The countdown begins…

Posted: 08/25/2010 in almost ready to go!

It’s less than two weeks until we start a major kitchen renovation/remodel/addition. I’d post the spreadsheet of tasks that are yet to be done, but I don’t want to depress myself. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot to do. We’re delighted with our design/build firm (Anthony Wilder Design/Build) and the way that they have helped us think through the process of this project.

I’ve been surfing and trying to collect ideas on how to live without going bonkers in the remodeling process. I do promise pictures, questions, issues and sharing our ultimate delight of it finally being over. And as I figure out any tips and menus for cooking without a kitchen I’ll be sure to share those, too.

So here’s the “before” picture… it’s truly the finest 1973 had to offer (minus the avocado green appliances and lineoleum! That much we had already done…)

The previous owners put stick-on tile OVER the green linoleum. They painted the kitchen white instead of light green before they put the house on the market. (We are thankful for small favors!)  When we replaced the wood siding with vinyl, we added a kitchen “garden” window to bring in more light. And we changed out the two oven avocado green electric range for a gas range/microwave combo instead.

We also did a remodel of the pantry, putting in ELFA shelving and door mounted units. And we added a free-standing butcher block top base for storing microwave and plastic storage dishes.

But that was ALL we could do with the current space…

In an “L” shape attached room, open to the kitchen, is the family room. It was paneled in a dark wood paneling. Very 70’s. I tried playing with pickling or painting/staining the wood but it had a heavy finish on it, which would have required stripping in place BEFORE I did any treatments. I was not that ambitious. And so here is a shot towards the family room…

Part of the remodel (I didn’t get a picture to include) is that there is an interior wall which creates a narrow hallway from the family room and kitchen area to the front hall and door. In fact, if you wanted to take out someone with the basement door, all you have to do is time it right. (We almost did — by accident — when our design firm owner, Anthony, visited our home for the first time. It was hilarious.)

So the plans call for removing an interior wall and making the kitchen truly “open” to the basement steps, the front hall and the family room. It also will mean that the door between the kitchen and dining room will be relocated to the outside wall, allowing more interior wall storage (pantry).

Removing the interior wall and the paneling will really “lighten up” the space. I can’t wait to see the transformation take place!

Here’s a view from the present family room of our planned “after” picture. The kitchen will be moved out of the narrow “galley” into a full sized kitchen. This is just to inspire me. It will be worth it!

Some of the changes that are planned:

– we’re removing an inner wall and bumping out an outer wall
– we’re adding an island, new appliances, sink and kitchen window
– we’re switching to granite countertops and new cabinetry
– the outside door will be moved to the other end of the kitchen
– the door to the dining room will be relocated to provide more space for the pantry
– the dark wood paneling in the family room is going buh-bye!!

And now it’s time to tackle that to-do list…


  1. Tricia says:

    Good luck! Are they helping you with a temporary kitchen space? One of the things that really saved us is we had a kitchen-y area in our basement: a sink in a tiny cabinet, probably once used for canning or hosting parties. The main thing that helped is that we have a rental house around the corner that Matthew’s parents were staying in during the time our kitchen was non-functional for cooking.

    Our first kitchen construction project (not even a re-model, it had been cleared out before we moved in!) was when we were young 20s. We spent months cooking on a grill or in the microwave, and washing up in a laundry sink kind of thing on the back steps. Ah, the good old days. I wonder if the people who bought the house from us 7 years later ever replaced our temporary counter or put doors on our fabulous pantry that M & his dad built??

  2. Tricia says:

    One more thing: our newspaper has this weekly column where a designer walks through the before and after of a remodeling project, where she describes the problems they were addressing and how they solved them. It is so much fun to read (imo)! Needless to say, I’m probably going to follow your progress here. :^)

  3. Hey, cool! Glad you’re going to follow our remodeling experience. Hopefully all will go smoothly! 🙂

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