Our Kitchen: The Good, The Bad & The Greasy

The kitchen is one of the few areas of our home that was relatively functional when we purchased. We loved the size of it and the existing natural light, but it definitely came with it's own set of "quirks". 



Before we had the foundation completely redone, there were lots of areas that felt “off” around the house, none more so than the kitchen. When walking toward the sink, you literally felt like you were trudging up a hill. You can actually even see the slope in the picture above, which was taken pre-foundation. 


There was literally grease on every surface of the kitchen. The fact that there was no venting system probably had a lot to do with this, but even with that in mind, the range of the grease distribution was impressive. Seriously, it was everywhere. 



There was a mysterious gap between the last cabinet and the wall (see above) that somehow still included a countertop— almost like a perfect opening for a future dishwasher, except for the fact that it was entirely the wrong size. 



The left side of our kitchen is a wall with a cutout opening and small countertop. The wall beneath the countertop is insanely dirty. It’s reasonable to assume that perhaps the previous owners used this as a sort of eat in kitchen area, since there was no dining room in the house at that time. Even so, the level of dirtiness that exists on that wall is truly incredible.


The current electrical design included an extension cord running from the fridge outlet through the cabinet to the stove, which, needless to say is NOT up to code. Our resident electrician and plumber (Em V's dad) installed the electrical and plumbing needed to support the stove, fridge, and dishwasher.


Bad News

Here’s the part where i’m probably going to disappoint you— were not gutting it. The floor tile, cabinets and countertops are all relatively new and in decent shape, and with waste and budget in mind, it doesn’t make sense for us to scrap them at this point. 

Instead we have decided to fix the big offenders listed above, and then add a few elements that will bring the design choices we inherited closer to the aesthetic vibe we are going for with the house as a whole. This doesn't mean I haven't woken up in a cold sweat doubting this decision, because, I have. However, we do like the challenge of trying to preserve some of the home's original elements to give our updated design a unique spin. 

Our Plans

  • White tile backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. I love how refreshing and modern the stack bond pattern feels after seeing so much pinwheel subway tile everywhere. When I came across the backsplash in Mandi’s kitchen, I knew I wanted to try to do something similar in our space. She got her tile from home depot, and we were overjoyed to find some design inspiration that was within our budget. 

Tile: Home Depot

Grout: TEC Silverado

  • white open shelving that will blend into the background and allow the eye to still travel up. Upper cabinets with this ceiling height would be way too oppressive.
  • modern cabinet knobs— still deciding on these, suggestions appreciated!
  • new stainless steel appliances, including the addition of a vent hood and dishwasher. Em V’s parents helped us trim down the large cabinet and reinstall it to the left of where a dishwasher will be installed next week. 
  • paint - we plan to paint the kitchen a nice fresh white to blend in with the white backsplash, which will definitely be a massive improvement from the current custom mixed shade of dirt/grime/grease. 
  • new windows. the whole house is getting new windows, but we particularly can’t wait to see how much more light clean windows without broken seals will bring into the kitchen. 
  • The Sink/faucet. The faucet will likely be replaced but we haven’t made a final decision on the sink yet. We’re not sure if its possible (or worth it!) to replace with an under mount given our current countertop situation or not. 
  • New light fixtures. The current flushmount is not great and gives off barely any light. We plan to replace it with a simple and more functional alternative. Over the sink we will add a globe sconce for accent lighting.

There is a TON going on with the house right now, and its hard to find the balance between getting work done and documenting getting work done, but I promise to be back soon with much more to report on our progress.

-Em O