Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer
Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a remodel that’s seemingly taking forever (and, well, you’ve been without a kitchen sink for two months), it can be stressful and perhaps a bit discouraging to continue to go over the massive “still to do” list in your head. So today instead of looking forward, I decided to take a moment and look back, and to see how far I’ve come. Yes, it’s taken two months to get here. And yes, I was sure hoping it would go faster than this. But you know what? This kitchen has come a long way so far! 🙂
The original sink cabinet was against this wall where the window was (and still is, kind of).
I removed all of those cabinets (by myself!!) and old drywall, and added reinforcement in the form of new 2 x 4’s for the new cabinets. My brother-in-law ran all new wiring which was finished up last weekend, so now this wall is ready for drywall. Although I’m thinking that I might add reinforcements for the lower cabinets as well, so that will need to be done before I hang the drywall. This will be the wall of cabinets with the sconces, glass front cabinets in the upper middle section, and long, uninterrupted countertop.
(Obviously I don’t have the trim kits in my recessed lights yet. They’re sitting in my hallway until I finish up the taping and mudding on the ceiling.) 🙂
This is the wall that has changed the most. This kitchen originally felt so small, dark, and closed in, like a shoe box. You can see the gas line on that narrow wall, so that’s where the range was supposed to go. Once it was there, it closed in the room even more.
And now that wall has been opened up. It feels so much bigger in here now that there’s no wall separating the kitchen and breakfast room, and now that the natural light from those windows can pour into the kitchen. And of course, it’ll look even bigger and more open once I get all of my construction (destruction?) mess cleaned up, and get the appliances and cabinets out of the breakfast room. This is where the sink will be relocated.
I still need to build a half wall that the cabinets will be attached to, and where the electrical boxes for the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and outlets can be placed. (The outlets I’m talking about will be on the end of the peninsula.) But I can’t build the wall until the refrigerator and stove are back in the kitchen. And I can’t move those back into the kitchen until I polyurethane the floor, let it dry, and then cover it with that red paper for protection. 🙂 And once that half wall is built, I can finish up the drywall on that wall as well.
Here’s the other original wall of cabinets.
My father-in-law helped me remove these cabinets when he was here in February. All of the original cabinets that I salvaged will be used in the garage to create my workroom.
And now this wall looks like this.
At one time, I actually had this wall looking perfectly smooth. But after the ceiling drywall and insulation came down, and then after the massive air ducts were removed (with most of them being removed through the kitchen ceiling), this wall is looking a bit banged up. But that’s nothing that a bit (more) of drywall mud and sandpaper can’t fix. 🙂 There won’t be any cabinets on this wall in the new kitchen. The sink cabinets/peninsula will be on the left, and then the refrigerator and stove will be on the right.
And yes, I’m very happy with that design. And no, I’m not going to change my mind at this point. (Just wanting to head off the inevitable suggestions of creating a U-shaped cabinet arrangement.) 🙂
And here’s the fourth and final wall of the original kitchen. This is where the refrigerator was intended to go, and you can also see hookups for a portable dishwasher. So you can see that with the fridge there, you’d have to walk around the fridge to reach some of those cabinets. Very awkward.
And now, this wall looks like this. This is where the fridge and range will go, separated by a cabinet/countertop. There will also be a small cabinet/countertop to the right of the range.
The refrigerator will go in the corner. I still need to measure how high the fridge will come on the wall, and then add a 2 x 4 and drywall above where the fridge will sit. The the area where the fridge will sit will remain without drywall. I’m hoping that those additional 4.5 inches that I’ve gained by leaving the drywall off and removing one of the studs will allow the fridge to sit back just enough so that it looks more like a counter-depth refrigerator than a standard depth refrigerator. There’s a small possibility that I’ll have to cut out that portion of the wall completely and reframe it to gain a bit more space, but I’m really hoping that I don’t have to do that. I’m going to see how it looks like this first, and then make that determination.
