Starting the Kitchen Reno

Starting the Kitchen Reno | www.chatfieldcourt.comIt’s finally here…the project I’ve been dreading for the last year and a half…the kitchen reno. I know, I know, I’m a DIY, home improvement blogger…I’m supposed to like projects. I do love everything about a new project but this one is a different beast for several reasons. The biggest reason for the dread is that I am working with my husband on this one. Now, I love my husband, truly I do but he has his own ideas about what should happen in this kitchen and none of them jibe with mine (he would be good with a piece of plywood attached to the counter to make it a little larger). I’ve done most of the work on all the other rooms so I never really had to worry about him injecting his opinions. Sure, I consider his thoughts if he has them, but as long as I don’t spend too much money, he’s good with whatever I do. Kitchen renosΒ don’t come cheap though so my tightwad cheap frugal husband will be a little hard to handle during this one (love ya honey!). The other problem is the mess that comes with this kind of reno (especially for a clean freak like me) and the loss of the use of your kitchen. If you’ve been through one of these before I’m sure you understand.

Fair warning…my kitchen is really small so getting good shots is tough.

Starting the Kitchen Reno |

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to what I hope to accomplish. First of all we are working with a very small kitchen, galley style built in the 50’s. The lighting is really bad and we have no room to prepare food. The appliances are all new, as are the cabinets (which are cheap and stained almost red) and the tile floor so they all stay.

My wish list:

  • remove both soffits from above cabinets
  • paint cabinets
  • remove one cabinet and install 2 reclaimed wood shelves for everyday dishes
  • ceiling treatment
  • add recessed lighting
  • add new light over sink
  • add lighting under cabinets ? (not sure about this one yet)
  • new farmhouse sink
  • extend counter
  • new countertops
  • build new cabinets for counter extension (to store garbage/recycle containers and pantry foods)
  • raise window sill to accommodate new counter
  • new subway tile backsplash
  • build stove hood
  • remove old, greasy ceiling fan
  • paint the walls and trim
  • add some molding around ceiling
  • fix or replace back door

We may need to add or subtract but that is my wish list. All the work will be done by us…everything…even the cabinets and stove hood. The biggest worry right now are the countertops, which are expensive, and the new cabinets. We will likely have to build them because they are being placed in an awkward spot but my husband was a furniture maker in another life so it’s just about the time it will take to build them.

Starting the Kitchen Reno |

We’ve already begun doing some small things to get the soffits removed, which is our first task, so things are moving along. I’ll be posting more progress pictures on Instagram if you want to follow along.

Remember when you had to plug in your kitchen clocks?

Starting the Kitchen Reno |

Wish us luck! πŸ™‚

Have you been through a kitchen reno before? What was your greatest challenge?

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  1. Debbie H
    Wednesday,January 7, 2015 / 9:07 am

    Kristi, I have only been through a partial kitchen redo, floors, counter, sink, paint cabinets, walls, new appliances. Wow now that I list it I think it was a redo. LOL. We managed to do it on weekends and I still used the kitchen but we didn’t have to remove any soffits or build cabinets. The worst project was stripping and painting the cabinets which were original to the 1958 house and solid wood. I wanted to eventually extend the counter and build an island but we sold the house before I could get my husband off the river long enough to do it.

    I had a galley kitchen exactly like yours in the house before this one. I hated it. Now I have a nice little kitchen with room for a small table and plenty of counter space. The only thing I am doing to it is the walls, they have 1980s wall paper on them. Every time I look at them I think, “I can live with them a little longer. The bathrooms have wall paper too. Yuk!

    I do not follow Instagram but look forward to more post on your blog. Good luck.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,January 8, 2015 / 11:25 am

      It does sound like you did a redo Debbie. I’m kinda dreading the cabinet painting too. I know it isn’t hard, just really time consuming.

      I don’t love a galley kitchen either and if we had kids at home, I would never have bought this house. We don’t tend to stay in one place long so I’m sure I’ll get my dream kitchen at another time. I think if we do what we want, it will improve it enough to make cooking in there more pleasurable.

