Kitchen Renovation {Before}

It's been almost 3 years since we renovated our kitchen, and today I thought I'd show you some of the before pictures, and some reasons why we decided to gut and start over.
Above is a view of our old kitchen standing in our dining room. Just to note, I had already removed the fruit and ivy wall paper that was on the bulkhead when we moved in. I planned on painting the bulkhead (one thing I didn't like... why not take the cabinets to the ceiling?)  a deep brick red to coordinate with the floor and small tiles in the back splash, but I ended up just painting it white, in hopes that we would demolish it all and start over in the near future.
But there it sat in this state for about a year and a half. The fridge on the end also bugged me. It felt like it was waiting for you to walk into it. The location of the double ovens (and the fact that we HAD double ovens) was one of the few reasons I liked this kitchen. On to some more reasons we didn't like it.
You see those dark green counter tops? In this picture they're quite clean, but since they are a solid color, they showed every spec of dust that landed on them... and it drove me crazy! The cast iron sink was also a pain to clean and keep clean. Can you tell I'm a fan of low-maintenance materials?

While the cabinets were solid wood, and custom built in home originally, the hardware was not really my style, nor were the exposed hinges. I know those are easy to change, but that was about the only easy thing. That huge fluorescent light in the middle of the kitchen being one more of the difficulties. And while I know they're more Earth friendly, I despise the light that fluorescents give off (ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold!).

Across from the end of the peninsula (sorry, I don't have a before picture) was a pantry. We kept our trash in there, small appliances, place mats... random stuff. It was only about 15" deep, and split into two upper cabinets, one of which was on the receiving end of the laundry shoot from upstairs, and two taller lower cabinets. It didn't work well at all.

We waffled over removing the quarry stone floor. There was not a crack or chip in any tile. That's impressive since it was over 50 years old! But it was so hard to work with, and went through the kitchen, dining room, living room, entry, half bath, and laundry. Much like the green counter tops, it was also difficult to make it look clean - everything showed.

Before we even decided to completely start over, I had drawn up some plans. These were 3 years in the making! I'm still happy with everything, so we definitely looked at our options.

I still love to look at those technical drawings. They're almost identical to what we're living with today. Watching my drawings and dreams turn into reality was so much fun! And being a part of all of the designing and building was so interesting and exciting. I can't wait to show you the after photos.

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