The Kitchen: Tabula Rasa

July 28, 2015

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This weekend, we got a babysitter for a couple hours and demo’d the kitchen. It was so therapeutic and fun! We haven’t done any hardcore demo in awhile and we have been waiting anxiously since we moved in to renovate the kitchen, it felt like “we’re finally doing it!” And although we ripped all the cabinets and countertops and backsplash out of this kitchen whose cabinets we painted last year:


We really are renovating the original kitchen we were greeted with when we moved in:


And this kitchen, post-new floors, where we reconfigured the island to fit the pantry cabinets into the kitchen from the dining area.


I really don’t know what before photo to use when all this is said and done, but either way, it looks like this now:


We started by pulling up all the tile countertops. They were very heavy so we had to try to remove the tile before lifting the countertop piece. In the process, we discovered at some point the tile countertops were added on top of pink laminate countertops with wood trim.


And behind the tile backsplash, we found a piece of mauve-ish laminate backsplash, too:


It was fun seeing into our home’s pink and purple past. And as much as those tile countertops weren’t for us, I am also for anybody improving their home the way they want to. After the counters came off, we had to remove the cabinetry, which required unscrewing the boxes from the wall and each other. We put them on our neighborhood’s garage sale page and someone bought the whole kitchen for $200 within minutes.


While removing the backsplash, we weren’t planning on tearing down the whole wall with it, but those tiles were on there good! While the kitchen is empty, the study got a few new additions.


We scooted our fridge in here (moved the couch, art, rug, lamp, etc. temporarily downstairs), two cheap plastic shelves and a table to kind of serve as our make-shift kitchen during all of this. It’s a little chaotic, but we’re just grateful we have the room to not be completely without during this remodel. We’ve been using the new laundry sink to wash dishes.


Later this week, we’ll be tearing down that wall on the right and start framing out the recessed fridge, walk-in pantry and new doorway leading to the pantry. We reconfigured a few of the plans and measured everything 6 times to make sure this is all really going to work–I owe you an update there! We have another week or so of demo and patching floors and moving lines and then we’ll be ready to start putting it together again.

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What do you think?

  1. David H. says:

    Very niche kitchen! My wife would love this.

    Contemplating whether I should share this with her, it might cost be a bit :-)

  2. Cara says:

    So exciting! I’ve been planning an Ikea kitchen remodel since we moved into our house last year. I can’t wait to see your progress and get some more tips for a smooth remodel:) I have a quick question, what height ceilings do you have? Ours are 8ft and I’ve been planning on using the 40″ uppers but now I’m worried I won’t have ample space between the countertops and cabs. Our current kitchen has the 18″ clearance (42″ uppers) but the existing cabinets are only 12″ deep. I’m worried the 15″ depth needs more space!! Any advice would be great. I really love the look of tall cabs with nice chunky crown but I don’t want to compromise function.

    • Julia says:

      We have standard 8 ft ceilings, and I think you’ll be fine. We aren’t putting any uppers per se in the kitchen part (just a 80″ + 15″ over in the recessed fridge section) but we used 40″ uppers in our laundry room. The counters in there are significantly higher than standard kitchen cabinets to be even with the washer and dryer, so with standard height counters would be no problem, in my opinion.

  3. Kent says:

    SO EXCITING !! the kitchen looks really good.Well done.

  4. Brittney Bernfeld says:

    So exciting! Thanks for letting us come along for the ride! Looking forward to seeing where you end up with the kitchen. Brittney Bernfeld

  5. EXCITING!!!! my face will be glued to the screen while you unfold this reno!

  6. Casey says:

    Wow! I have a feeling this is going to be awesome. I hate patching drywall and it shows in my work, hate that drywall tape. Can’t wait to see your progress :)

  7. Allison says:

    Ah, exciting! (And a bit terrifying, right?) When we renovated our kitchen (a 3-4 week process with a professional), I was SO glad we arranged to use our friends/neighbors’ dishwasher. We (just the two of us) would collect dirty dishes in a plastic tub and run a load on the weekends at their house. But our alternative was hand washing in the bathroom, which grossed me out.

  8. Evelina says:

    What a huge difference! Demo is so much fun to do. Good luck with the wall patching!

  9. Why do I get the feeling that you’ll finish your kitchen before we finish ours?! So exciting!

    Also, a neighborhood garage sale page?! That’s awesome! Our block has a facebook page where we have group dinners, barbecues and hangouts, but a place just for selling and swapping? YES.

  10. so exciting! Thanks for taking us all along for the ride. Going to be a fun one! weeeee!

  11. Katy says:

    I’m so excited to so how you do this and what direction you go! We just bought a new house and the kitchen is in great shape (the last owner had a live-in maid) but it hasn’t been updated since 1969! We’re hoping to tear things out and start all over which is scary but exciting! And I’m so glad you’re getting rid of the tile countertops- who thought of that?!


  12. Meagan Briggs says:

    No turning back now!!! Exciting!!!

    • Julia says:

      Yeah, there was some nervous laughter, too. Like, I guess this is it. We officially don’t have a kitchen until we make a new one. Hahahaha.

      • Cindy says:

        Ha, I can totally relate to this. Good luck! I’m looking forward to the play-by-blay.

  13. Woot! So exciting for you (and us) to finally be starting on this big project! I’m sure you’ve mentioned it, but I can’t remember – are you DIYing all of this yourself or did you hire it out?

    • Julia says:

      We are doing 85% of it ourselves. We are having our handyman come and help cut and install new windows, move electrical and we are having a professional install the gas line for the range.

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