Before & After :: The Old House Kitchen

Mr. Hedin and I did A LOT of work on our old house.  A LOT.  The only part of the house that is still "original" is the coat closet.  Everything else is entirely new.  Not just cosmetically but the heater, the hot water heater, the wiring, the windows, the roof, you get the picture.  

I thought this week I'd share before and afters with you of the house we bought almost ten years ago and the house we are now selling.

We poured everything we had - emotionally and financially - into this house.  It's the house we came home to after our wedding, the house where we brought our two children home from the hospital, and the house we brought our dog home to.  While we are excited for our new house there is still an emotional attachment to our first home and the joy and celebration that has happened there over the last (almost) ten years.  

As sad as it is to see the for sale sign in the front yard and the pile of realtors cards in the front hall - it's a joy to see how perfect we made the house and how well received it all is.  Knowing that our labor will bring someone else joy for years to come is a rewarding feeling.  Now hopefully someone REALLY GOOD buys our house.  

Today I thought I'd start with the back wall of the kitchen and show you what we started with, what inspired us, and what we ended up with.  I'll continue all week as we get ready to move into our new space!


The original back kitchen wall contained a fridge and a vintage stove that didn't work.  A lack of counter space and cabinets unable to be reached by someone 5'4" (ahem.) made this space totally unusable.  Not to mention that the gal who lived here before us had cats.  Do I need to go into detail on what cat hair does to a fridge filter?  It's sick.  The fridge is long gone.  The other problem with this space was the wall that dead ended into the dining room.  There was a door to the dining room that made it awkward to have a conversation with the people around you.  Not to mention how poorly the rest of the kitchen was laid out...  but we'll get there.


I tore this photo out of Martha Stewart Living eons ago.  Literally, eons.  I have kept a notebook of good ideas and things I like since I was 12 years old.  This was in there.  I liked the idea but it needed some tweaking.  


I loved the glass front cabinets from the Martha picture, but I needed more counter space.  Not just counter space, but highly functional counter space.  How we built this was using standard counter depth under-counter cabinets and topping them entirely with bamboo flooring.  Because of it's durability and light color, bamboo flooring was a perfect choice for a countertop.  It also doesn't show crumbs which is good and bad.  

On top of the under-counter cabinets we placed wall hanging cabinets directly on top.  EXCEPT we had the bottom of the cabinets cut out so they sat directly on the counter.  This means when the doors are open we have a full depth countertop.  Appliances only need to be pulled out a short ways to work and there is no awkward ridge to deal with.

We chose to do drawers on the bottom cabinets because of how accessible they are.  But if I did this a second time I would use three deep drawers rather than four thin drawers to maximize bowl storage, etc.

This side of the kitchen is the "baking station" which means everything needed for baking; from bowls to ingredients, to utensils; are all stored in these cabinets.  The idea originated with my mother who had funny stations all over our house - like the "cereal station" was right next to the fridge (milk).  The bowls were in the cabinet next to the fridge, the spoons (and other silverware) were in the drawer by the fridge and the cereal was in the cabinet below that.  It sounds silly, but it's amazingly convenient.  Turns out Martha does the same thing.  Potentially to an extreme...

The fridge stayed on this wall, but recessed into a nook to keep the space looking crisp while retaining the perfect "triangle" to work in.  

Tomorrow, the other side of the kitchen!
Alexandra HedinComment