Living in Luxury

Last week was Spring Break, a time when I usually do something fun (i.e. travel) or try to be as productive as possible around the house (i.e. pseudo-Spring cleaning). I have to admit I wasn’t feeling up to par, so I didn’t get much done last week. I did clean out the garage (ironic now that winter is past I have room to actually park in the garage if I want). And I visited with family for a couple of days. Other than that, I slept in and planned my new kitchen.

I bought my house almost 5 years ago. It’s an older home and it does have its charm. I’ve really enjoyed painting and decorating and fixing it up at least cosmetically. When it comes to the kitchen though, many of you would shudder at the conditions. I mean, there are literally 3 upper cabinets and 3 lowers (I don’t count the sink b/c you can’t fit much down there anyway and it’s grody). There is a 9″ lower cabinet between the fridge and the sink, so I guess technically I have 5 lower cabinets. But I ask you, have you ever seen a 9″ cabinet? The opening is less than 6″ wide. The drawer holds pudding boxes and that’s about it.

Not only is the cabinet and counter space seriously lacking, the appliances (which work fine) are from the 80s and I’m guessing have a limited life span. There is no garbage disposal and (are you sitting? some of you won’t even be able to imagine the horror……) no dishwasher! I know. Horrible. I guess I could have given up some of my coveted cabinet space for a dishwasher, but my hunch is that I would have needed the space so badly, I’d begin storing things in the dishwasher.

Here’s a pic of my tiny kitchen…..Imagine having friends over, trying to finish the last minute cooking while people are getting ice or just visiting. Serious bottleneck (and claustrophobia). And in case you’re wondering, no there is nothing beyond what’s in the picture. Nothing beside the fridge but the garage door and nothing beside the stove but the dining room door.  


As you can see from the following picture, I am not the most practical person on earth. I painted this mural shortly after I moved in. I could have put in more cabinets. But now I have a mural (which technically I never finished) that I do not want to cover up. (Just to orient you, just out of the frame to the left is the garage door and then the beast of a fridge.)


A few weeks ago, I got the idea that if I tore out this wall in my dining room, I could expand the kitchen by a few more feet and possibly even have room for a dishwasher. (I had to buy the armoire for extra storage by the way.)


If you’ve been to my house, this is not how my dining room usually looks. I turned the table to see how much room I could spare in the dining room. Fortunately, the dining room is about twice the original size. If you look closely, you can see the line in the floor where they added on. (Can’t believe I’m posting pics of my house when I haven’t cleaned….don’t look too closely).


So I’ve talked to a contractor and I spent lots of time at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Ikea has a neat program where you can design your kitchen and see it 3-D.  Here’s a rough view to give you an idea. I was afraid I’d have to cover the mural, but I asked for my mom’s input and she helped me come up with this. It’s going to encroach way into the dining room, but it gives me lots of space, I get to keep the mural and I will be living in luxury with a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, a peninsula, and just look at all those cabinets! (Click on the pic for a larger view).


And one of the best parts….I stumbled upon a home improvement loan program for my small suburb and other older suburbs in the area. They want people to live here but realize the houses are outdated, so they are offering low rates and no closing costs.

~ by tawnyamarie on March 26, 2008.

5 Responses to “Living in Luxury”

  1. That mural is great! I don’t think that you should cover it up at all. I bet this project will look great when it’s all finished. Enjoy the process!

  2. Ah, the schematics help! I see how this is going to really give you more room!

  3. I love it! I am jealous…we don’t have a dishwasher either!

    Wow! Great design job. I can’t wait to see it. That will really make your 1st floor even more spacious. So cool. And for the record…I’d give up one of my toilets before giving up my dishwasher! lol

  5. Ooh, that kitchen re-design looks amazing. If you need any advice or commiserate stories, my parents just majorly re did theirs. They knocked out the wall between the kitchen/dining room, redid floors, tore out all the cabinets, redid the whole thing. It looks amazing (it was finished right before they left) and they learned a whole lot in the process.

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