      We had a house in Georgia that had that kind of wallpaper in a lot of rooms too and we never did end up removing it either. It was always an intimidating job to me. You never know how it was put up.

      That’s ok if you don’t follow Instagram. I’ll be talking about the kitchen plenty. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks so much for stopping in and for the luck. I’m going to really need it. πŸ™‚

  2. MaryJean
    Wednesday,January 7, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    Kristi, I’ve been through two kitchen remodels in the same house. First was just to replace the metal cabinets we had, new floor and 2 new windows. It was more of an update. Early 1950s house and although the previous owner tried to make some updates they did a bad, bad job!
    Second remodel was to extend the back wall of the kitchen area to make a bay window area for my breakfast set and new windows, new floor and new countertops. Did I mention we had a galley kitchen too. We had to flip the sink section to the inside wall and move the appliances. Oh, I did get a new dishwasher out of it and I’m not talking about my husband πŸ˜‰ ! Love the way it turned out, but I desperately need more counter space for food preparation. Love the big windows that look out into our wooded backyard!
    Next remodel (I must be crazy, but this won’t be so extensive), I want an island and new floor (saw a flooring at Home Depot that will last a long, long time). We have a dining room that I will use if we want to eat at the table and I will have bar stools for the island. That isn’t asking for much, is it? Oh, did I mention, hubs is a mechanical engineer and has designed homes in the past. I guess you would have to be with my daydreaming ideas!

    I had the open concept above the cabinets before it was fashionable and I do like it, so I agree with you there. Your cabinets don’t look too bad, however they are a little dark. The floor is yucky! The counters aren’t bad. All in all, I could live with it for awhile, but soon would have to remodel like you are doing. Can’t wait to see your kitchen finished!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,January 8, 2015 / 11:31 am

      Wow, you have been through some big remodels. Don’t know how you do it. I would end up killing my husband. He is really my biggest obstacle πŸ˜‰ but I’m glad he is so handy. He does most of the cooking these days so I think he knows that something really needed to be done in there. I’m just happy that I talked him out of the plywood counter idea. πŸ˜‰ Just for the record, I hate my cabinets. Have I said that before? πŸ™‚ So ready for a change.

      Thanks so much for stopping in.

  3. Wednesday,January 7, 2015 / 2:28 pm

    Wait wait, clocks had to be plugged in?! Apparently I never thought of a time before battery clocks, ha!
    I wish you luck with your kitchen! Small kitchens are no fun, but it does look like you have room to expand your counterspace, so that’s always a blessing!
    The cabinets, though. Wow. I love the color of them, but as it does not appear you get much light in there, it makes the kitchen look dark – kitchens should be bright and cheerful!
    I can’t wait to see how this comes together!! πŸ˜€

    • Kristi
      Thursday,January 8, 2015 / 10:50 am

      I know…can you believe they had to plug clocks in? That was before my time though. πŸ˜‰

      The kitchen is underway and already we are having some difficulties…which has to be expected I suppose. I can’t wait to have a more useable space. A lot of people say they like the cabinet color. Just not my thing and you’re right, they do make it look so much darker in there. Maybe if the space was bigger they would be better (and I wouldn’t have to paint them).;)

      Thanks so much for stopping in today.

  4. Wednesday,January 7, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    I am definitely wishing you luck! I don’t like a mess either. We did a mini reno on ours a few years ago. We did some of the work and we had the cabinets professionally painted. I sure was glad. Your list sounds good and I would do under cabinet lights. I can’t live without mine.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,January 8, 2015 / 10:56 am

      I thought I would be better with the mess but no…not happening…and we have a long way to go. πŸ˜‰ Not much I can do about it now though. It would be great to have my cabinets painted professionally, I would actually rather have new, but neither one of those is going to happen. I’m just glad that I don’t have a huge kitchen with lots of cabinets to worry about.

