Tackling the Kitchen

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's been a shockingly indecent amount of time since I did any bungalow blogging, but that's mainly because we tackled the main things necessary to make the place livable.  The two rooms that are left are the front bathroom, which is being put off because no one really uses it, and the kitchen, which is really unattractive but functional.  That being said, come the first of the year, my mom and I are going to begin to tackle my kitchen.   In case you've forgotten what the lovely cocina looks like:

The original over-the-sink area, before we closed up the pass through to make my bedroom.

And with the pass through all closed up (wave to Lilly, friends!)

I know, I can't believe it's my kitchen either.  I used to be absolutely disgusted by it, and I still refuse to open the drawer under my stove where the rat made a nest (shudder!), but I am starting to see how people live with ugly spaces.  If they are like me, they just get used to them and start not to notice them anymore.

I am clinging to the memory of my initial horror to motivate me to renovate.

The first thing we're going to do is paint the cabinets.  In an ideal world, my cabinets would get new Shaker-style doors, with glass doors on the upper cabinets.  Something like this:

Or maybe this:

I love how both those rooms pull of the white-but-not-sterile look, especially the second photo.  I'm not a fan of open cabinets, though, because of the dust issue, but I do like the idea of glass upper cabinets, both to show off my pretty dishes and because I think it would make a small kitchen feel larger and airier.

I, however, do not live in an ideal world.

As such, my initial foray into kitchen renovation will involve simply painting the cabinets I currently possess, and honestly, I think with a coat of paint and some more modern hardware, they won't seem so outdated.  The wood is just too dark and it's actually worn in some places, and not in the cool shabby chic distressed way.  More in a shabby, not at all chic, distressing way.

I want to pick a white that isn't too cold - I don't want to feel like I live in a hospital, after all! - but a white that isn't too beige either.  My appliances are biscuit colored, but I plan on replacing them with stainless as they die on me (I'm presently sending death wishes to my stove, which is older than I am!).

Following the painting of the cabinets, I'm getting new flooring.  I'm really, really, really excited about this development.  It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do, but we got an unofficial estimate of $500 for laminate wood flooring, as I mentioned here, for them to come in, move the appliances, pull up the old flooring, and put the new flooring down.

I was a little worried about the cost of putting in laminate flooring, given that I plan on ripping it out in five to seven years, after I get a job and put away enough money/take out a small loan to build my pantry/laundry room and do the kitchen renovation (discussed cursorily here), but my mom pointed out to me that at $500, that's $100/year or $8/month.  $8/month is worth it to me to get rid of the peel and stick vinyl.  Granted, it's not actually my money being spent on the flooring, but even so, I don't like to be wasteful.

So, after the cabinets and the flooring, comes the countertop.  As I said before, I'm leaning toward Formica or Wilsonart, largely for the same reason I'm not putting down a permanent floor.  I plan on doing further renovation and it doesn't make sense to put down my super gorgeous granite countertops, only to pull them out in five years when I move the washing machine out of the kitchen and have to install new counters (and therefore new countertops to avoid seams/different colors) to fill the void.

I'm really interested in getting a price quote for an installation of this Formica 180fx stuff.  Instead of having a 18-inch repeat, it has a 5-foot repeat.  This means that it looks more like granite or marble, with less repeat.  Here are some photos of the 180fx in action:

Kind of pretty right?  Not your mother's Formica!

Once the countertops are in, I plan on tiling the backsplash myself.  Maybe subway tiles (you know I love them!).  I've watched enough HGTV shows to feel pretty confident, plus I had a mini-lesson at Home Depot.  It wasn't that hard and honestly, me doing the work myself is probably the only way I'm going to get a backsplash.  Just being realistic.

I'll be sure to keep you updated with lots of photos.  If anyone else has painted their kitchens white and can make some white paint suggestions, I'd be eager to hear them!  Also, any suggestions on what finish for the paint - eggshell? Satin? Semi-gloss?  Let me know!

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