Monday, January 6, 2014

One Nine Inch Drawer... Really?

We purchased our 1940 Four Square house in April of 2013. It is located in a little village in Western New York. We truly love it, but it required some immediate changes.

When we looked at our house we were on a time crunch. We had three days to look and find a house. Which could be totally done... However, in Western New York the majority of houses don't have lockboxes and the realtor must hook up with the selling realtor in order to get a key. Not ideal when you have a time crunch and/or inpatient to look at a house.

We were all set to put a bid in on a house when our realtor told us about this house. She told us that she only had 10 minutes to show it to us because she had to be back in the city (1 hour away) for a meeting. And, we had to get back to Virginia.

It didn't even take us the full 10 minutes to fall for this house. It felt cozy, warm and well... like home!

However, it wasn't until we had our walk through that I realized the kitchen only had one drawer and it was only 9" wide.

Who has only one teeny tiny drawer in the kitchen? Well... us!

The before pictures are from the real estate listing.

We knew we would need additional counter space but with this realization we knew we would need to remodel sooner rather than later. The challenge was to add additional drawer/counter space without making our small kitchen feel even smaller. It was an "L" shape and we decided to make it into a "U" shape. This would only require a couple of edits. The first thing we did was remove the long vertical window and install a shorter one. One that would accommodate counter height cabinets under it.
  I don't know where the pictures of that project is. Once I locate them I will update this post.
They did leave us an inexpensive cart that they removed the wheels to accommodate the window.
Once that was done we removed the dishwasher and the minuscule little cabinet from the right side of the sink.
We then installed a corner cabinet with two built-in rotating kidney shelves. Adjacent to that cabinet we butted the much need drawer... three of them. *grin*. Mission accomplished! We now have a place to store our utensils and dish towels. Next to the drawers is a brand new stainless steel dishwasher and we reused the little minuscule cabinet on the end of the U-shape.
Sorry about the shadow... still learning how to take photos.
However, with a twist… we need all the space/storage we can squeeze out of our little kitchen so I asked my husband to cut-out the side of the cabinet and enclose the interior as a bookcase. The front is still functional… we use it to store our keys.

Note that we installed the tile to the door jam (back door) and down to the baseboard.

For the top cabinets, over the new counter area, we added a new corner cabinet and also reused the old upper cabinet that was above the old dishwasher. I love open shelving for glasses and cups. And, for that reason we didn’t replace the doors on the old cabinet after I finish painting it. More about that later.

The old and new cabinets have two different style fronts. To unify the look and make it less obvious I painted the lower cabinets a medium gray called Amazon Stone and the top cabinets and walls a creamy white called Eloquent White.

Having the walls and upper cabinets the same color opens up the area and makes it feel bigger.

Here are some before and after of our counters. It always amazes me how much a little tweaking and paint can change the whole look of a room.

Photos on the left are from the MLS listing.

Next on the agenda was the refrigerator area. When you walk into our house you look directly thru our little hallway/ butler’s pantry and into the kitchen. I found it jarring that you could see the side of the refrigerator. Not to mention... it was extremely unattractive.

Note that the trim & baseboards are stained in this room (all rooms actually) and white in the kitchen.

I asked the hubs to enclose both sides of the refrigerator to make it look more built-in. We also  install a cabinet above the refrigerator for additional storage. He built the cabinet box and repurposed the cabinet doors from the old cabinet. You know... the one that is now open shelving and holding our glasses and cups.

At this angle you can see a little peek into our butler's pantry.

Now the refrigerator has a more finished, built-in, look and it gives the butler’s panty (to the right) more of a defined space.

It is so much nicer walking in and looking into the kitchen area. For a comparison here is a before and after.

We are very pleased with how the kitchen turned out. It doesn't feel cramped at all. The hubs and I can work together in the kitchen without getting into each other way... well most of the time! *grin*

Whew! I hope this wasn’t information overload. Next time I will show how we updated our little butler's pantry.

Thank you for stopping!

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