Tag Archives: kitchen renovations

Knocking Down Walls

Kitchen Remodel- Narrow Path

I mentioned previously that we had a very narrow walkway next to our fridge that lead down to the basement. Every time we head downstairs we have to turn sideways which this can be extra fun while trying to handle a basket full of laundry. We knew that we wanted to do everything possible to make this walkway wider.


The first option was moving to a slimmer fridge. Our current version was a double wide at. 36″. With just the two of us, this fridge was never full, so that decision was easily made. Sold! We ended up selling the big honker of a fridge to a friend, and planned to move to a slimmer style.


The next option was a little more drastic- removing a wall. We figured this wall most likely wasn’t load bearing, not only due to the placement of the stairs but also because the fridge wall used to be connected to where our bar halfwall was and the previous owners already removed a portion of it. Regardless we brought in professionals who did confirm that the wall was not load bearing. The wall was soon going to be history.

narrow walkway

We turned off all power, and used a stud finder to make sure we started off in an area of the wall where there was nothing behind it. We were still double checking at this point to make sure there was no duct work or other weird wires behind the wall. We used a hammer to make a hole, and  started to pull away the drywall.

Removing a Kitchen Wall

All we found behind the wall was the wiring to our thermostat, the kitchen light switches and an old telephone jack. We brought in an electrician to move the thermostat and light switch to just inside the dining room wall.

Removing a Kitchen Wall

We then continued with removing all of the drywall. The hammer got us started, but we were able to remove big chunks just by pulling it away. We used an exacto blade to cut through the mud and drywall tape to create a clean line where the drywall met the ceiling.

Removing a Kitchen Wall

We were then left with just the studs, which were just a tad bit warped. I guess they didn’t care about how straight the wood was back in the day?

Using our screwdriver, we were able to remove the studs from the floorboards and the ceiling. This left us with a little hole in our wall, ceiling, and a spot we needed to fill in the floor.

Removing a Kitchen Wall

Removing a Kitchen Wall

Removing a Kitchen Wall

I had orignially wanted to box in our fridge, but now I don’t know. I love how much more open this makes our kitchen. Thoughts??

Removing a Kitchen Wall

The Kitchen Plan

We shared in this post, the reasons why we wanted to renovate our kitchen and why we finally felt it was the time to kick our butts into gear. While some people can get lost in kitchen renovations and spend upwards of $50k, we knew that our renovation was going to be on a much smaller scale. Our kitchen is not big, and we really wanted to make sure we got a good return on investment for this renovation, especially since this is not our forever house. Our plan is to update the kitchen to not only make us happier, but to create something that future homeowners would see as a good investment. Here’s another shot of the view of our kitchen in its current “before” state: Kitchen Remodel- Before Pictures Here’s a shot from the opposite direction, looking into the dining room:   kitchen dining view When we first discussed the renovation of our kitchen, we figured a good starting point was the layout. We don’t love our current layout, but the more we thought about it, the more it makes sense. While we would love to move the fridge and add floor to ceiling cabinets to it’s current location for a pantry, we wouldn’t be able to find a new spot for the fridge that wouldn’t interfere with a walkway. fridge 1 Another deciding factor with keeping our current kitchen layout is that we really wanted to reuse our cabinets. It seemed like such a waste to throw out our cabinets since they are in good condition, showing minimal wear and tear.  Not to mention, the doors actually have some pretty nice detailing.  Plus we knew this would save us a bunch of cheddar, like $10k at least. kitchen cab detail

Here is our current layout. IKEA Home Planner- Original

…and here is what we are planning…pretty subtle changes, right?

Kitchen New

Here’s the breakdown of what we would like to get done (though not necessarily in this order):

  • Remove the million layers of linoleum and add new flooring
  • Remove the current bar height island and replace with a counter height island made of cabinets
  • Remove wall cabinets above the sink and replace with open shelving
  • Retrofit some of the cabinet doors from the sink wall cabinets for those on the island
  • Prime and paint the cabinets
  • Redo the backsplash
  • Remove the wall to the left of the fridge
  • Upgrade all appliances
  • Have a new countertop installed
  • Add new pendant lighting above the island

Just for fun, here are some inspiration pics of the kind of kitchens we like.

Kitchen with Open Shelves

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/1900024817686806/

Kitchen with Open Built InsSource: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/1900024817407049/

Whew! That’s it! I’m sure this will change a ton during our renovation phase, but at least we’ve got a good start.