The original floor was asbestos tiles.
And underneath those tiles was a wood floor that had some issues, especially after I started moving/removing plumbing and gas lines around and left holes in the floor. And now I have a new, solid wood red oak floor with beautiful painted stripes.
And finally, I can’t forget the ceiling! This kitchen originally had polystyrene ceiling tiles (just like the rest of the house…ugh) attached to 1 x 4’s that had been nailed into the ceiling joists. Once those were removed, it damaged the drywall, which was only 1/2-inch drywall instead of 5/8-inch drywall. And in the whole room, there was only one single bulb in the middle of the ceiling providing light.
Now I have new 5/8-inch drywall on the ceiling, and in addition to the center light (which will be a decorative fixture) I also have eight recessed lights on dimmer switches. I certainly have no lack of light in here now!
I definitely have a long way to go, but I’ve come so far already!
Right now, my one and only goal is to get this kitchen to the point where I can call the plumber and have him install my sink and garbage disposal. In order for that to happen, I still have to do the following:
- Polyurethane the floors, let them dry, and then cover with paper for protection;
- Finish installing the drywall, and then tape and mud;
- Move the fridge and range into the kitchen;
- Build the half wall and finish the electrical in that wall;
- Drywall, tape and mud the half wall and the areas around it;
- Install the cabinets;
- Pour the concrete countertops;
- CALL THE PLUMBER!
Once I have a working kitchen sink, I can focus on finishing up the decorative stuff. But right now, I’ve got my eye on the prize, and a working, functional kitchen sink is the one and only prize I’m after at this point. 🙂
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
Alicia YoungMay 23, 2014 at 9:44 am
Good job!! Maybe you could take a small break for the weekend. A movie maybe or maybe that massage I doubt you got?!
TessMay 23, 2014 at 9:52 am
A woman on a mission. Hang in there, one day it’ll all be finished and you can relax and enjoy. It all looks amazing!!
SherryMay 23, 2014 at 9:52 am
Wow. I’m exhausted just reading all that. It’s amazing to me your vision and execution. I find myself waiting in anticipation to see what you do next. I have to say I’m impressed with all you accomplish on your own. I decided last weekend to make a basket like the one you made with the 2×4 pieces. Let me just say after 5 hours and two trips to Home Depot it’s sitting in my garage only half done and I’m still not sure it will turn out alright. I got a little crazy with the wood glue. I don’t see a kitchen remodel in my future. Lol
AnnMay 23, 2014 at 9:53 am
It wears me out just looking at all of the work you have accomplished. Great job! I also want to recommend ram board for floor protection. It’s available in rolls at Home Depot. Your floors are so beautiful I’d hate to see them get scratched.
AbbyMay 23, 2014 at 9:54 am
I am in the market for a new range. How are you liking yours? Have you been able to use it yet?
SherryMay 23, 2014 at 10:00 am
Not sure what happened to my first comment so I’ll try again. Sorry if this is a duplicate.
I’m exhausted just reading all that. I’m amazed at your vision and execution. I find myself waiting in anticipation of what you accomplish next.
Last weekend I was inspired to make the basket you showed using the 2×4 wood pieces. Let’s just say after 5 hours and two trips to Home Depot the basket is only half done and sitting in my garage. I’m still not sure it will turn out alright and I got a little crazy with the wood glue apparently. I don’t see a kitchen remodel in my future. Lol
Susan ClarkMay 23, 2014 at 10:04 am
Looking back is a wonderful way to get rejuvenated. I also get re-energized when I get my hands in dirt and play with plants and flowers for a while, in the cool of the morn. We are having lovely cool mornings and evenings here in NW Arkansas. Headed to Lowes this morning for some plants and pots after spending days on end laying a huge brick sidewalk in the front and trying to get our massive deck out back finished. (My little sidewalk and small deck both got monstrous once my hubby got involved!) Both are projects we are learning as we go, so do-overs have happened several times! Our biggest dilemma at this time is how to waterproof the second floor deck so we have usable patio space under it, without spending the huge fortune some systems offer. Budget can be so inhibiting! Anyway, wanting a break from that, so off to flower shopping I go!
