Bungalow Kitchen Reno: The Before Situation

When we found the spunky 1930s bungalow that would become our first home, we were so excited for all the improvements that the previous owner had made, many of which were right in line with what we would have chosen for ourselves. (Except for the paint colors. Every single room was a different color, which was charming and totally worked with her eclectic decor, but for these neutral-loving folks, it meant calling in the reinforcements--i.e., family--and giving everything a fresh coat.) 

One of the things we respected most about the previous owner's design choices is that everything felt appropriate for the age of the home, often as nods to classic, craftsman style. We wanted to do the same as we made the home our own, and made a lot of progress within the first year, though encouraging one another along the way not to rush it. A home takes a while to establish, after all, and you can't force that cozy feeling that comes when a family really settles into their space. It just takes time.

That being said, tackling the kitchen was a project that we earmarked early on as a "To Do," but given that it was functional, we let it fall down the last of priorities until the time was right. Fast forward three years, and close up on this gal wresting with a broken water sprayer, a shallow, sad kitchen sink, and a bubbling (uggo) laminate countertop for the very last time.

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special message from Natty: 
Look, let me say first that I am insanely grateful for our home. No sarcasm, no pithy comment to follow. We have welcomed countless family and friends into our home, filled it with prayer, love, and laughter, and constantly look around thinking, "Whoa. This is ours." So with that in mind, proceed, and know that I'm being silly, but do not at all want to convey ungratefulness or disapproval if, say, someone looks at these pics and thinks, 'Huh, I like the before better.' Taste is highly subjective, so get on with your bad self!

Also, if you're the type who tends to get steamrolled by comparison, and you struggle with trying to keep up with bloggers and Pinterest, and know another reno feature will make you officially hate your home...Honey, skip these posts. You don't need them. Focus on what is good, what is true, what is lovely, and don't dive head first into what you know makes your heart ache for STUFF. It's just stuff, it's all dust, and your sweet heart is so much more important than that. Kay?

All that being said, I present to you The Before Situation...

If you feel like there's a whole lot of yellow happening, it's not your eyes. It's Buttercream-palooza up in here, made only worse by the warm white bulbs. (I'll share with you later the free lesson my husband gave me on light temperature and how it affects a space. It's cray.) 

So, it's cute overall, right? Not the worst thing ever. And if you're having a hard time orienting yourself to how it's arranged, see the pic below. Essentially, it's a rectangle, two doors on either side. The kitchen is in the center of our home, so the door by the stove leads to living room, den, guest room, etc., and the door by the fridge leads to master, office, utility room, etc., and the wall not shown has a sliding glass door that leads out to the backyard. They made excellent use of space, I have to say. We did paint the walls when we moved in to try to at least give some help to this space, but it was not an easy task to find a suitable color when you're trying to mesh yellowish cabinets with dark gray laminate. (We ended up using Benjamin Moore's Cotswald to bring out the warm tones in the laminate and make the cabinet color look more intentional. Also, the color reminds me of coffee. DONE.)


And then...double basin white porcelain sink. Can I tell you how much I dislike a poorly designed double basin sinks? I mean, if you can't fit ANYTHING bigger than a cereal bowl well on either side, the divider just makes no sense. And ours was shallow at that, so I was a hot little potato every time I did the dishes, covered in spatter and wishing for water pressure that didn't rival a squirt gun.

Overall, we knew that this was a space that we wanted to put our stamp on because we spend so much time in here. (See that coffee area over there? Natty likely. I'd move into that corner if I could.) Like many of my projects, it very much unfolded in an If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fashion. "If you give her a new faucet, she's going to want a new sink. And if she gets a new sink, she's going to want new counters. And if you're going to get new counters, you should probably go ahead and install backsplash. And while your kitchen is totally amuck, you'd might as well paint the cabinets..."

 And so we embarked on the journey, adjusting our budget every step of the way, buying the ingredients as we came upon them. (I use the term "ingredients" not because I'm making a clever kitchen pun, but rather, I don't know what you call the crap you need for construction projects. Mise en place? No, still kitchen lingo? Well, I got nothing, y'all.)

Stay tuned for some along-the-way updates, tips I learned along the way (primarily from other awesome DIYers and Bloggers out there), and photos of our new kitchen! 

P.S. It seems moot to share sources for the before stages, but just leave a comment if you have any questions. Will source as I'm able as we move toward final stages.

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