Before and After--Kitchen

I think our kitchen is finally ready for its reveal.  It's not that it's perfect, or that it will never change.  It's just simply that it's "done for now".  We still would like to put new window treatments in for light control, but we don't want to rush the decision.  Which means it will probably stay like this for a year.

This is a picture of our kitchen when we moved into the house:

Kitchen "Before"

Our cabinets are stick-built, which means they were built on-site to exactly fit our kitchen.  They are in very good shape with a thick walnut veneer that could actually be refinished if we want to in the future.  The ceiling fixtures and knobs are all chrome.  The counter was white formica, the backsplash is subway tile.  The stove was so small it reminded me of an RV stove. It was all original.  The dishwasher had been replaced (Bosch), in 2005.  The subzero and the ovens had been replaced in the 80's, I believe.  The carpet runners were all custom bound for the kitchen.  Come to think of it, every rug, bedspread, and window treatment were custom-made for this house by the original owners.  Unbelievable on today's standards.

The thing that bothered me most was how the windows in the breakfast area and above the sink were dressed in these heavy, heavy triple pinch-pleated drapes on traverse rods.  When you closed them, you literally had fabric covering two entire walls of the kitchen.  For some reason, when I look at this curtain fabric I always think of Mrs. Roper from Three's Company.  I'm pretty sure she owned a caftan in this print.

Look at's actually pretty awesome--for somebody else.

Kitchen "Before"

Drapery covering windows in breakfast area of kitchen.

While I appreciate that these drapes were in good shape, custom made, and probably very expensive--they weren't my taste and they were just too heavy for a kitchen.

"wall-wall drapes + kitchen" = "wall-wall carpet + bathroom"= "ick"

(A long time ago I graduated with a BS degree in mechanical engineering--so you can't question my mathematical equations.)

We initially budgeted around $10,000 to update the kitchen.  We ended up spending about $7000 all total, but we didn't update the ovens.  After doing all of the other work, the ovens really didn't bother me anymore so we decided to wait until they break to update them.

Here is what we did:
1.  Remove carpet runners to expose hardwood floors.
2.  Replace cooktop.
3.  Remove hood and replace Nutone exhaust fan.
4.  Paint hood (stainless steel spray paint)
5.  Replace countertop, faucet, and sink.
6.  Remove drapery and hardware.
7.  Strip wallpaper and fix plaster.
8.  Repaint kitchen walls and ceiling.
9.  Replace light fixture above table. (We saved the original.)
10.  Re-glaze windows and paint trim. 

 And here is our kitchen now!  It's quite the transformation:

Our "new" kitchen!!

Desk chair is original to house.  Subzero is from the 80's.
Breakfast area with new chairs from CB2  Look at those windows!!  Now they aren't hidden by grimy drapery!!
This shot is a little older but you can see the beautiful windows.  We ended up moving these chairs into a different part of the house.
New modern sink and faucet.

So there you have it.  I'll post our "window treatment dilemma" in another post.  #firstworldproblems...I know.


  1. Beautiful!! --Kelly Cotter

  2. I'm glad you resisted the siren call of granite. :D

    Those counters look amazing. I have Corian here but it's about 6 years old. It's good and mid-century compatible, but yours would be exactly what I would want if I were to replace it.

    1. LOL--I'm kind of over "granite countertops and stainless steel appliances". Not for me.

  3. Siren call of granite above. Very funny. It is a transformation and you kept the budget in check. Great job!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! It works for us. Looking forward to seeing what you do with your kitchen!


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