The kitchen should be the heart of the home, but our 1960’s Garrison colonial kitchen was more like the pain in the ass of our home. In fact, it was nearly a deal-breaker when we went to the first open house. Our realtor warned me that the house required updating, and to be fair – we saw worse during our 6+ month-long search for a house. When you want to live in our town and you have less than a million bucks, it’s damn near impossible to find a place that’s turnkey.
I opened the door and walked right smack into the kitchen table. Although, check out the gallery wall filled with family photos. I told you last week that this house was well-loved, and the evidence was clear as soon as we walked in.
When you walk in this particular door with two little kids, all their school gear, my work gear, and a load of groceries and there’s no sensible place to hang your coat, the space gets messy very quickly. When we moved in, we put some coat rails on that wall where the pictures are, but the lack of a proper “drop zone” really grated on our nerves.
- The electric cook-top is jammed into the corner just to the left of the sink.
- The wall oven’s broiler didn’t work.
- There was very little prep space (due to all the clutter that accumulated thanks to a lack of drop zone).
- The refrigerator deli drawer would frequently fall out when opened.
- The dishwasher’s prongs are rusty (although I’m still grateful for it, now that it’s connected up in my basement during the renovation).
- A cabinet drawer front fell off.
- The cabinet doors never closed properly, and would often open right back up again.
- One couldn’t open the dishwasher while someone else was cooking.
After a year of bumping into each other while trying to cook and clean up, and kids’ pictures piling up on the table, we bit the bullet and hired an architect to expand the kitchen into our backyard. This would allow us to open up the space to create a den in the original dining room (seen in the photo above) as well as a clear sight line into the new dining room, which is an addition built in the 90’s.
The back of the house looked like this before the extension was built:
After the addition started, the area looked like this (the exterior is totally finished now, with matching siding):
We broke ground for the addition on Christmas Eve and the project is finally winding down, which you can see if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I can’t wait to move into this space! Stay tuned for some renovation survival tips and kitchen design inspiration.