before & after

Our kitchen fell apart last fall.  At Thanksgiving, actually.  There was a leak under the floor that rotted out the whole thing from the underside up.  And as I watched the flooring guys pulling up our kitchen floor with their bare hands like it was a wet paper towel, something great hit me:  We’d hit rock bottom on our kitchen.

It was a 1960s handyman’s special kitchen, anyway.  We’d been limping along with it for the ten years that we’ve lived in this house.  Everything worked–except for the things that didn’t–and we found ways to appreciate all its funkiness and quirks.

But then, the leak.  And it was time to start over.  Re-wire the knob-and-tube wiring, put in a new floor, cabinets, lighting–the whole shebang.

We’ve been without a kitchen floor since Thanksgiving, and without a kitchen at all since January–until last week.  I did pretty well with no kitchen at first–and mostly just felt grateful to be building a new kitchen and excited.  But as the months wore on, and our house started to feel more and more like a hovel, I started to feel more and more like the crazy lady IN the hovel.  And as much as my general take on this whole situation is HUGE gratitude that life insisted we put in a brand-new kitchen, I was starting to go a little nuts, there, towards the end.

Now we have the kitchen back–but it’s not the old kitchen.  It’s a brand-new kitchen!  And I am a brand new person!

So.  It’s time to celebrate with a before-and-after post!  (Even though it’s not really after, because there are lots of little things that still have to be fixed.  Who cares?!  We’re close enough!)

Here we go.  Our kitchen BEFORE:


And our kitchen AFTER:


Yep–that’s a Dutch door!  It’s new, but we’re re-using the handle from our awesome-but-decaying original back door.  It’s off being re-nickeled.  And our great contractor is also going make the old lock work so we can use a skeleton key as our back door key.  (!)

Here’s a little built-in hutch.  There was some debate about whether or not the scallops were hokey, but I am obsessively in love with them.  My mom invented those cool c-shaped side pieces there.


And here’s a panoramic view.  The floor is reclaimed hardwoods from an 80-yr-old cottage.  We added shiplap in the breakfast nook.  The light fixture is an antique olive bucket.  The blackboard came out of the school I went to.  (Not kidding, y’all: The were throwing away the historic 1946 slate blackboards–and my awesome mom nabbed one from the dumpster.)


Did I mention my grandfather had a building materials company?  And I love talking about this stuff?

Anyway!  Just wanted to share.  So glad we are almost done–and so glad to have returned to my excited, non-crazy, and unabashedly grateful self.