AmyMay 23, 2014 at 10:06 am
Just food for thought … I had no choice and had to put my fridge in the corner but I hate it! I can’t open the doors all the way (because of the wall — the hinge on the fridge door has limitations) so it makes putting items in and out difficult, to put it mildly. And if I were to switch the door swing then it would close off the rest of the kitchen when I’m getting into the fridge. Just do some “pretending” to see how it “feels” in your planned location. Nice job, btw. You’re truly an inspiration for all us DIY girls.
CarlaMay 23, 2014 at 11:34 am
Kristi discussed this in detail on one of the earlier kitchen posts.
SusanMay 23, 2014 at 10:08 am
You are my most favourite DIY person ever! I love what you do, you have the most fabulous ideas, and you are a hoot, no wonder we all love you so much. You are also the first blog I found and read from start to finish, and the first one I bookmarked way back when. Now I subscribe and am so happy when I see you’ve posted something. It’s like, oh goody, what did she do today?! Signed a very appreciative fan from Canada. ox
JasonMay 23, 2014 at 10:25 am
Well done Kirsti you’ll get there with it,I think you done an amazing job!
Margene KieferMay 23, 2014 at 10:26 am
Amazing…you are totally amazing.
LorriMay 23, 2014 at 10:34 am
Wow, what a difference! You are so talented, Kristi. It is fascinating to read about your process, the options and choices you consider and then see it all come together. I know the anticipation you’re feeling. We just completed remodeling our kitchen last month after a flood Thanksgiving night. We missed running water and a sink more than anything else. Its the simple things you miss the most isn’t it? Hang in there. It will be awesome and finished soon. 🙂
TammyMay 23, 2014 at 10:44 am
Thanks for this post…it shows us too exactly what your working with…the room looks great. I do love your floors. I must of thought you were keeping them dark. I like them lighter like that.. GREAT JOB KRISTI……!!!!!
TammyMay 23, 2014 at 10:50 am
Oh I also wanted to say that I’m glad that you are keeping your old cabinets for storage in your future work station… I would LOVE to have something like that… and it drives me crazy when you watch these shows and they just throw them away….
I JUST LOVE YOUR BLOG…. although so far all I do is small projects maybe one day I will try to go alitlle bigger..
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND…!!!!
JudyMaeMay 23, 2014 at 11:08 am
You are truly amazing. What a difference! It must make you feel good to look back and see all that you have accomplished so far. One question, please. I don’t understand why you need a half wall. As I understand your plans (and this may be where the trouble comes in) you are going to put some lower cabinets facing into the kitchen and some facing into the other room. Wouldn’t this be strong enough to hold the sink and counter without having to build a wall? If you had the space, you could also put a wine rack or bookcase set at a 90 degree angle to the cabinets facing into the opening for even more storage. Just not seeing why a wall is needed?
CarlaMay 23, 2014 at 11:30 am
The cabinets need to be attached to a wall.
Lysa ByousMay 23, 2014 at 11:24 am
Something I want to do in my next home, if at all possible, is to recess the refrigerator like you are planning on doing. However, I want to have a false closet or cupboard on the back side (or a door inside a closet) so that I can access the back of the refrigerator to vacuum or clean out behind/under it without having to pull it out. Yes, I am that lazy.
Gilmer GalMay 23, 2014 at 11:28 am
IDK, Kristi, I’m kind of missing the leafy wallpaper. Did you save some for future projects?
JUST KIDDING! This has been so much fun to watch everything you have done so far. Thanks for taking us along for this ride. So much inspiration.
CathyMay 23, 2014 at 11:42 am
Great Job Kristi!
