Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fixing Up the Kitchen

Once we finished off the halfbath/mudroom project, we shifted focus to the kitchen. We are clearly not fully renovating the kitchen, though we really really want to - instead, this is just a sort of patch job to fix up all the holes and glaringly unfinished spots. 

1. Patch the Holes in the Floor
Way back in the day, when there was a wall between the kitchen and dining room, there was a small radiator just inside the kitchen. When the wall came down, the radiator was removed, which left holes in the floor. I covered them with packing tape, which was working pretty well at keeping out the cat food and cheerios that are otherwise dropped down, but we needed a more permanent fix. So, we picked up a couple of wood floor samples, found one that matched the color pretty well, and then just cut it down and glued it into the spaces.  

old floor with holes for the previous radiator...

now patched and nearly invisible! 

2. Paint the trim
Parts of the kitchen have been painted slowly over the last couple years, but there was still some neon yellow trim and a door frame that had been peeling and picked at for a while. So, I grabbed a can of our trim paint and covered everything up.

the last of the yellow trim disappears

3. Patch the Sheetrock
There were several holes left behind from our first contractor when they took down the wall to the dining room and installed pipes for the washer/dryer above. Our second contractor framed those for us - so all we needed to do was install the sheetrock. We picked up the materials, cut them down and screwed them up, quickly mudded a couple times, and then primed and painted them.

second contractor framed in the pipe

and the beam between the kitchen and dining room

so we put up the sheetrock...

and then mudded and painted everything

pipe gone!

4. Backsplash
We used to have one of those stoves with the dials in the back, and a microwave above it - so the painted, textured wallpaper only covered part of the wall behind the stove. When the stove was replaced with a slide-in option and the microwave hood removed - it left a really ugly wall that was partly covered with peeling wallpaper. Thankfully, we could just pick up some peel & stick tile mosaic that was easily cut with scissors to fill the space, and stuck it up quickly.

new tile going over the nasty space above the stove

new backsplash up and definitely making things nicer. 

5. Pantry 
One of our longstanding storage issues has been the lack of a pantry, ever since we originally removed the walk-in pantry to make it into the new half bath. Since then, we've been relying on a set of metal shelves which are really not ideal. Not only are they ugly - but they are completely open and exposed, which means that our kid can easily walk up and pull anything and everything off (which he does all the time). Plus, I have this fear that he'll try to climb them and pull the massive thing over on himself - though he probably doesn't weigh enough to actually do that.  The shelves were originally in the dining room, and then we moved them out to the mudroom where we thought it would be safer - and then once we started working on the mudroom, the shelves got moved back into the dining room again.  After cleaning up an entire box of pasta that was thrown around the dining room one too many times  - we finally decided to come up with a new, more permanent solution by adding more cabinets onto the back side of the kitchen island. Because they are top cabinets, they are only half the depth of a base cabinet, making it easier to see everything inside and not taking up to much more floor space. We grabbed 2 3' wide top cabinets, and then built a quick frame to get them up off the ground and level with the base cabinets. Then we just added a long 1"x12" shelf board to serve as the countertop. This is obviously not ideal or a permanent renovation - but it takes care of the storage issue and lets us try out this floorplan for the eventual full kitchen renovation.

new pantry cabinets added to the kitchen island

old pantry gone - this part of the dining room looking normal again. 

So - this kitchen is definitely still ugly - with two different colors of cabinets and now three different types of countertops. But - it no longer looks unfinished and hazardous - and that's a huge improvement for us. All this time in the kitchen has made both of us eager to actually gut it and fix it all the way up - but for now, this is good enough. Now - shifting gears once more to the sleeping porch - our only remaining unfinished space.