Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project - With A Capital "P", Part I

We have finally started what I like to think of as The Main Event in the ownership of our little house. Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote to announce that we would be starting our kitchen remodel. Now, two weeks later, I can officially say that we have checked off several items on the kitchen remodel to-do list.

As I stated in a previous post, our little 50s ranch-style house, is used to be very compartmentalized and closed off. Each little room was its own separate space. Now, there is nothing wrong with a little compartmentalization (in other words, bathrooms and bedrooms should all be separate and should have doors...), but your main living space, ie: kitchen, living room, dining room, should be a sociable space. Our main living area was definitely not that, so we decided to change it!

Here are a few before pictures:

This is a view from our hallway into the kitchen (red room on the right) and the living room.

A view of the wall (and hallway) in the living room that we decided to knock out. Don't worry, we got to keep the bookshelf, it just had to be moved to another wall!

This image is a little redundant, but it shows the dining room. So, basically on the opposite side of the khaki wall, are the kitchen and dining room.

This is a view of the two walls in the dining room that are shared by the kitchen and living room. This corner is the key to really opening up these three spaces!

Our cluttered kitchen (believe it or not, the remodel really helped us get more organized...). The cabinets and part of the red wall pictured here had to come out to open up the space.

So, now that you've got the lay out down, let's talk about the changes. We live in our kitchen. Every night, the two of us set up camp in the kitchen. We do this because, with the layout pictured above, if I'm in the kitchen and Adam is in the living room or dining room, we can't see or hear each other. Basically, we either end up walking back and forth or just yelling at each other from our separate rooms...sounds delightful, right?

We also love to entertain and a compartmentalized layout is not ideal for entertaining. I've found that our guests always gravitate to the kitchen. With this remodel, we wanted to give our guests more space to enjoy, while not making them feel cut off from the rest of the party. I think it's safe to say that we achieved our goal of opening things up...

The first step before knocking out any walls is to make sure that the wall you want to take out is not load bearing. Adam and I checked in the attic and we were pretty sure, but had my dad check as well (he knows a little more about this stuff than we do!). It turned out we were right! The walls were not load bearing, which meant we got to take out EVERYTHING we wanted to take out!

NOTE: we were also lucky because we didn't have any pipes or wires running through any of these walls. That is something else you need to check for before putting that hammer through the wall!

Take a look at the step by step process below:

The crew surveying the project. As you can see, demolition tools are already in hand...

First step was to take the cabinets out and mark the sections of walls to be removed. You can't see the lines, but there are lines drawn on each wall to show where to cut. I had the honor of being the first person to knock holes in the wall!

Adam and my dad cutting out the first section.

Chandler had the honor of knocking the hole in the other side of the wall...
she decided to take a peek in to see how things were coming along on the other side!

Seeing some progress! Look at the light streaming in the front windows...
can you imagine how it's going to brighten up our dark kitchen?!

Opening things up! (And looking very official with his face mask...)

The new view from the living room into the kitchen...

Starting to get everything opened up. The Shop-Vac really came in handy!

Now everything is open, but there is still a lot of work to do.
This view is from the dining room into the kitchen. You can now even see into the hallway!! 

This photo was taken hours later, when the openings were being trimmed out.
The Howe casing really cleaned things up! Eventually, all of the trim will of course be painted white,
which will also help to clean and brighten things!

This view is from the kitchen into the dining room. This is the section of wall where the cabinets used to be, hence the awesome mis-matched wall and ceiling paint colors. Still waiting for trim, but you can really see the difference!

We've reached the stopping point for my pictures. Believe me, I have TONS more...but I don't want to spend all my good pictures in one post!

Things to look for in the coming posts:

  • Our new breakfast area
  • New chandelier (not that the one pictured above isn't just dazzling...)
  • The new storage space (since we lost cabinet space)
  • The new wall color

We've only just begun on this kitchen remodel, but you wouldn't believe the change! I can't wait to show you the new look for our kitchen! Stay tuned!

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