Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Shave 30 Years Off Your Kitchen

The one room in the house that can date it more than any other is the kitchen.  Walk into any house where the kitchen has not been updated and you can pretty much guess the year it was built.   So, based on  the lovely oak handleless cabinets, flurosecent light fixture and creamy white appliances in mine you can rest assured it was built in the late 80s, early 90s.

Here is the listing photo from the MLS when we purchased the house:
 Yep.. 1988.

What really screams out at you is the giant box fixture protruding out of the ceiling about 8 inches.  I am not sure why anyone thought that was a good look (although it does throw a TON of light since it houses three huge 2-bulb fluorescent lights).

One thing we do have going for us is that the original nasty white tile countertops have been replaced with granite.  Thank goodness.  Here is another house in our subdivision and this is the original countertop that was installed in 1988:
You will notice though that they at least attempted to update the kitchen with the painted cabinets, addition of door and drawer hardware and the updating of the appliances.  I am not a fan of the chicken wire cutouts, but at least they did SOMETHING.

Like the people in the other house, the first thing we did to the kitchen was replace our energy inefficient 22 year old appliances with all new stainless steel ones from Bosch.  And look what we found behind the microwave:
Ah yes! There it is! The 1988 3x3 tiles.  How quaint.

The next thing on the list: THE UGLY LIGHT.

First I pulled off the plastic and the oak trim:

Then I went after the wood and sheet rock box that was embedded in the ceiling:
 

It was actually the hardest part of the project and made the biggest mess:

Eventually I got the entire box down and cleaned up the demo debris:
To replace the large amount of light I was removing, I decided I wanted a hanging fixture above the island, as well as one above the sink and then I wanted to add can lights over all my work spaces.  I mapped out my wiring diagram on my grocery list:

Fortunately because removing the original fixture left a gaping hole in the ceiling, I was able to wire the new can lights myself.  I went with LED to save on electricity costs since the lights are pretty much on in the kitchen 100% of the time.

I fell in love with this barrel shade set of fixtures at home depot:

I then repaired the ceiling with a drywall patch:

Taped and mudded:

There also was the problem that the ceiling in the house has a knockdown/orange peel texture.
 

So even after retexuring the patch using an aerosol texture product it still didn't look perfect:

I tried to live with it, but I couldn't stand it.  I knew I had to hide the patch, so based on a photo I saw on pinterest, I decided to put in some molding.  I used a stock chair rail they had at home depot along with a thinner type of window trim:

I painted the trim the same color as ceiling. In fact I repainted the entire kitchen ceiling since it was previously a semi-gloss. Now that my lighting actually is focused down I no longer needed to bounce it off a the gloss finish of the ceiling and if you want to hide imperfections in a wall or ceiling paint with MATTE finish.

So there you have it.

BEFORE:
 

AFTER:

The day we moved in (BEFORE:)

 Today (AFTER):

BEFORE:
 

AFTER:
You can see I also decided to change out the fixture over the kitchen table, so it would match.  I also removed the lovely brass switch plate cover and you no longer can see the line on the ceiling where the semi-gloss kitchen paint met with the matte paint of the dining area.

There is still a LONG way to go. I am going to do something to the cabinets, either painting or staining them, plus I need to add hardware and a backsplash, but for now I would say the room looks at least 20 years younger!

Linking this post to Thrifty Decor Chick's Show Us Your Kitchens Party
And Remodelaholic's Kitchen Project Link up

18 comments:

  1. I seriously am amazed at your skills. I can't even paint a wall.

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  2. This looks awesome! I have forwarded to DH for inspiration as we have kind of the same issue in our 1980's kitchen. Thanks for stopping by for a visit and leading me to your blog!

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  3. Wow, what a great job. I have the same type of monstrosity coming out of my kitchen ceiling. This gives me some new, great ideas. Thanks for sharing this post!

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  4. Nice change! As I was reading I couldn't wait to see how you were going to update your kitchen.

    I understand about the textured ceiling. I have them too. :(
    I think it would be cool to put beadboard on my kitchen ceiling!

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  5. I love the way you solved the problem with the patch showing on your ceiling. Fabulous idea.
    Traci

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  6. Kim,
    As usual you did an amazing job!
    I lol at your wiring diagram, it looks exactly as the ones I keep on drawing!!:)
    The trim you put around the trouble area makes the total space look even better! I love it!

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  7. It looks great. Why do builders put in those horrible lights anyway?

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  8. Thank you for posting this! I have the same thing in my kitchen and we expected to have to pay to have it changed...but the molding trick might just solve our problem!

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  9. Oh my goodness. We have a 1994 house with a gigantic box light too! Great job - you have inspired me to take on more DIY projects! PS I LOVE the light fixture above your dining table... it's just what I'm looking for for my dining room.

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  10. I love it! Great job covering those pesty imperfections!

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  11. Where did you get your lighting or what is the brand of the lighting? this is exactly what I have been looking for my dining room

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  12. How complicated was it to wire the new fixtures? You had 3x florescent lights that turned into ~7x new fixtures, did you have to run additional wires to accommodate?

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  13. I just daisy chained them (that is up to code) and it wasn't much work. Because I had a huge hole in the ceiling pulling the wires was easy.

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  14. By daisy chain , do you mean that you wired them in series (if 1 goes out, they all go out)?

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  15. Exactly.. You start with the wire to the first fluorescent fixture and instead run it to the first can, then the second can, then the third.. and so on.. all around the ceiling. (Because they are LEDs I wasn't worried about overloading the circuit.) For the chandelier and over the sink light you should/could pull a new wire so they can go off and on with a different switch. (I didn't do that.. I would have to have an electrician install switches for me)

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  16. Hi Kim,
    I love what you did with your kitchen, it has truly inspired me. I'll be working on my kitchen next week. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for your comments. I try to get back to anyone with a question.. so please make sure to leave an email address if you want a reply!