Kitchen Renovation: Before + After

Whenever I walk into a house that we are considering buying, I head straight for the kitchen. It is, after all, the heart of the home. I’m always looking for an old, outdated kitchen, because I will always be renovating it. I would hate to be pulling out or wasting anything that was newly done, and I would rather start from scratch.

When I first came into this kitchen, it appeared somewhat small for the house, but that was the 50s for you. I don’t mind a galley kitchen, and this had a nice wide space, I could immediately see what it could become. The light was decent and definitely would be improved when removing a wall.

There were a million doors in this house! Everywhere you went, there was a door to close. What was the deal with so many doors in that era? Were they trying to hide something? Apparently messes, because the kitchen was super closed in with doors leading to everywhere. Even the family room and living room had doors in all entrances. What we wanted to create was a more open living area, where all the other rooms focused on the kitchen and the yumminess that goes on in there.

This is what it looked like before:

Looking into the kitchen from first walking in. Small galley kitchen leading into a nook area.
Looking immediately to the right, there was a desk. The entrance to the left in picture goes into adjoining family room. Of course with a swinging door.
This space was nice, but still very closed off. That wall would need to come down, and let’s get rid of some doors, shall we?
Great original hardwood floors, but that was its only redeeming quality. And where the dog is standing, there were 3 doors. WHYYYYY?
Very spacious nook, but bland and boring. Someone must have had a ‘bay windows’ moment in the 70s when this was added along with another one in the front of the house.
This nook was not original to the house. Why was this situated like this?
12 inches of space on one side of the room and the floor totally slopes…
…counter depth on the other side. It’s almost like someone back then knew that I would come along and make it work!

The kitchen had great bones but was just a bit dark and lackluster. I often say that the house is nice when showing it to friends, but you can’t really appreciate it unless you see where it started. It makes it much more exciting, at least to me! But there was much blood, sweat, and tears put into this (sooooo many ridiculous stories along the way, as we renovated through CoVid times). But now, this is how she looks:

The window seats have ended up being a favorite spot for many a guest and family member. My adult daughter literally curled up and took a nap here once.

This kitchen now is truly the heart of the home. Of course, there were a million DIY projects that were fun and/or back breaking, but we’ll get to that soon. There is so much that goes on when planning a kitchen renovation. Stay tuned for all the fun that went on along the way, and some jaw-dropping surprises!

Have you ever done a major kitchen renovation? Did you live there during or move in after? Tell me about it in the comments. We’ve done both, guess which I prefer?

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