Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kitchen Renovation: Week One

Last week I posted about our kitchen renovation and the prep to get ready for it - more on that here. I'm excited to share the progress so far! I hope you'll follow along with the updates. Week one included a lot of exciting changes, even though it left us with no countertops, appliances or a sink. Get a glimpse into the planner that I am - see the dishes I made to prep for the renovation here.

Here's what you've been waiting for - a run down of the changes by day along with some fun progress pictures of course.
Day 1 - Load out:
Appliances were taken out and the countertops and back splash were also removed. The "back splash" was more of a lack of a back splash. It was a piece of cream colored laminate (matching the countertops) glued to the wall between the upper and lower cabinets. We're pretty excited to be rid of that and be replacing it with a real back splash. The counters were cream Formica/laminate and every drop of coffee, wine, pasta sauce etc. immediately stained them before you could even wipe it up. Although we learned that a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser worked magic on those little stains, we won't miss the counters. Check out our sad, bare kitchen (and note the glow from the fluorescent lights):
Kitchen renovation
Day 2 - Lights!
Day 2 brought removal of our 2 fluorescent light fixtures, which were replaced with 6 recessed lights. This may seem like a small change, but it made such a difference to us! We'd had issues with flickering lights in the fluorescent fixtures, and didn't particularly enjoy the ambiance the fluorescent lights gave off. They were popular for kitchens when our kitchen was built about 20 years ago, and for years before that, but it was time for change. Check out the new lights: 
Kitchen renovation

Day 3 - Cabinet face lift time:
Day 3 brought the most dramatic change so far - a few cabinet modifications and the addition of moulding to our cabinets. In thinking about new appliances for our kitchen, before we enlisted the help of our design firm, we were running into an issue with a new modern-sized refrigerator fitting where our existing one resided. Ours was older, and apparently a good bit smaller than current models. There was a cabinet above the refrigerator that limited the height, and there wasn't much room available for a wider refrigerator in the current spot. Our design firm had the innovative idea to switch the placement of the refrigerator and the pantry cabinet. It wasn't an idea we'd even imagined but swapping the two fit our layout well and allowed extra room for a slightly wider refrigerator. It didn't mess with the flow of the kitchen either, which was a big consideration for us. The plan is to raise up the cabinet above the refrigerator and also bring it forward a bit. Along with that, it is getting a built-in look as it will be encased with cabinet panels matching our existing cabinetry. We knew it would be a very custom look, which we loved.
With the renovation, we also are adding an above-the-range microwave. We had one in our first house and loved the extra counter space it gave us (you can never have enough of that, you know). That change meant we needed to move the cabinet above the microwave up, so this was taken care of on day 3 as well.
Along with those swaps and modifications, our design firm recommended adding moulding to our existing cabinets. We knew this would really kick it up a notch making our kitchen look a lot higher end. That change really exceeded our expectations. We are loving these changes!
What you can't see here is that the granite company came out and templated the kitchen countertops once the pantry and refrigerator homes were swapped. We'll be playing the waiting game for the granite to be cut because it takes up to 10 business days and unfortunately, nothing else can happen until it's installed.
Check out the pictures of day 3's impressive changes: 
Kitchen renovation
The pantry in its new home:
Kitchen renovation
The cabinet raised for the above-the-range microwave:
Kitchen renovation 
The custom-built cabinet to house the refrigerator, in its new home:
Kitchen renovation
That was it for week one. We love the progress and the outcome of these few days. It's amazing to see something we've been dreaming of for the last 2 1/2 years in motion and we can't wait to see more progress. Are you as amazed as we are at how these simple changes make such an impact?
Next up, sheet rock patching, countertop and back splash installation, more lighting...there's plenty more to come! Stay tuned! 

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