Only project people should buy a project house. And when you buy a house built in 1850, you’re buying a project. 

The first year presents little surprises. Like the water line to the first floor toilet freezes when the temps get down to -2. Which it was. And it did. Thus a new project is birthed, unplanned as it may have been.

Our planned project for the winter is an update on the kitchen. I was concerned about the size of the space when we bought the house: a compact 12×12 filled with multiple doorways and a sliding glass door. Our previous kitchen in our rented farmhouse spoiled me with an eat-in table and tons of cabinet space. We spent all our time in that kitchen, modest as it’s design was it did offer a lot of space. 

But, I surprised myself by paring back enough to fit all our necessities efficiently into our “new” little kitchen. I love cooking and baking with everything organized and close at hand. But add a few kids and a husband all trying to work at the counter, plus a lazy mastiff sleeping in the middle of the floor, and things get tight.

Oh the challenges of this space. Let me sum up: 

  • 6 doorways (one a huge slider to the deck)
  • 12×12
  • The open diswasher door blocks entry into kitchen and the opening of the freezer door
  • Mismatched appliances
  • Fridge blocks line-of-sight to the next room. It’s huge white side is THE thing you see when walking down the hallway or entering the kitchen.
  • Strange structure over the stove
  • Very old cabinets with no glides on the drawers (which leaves piles of sawdust-like dirt on the cabinets under the drawers and everything you have stored in them… owners of an old house with original cabinets know just what I’m talking about.)
Before sketch: The main entrance to the space is in the upper left corner–those two doorways at a right angle to each other.
Before: Here’s that main entry–the two doorways on the right. Fridge on the left, dishwasher on the right. Pantry to the left of the fridge with the bi-fold doors is the planned new location for the fridge.
Before: standing in the doorway, looking into the kitchen.
Before: I inherited the wall color which incidentally is also the ceiling color. Thankfully the ceilings are high so the space doesn’t feel too dark. A new wall color to neutralize the “oranginess” of the floors is in order, as well as a white ceiling.
Before: The stove was one of those first-year surprises that just stopped working one day. My in-laws spoiled me with a trip to the department store to pick out a new stove. It’s a nicer stove than a cook like me deserves!
A full gut renovation isn’t in the budget, nor do we desire to live with that kind of project, so we plan to make small updates and changes to improve the traffic pattern and the general aesthetics of the space. Below is a sketch of our plans. Moving the fridge into the pantry and replacing it with narrow shelving with a slimming profile.We also plan to remove the small farm table currently residing in front of the sliding door and replace it with a counter height island on castors that I can move as needed.
Sketch of planned changes.
Work began in November with a ceiling fan and fridge makeover, and the modification of the pantry that will be the new location of the fridge. Updates coming soon!

My kitchen inspiration board on Pinterest….

Follow Ruth’s farm & furniture’s board build me a farmhouse-kitchen on Pinterest.//


2 thoughts on “kitchen design board

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