Our Kitchen:: The Before

before kitchen

Introducing…our new old kitchen!  The two most stunning things I noticed about this kitchen were the tiny size and the beautiful light. I’ve seen my fair share of neglected kitchen designs, I’m pretty sure I’ve had these exact cabinets twice already in our past 13 homes so the cabinets and dated counters were no surprise. I can see past all of that.

You can change almost anything about a kitchen, but unless you want to knock down everything you can’t change the kind of natural light it gets and lucky for us, this one gets a lovely southern exposure with a view to the little pool and if we clear a few out a few trees, you can see to the pond.

bay window before

That’s the BEST part about the kitchen.

budget kitchen makeover

This refrigerator is tiny, and it still looks HUGE in the kitchen because there is no room for it.

budget kitchen makeover

before kitchen makeover

So I have two plans. One is keeping the footprint of the kitchen, getting knew appliances, sink, faucet, floors, painting cabs or replacing them and the counters inexpensively, getting a tiny smeg refrigerator (the one currently in the kitchen will go in the basement anyway for extra storage) or moving the space for the fridge into the hall right straight ahead so it’s not taking up room in the kitchen.

diy blog

The second plan is what I’m hoping to do and waiting on a quote for. I want this wall down. And that wall straight through the the kitchen to the right of the dog who always insists on being in every photo–I want that one down too. Did you notice the BlueTape on the floor in some of the photos? That’s where I’m hoping for a big island with the sink. We aren’t planning on doing a big bunch of uppers and we can do some of the work ourselves, especially the finishing things, but I’m still not sure that knocking out walls and reconfiguring is in our budget.


Here’s shot to the right of where the dog was standing. There’s a hall on the other side of the kitchen with two huge closets–one was once used for the laundry until they moved it out to the enclosed back porch– which I prefer. So this hall could be very usable space in the kitchen. And, neither wall is load bearing so we are good.


My other problem is the floor. I don’t think I told you that we actually bought an old sawmill. I haven’t even gotten to show you the property yet–I have SO MUCH to tell you!  But, I think these wide plank pine floors were milled on site. And thy didn’t put them in the tiny kitchen.

back porch

But they did plank the walls in the porch with them so I’m thinking we’ll peel them off in the porch, re-plank the walls with boards so I can paint them without guilt that I’m painting something that can be our flooring and use these for our floors in the kitchen.  That’s the plan at least.


The kitchen looks much better in far off photos than in real life. The stove is cracked and the bottom panel is peeling from it and this room is BEGGING me to tear it down. Begging.

We still haven’t figured out our country internet yet, I’d love any ideas you have, we started a discussion about it on facebook.  So my posting may be crazy for another week or so.

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  1. We live in the country where Internet is scarce. We have antenna Internet and some of our neighbors have satellite Internet (Hughesnet).

  2. Dessica Albertson says:

    We live in the country in a small town with little in the way of internet options. We use Dish Network, which is satellite internet, but I have had no issues with it going out. Indiana is very cloudy and rainy, foggy a lot of the time and it doesn’t seem to affect my internet at all. I would recommend it if you have it available.

  3. Hey – I have read your blog for a while now. My wife and I bought a fixer and if a wall is not load bearing it is not very difficult to take it out. Even putting a header in a load bearing wall is doable with some research and knowledge of building codes which could be found online. We have done some of this in our home ourselves to save money so I just wanted to encourage you that it is possible!

  4. Claire Hill says:

    I hope you can get sponsors to help you fix up this place. Quickly. It has many of the same features as my house did or does and I’d love to see what you do with it.

  5. I am so excited for you!! This house has so much potential and your transformation of each space will no doubt be amazing! Our family purchased a farmhouse in May and just finished Phase 1 of the renovations on Saturday…I totally understand prioritizing and deciding what you can and can’t live without – when what you really want to do is tackle all of the projects now. Whatever order you choose, it’s so fun to look back and see where it’s come from what you started with!

  6. I see so much potential! AH! My dream is to do something like this, buuut, not my husbands, so I’ll live vicariously through your remodel.

  7. Wonderful bones to the kitchen, just some minor aesthetic changes needed. If you do put the refrigerator in the hallway what would you put in place of the refrigerator spot? Additional countertop, or maybe an island of some sort?

  8. I can’t believe this! We just bought a house too! And the reason I’m just seeing all this is because I had to figure out “country internet” too. My friends laughed when I referred to it that way but its so true. I love that I will get to follow along on your journey as I dive into mine. :)

  9. Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the
    issues. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

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