Kitchen Progress and Plans

I can’t believe it’s already been half a year since we moved into our house. Sorry I didn’t do a great job of keeping you all up to date on changes as they happened over the past six months! So, I thought I would do a shot-for-shot juxtaposition of the first floor tour I posted in August, filling you in on what has happened in the interim.

We’ll start in the kitchen. These photos haven’t been staged (not that I’m good at that if I had even tried): I just want to show you what I’ve done and tell you what I plan to do.

Before:

downstairs20

Now:

Dining Room.JPG

What’s been done:

  • The entire house was painted using the same color of just-barely-not-white that I used at our last apartment: Irish Mist by Behr. I may eventually paint rooms different colors, but I wanted a clean canvas for move-in and this was an easy choice.
  • The oak floors were in decent shape and I love the mid-tone brown color, so a full refinishing job wasn’t necessary. We had them buffed and recoated (also called “screened and recoated”): it’s a light sanding followed by a new coat of satin poly.
  • Replaced all of the kitchen lights with recessed LED lights.
  • Installed a pet door so that the cats can go on the enclosed back porch, where the litter box is located.
  • Hung temporary pleated shades (SCHOTTIS from IKEA).

Before:

downstairs19

Now:

Kitchen Dining Room.JPG

Our move-in goal was for everything to be clean, safe, and functional. With that achieved, I now plan to take my time decorating.

Before:

downstairs17

Now:

Kitchen Cart.JPG

The kitchen lights looked like chaotic eyeballs. The new flush recessed lights are much less crazy. I also scrubbed and spray painted the fan vent so that it blends in better. Yes, they installed a bathroom exhaust fan in the kitchen. SMH.

Before:

Ceiling Before.JPG

Now:

Ceiling After.JPG

Before:

downstairs18

Now:

Kitchen.JPG

Before:

downstairs16

Now:

Kitchen Island.JPG

I have no idea why the previous owner installed Brazilian cherry in the kitchen. It seems as though they layered it over the original oak. But that’s not weirdest thing about the kitchen. See how the ceiling dips down in the corners? That’s not an optical illusion. That’s not a structural flaw. That’s a design choice. The ceiling is a full several inches higher in the center of the room, and bows down evenly toward the north and south walls. My friend Carolyn joked “Well, the Concave Movement started in the early 1800s. It was an aesthetic designed to confuse and delight.”

Confuse and delight!

So weird! But less noticeable now that the walls are white. We’ll probably live with it forever, unless it impedes future kitchen renovation plans.

What I plan to do, short term (within a year or so):

  • Buy a new rug, table, and possibly chairs. The table is shot, and I’d prefer black chairs that are sturdier. The existing chairs still look good but are rickety for everyday use.
  • Buy a credenza or cabinet of some sort
  • Install window shades
  • Install a new light fixture
  • Hang art and add plants
  • Paint the wainscoting around the dining room (it’s currently the same color as the walls). I’ll probably do pure white – black or some other color would be interesting, but I’m afraid it would look too chopped up by the window and door.
  • Replace the back door with a glass door, so that we get more light and can see into our backyard.

What I plan to do, long term (five years from now, maybe?):

  • Full kitchen remodel: the existing kitchen is totally fine, so there’s no hurry to renovate, but we’ll eventually replace all of the cabinets and appliances.
  • Add a window to the east wall (so that we get more light and can see into our backyard, as with the glass door)
  • Replace the large window next to the dining table: the existing windows are vinyl and the style isn’t appropriate for the house. We’ll do Craftsman casement windows (something like these). The trim around the window will also be replaced with Craftsman style trim.

That’s enough for now!

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