James came back early for work and while we were still in CA he was very busy! In between work and football he managed to squeeze in a few projects we just haven't been able to tackle with 3 kids under 5 yrs old running around. Projects like.....steam cleaning all the carpets and rugs, deep cleaning the hard floors (wood and tile) and yard work. He also washed all the sheets and made the beds so we would come home to freshly washed linens. Yes, he's amazing!
He also tackled a huge project on our house to-do list.....taking down the wallpaper and old chair rail in the kitchen! My poor hubs....not only was this house about 70% wrapped in wallpaper when we moved in, much of it was applied over drywall or straight wall board. With no sealant or texture. It's a beast of a job to get off (even with a steamer and wallpaper removing solutions). The kitchen was the last big room we had to tackle (we still have two small bathrooms).
Since I wasn't there to take any before pics, I rummaged around my old files and found these....
Here you can see the fruit/vine wallpaper and thick chair rail in our eat-in kitchen area. By the way, this picture totally makes me want to grow out Sully's hair again :)
And this is a shot from when we first moved in...My Dad and hubs removed a huge cabinet that closed off the room, and you can see the wallpaper extended around the top of the cabinets.
And here she is today! Perhaps, not looking so pretty, but I can see the blank slate giving way to new life yet! Since, he was able to accomplish such a huge task while we were gone, it's decided that the next phase of our kitchen reno will be our summer project!
You can see that even with the light on, this corner of the room is quite dark, especially if that door leading to the laundry room is closed. We'll be removing the laundry room door and fan (which we never use).
The cabinets will get a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Something lighter and brighter to freshen up the space. I would like to do a creamy white for the upper cabinets and something a bit darker on the bottom. That wavy trim above the window is coming off and the window will get a new treatment along with a new light above the sink.
The range hood is a dirty beige color and instead of replacing it, we'll try to paint it either black or stainless to match the appliances and save a little moola.
This is where that big cabinet used to hang. The hall leads into the living room and that doorway leads to the formal dining room. It could use better lighting and something to dress the wall. Hiding the trash would also be fantastic!
This area is just a hot mess. The kids play here often and love playing restaurant with their supply of Melissa & Doug play food items. The problem is the food toys are all stored in the family room except for a few we keep in that blue fabric bin (that has been crunched multiple times over) on the floor to the right of the play kitchen. A well-planned area for kitchen play is definitely needed! The wall above the kitchen will be a command center of sorts for our family.
This is a blank wall to the right of the fridge and I plan to make much better use of this small space. A DIY hook/knob project will provide a place for aprons and other items. There's also room to create some storage for all those great play food items I mentioned for the kids kitchen.
This eat-in kitchen area is also going to get a lot of love. I scored an L-shaped bench with hidden storage on craigslist. It's awaiting a coat of paint in the garage, but it will give us much more seating in this space. We'll work with the current table and chairs but give them all a face lift. The bench storage will house all the kids craft/art items. So this table will not only be a place for eating, but a great place for art, creativity and learning. I have plans for a kids art display for the walls and a learning center board that will become part of our morning routine.
Here's the to-do list breakdown for Phase II:
-Patch and texture walls
-Learning/activity area for the kids
-Eat-in table/seating update
-Storage for play kitchen/food items
-Family Command Center
Even though we have a lot of work to do here, I am completely motivated to tackle this room! We spend a lot of time in here and when we are done with Phase II it will be a space that serves multiple functions for our family....much more efficiently and much easier on the eyes than it does now!