Mainly, we are living in my Office/Kitchen, which may explain why I have a writing deadline looming, but all I can seem to do is eat Costco Trail Mix all day long. We use an electric burner from Amazon, a panini maker, and a microwave we found on a yard sale site. My bookshelves are now a hodge bodge of books, olive oil, and snacks. Here's Tim chopping an avocado on his knees. Better on the back, I guess.
We do our dishes in the laundry sink one room over, and the fridge is in the family room.
No one seems to mind this set up. It has given us more time together, but I do miss the dishwasher. Each time I come down with another bug, I wonder if it's because our dishwashing isn't up to par.
ON TO THE KITCHEN!
We live in a traditional split level, with a kitchen, dining area, and living room on the main floor. We also have a teeny tiny foyer that flows into the living room. Our goal was to open up the walls between the kitchen and living room, and widen the opening between the kitchen and the dining room. We did keep half walls and columns to delineate the rooms. This was a hard decision to make, because I was sorely tempted to have it one open space, but money came into play, as did my desire to not have all my kitchen crap in the living room. We'll see how that goes. For the past two houses, the living room and dining room have stayed "nice" but no one used them. We also didn't have a baby or toddler. This will be a more casual plan, likely more messy, but hopefully more fun!
Here's a BEFORE view from the living room into the kitchen. A dark corner with my awesome antique "Swan Table" in it. Those two walls got cut down to half walls, with a soffit above containing a very important beam:
Here's the same view now with shallow shaker cabinets for school supplies on the left and a breakfast bar/homework area to the right:
Here's the same view, but from inside the kitchen. I liked the layout before, but a few of the cabinets were falling apart.
We got rid of ALL of the upper cabinets (GULP!) and made a straight corner instead of going on the diagonal. That's Margaret standing on a stool, showing you our beams, I suppose.
Also, inside the kitchen, the narrow doorway between kitchen and dining area got widened a bit.
It may look dark in the pictures, but it feels brighter already. Sadly, those gorgeous french doors need to be replaced with sliders, because otherwise there is no room for a dining table there. We took about 24 inches from the dining room and added it to the kitchen, and that's about how much space it takes for the french doors to open inward. This change is $$$, but needs to happen. A smarter fix would have been to replace the doors with a window, giving us more wall and floor space in in the dining area, and moving the doors to the deck into the living room, but that was cost prohibitive. Sooo, I'll be looking for a small-ish table and also considering NOT moving my china cabinet back into this area.
Because we got rid of all the upper cabinets, we needed space for, um, FOOD. So, we turned my little desk area (crap pile) and the doggie feeding area into a pantry.
It will involve NOT stockpiling as much food, but it should work fine. Haven't asked the dogs how they feel about this yet.
On another note, we went with inset doors. Our old doors/drawers were frameless, which means our new ones look more like furniture, but have a lot less storage. The jury is still out on this decision.
OK, here's the other side of the kitchen, where you walk in from the garage. Not much not to love here. Those drawers ROCKED!
We are keeping the same stove and fridge and instead of a microwave, installing a vent hood. Our yard sale microwave will go on the other side of the fridge, more toward the dining area. I also tried to center the stove a little more by moving it over a tad.
Here's where the microwave and the coffee maker will go, in this narrow cabinet that borrows space from the dining room. In theory, they will be behind closed doors, but we'll see if we actually keep them closed. I doubt it, even though it was my idea.
Speaking of the dining area, I ordered a light fixture from one of those daily deal sites. But, I couldn't find my tape measure anywhere and ordered one that is HUGE for such a small space.
I like it a lot, but I'm afraid it will look weird. So, we are thinking of swapping it with our foyer light.
Even though the foyer is only about 4x4, I think it can handle a larger light because of the high ceilings, and I also think bringing some black into an all-white kitchen is not a bad thing. As for other lighting, we are not having pendants over the breakfast bar because we felt like the columns and the soffit already cut off the space enough, without anything else hanging down.
Okay, for those of you who like the nitty gritty:
We are using these pulls from Build.com because they are cheap, good looking, and we need a lot of them. They are only about $2.50 each:
And this faucet from Build.com= cheap, good looking.
For paint, we are going with Moonshine by Benjamin Moore. I'm afraid it will be too much of a COOL gray, and I'm more of a WARM person, but we will see. Grays are tough, yo! I wanted to make sure there would be enough contrast between that and the warm greige we have on the lower level of the house. I would have done the whole house in the greige, but it was painted before we moved in and we don't know what it's called.
As for countertops, I can't really talk about it yet because I am still a little freaked about them, but I will give you a little info here. We (Tim) chose Quartz countertops called Calacutta Grey by Quartzmasters. We said goodbye to the natural yet finicky stone we'd been eyeing since Christmas and ponied up the extra money for this low maintenance solution. It costs double our countertop allowance. It gets installed this Friday, and I'll let you know late next week what we think of it.
Here's what it looks like standing upright. It may or may not look like my varicose veins.
So there's the update. Let's get this bad boy finished up so we can move on to a NURSERY!
Love and Hugs.