When we moved into this house just over 3 years ago, we inherited a very cramped and very orange kitchen, that didn’t function nearly as well as I knew that it could. A chef’s dream it was not, and as someone who does enjoy cooking on a regular basis, I was anxious to come up with a plan for the space that not only looked a whole lot better, but functioned a whole lot better. A full kitchen renovation was not in the cards, but I could see past a lot of the issues, and knew that with just a bit of work and some cosmetic changes, we’d be well on our way to a kitchen that hit that design sweet spot by working both visually and functionally.
This year, I’ve decided to take on the One Room Challenge as a guest participant in order to give this kitchen a bit of a face lift. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the One Room Challenge is a widely anticipated biannual event held every April and October. Each round, design bloggers take the challenge and transform a space over a period of six weeks. Every Thursday for the next several weeks, I’ll share kitchen updates with you in the hopes of ending up with a finished space!
To catch you up on the current state of our kitchen, here’s a quick recap. If you’ve been here for a while, you may remember this post about taking control of our own floorplan. The moment we bought the house, we new right away that we would make a couple of major changes to really improve the traffic flow of the house. This included turning the formal living space into our new dining room, the old dining room into our home office, and opening up the kitchen to the new dining room. The old floorplan looked like this:
And the new floorplan would look a little something like this:
By opening up a couple of walls and altering the function of the different spaces for how we would use is versus how the old owners used it, our house would instantly feel twice the size. You can see, the footprint of the old kitchen was extremely awkward, because of the location of a closet on the other side and the entrance to basement below, and it made an already very small space feel even more cramped. We knew right away that opening up that wall to the other side was an absolute must in terms of making the kitchen feel larger and adding a much easier flow to the overall traffic pattern of the house. So that’s what we did! The very first thing we did when we walked in the house for the first time after closing but start to tear down that wall between the kitchen and new dining room.
You can see just how tight that corner of the kitchen really was.
The more wall that came down, the more excited we became about the potential of the space. Just opening up that small area was immediately making the space feel so much less claustrophobic. Then, just when we thought we were starting to see the finish line of semi open concept dreams…we found a not so happy surprise. Unexpected ductwork directly in the center of what would be our new opening.
Womp, womp. Unfortunately, this discovery threw a pretty big wrench in the gears, and we were left figuring out how we would re-route the ductwork to make the best use of the space. At that point, we covered the exposed subflooring and lived like this for an embarrassingly long amount of time.
Now that you’re all caught up with the beginnings of the space, and since Week 1 of the One Room Challenge is all about the “Before’s” let’s take a look at the space from this point.
It’s certainly not the world’s ugliest kitchen (we could have gotten something much worse for the age of the house!) but it was definitely not my cup of tea. I knew with some minor adjustments and a few cosmetic changes, this little kitchen could really shine.
Here’s a look at a few kitchen designs that inspire me:
So, that’s the plan! Over the next 5 weeks, I’ll be sharing our kitchen face lift with you via the One Room Challenge! Be sure to follow along some of the other Contestants and Guest Participants over at Calling it Home!
See you next week!