Our Kitchen Renovation
When we first looked at the house my biggest concern was the kitchen. Our kitchen in our previous home was the quintessential farmhouse kitchen complete with a wood burning stove, seating area, high ceilings and plenty of cabinets and even a pantry. It was definitely the hub of the home with sunroom, family room and stairs to the sleeping quarters directly off the kitchen.
Despite the much smaller size, the kitchen appeared to be in good condition even though it may not have been to our tastes. It even had granite counter tops which I thought would be quite nice. It was clean and tidy so we figured we could make this work.
Soon after we moved in we realized our new kitchen wouldn't work. It seemed more like a closet than a kitchen. We couldn't find room for all of our kitchen items. We really like to cook and there simply was no room for baking essentials. Our first week a cabinet door fell off so I fixed that. I added some extra shelving in the cabinets but things were still piled up and unreachable. One ceiling fixture coupled with a small window covered in stained glass made the kitchen so dark that we were cooking with a flashlight! I added a new light and over and under cabinet lighting. It all helped but still it was dark. But, still it was workable.
Then, one month in the wall oven broke. Time for a new oven but in the meantime we had a stove hooked up in our shop and we cooked our Thanksgiving turkey out there. When our new oven did arrive I removed the old one only to find that it was perched on a few pieces of lumber piled up on each other. At that time we figured we may as well order a new fridge and dishwasher. The existing fridge had french doors but the way it was situated you could barely open the freezer side and other shelves were broken. The dishwasher heating elements were caked in lime since there was no water softener. Yes. We got a water softener as well. Things seemed to be working out better.
Well we finally had enough. I wasn't cooking much. Paul was doing most of it. The counters were extra high. The granite was so dark that you could hardly see to work on it. We were both frustrated every time we had to use it. If that weren't enough, there was a particularly small bathroom with no ventilation right beside the kitchen. The main entryway entered the kitchen making it awkward with no lighting and no place for coats and shoes and boots. Up to this point we were keeping coats and boots outside the door.
Paul and I had talked a lot about what we needed in a new kitchen. When we finally committed to redoing the kitchen we approached Luxury Woodworking In Walkerton to assist with the project. We all discussed our ideas and started working on a plan.
We wanted to get away from an all wood kitchen for a few reasons. There was already lots of wood in the house and we really needed to brighten the room and give it some of own personally. We decided on a green colour for cabinets that would complement the wood and bring the outdoors in. Rosepine by Benjamin Moore was our choice for cabinets and we picked Oxford White for any wall space. We decided to have some wood accents in shelving and trim
work as well as on the sink cabinet stained Benjamin Moore Early American.
Of course the renovation didn't go as smoothly as expected and lasted about nine months from start to finish. Cabinetry was removed. Brick was removed leading to the removal of drywall. This uncovered electrical issues which needed to be resolved. Plumbing had to be removed from the small bathroom which led to other plumbing problems. The flooring ended up needing to be removed and a new subfloor and new tiling was installed.
We decided on flat front front cabinetry with some shaker units with bronze pulls. We opted for floating shelves despite suggestions otherwise since we wanted to keep as much light as possible. The shelves were designed with LED lighting strips. A new window was installed once the stained glass panel was removed. Now we can see the barn from the kitchen. We also opted for a stainless steel apron front sink, induction cooktop, exhaust fan, and a whole fridge.
Finally, after the installation, plumbing, and electrical work were completed we have a working kitchen and pantry which is bright, roomy and functional. Kitchen renovations are definitely stressful. Be prepared for setbacks and plan for the unexpected. And use qualified, recommended, and local tradespeople and suppliers when possible.