The Kitchen Renovation. The Before.

Once upon a time, the husband and I moved back from Baltimore and started looking for a house. The husband’s top priority beyond a great location, bedrooms, and bathrooms was room for a drum set. My top priority was a large kitchen.

Through the process of home-shopping, our realtor asked us about all of our priorities. I distinctly remember her asking me what kind of granite I want in my kitchen so she could look for that. Whaaat?

I am not picking out a house based on the granite countertops in the kitchen.

There are so many more important, hard-to-change parts to a home.

I educated our realtor, and we ultimately found a great house that is in a great location, has bedrooms, bathrooms, room for a drum set, and a large kitchen.

While large, it was not particularly pretty.

Before 4
Here’s the best overview of the room. Behind the camera is a dine-in area where we could fit a table for 4. To the right is the family room.
Before 1
Notice the lovely wallpaper. That pink wallpaper is trying to look like wood grain and flowers. It was so bad it had to go immediately and the walls turned gray with paint. Much better.
Before 2
The kitchen came with a great fridge.
Before 3
And we actually like the brick wall. One potential contractor told us we should paint the brick wall white to make the room look brighter. I crossed him off my list for that and the additional $25K he would cost.

We knew we would want to redo the kitchen at some point. I started collecting inspiration on Pinterest. When cabinet door handles started breaking and we couldn’t find replacements that would fit we started talking.

Beyond wanting cabinets with handles, we also wanted to fix several flow and function problems. My not to scale drawing below is a bird’s eye view of the whole set-up. I conveniently circled all the problem areas. The problems mostly become apparent when we host large groups of people. Moving around the main entertaining space just isn’t as easy as we’d like. Every entry way seems to end up congested.


  1. Getting around the kitchen table to get to the sliding door to the deck.
  2. Allowing two people to work in the kitchen at the same time–one at the stove cooking and one at the sink cleaning.
  3. Entering and exiting the kitchen from the hallway.
  4. Going between the kitchen and dining room, especially since the fridge is RIGHT THERE. So no one can get through if you are also getting anything out of the fridge.
  5. Going between the kitchen and family room.
  6. Getting around the peninsula to get to the table or coffee maker.

The new layout won’t fix all of these problems, but we will definitely get functioning cabinet hardware!


6 comments on “The Kitchen Renovation. The Before.”
  1. Nicely written. This is an epic project. Lots of work but it will yield huge impact. Can’t wait till its done.

  2. Love these journeys!!
    Browsing through kitchen redo for inspiration and tips 🙂

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