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Time for another installment of my Before & After Series. Now, it’s on to the back of the house where the kitchen and family room are located.
We moved into this house sixteen months ago and have been updating what we can without getting into major demolition mode. Lots of paint, wallpaper, artwork, and window treatments make a huge difference. I’d like to share these transformations with you. For the Before photos I’ll be showing the rooms as they were listed on the MLS when we first saw this house.
When I saw this space the first time, I thought we would be doing a major renovation to this space. The housing market would allow it, the home was begging for it, and so were we! My first thought involved relocating the powder room, which is essentially a huge block in the middle of the kitchen/family room. I’ve circled it in red below.
Here’s the view of it from the kitchen side. Removing this would make this so open!
I imagined a huge island running across the kitchen, with seating on one side. Of course, cabinets to the ceiling, in a painted finish to add more storage. I wanted to swap out the electric stove for a gas one and add proper ventilation. Well, I could go on an on with the “plan”. But, I wanted to show you what I have done with the space while we were patiently waiting to renovate.
We weren’t ready to do those plans right away, so I needed to make this space “ours” while we waited for this project to get started. Here are the before and afters, with explanations on what small changes we made to make the space work for us.
The kitchen had a refrigerator that jutted into the aisle, making it feel cramped. (The realtor’s photographer used a wide angle lens in the photos, therefore everything looks bigger and wider–trust me–that aisle in front of the fridge was not very wide).
What we did…
We swapped the oversized refrigerator for the one we brought with us from our last house, and also added our beverage refrigerator in that empty spot at the end of the cabinets. This really helped me with the flow of the kitchen.
Kitchen Eating Area Before:
Notice the geranium tiles scattered randomly in the backsplash? Hey, it was “the thing to do” back in the mid-90’s. They were scattered throughout the entire kitchen.
Kitchen Eating Area After:
What we Did:
I’ve turned the eating area into a cozy seating area by using my vintage furniture pieces and layering a couple of rugs. I love the idea of a sofa in the dining room or in the kitchen. We also replaced the hanging light with this fabulous vintage lantern light.
The way I chose to handle the geranium tile situation was to block them with cutting boards and silver trays. Not quite my style, but it worked. Then one day I asked Phil to go to the basement and do a search for extra white tiles. He found them!! There were 21 tiles, and we needed 20. The pressure was on. He was able to remove every red geranium tile, and replace with a plain white one. We found a grout that matched. Voila. No more geraniums! And more importantly, no more clutter of cutting boards and silver trays. If you don’t have the ability to replace tiles, go ahead and lean some interesting cutting boards on the backsplash. It works!
FAMILY ROOM BEFORE
The family room has “suede” walls in a taupe color. The color actually works with our furniture and the colors I tend to use, so the plan is to leave it until the entire space is demolished for the renovation. My painter was able to remove this texture in another location where the previous owner had the same treatment done. He only needed to give it a good sanding.
FAMILY ROOM AFTER
All the windows in the family room and the kitchen are dressed in the same window treatments. I’ve mounted the bamboo shades up at the ceiling to give the rooms more height, and added curtain panels in a “Granny Chic” pattern (large florals pattern on a taupe background).
I hope I’ve shown you how making a few inexpensive changes to a space that you plan on renovating later will give you the patience to wait until the time is right to do your project, rather than rushing in right away. Sometimes you need to listen to what your house wants you to do before you tackle the big projects.
Only a couple of spaces left to show you!