The last One Room Challenge I did was my laundry room. I love that space, but redoing a room in 6 weeks is a lot of stress. Even though it’s hard, I miss it! This round of the ORC is perfect timing for redoing my Florida kitchen. Can I really finish this room in 6 weeks- technically 5 since we can’t start demo until next week? Well, I sure hope so!
This is how the kitchen looked when we moved in. Can you tell how small it is?! One small row of cabinets, no dishwasher, and definitely no style.
So I painted the cabinets, got new appliances, put vinyl over the countertops and backsplash, and added some cute accessories. I’d call the space much improved! And don’t worry, those new Big Chill appliances will obviously be staying. I LOVE them.
the renovation goals FOR THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE KITCHEN
So here’s why I want to renovate-
-We found termites in the cabinets. They’ve since been treated, but the original 1950’s cabinet frames are well chewed through (they even dent easily). So it’s a concern if they’re structurally sound anymore. This is a BIG issue! Plus, when we remove the cabinets, we’ll probably take out everything so we can have the studs sprayed for termites.
-There’s minimal countertop space. Since we use one countertop for a dish drying rack, there’s only one small counter for meal prep. It gets very cramped when cooking with more than one person. Last spring we cooked every meal at home because of the pandemic (we usually eat most meals at home though) and the tight cooking space got old fast.
-I also want to add more storage. The kitchen is small so only essentials can be stored. It’d be nice to have a bit more cabinet space.
-I’m not a big fan of the long fluorescent light above the cabinets. In person it isn’t too annoying, but it’s definitely dated. Plus, if we remove that, we can get taller cabinets to raise them to the ceiling. More storage and less ugly lights!!!
-I’d also like to take the time to add banquette seating for the dining room. It’ll give more space for the kitchen cabinets to expand. And, from the perspective of a blogger, I’d like to create a better tutorial for how to use an IKEA Kallax bookcase as a banquette dining room bench. I did this in my sister’s kitchen and the tutorial is good, but I’d like to be more thorough. That blog post is my #1 traffic driver right now.
-Last, I’d obviously like to add more style and durability. Right now the countertops have contact paper. I’d like a nice stone in white. The backsplash is drawer liner vinyl. I’d like beautiful white subway tile with a fun detail (stay tuned). It’d be so fun to have the tile go behind the open shelving. And we can’t forget how great it’ll be to switch from a stainless sink to a mint stone one!
Tile behind these shelves would be SO pretty! The wallpaper in the dining room (that I LOVE) will definitely stay!
wall or no wall?
In January, when we bought the house, I had a big kitchen renovation planned. Tearing down the wall. New flooring. The whole she bang!
And then Covid hit. And, like many of you, my income took a big dive. I was still thinking about tearing down the wall, but it took the kitchen from affordable to overwhelming and unattainable. And so, I’m considering embracing the wall.
I really need to be honest with myself about this project- is tearing down a wall so I can add a peninsula and open the kitchen to the living room worth it? Sure, it’s a more popular option. Who doesn’t want an open floor plan?!
But how will my family benefit? It’s a $10,000 decision because I’d need to hire a structural engineer, relocate the breaker box, and re-tile the kitchen, living room, and hall. If that’s a load bearing wall, the cost would be more. Plus way more permits would need to be obtained. This all makes for more money and a longer timeline.
It’s just hard because I know that for re-sale, modernizing the floor plan would be SO smart. But for our family, it’s not a huge benefit. Sure, the extra peninsula seating would be nice and having the space open would be great. But $10,000 great? And our whole house would be torn up during the holidays. Plus we’d lose our office space on the other side of the wall.
There are also benefits to keeping the floor plan closed- less noise and kitchen smells through the rooms, more privacy (which, in a tiny 900 square foot house, is something to consider). I need to do a kitchen renovation, but tearing down the wall is a luxury, not a necessity. I’ve been sad about the wall not coming down, but for now, I really think that is the best decision.
I figure, in 10 or 20 years if we still own this home and want to change our mind, we can revisit taking down the idea then. This is a small house with two bedrooms. The current seating in the kitchen is adequate so this choice also feels correct for the home. Not as exciting, but wiser.
I’ve been deliberating about the kitchen for months. I even have this post with 5 floor plans I was considering. So I’ve carefully gone back over those options and combined a few that I think will work best.
the floor plan
We’ve been drawing our kitchen out in the IKEA floor plan software (that’s probably where we’ll get our cabinets). I thought I’d show you a few elevations so you can bet a better feel for it. You can see that the kitchen is now L shaped. There will also be a dishwasher next to the sink!!! We haven’t owned one for over 2 and a half years so that’ll be a treat! It’ll be panel ready so it can be hidden.
From this corner, the thing I’m not sure about is the upper cabinets in the corner. I’m thinking about doing open shelves from the corner to the fridge. We’ll see though. I’m also tempted to do a hood over the over instead of cabinets. Or maybe a hybrid of both. We’re still very much in the planning stages.
Next week I’ll show you inspiration pictures and some more fun plans I have. Plus we’ll start demo soon after we arrive in Florida (we’re currently on the road driving from Utah to Florida).
I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. Do you have any suggestions to make this floor plan better while keeping the wall? What could I add that’d be fun? You guys are SO good with ideas I’ve never thought of. Although I’m not taking down the wall, I really want to make this space special.
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