Let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start...
Photo via MLS listing
About 2 months after moving in, I stripped all of the wallpaper.
(Tip-warm water in a spray bottle with a few drops of Dawn original dish soap is the best I've found to remove wallpaper. Spray thoroughly, wait about 20 minutes, and start peeling. If your paper doesn't come off easily or completely, respray and wait a little longer. Usually if I had a problem I either didn't get it wet enough or didn't wait long enough. Still, stripping wallpaper is the worst job ever!)
I textured and painted the walls. We also changed out the sink faucet around that time and switched out hardware, but no other major changes until about 3 years later.
Sometimes you just have to live in a space for a while and figure out what works and what doesn't. I loved the island in the kitchen, and because of the layout, I did 95% of my work there. On about 24" of counter space. I really thought about the idea of enlarging the island. There was tons of unused space at the end of the island, but the bar counter angled in towards the center of the kitchen. If we lengthened the island, there would have been mere inches between the edge of the island and the corner of the angled cabinet.
Photo via MLS listing
I consulted my dad and a friend about what would be involved in slicing the sink counter where it started to angle and making the angle wider. They both seemed to think that wouldn't be too difficult. A meeting with a contractor (didn't want to do this big of a project ourselves...we're not that good!) confirmed that this would be a relatively simple and inexpensive project, so enlarging the island was a go! We had already planned to get new counter tops, so the timing was right to just do everything at once.
Here you can see the footprint of where the cabinet base used to sit, and how much we swung it out. Providentially there were exactly
enough tiles found in the garage to patch the spot.
Here is the island with one end torn apart. The plan was to add another 2 foot section to the end, where I had them install two pull-out drawers.
We added one big cabinet door to those pull-outs and that is where I keep my toaster oven and mixing bowls. Very handy. The workers had removed the end panel and trim molding, so they just replaced it after the additional section was completed.
For all of my cabinet painting, I've used the Behr paint with primer in it from Home Depot. I didn't sand, just cleaned with TSP beforehand. We removed all of the doors and drawers and laid them outside. They were all painted with a foam roller and a brush for the corners. I painted the fronts and backs of the doors but did not paint
the insides of the cabinets.
Finished! That entire right panel is the new section added, so you can see how much empty space there was before.
I added glass knobs and pulls here for a bit of sparkle and to lighten things a bit.
There was an opening left when we widened the angle, which they patched and I added some moulding afterwards to cover some seams. If we would have thought a little more before hand we probably could have added another tall skinny door there or something, but didn't realize that there would be that big of a empty spot created. Oh well, live and learn.
The white color was "Cottage White" by Behr with a glaze over it. I sprayed (aack!) polyurethane over the glaze which set and sealed it quickly. I've read that the spray poly that I used may have a tendency to yellow over time, but we'll see. I believe you can just glaze and put nothing on top of it, but it takes forever to dry and cure.
My hardware was fairly new and I still liked it, but it was an antique-brass. I spray painted all of the knobs and pulls with Rustoleum's Oil-Rubbed Bronze (ORB). It has a really pretty slightly sparkly finish. The paint has held up well in the 1 1/2 years since we've done this, although I have noticed a knick on 1 pull that I need to touch up.
I purchased an in-stock sink from Home Depot. One bowl is slightly bigger than the other, and that larger side is HUGE and DEEP. Love it. Only drawback-I can pile way too many dishes in there before they make it to the dishwasher! It's a composite granite sink and I've been very pleased with it. I've always had a white cast iron sink before, and this one really resists markings and is easy to clean.
The kitchen was already wired for fluorescent under cabinet lighting, but Ray took those down and installed halogen spots that we found at Home Depot. He also put them on a dimmer switch and the glow is nice and warm. We used these little boxes to contain all of the cords. I intended to paint the cords the color of the cabs, but just realized seeing these pictures that I forgot. We never see them-out of sight out of mind!
The pantry doors were large and plain, so I bought some trim that matched what was on the rest of our interior doors and added those boxes before painting the doors. I also sprayed those knobs with the ORB paint.
We already had done some backsplash work that I'll talk about in another post, but these are the tin-looking tiles that are really plastic that you can purchase at Lowe's or Home Depot. They are also spray-painted in ORB. We re-used them for now but may do something different for the backsplash in the future.
So, that's about it! Way more information than I'm sure you wanted. But, if there's anything I didn't address that you want to know feel free to