      I’ve had under cabinet lights before and love them too. I just need to convince Mr. Difficult. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks so much for stopping in and for the luck. We’re going to need it. πŸ™‚

  5. Noreen
    Sunday,January 11, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    I am looking forward to seeing the finished project! Your home is lovely. You have done a amazing job on all of your rooms. Thank you for sharing all of your great ideas. I remember clocks being plugged in. My mother was so excited when a electrician put a plug behind the clock and she didn’t have to have the cord down the kitchen wall

    • Kristi
      Monday,January 12, 2015 / 9:03 am

      Thanks so much Noreen! What a nice comment. I’m looking forward to the finished project too. πŸ˜‰
      The first thing we did was to get rid of that clock electrical outlet in the soffit. I’m sure they were very handy, as in the case of your mom, but I had to find things to cover it up and nothing seemed right in the very narrow space.

      So glad you stopped by and hope you’ll come back to see our progress.

  6. Monday,January 12, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    I can’t wait to see what you do — Just posted about starting our kitchen, so I had to come visit. We’re currently stuck on a paint color for the island, which is the first part. Have the doors built, but I want to paint before putting them on. And, I didn’t know about the clocks! πŸ™‚

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,January 14, 2015 / 4:14 am

      Thanks Dee! I have been stuck on paint colors too but I think I’ve finally figured it out. I’ll be watching your progress too. Good luck!

      Isn’t that so funny about the clock outlets? πŸ˜‰

  7. Shirlee
    Wednesday,January 14, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    We had new cabinets, countertop, backsplash and flooring installed in the kitchen of our last home. The hubs and I installed beadboard on all the walls to cover up bad drywall and I painted it, twice in the 7 years we lived there.
    A few months after moving into our current home I started giving our 67 yr old kitchen a facelift and I’m almost done (worked on several other areas inbetween working on the kitchen). I get to the point when I’m fed up with the constant mess of DIY but then I get a second wind and trudge on. Every space in our little house needs attention and I;m always thinking about the next project(s).
    You’ve tackled a lot of projects in a short amount of time and I know you’ll have your kitchen looking sharp in no time. It all seems daunting in the beginning but with each completed project, you’re one step closer to completion.

    Hang in there Kristi!

    • Kristi
      Friday,January 16, 2015 / 1:03 am

      It sounds like you’ve been through some kitchen renos of your own. I’m sure that you’ll be happy when you’re done with the latest one.

      I get what you’re saying about the mess. I’ve been working on this house since we moved in a year and a half ago and there’s always a mess somewhere. I’m a neat freak so it really gets to me sometimes but having the blog motivates me to keep going so I have projects to share.

      It is daunting doing this reno. Every time I walk in the kitchen, I feel a little down…it looks so bad and depressing right now but I know it won’t last. I just take a deep breath and do what I need to do and get out. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the words of encouragement Shirlee. It helps to know that someone else gets it.

  8. haleyangel
    Wednesday,January 21, 2015 / 9:49 am

    I just went through a redo of my kitchen. It had been “apart” for almost 13 years. I’m not a big cook. The mess was of course a mess πŸ™ but what got me the most were the decisions!! I take forever to decide. I almost went mental over just deciding the knobs and pulls LOL. My kitchen all started with me wanting to take down the soffets. Then came down the walls…open concept back in early 2000. I also wanted a pantry. Oh my. Gives me the willies just thinking about all of it. BUT, you will make it through and it will look beautiful. I did this all on my own. Would have loved to have a hubby but we divorced. Probably all the remodeling did it! Just kidding. Good luck! Ya’ll can do it πŸ™‚

    • Kristi
      Friday,January 23, 2015 / 12:18 am

      Wow…god for you doing a reno on your own. It sounds like you did a lot and I’m sure it is beautiful. If I had a bigger kitchen it might take me that long to complete ours too. πŸ˜‰ I’ve been thinking about this project for a year and a half so I’m pretty sure of what I want…I think.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for the encouragement!


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