Tag Archives: renovate

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 Chronicles – The Beginning

In the midst of all the other projects going on, we have decided to finally redo our kitchen. While this is a huge undertaking, it has also been 4 years in the making. There is a lot we are trying to get done, and we want to use what we can from the previous remodel that I am guessing was done in the early 90’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 90’s, but more so in a Zack Morris kind of way then maple orange wood and laminate counter tops.

Kitchen Remodel- Before Pictures

When we bought this house, we knew that a kitchen remodel was in our future. This was one of the most updated kitchens we saw in our price range, but still left a lot to be desired. We wanted to make sure we lived in it for a while before we made any rash decisions.  On the other hand, I didn’t expect it to take us 4 years to get rolling. I thought I would share what major issues led us to being ready for a major rehaul of our kitchen.

Lack of Storage

We have a small kitchen that not only tends to feel pretty tight, but also seems to lack adequate storage. The biggest culprit of wasted space is currently our bar. It takes up a whole side of our kitchen yet doesn’t include any storage whatsoever. It has space on either side for barstools, which is cool for eating meals and staring at friends, but there’s also a real dining room table a mere 2 feet away where you can do the same thing.

Kitchen Remodel- Lack of Storage

Tripping Hazards

When we removed the carpet in the dining room (yes, disgusting!), we noticed the significant step up into the kitchen. It looks like previous homeowners just kept layering new flooring whenever they did updates. There are 3 different kinds of linoleum as well as plywood layered in between. As you can see, I had to use 2 different thresholds in order to get the height needed for the transition. Although hilarious at times, this proved to be quite the step up for any newbies in our house, and we frequently saw a lot of tripping.

Kitchen Remodel- Double Threshold

Cabinet Were Looking Tired

We do have some nice quality maple cabinets, but they were starting to look worn out in places. All the foot kicks were pretty distressed, and any cabinets near the windows were bleached by the sun. Not to mention the hardware was a little to brassy for us.


Narrow Walkways

We have a couple of very narrow walkways and paths in our kitchen which are pretty inefficient. Next to our fridge are the stairs that lead down to the basement.  The opening to access the stairs is less tan 20″. Every time we go down to the basement we have to turn sideways and this can be extra fun while trying to handle a basket full of laundry.

Kitchen Remodel- Narrow Path

The other walkway issue is right where you step into the kitchen. There is a wall and a fridge to the left and the bar to the right, and the opening is right around 30″. On a day to day basis this doesn’t prove to be too annoying, but anytime we have friends over the bar tends to be the area that everyone congregates to. This tends to lead to the butt or crotch game (fight club reference), which can prove even more awkward when the fridge is open.

narrow walkway

And so we begin our Kitchen Chronicles. Stay tuned later this week for our post on our plans and to-do list!