A quick question… Having never done this before myself… I wondered why you would not save the floor for last so you do not have to worry about it getting damaged as you finish rest of kitchen? Is ther advantages to doing it this way?
SusanMay 23, 2014 at 11:44 am
Just a suggestion about the red paper. My floors got damaged by the refrigerator wheels and the contractors dropping tools THROUGH THE PAPER! Arggh. Anyway, I would suggest something thicker, maybe cardboard.
It’s incredible to see the before photos and to see all the work you’ve done almost singlehandedly. YOU ARE AMAZING!
IvetteMay 23, 2014 at 11:46 am
Who wired your recessed lighting? Was it your brother-in-law? I’ve been wanting to put in recessed lights in some parts of my house and wondered if it was a DIY project, or an electrician project.
AltaMay 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Indoor plumbing, it’s gonna be BIG! Woohoo!
TracyMay 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm
Your floor is fabulous. I can’t believe how perfect the stripes are. You must have patience out the wazoo …and then some. Call me impressed! !!
TracyMay 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Just read the previous post. .going backwards today. I’m surprised you were swayed by comments about the floor. Remember all the crazy things people said about your awesome credenza? Your ideas are so fresh and creative- I say run with them. I’m finally creating the beach house theme I wanted for ten years. You have inspired me to take some risks that have turned out great!
MarciaMay 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm
You are INCREDIBLE!! Your work ethic and TALENTS are beyond words! When faced with a set back (redoing the kitchen floor, for instance), you forge ahead and GET IT DONE! A great role model for all of us! I look forward to your daily progress and it is looking so beautiful. Keep going!!
LauraMay 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm
You are a dynamo!! I am loving your painted floors!! I have wanted to paint a wood floor with a gingham pattern I saw in Martha Stewart 20 years ago!! I have yet to have the opportunity so I am loving your floor vicariously!! 🙂
SueMay 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm
I hope you feel proud and happy with all you’ve accomplished. It looks amazing! When you get the cabinets and plumbing in you’ll be on the ‘home stretch’. You go girl!
Cannot wait to see your kitchen floor on the ceiling in the hallway – I know I’ll LOVE it!!!!!!
EdithMay 23, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Everything is looking fantastic!! Obviously all of this would have had to be completed at some point and I may be wrong, but all of the kitchen work started with the hope of hanging that beautiful light fixture. Where is the light? It is kinda like give a mouse a cookie, only backwards! A job that seems quick always turns into more. Keep up the good work. You really are an inspiration – really.
Mary Anne LoobyMay 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm
There were a lot of cabinets in that little kitchen. I’m glad you were able to save some of them, since they are so nice and sturdy looking. It’s too bad you can’t hire a few day laborers to give you a hand with all the heavy stuff. It would be so nice to be able to say bring me this or that, or do this or that. It would still be your project but it sure is an awful lot of heavy work for a woman. I know you are strong and fit, but still, at the end of the day, it would be nice to not have deal with sweeping up and such. Oh well, you certainly are on your way. If I were you I would just sit with a glass of wine and look at the beautiful floor. It’s a work of art and will really make your kitchen one of a kind. Best of luck with the rest of the project, I really look forward to your posts everyday to see how you are coming along. You should take a few days off and celebrate the holiday, there is always next week and you know it will get done~ Happy Memorial Day
JanisMay 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm
Since I started reading your blog I have come out of my shell. You have helped me so much lady! THANK YOU!! Before I did almost nothing, but now I do projects almost everyday. With the help of my cousin, I start on my fireplace first of July. I had to make sure I had everything bought and I’m almost to the end of your list. lol Thank you Kristi for saving me. You are so amazing and awesome. Love all you do. Loving your kitchen and the floor is awesome, love it. May you have the very best holiday ever.
GuerrinaMay 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm
Amazing to look at the before and current photos! Wonderful job, Kristi! I don’t have a single question to ask! Hope you take a bit of time to enjoy the weekend!
