Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kitchen Update: Part I

It's no secret that one of my least favorite parts of this house was is the kitchen.  It wasn't horrible (especially considering some of the kitchens we saw house-hunting...eek...talk about weird smells), but the paint job was just atrocious and it had obviously not seen a lot of love with the previous owners.  It's actually a decent size, but the layout is awkward and I don't like how it opens right through to the laundry room.

We've been going back and forth with what to do with the kitchen.  Down the road, we'd love to do a total kitchen renovation - new cabinets, counter tops, blow out some walls and close off others - the works.  However, given that this kind of reno is way outside our scope of expertise, it's not going to come cheap.  We've very conscious of the volatile housing market (we bought our house for $245,000 LESS than it sold for at the beginning of 2007), and we're almost certain this is not our "forever" home, so we're constantly weighing how much money we want to put into particular projects. 

We realize it's important to love the house we're living in, but it's also important for us to not spend all of our money on renovations that may amount to a sunken cost.  Given that the kitchen is functional as-is, we have to really make sure we're going to get at least a partial return our investment before we blow a few months salary on a full kitchen renovation.

That said, in the first 6 months or so we lived here, we've been toying with the idea of doing a kitchen face lift - new cabinet hardware, a coat of paint, and some easy fixes.  We already got a shiny new faucet when the old one crapped out on me during some late night painting during our first few weeks of home-ownership, so that was already $450 down the drain in spiffing up the kitchen - although I must admit, the new faucet looks MUCH better.

I sound like a crazy person, but one night in July I had a dream that we re-finished the kitchen cabinets, and it convinced me to move forward.  Somehow a dream was all I needed to kick my butt into gear and get moving. 

I'm going to be blogging about the kitchen facelift among a few posts since there's a lot of pictures, so I thought I'd start with the obvious - before pictures:

I'm not sure if these cabinets are original to the house, but they're pretty old.  And, the previous owners decided to paint them with a horrifyingly ugly paint treatment.  Thanks guys.  I tell people this and they never believe me from the pictures - but the paint was BAD.  It made me never want to go in the kitchen - I seriously didn't cook a meal in this kitchen for the first few months we lived here.  Oops.


The glass knobs were also just really not my style.  Plus they were super dingy.  Yuck.

We bought the fridge, which we love, at a great discount before we moved in, but it looks just a little out of place in the otherwise icky kitchen.  

The tile floors actually seem pretty new, so I don't even want to imagine what the floor looked like before that.  The tiles aren't totally my style, but they've decent.  Oh, and if you want to be really grossed out, shortly after this photo was taken I realized the floor grout isn't actually black, it's light brown.  It was that dirty.

The old hinges were just BAD.  Super rusty and half of them were bent so the cabinets didn't close properly.

Can you sense the hideousness of the paint??  Can you??

See the new faucet?  Fancy pants.  Also, you can totally tell that we put NO effort into this kitchen.  Thus the mismatched plant pots and crap all over the counters.


The over the range microwave doesn't vent properly, so you can sort of see the giant grease stain on the ceiling.  Seriously so gross.  The old owners I guess liked to cook with lots and lots of oil, and there were greasy drips all over the cabinets that took several hours of scrubbing by yours truly.  And see that bottom right cabinet?  The hinge was f-ed so it just refused to close.  Great for my OCD.

That's it for the "before" photos.  I'll be back soon with the progress and stunningly beautiful and life changing (this may be an exaggeration) after photos.

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