Oh Lord Help Us, We're Re-Doing Our Kitchen

I promised you all I'd be keeping it real here on my blog.  Well, it doesn't get any more real than this!  We're heading for a major kitchen renovation.  I know this is weird (and maybe I'm just weird!) but I really love it when bloggers let us into the process of a renovation.  Because truly, as much fun as it is to watch Fixer Upper and see the whole house transformed in an hour while I sip on a glass of wine, come on!  We all know it's a lot more painful than that.  So now you all get to join in my pain!

Here's a photo of our kitchen from when the old owner still lived here.  I know it's not my style at all, but can you tell from this photo how warm the house felt?  They really loved it well, spent so many happy years here and raised their sweet family.  The house has good memories, I know.

My husband had the genius idea to break that wall down (the one with the stove on it) and enlarge the kitchen into the dining room.  You may remember we've already relocated the dining room to our huge front room/living room/library. (We really don't know what to call it anymore!)  The old dining room was pretty small, especially when we tried to have more than six people at the table, so this was a natural solution.

So here are my own personal DIY Show stars, all ready to break some stuff, whether by hammer or by...sword.

Starting to look like we're making progress...

And now it's really serious.

And this is about where we are now.  We had to rip out some pretty unbelievable soffits above the cabinets.  They just weighed the whole room down.  Unfortunately they also contained quite a bit of wiring, plumbing, and HVAC.  Of course!

Now we are in the phase where we try to rework or reroute all of the stuff that used to hide in the soffits, so that our walls can be regular height and our new cabinets can reach all the way to our 8-foot ceilings.  To be honest, this is the part that is hardest for me mentally.  I don't have the skill to do any of the work, and even when it gets done, it really hasn't made the kitchen look any prettier.  I just have to keep telling myself the ugly has to happen before the pretty can come!

One more thing to do...repair the floor where the old wall and cabinets came down.

The bane of our kitchen are these plumbing pipes.  Trying to figure out some way to get them hidden in the walls.  They stick out almost 12 inches and used to be hidden in those soffits.  Hmmm... awaiting professional plumber!

We are working with a kitchen design company to create the new layout.  I initially thought I would DIY, but I can't tell you how helpful it has been to have a professional involved.  I'm still selecting all the colors and finishes and design elements, but having someone measure things and tell me what kind of clearance we need around the island, where to put the dishwasher, work triangle, etc. has been SO much better.  We want to live here for many, many years, and I want to do this kitchen once and do it right!

And when things feel really slow-moving or frustrating, I just come back to my computer screen and stare at the photo that has inspired my remodel.  Photo quality is blurry, I am sorry!, but it's from an old Southern Living article a few years ago.  Ahhh...

You'll be hearing about this kitchen a lot, and I hope to pass along any tips I can about how to make it happen without losing my mind, or breaking the bank!


Tricia said...

How exciting for you! I love your inspiration photo and hope that all goes smoothly for you guys! The old kitchen was so cozy, but I love how open your space feels now with the stove wall gone. : )

Anonymous said...

Have followed you off and on for years. So glad we are back on lol cause this looks so promising!

Lisa said...

I'm addicted to your blog! Your style is absolutely what I find myself migrating toward, but I can't seem to pull it off like you do! I am so excited to follow your kitchen remodel with you. I am not in my "forever" home yet, but if and when I ever am, I will be visiting your blog (a bit obsessively I'm sure) for inspiration! Good thing web pages can't get creased, crinkled, or dog eared! :~D

LL from KS said...

I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to see it all come together! Right now we are in the process of having our cottage cheese ceilings scraped! Our house looks like a bomb went off! Thankfully, it's supposed to only take a week!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Oh my gosh, thanks girls! Glad to know I have some people out there sharing my pain. Hal! And Lisa, I can totally relate to the obsessive blog stalking for inspiration...where else do we get our ideas? :)

Lorna S. said...

Carrie, what an undertaking, but what a huge accomplishment when finished. Your dream is now a plan, with action steps and goals. It will be lovely. Mom saw the pictures and got a bigger charge out if seeing the men in your family. She turned 99 yesterday, and was a bit confused by all the calls...but is still glowing.

Keep buzzzing,

Laura said...

I have checked in for years and years on and off. So thrilled to see you blogging! Can't wait to see your kitchen. It's sure to be a beauty!

Arthur Bryant said...

My thoughts go out to your husband! As a husband myself, I know what it feels like to have your wife ask you to do a teensy project! All joking aside, I'm glad you called in the professionals. My wife and I bought our first house 10 years ago, and when we decided to tear down a wall, found out that they had used all the wrong materials!

Arthur Bryant @ Contractor Express