House Reno: The Kitchen Part 1 

My mom said,  “Can you live with it like this?” I replied, “Absolutely not.”

This kitchen had red counter tops, old wood cabinets, 4 doorways, a layout that was miserable and the lighting was so poor you would have thought we were in a cave. 


When we bought our 1893 farmhouse, I loved the character details the house had. The kitchen was so far from the character of the house, I would take it down and start over if we could. But ya know…$$$

There was no way my husband and I could cook in the kitchen every day. We love to cook and spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen when we are home. Did everything work? Yes. Was it technically something we could have lived with….yaa…no…no definetly not.

So I began the planning process. How could we renovate our kitchen by ourselves without spending a ton of money?

We started out with adjusting the layout. 

Off of our kitchen we have a large pantry and a large butlers pantry. These two pantries are amazing for storage and help minimize our need for cabinets. 

Our kitchen had 4 doorways and that was totally unnecessary and taking up a ton of space. By relocating the doorway to the pantry, we gained valuable wall space to add additional cabinets and much needed counter space. 

I really wanted to move the sink off of the wall to the guest bathroom and move it to between the two front windows. But it was going to cost $1,300 just to move the sink 3 feet. Ugh. That was not going to work. So the sink stays where it is. 

 The fridge was between the rear 2 windows and was eating up a ton of space. By flip flopping the stove and fridge we would have a more functional layout, and again would gain more counter space.

Finally, the cabinets. I really wanted to open up the space. We took down all of the cabinets on the sink side of the kitchen. We relocated 3 of those cabinets to the wall that formally had the door to the pantry. We also took down the cabinets that were around the stove and relocated some of those to the oven’s new spot. We bought a corner cabinet from Ikea for pots and pans storage. The slide out organizer is amazing and makes corner cabinets worthwhile. We bought a simple base cabinet from Lowe’s and installed pull outs for trash. 


The end result was a much more functional layout with an adequate amount of counter space. We did most of the work ourselves with the exception of $100 to have someone finish the wall behind the oven after we started the process and realized we needed to take more down.  

Total expense for layout renovation:

* Hardware for barn door  $200

* Drywall and supplies for pantry door and pushing back former oven wall $100

* Ikea cabinet and pull out corner storage $300 

* Lowe’s cabinet and pull out trash storage $200

*Contractor to finish the wall $100
Total spent: $1,000
Next weekend: Countertops & Paint

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hannah.J says:

    I really love the new plan. Moving the door looks so much more efficient, and moving the stove seems like you will have so much more cooking space. Have you considered moving the sink yourself? or is there anyone handy at plumbing in your family that may be able to do it for you? Just an idea as it would be a shame to leave the sink where it is if you are not happy with it.

    Hannah. x

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    1. Thanks Hannah for the feedback! I love the new layout too. It was crazy to have 4 doorways!! I really would love to move the sink, but the low price we got was from a family friend. What I left out on my post, which maybe I’ll go into later, is that the kitchen sits over an old stonewall foundation and has only a crawl space under it, so getting up under the kitchen to modify the plumbing is a huge pain in the…We will be redoing the windows this year in the house, and I have a plan to put in a BIG window where the 2 windows along the counterspace is currently located. It will let so much light in and allow me to have clear view of the yard and the mountain (which is only visible in the winter time). It actually was a blessing of not moving the sink. We have a nice big run of counter space for prep, baking and cooking. We wouldn’t have had that if I moved the sink. And thanks for following the blog, really appreciate it 🙂

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