100. The Not-final Kitchen post

See that 100 up there before the title? I’ve spent the last few weeks wondering what I was going to write about for my 100th post. Big time writer’s block? Afraid of a number? My WordPress statistics tell me I’ve already written 100 posts, it’s just that two of them weren’t numbered. I started the numbering system after the first few posts, because originally? This blog was for me. For us. So we could keep track of what we’d done on the cottage. I wanted an orderly progression of ugly, uglier, better, beautiful. (And heaven knows, something needed to be orderly in my life.)

For a long time, I thought my 100th post would be the Final recap of the kitchen. The Biggie. 100. The Complete Cottage Kitchen Renovation for Less than $10,000.

We did stay under budget, but there are still a few things left to do, and I can’t write a final recap post when the kitchen isn’t final yet.

But I can do everyone’s favorite — Befores and Afters! (Is there anyone who doesn’t like before and after shots???)

70s kitchen

Before.
You can see the sample flooring, but that was the expensive stuff — we bought simple Armstrong VCT.

New old door $35 from Habitat for Humanity. Hardware $45 from Construction Junction.

New old door painted Blooming Grove (Ben Moore) from Habitat for Humanity. The lovely creamy white color is Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk

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Before…

And the same space now…

You can see that the subway tile doesn’t yet go around the corner. And there will be appliance shelves above the tile. Oh and real electric outlets…

This is a close-up of the soapstone countertops and sink. You can read about our soapstone love affair and adventures here.

Even after some nicks and dents and scratches, we still love the soapstone.

This...

This…

…to this!

…to this!

This corner below made it into the recent post about the orange phone. (You can read that one here.)

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corner with fridge

We don’t have any before photos of the little pantry that we demolished — it was just to the right of this door below:

But we do have a lovely shot of the hole that we found when we took out the wall. These next two pics are of the same space — about 16 months apart… I made the first picture small on purpose — no one wants to see how awful it really was.

hole in the wall

Discovering this was one of the low points…

The chalkboard was my Christmas present...

The chalkboard was my Christmas present…And the peninsula covers that hole nicely. The butcher block wood is Sapele from Hardwood Lumber Company in Ohio. You can read about it here and here.

From this above photo you can look in and see the almost finished dining room. You can see that the trim isn’t finished around the door, the crown still needs to be put up (we just finished the ceiling this past weekend!), and the mirror between the sconces still is leaning against the fifth wall… But yes, life is good.

Dining Room before

View of Dining room into kitchen

and what it looks like now.

Just a few Post Scripts: Some of the walls you see aren’t there any longer — we took out some half-walls here and there. The only things kept from the original kitchen were the windows, the light with a pull chain above the green door, the fridge, and the built-in cupboard. Oh, and the pantry sign. We’ve still got art to hang, and finishing touches to do, and now that I see the bushel baskets on the fridge, I think they have to go… But it is Apple Hill Cottage after all, so they’ve got to find a place somewhere…

36. Befores and afters

We’ve been working nonstop here at the cottage, but sometimes, like life, the actual progress goes in fits and starts. Working on the windows is slow going; we are 3/4 of the way finished, and it seems we’ve been scraping/sanding/repairing/priming/painting them forever. And we’ve been working on the outside of the house (it is a Whole House after all, not just a kitchen…) to protect it from winter. So the BIG kitchen stuff — like walls and floors and doors — has been proceeding on hold. (I had to say that; it’s one of Mr. H.C.’s favorite sayings.) Hence this post is more for me than you. It’s to reassure me

    that work IS being done;
    that we ARE progressing;
    and that we WILL get to the end of this kitchen project.

To that end, here are some before and after pictures:

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The front entrance Before — one of 5 pairs of sliding glass doors…(We’re down to 3!

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The front entrance After — at the end of the weekend and the sun is setting, but it’s in place!

It took weeks, but those cabinets did get sanded, and their hardware put in place:

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One of a whole pile of UGLY kitchen cabinets Before

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…and the same cabinet After

Very few doors in the cottage are staying the same:

This was the old door going down to the pantry. This photo doesn’t show that it was actually sawed in half! A homemade Dutch door…

And this is the new door After. It cost $30 at the Restore in Washington. It is primed, but still awaiting the right color of green. (Then the yellow tape will come off as well.)

This cupboard was the one item in the kitchen that I could easily picture as beautiful before it was redone:

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The built-in cupboard Before…

And my favorite, the cupboard After with its beautiful paint, new hardware, and new-old wooden top.

And if you squint your eyes just right, you can almost picture the kitchen as it will be someday:

I titled this photo Lovely Kitchen 2 B. (If you look closely, you’ll see the After result of the orange schoolhouse light in one of the earlier photos. We kept the pull chain, though)

Well, I don’t know about you, but after seeing these photos, I feel better! Onward…