MichelleMay 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm
Ditto some of the comments on protecting the floor. When my new fridge came in, the installers scarred my floor in several places. Their insurance (Loew’s) paid me, but it still had to be dealt with. Definitely use something thick. By the way, in May’s Better Homes and Gardens, I saw a floor almost like yours (pg. 66). Turns out it is vinyl tile, but obviously your ideas are “de rigeur” for a top notch shelter mag! So happy you made the change from the “gym floor” although I shed a few tears for you having to undo and redo. What a fantastic role model you are!
maryannbMay 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm
Love your floor! Looking forward to the next series of pictures! You are an inspiration!
RachealMay 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm
I don’t know about everyone else but I kind of miss the old funky green floral wallpaper bits that were in the kitchen originally! (I’m totally kidding) I had forgotten about that wallpaper being in there though. It’s amazing how far you’ve come, keep up the fantastic work.
debbieMay 23, 2014 at 7:29 pm
Wow, it is coming along very quickly. It’s going to be beautiful and I love the floor.
NataliaMay 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm
How long do you expect it will take to get through that list?
RebeccaMay 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm
Great work Kristi!!
froot loopMay 24, 2014 at 10:30 am
What amazing progress. And I’m sure someone else already has mentioned this but I hope you saved a very small piece of that wallpaper. I would frame or make a small coaster out of it and put it somewhere in your new kitchen to remind yourself every day of your achievement.
Lea BillingsleyMay 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm
Kristi, It took me 2 months just to repaint my kitchen cabinets. Lol You are a one woman DYNAMO!! Don’t know how you are able to get so much done so quickly. Enjoy your posts and can’t wait for the next
Chelle EllisMay 25, 2014 at 12:01 am
I’ve been meaning to ask this but always seem to forget: What is on the other side of the window you are walling up?
Kristi LinauerMay 25, 2014 at 8:19 am
It’s the sunroom. We’ll eventually tear it down and rebuild, but it’ll be split into two rooms — a family room and a laundry/utility room.
Chelle EllisMay 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm
Very nice, can’t wait to see! You have inspired me to tackle refinishing the old hardwood under my ugly carpet in my hallway, studio and master bedroom. So far, I have pulled up the carpet, padding, tacks, etc. in the hallway to get an idea of what I am in for but sanding will have to wait a few weeks. It’s oak, but it seems to be lighter than your red oak. My worst nightmare would be sand and seal it to a blond finish. Didn’t you mention a brand of sealer once that finishes darker than others? I don’t want to stain, so this would seem to be the route I need to take.
ClairieMay 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm
Two months are great for a progress like this, Kristi, you are a real hard worker! 🙂 We are currently in the process of renovating our house and it takes much more time, especially because we are a little bit limited by the fact that as heritage home owners we have to consult every single change… For example, we wanted to change the front door and choose new windows what seemed to be a quite easy and fast thing, but the whole process took us like 3 weeks. Well, Toronto is quite strict when it comes to preserving the authenticity of old buildings, but it’s still worth it and I’m glad that we can live at a place with soul. I just hope that we can be ready with all in 10 months…
DebiMay 25, 2014 at 9:59 pm
You’re doing a beautiful job! Keep up the good work!
Elizabeth SagarminagaMay 26, 2014 at 5:07 am
Great job! Thanks for sharing such a nice idea. The cabinets and their color look fabulous. I was thinking of remodeling my kitchen and your idea would surely help me.
JeannieMay 31, 2014 at 1:33 pm
Don’t forget to wire for undercabinet light task lighting. The older you get, the more your eyes will thank you.
JoEllenJune 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm
I am loving this new kitchen of yours!!! I can not believe how much you have gotten done in two months. And I love, love, LOVE the floor painted this way. I have to say I wasn’t loving the original painting, and I’m so glad that you changed it. This new floor is to die for.
I can’t wait to see it all completed! You’re the first blogger I check in with at the beginning of my day. I am always surprised by how much you are able to get done in a matter of days!!