Before the Kitchen Refresh

by Josh on March 31, 2011 · 6 comments

in Kitchen,Projects

As a stay-at-home dad and my household’s primary cook, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Lately, whenever my thoughts drift from flipping pancakes or stirring risotto, I have found myself thinking about how tired I am of red walls in my kitchen. What was “deep,” “rich,” and “warm” when Ms. Bungalow and I painted it 6 years ago has become dark, dated and depressing.

So it was with uncanny timing that the good folks at True Value Hardware recently invited me to try out their new paint line: EasyCare Platinum Paint & Primer in One. They offered to supply the paint if I supplied the room. Great deal, right? And perfect for a guy with the red kitchen blues.

In proper makeover fashion, however, I’m going to save the talk about the paint and results for later and use this post to show the kitchen before its refreshening:

In the image below, you’ll see the northeast corner of the kitchen showing the stove, fridge and the doorway into the dining room through the red east wall.

Turning counter-clockwise to the northwest corner, you can see more of the cabinets and the sink.  (You’ll also see that I made no attempt to tidy things before taking these pictures. Sorry.)  The stairway to the basement is behind the stove wall, and if you turned left at the quilt on the wall at the photo’s center you would find the mudroom addition built about 10 years ago by the previous owners.

Turning another 90 degrees to the southwest corner you can see lots of red walls, the cherry wainscot that covers the walls away from the cabinets, and the old back door.  Also, apparently, it’s night now. The kitchen door was made obsolete by the construction of the mudroom addition, which has its own new back door, so the kitchen door is redundant and rarely used.  Originally, the short wall at the side of the cabinets was an exterior wall, and the area between the kitchen door and the window on the left was a small covered porch.  I suspect the wainscot and the tile over the hardwood floor were added when the porch was enclosed in order to unify the look of the space.

Finally, in the southeast corner of the kitchen is the sitting area.  This table is cabinet-height with storage underneath, so I use it like an island for preparing food and we also eat most of our meals here.  Originally this area was a breakfast nook with a built-in booth that extended in from the window on the right side of the image.

As you probably gathered from this short tour, I have done very little to the kitchen over the years. Mostly this is because I need to use it everyday and I really just want to rip everything out and start from scratch. While I might dream of a kitchen with a vintage-style breakfast booth, cabinets with inset doors and thumb latches, and a washboard sink, the family budget dictates that I find ways to make the most of what I’ve got here for at least a few more years.

In my next kitchen post, I’ll talk about paint with a few more improvements to follow, too.

Disclosure: I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been provided with products mentioned in this post at no cost, however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill C. April 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

Be sure to post any after pictures if you decide to remodel. Would love to see what you come up wtih paint wise. Great blog!


susan April 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I am really looking forward to seeing what you will do here. Our favorite house we ever lived in was a Craftsman Bungalow. We are sad we had to leave it when we moved to the east coast. Good luck!


Josh April 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Thanks, Susan!


Sarah April 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Your cabinets look really great in that kitchen – hopefully they’ll be saved in the future rip-out. Looking forward to the new paint color. I’m a huge fan of red (our dining room is “Rembrandt Ruby”), but it’s not the best kitchen color, I agree.


Josh April 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Sarah, I may not have been clear above, but although I’d like to start from scratch in the kitchen that isn’t something we can afford to do now. That means I’m keeping the cabinets and going for maximum impact with minimum expense.


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