It’s the DIY kitchen remodel that never ends. Why? Because of the DIY part!
We’re ALMOST done. But we’ve been ALMOST done for the past 3 years! Now it’s all about getting up those final pieces of trim, and finally deciding what to do as treatment for the windows (if anything). But… that doesn’t seem to give us the kick in the pants that we need to forge ahead. One day.
What I can say is that we’ve come a LONG way from where we started when we moved in. I didn’t realize so many different kinds of wood and surfaces could be fit into one small space until I moved into my 1971 Swedish renovation home!
Moving day. We certainly had to look past everything 1971 when we bought our home here in Sweden. And can you believe that house prices take zero consideration for the renovations required? Seriously!
Have you ever had one of those kitchens where it didn’t matter how much you cleaned… it just never felt good? That’s what we lived with the first year here. Ugh!
First item on our list was to rip out that wall between the kitchen and dining room. We were inspired after watching a remodel show from the States. We had no idea what we were doing, but demolition is easy. It’s the rebuilding that had us scratching our heads.
Same wall gone, different angle.
Here’s the fun part. We had to get some help in to level our floor. Why? Because for some unknown reason, the houses in our area were built with about 5 inches of sand underneath the floor. The only thing we can figure is that it was some kind of insulation, or noise insulator. But the floor between our upstairs and downstairs is concrete, so we still aren’t sure if that’s why.
My Swedish hubby installing our IKEA cabinets. We went to a kitchen supplier first, told them our budget, and the lady literally laughed… in our faces. So off to IKEA we went – and they didn’t laugh at all. Similar cabinet design, MUCH lower price, and a 15 year warranty. I think I can handle that.
I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty with the tiling. I found the teal/gray glass tiles on super sale in a pile at the back of a tile store. The cream stone tiles were picked up in a dumpster at another tile store – and they gave just the right amount of ‘wonky’ to my otherwise ‘too clean’ wall. I struggle with ‘too clean’ and perfect design. It’s not in my DNA.
One weekend and a husband who took care of the kids was all it took for me to finish tiling the kitchen.
I tiled this wall with the little mosaic squares between the cabinets and over the sink. The plan is to install 2 thick floating shelves (see my white lines). One day it may actually happen. And see the bottom trim on the left. It still hasn’t been put up on the right…3 years later!
Here’s an ‘almost done’ shot. Some trim pieces, a missing dishwasher, and the backing on the outer bar area. This pic also has the original windows in it.
The depth of space where we needed to put the fridge wasn’t deep enough for a double-wide fridge, and we didn’t want to knock back that wall because it would have taken space from our master bedroom (which is not that master, I promise!). So, we opted for 2 identical fridges and had them reverse the handles on one of them. Still get all of the great space, and it also turned out to be a fraction of the cost.
I love how cozy it feels at night.
We changed out the old windows for new double pane energy windows. Yes, the window on the right is out. Yes, that’s a Christmas tree you see on the neighbors porch. Yes, that means we changed our windows in the middle of winter. Yes, it was cold.
To my Divine Little Miss M, it’s just a kitchen. Perhaps one day she’ll DIY her own kitchen remodel.
The new windows are in, and the kitchen is is use. We have painted the back of that bar area… but for some reason I sit here tonight without a photo.
Now… here’s where I dare to show you what the kitchen usually looks like on a typical day at our household. Not bad, really, if you consider we are a 2-kid family. No, I’m not ashamed at all to show my ‘real life’ on the blog. It’s not always ‘pretty picture perfect’.
This is a good shot looking away from the kitchen – dining area and towards the living room. You can see how I’ve tried to carry some of the colors through in a few pieces out there. If you want to see a whole series on our living room remodel, you can start here: http://recreatedesigncompany.com/the-evolution-of-a-living-room-part-v-2-of-2-build-an-ottoman/
Want to see our living room renovation? We tore out an ENTIRE exterior wall there to put in floor-to-ceiling windows. At least that project was done in the summertime!
Until next time…