Ever since we bought this house almost three years ago, I have wanted to update the kitchen. Most everything was still in its 1982 glory. Except the almond fridge was replaced with a white one, and the dishwasher was replaced with a black one, while the range–a 6 foot, one piece double-oven–remained in its almond colored splendor. We had a tri-color situation going on. That stove was so dirty and ugly, but the problem was that it worked. really. well. So, I couldn't find any reason to justify spending the money on a new one, at least for awhile. Here is a shot of the kitchen before we moved in:
Don't you love the scalloped window thingy? As ugly as the kitchen was when we saw it, the layout was actually one of the things that attracted us to the house. It has a really wide counter workspace and bar seating on the other side, along with a large dining area which connects to the back patio via sliding doors. It also has a window overlooking our backyard and a lovely wooded area. It is so nice to be able to see nature while I do the dishes.
Before delving into the kitchen saga, here's a little background. When we were considering moving out of our basement apartment, we really wanted to buy a house if possible, even though we knew it would be tight financially. So, when this house popped up within our price range–in a pricier neighborhood than we were expecting– we were thrilled. It was actually the first house we looked at with our realtor, and we both loved it–which was a miracle, because both of us had very particular ideas of what we wanted in a house. So, our bid went through and we became homeowners. We had limited funds, so after painting, replacing flooring in the whole house, and updating a couple bathrooms, there wasn't enough $$ to sink into the kitchen. We have slowly been updating appliances over the past year or so, but we decided recently to move forward on a more extensive facelift, thanks to a tax refund and refinancing our mortgage to a much lower interest rate.
After we moved in, the kitchen looked like this:
We painted the walls green because it seemed to make the cream formica and the original wood cabinets look less offensive. I had a really hard time picking the right shade of green and always felt kind of insecure about my choice. It didn't help that the color was called "Dill Pickle." (From Benjamin Moore, no less) We also replaced the old linoleum with high-end, Armstrong vinyl, which looks pretty much like tile. I actually picked the vinyl over tile because it is much higher quality than your usual linoleum, it has a great warranty, and it is soft–which is a huge plus with little kids. Stuff doesn't break very often, and the kids fall down and don't get hurt. I am pretty happy with it. I could have just extended the oak floor, but I didn't want to deal with wood in the kitchen in case of leaks.
Just a little perspective here... Even though our kitchen looked very dated, it has been a huge blessing to us. To even have working appliances, electricity, running water, and a place to feed my family is not something I take for granted. There are many parts of the world where these things are luxuries, and I don't want to forget that. It actually took me quite awhile to even understand how it could be honoring to the Lord for us to spend several thousand dollars on a kitchen renovation. I think that will have to be a post of its own eventually, but my point is that it is good for me to remember God's provision and to not base my worth on how nice or current my stuff is. Seems really obvious, but I often forget.
Back to the history of the kitchen. After painting, removing the scalloped sink header, installing new Ikea lights, hanging some shelves, art, and curtains, the kitchen basically looked like this. And it's about how it looked until a few weeks ago.. (Ignore the pendants–we just had them installed over the island, and they are placeholders for now).
And our dining area went from this:
It is certainly an improvement over where it used to be, but we are super excited about the direction it is heading. More on than next week!