Kitchen Plans

While I am hustling in the kids' room (more on Insta), WE have been BUSY in the kitchen.  And when I say busy, I mean we took down a wall a couple of weekends ago and now we're just waiting on contractors.  So really, we were busy.  And now we're waiting to get busy again.  Which is why I can take this "down time" to tackle the kids' room...just wanted to clarify for anyone thinking we can do alllll the things at once.  Nope, not here.

Here's what this side of the kitchen looked like right after we closed:

And if you had walked into the den/living room and stared at that wall from the other side, this is what you'd have seen:

Or maybe it's what you wouldn't have seen.  That's what we're talking about.  From walking through this house on day one to now, we've dreamt about possibly taking this wall (halfway) down to open up the kitchen to the living room.

The plan?  To take out the upper cabinets within the blue, photo-shopped line below and that one lower cabinet on the end to create an open-concept kitchen/living room area with a peninsula that will kind of mimic a long island. 

We could actually create a long island by taking out that large cabinet that the oven is in and creating a walkway over there but we are really liking that big cabinet and don't want to cut out too much storage space.  Also, if we took that cabinet out, the paneling of the living room would meet the smooth drywall of the kitchen and, since we're not planning on removing the paneling and don't have a good transition idea, that cabinet stays and long peninsula it is.

Here's what that idea looks like from this side of the wall:
Yes, those built-ins will have to go but they'll get reused somewhere else.  They're kind of awkward there anyway.

And so, with a whole lot of motivation and elbow grease, we started that whole process a couple of weeks ago.  First, we took down the upper kitchen cabinets in the line of fire.  

Our cabinets were custom made so, unfortunately for us, it wasn't quite as easy as unscrewing each box and taking it off the wall.  We had to cut the entire cabinet piece over that counter top into two separate pieces so that we could get it off the wall.  (I should clarify, we could have unscrewed the entire row of cabinets but they would have come off in one big piece and I ain't got enough muscles for that.)

We are saving the cabinets for a future project though.  :)
They're solid wood and made so well; it would be a shame to not use them somewhere else.  *Cough, cough, maybe the library, cough*

Once the cabinets were off, Anthony went at the drywall, ripping it away from the studs in pieces.  As you can imagine, we made a fantastic mess.

Last, we spun over to the other side of the wall where Anthony removed the wood paneling, panel by panel.  

We're reworking the electrical on the far panel in the corner, so we saved one of the panels we removed to replace that panel because, when you move an outlet, you can't patch least not well.  With the paneling came down my paint swatches which brings me to another project...yes, we are painting the paneling.  Although, I will admit, I haven't hated it au naturale as much as I thought I would.  ;)

After all of that, we are DOWN TO THE STUDS...and just a tad excited about it.

Both rooms are fairly bright but the combo of the two with all of the windows is glorious.  Throw in that light colored paint job later and, oh my goodness, it's the stuff our budget-friendly dreams are made of.

I'll share more progress as we go.  Currently, we're waiting on a structural beam to get installed in the ceiling (it's a load-bearing wall...womp womp) - something we're hiring out because we don't know how to do it and, as much of a can-do attitude we have, it would be awesome if we tried and the ceiling came caving in, right?  

There are so many ways to rework this kitchen to open it up but we're going with the least costly by working with the existing layout.  That way, we can make sure we're not over-investing in this house.    
Once that support beam is in, we're also getting a pro to install a gas line for our new gas range.  After that, we'll install some new lighting and move electrical around ourselves.  DIY concrete counter tops are also on the docket as well as painting the cabinets and redoing the floors.  We have wood-look tile floors on our wish list but they're something we need to save up for.  Until we do, we're toying with the idea of removing the laminate down to the concrete, and then sanding and sealing the concrete.  It's all the rage right now apparently and with Anthony's past experience working with concrete, it would be fairly cheap for us to do so.  Stay tuned.  We've got lots of plans and lots of time and, believe me, we'll be taking all of it.  ;)

Happy weekend!  


  1. It looks wonderful!

    Don't take my word for it, but I vaguely remember there being some reason you can't tile over sealed concrete. I'm sure you already have a masterful plan of attack as always though!

    1. Really?! I have not heard of that but I'll look into it! That would probably be a game-changer! Thank you so much for the heads up!

  2. So exciting, Sheena!!! It already looks so much brighter in there and being able to see through to the living room is a game changer. Can't wait to see it come together!!

    1. Yes! Even seeing and interacting through the studs is awesome! Haha!

  3. Love this! We have some crazy ideas about knocking down a wall to open up our kitchen as well. Love seeing your progress, gives me hope we may be able to tackle ours too!

    1. Sounds like a rather sane idea to me! Haha! The load-bearing wall kind of made things a little more difficult to DIY the whole thing BUT it's still worth the open feel! We are loving it so far!