, that's quite a lot to take on.