Finding space: our kitchen remodel

With all the planning posts recently, I thought I should probably post something about a completed project…just to prove that I’m not all talk!  When DH and I purchased our condo almost 5 years ago, we knew that we’d be re-doing the kitchen.  It certainly wasn’t the most outdated kitchen I’ve seen, but it definitely was needing some updating:

Although we knew we couldn’t do what everyone would love to do–make the kitchen bigger–I knew that we could definitely increase the functionality and storage space in the small kitchen.  Really, we could have lived with a less-than-gorgeous kitchen for a while, but it just did not function well for two people who love to be in the kitchen.  The only thing I can figure was that the previous owners never cooked!  So, after less than one year of living here, we started in on a major remodel project.

Here’s how this tiny kitchen was laid out when we moved in:

If you study this just for a second, you’ll see several things that don’t make sense.  Like the dishwasher not being next to the sink.  Or the stove being right next to the doorway so that you could easily burn yourself.  And the list goes on:

We knew we didn’t have a fortune to spend on this project, so we really focused on making the kitchen more functional rather than making it super high-end or trendy.  Our new kitchen now has a much better layout that greatly increased the functionality and look of our kitchen:

One thing you can’t see in the layout but that you can see in the pic below is that the upper cabinets were dinky.  There was a good 2 feet between the tops of the cabinets and the ceiling, which in a tiny 2bedroom is precious space to waste! 

Thus, most of our budget went into new cabinets, including uppers that went up to the ceiling.  It pretty much doubled our cabinet space and made the ceilings feel much higher!

Other cosmetic changes we made were minimal.  We got new counters (nothing fancy–just granite looking laminate) and painted the walls.  We opted to remove the back splash, which was actually some rather hideous tile that had been painted white at some point.  We kept the existing appliances, with the exception of the old refrigerator.  We opted to get a french door model that is actually quite compact (much smaller than a standard size) to fit in the space better.  If you look at the layout, you see that the addition of our “coffee nook”shown here:

meant that a regular refrigerator door would not have enough clearance to open.  Plus, this new fridge is pretty and much easier to use than a standard freezer-on-top fridge.

Again, what I love most about the kitchen renovation are all the functional improvements.  Now the stove is no longer exposed when you walk into the room…

..but rather is now nicely sandwiched between some counter space, which is perfect for prep work!

Or how the dishwasher is no longer several feet away from the sink…

…but is now nice and cozy next to the sink!

And, best of all, we have tons more storage and prep space.  It is really an amazing difference.  I can’t believe how much counter space we’ve squeezed into this tiny space!  Just look at that long stretch of uninterrupted counter!

I suppose that is enough pictures of our “new” kitchen!  I wanted to make sure to post these before I start working on one of my next projects, which involves re-doing the dining room and updating the kitchen a bit to flow from the new dining space (read more about those plans here and here).  Thanks for looking!


7 thoughts on “Finding space: our kitchen remodel

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