Before: Kitchen + Dining Room

The kitchen and dining room are going to be our biggest project.

Both the kitchen and dining room are super small, so we’re tearing down the wall between them and opening up the space to make one big eat-in kitchen.

Even though we haven’t done a whole lot with this space yet, it’s changed so much since we moved in, especially the dining room!

Let’s look at the kitchen first:

Here’s a truly awful picture of our kitchen on the day we moved in. Note the ancient stove.

And here’s a similar view taken in spring of 2017:

Kitchen - Before

A nicer stove, but really nothing else had changed.

Here’s an empty corner by our fridge on the day we moved in:

Pretty cold and sterile looking right?

We’ve warmed up that space a little bit with a small IKEA island:

Kitchen - Before

As you can see, yellow is a pretty big accent colour in this house. Also, that black wall with the cat clock on it seems to be a botched chalkboard wall DIY by previous owners. Behind that DIY fail is actually a brick chimney! Once we open that wall up we’ll gain a whole extra 10 inches in our kitchen.

Can we talk about this floor for a sec? I get that this type of floor was designed to be easy to clean but holy moses, it’s awful. There’s all kind of little dents in it that dirt gets into and the whole floor has yellowed so much over the years.

It seems like there’s hardwood underneath that matches the rest of the main floor. We’ve peeked at it a little bit, but it’s super dirty and gross under there, so it will remain a mystery until demo time.

This tiny little nook is where I do most of my chopping and prepping.  Our spider plant has been growing like crazy and I’ve poked myself in the eye a couple times while chopping veggies.


Kitchen - Before

Here’s a view standing right by the stove, the kitchen cabinets in this room are so intense and huge – whoever built them knew that they had to maximize the space. Our tile backsplash is also the same tile that is in the shower upstairs. Working theory: there was a sale on basic white tiles at some point.


Kitchen - Before

Okay, so here’s a view of where the stove is currently. We bought this stove back in August because the stove that came with the house was a beige relic of the 80’s that didn’t have a working oven door.

The stove really shouldn’t be in a corner and so close to those upper cabinets without any ventilation. One time I was boiling potatoes (and not paying that much attention) and so much steam got trapped between the cabinets and the stove that it fried the computer panel in the stove. This is what warranties are for, but it was still annoying. In the new kitchen, the fridge will be where the stove is now.


Kitchen - Before

Ah, yes the little spice cabinet. One of the only charming features in this house and it is not sticking around. I should also point out that wacky light switch outlet combo. So many of the outlets in this house had weird, oversized decorative plates because someone basically punched holes in the walls with their fists when they were putting in switches.


Kitchen - Before

Lastly, it’s cast-iron/garbage corner! This tiny little nook has some great potential for vertical storage, but right now it’s an ugly graveyard for wine bottles.


And now let’s look at the dining room!

On the day we moved in it was dark blue. A bit of a crazy colour choice and it made the room look way smaller than it actually is. We actually kept this colour for longer that we had intended, since we were planning on doing the whole kitchen at some point. I’m glad we painted over it, even it if it was just for a short time!

Here’s how it looked when we pulled up the carpet:

Suddenly this room felt tolerable! But check out the weird glossy spots on the floor.

Here’s what this room looks like today, pre-major kitchen reno:

Dining Room - Before

This room is way too small to have our table centered right under the light, so I bump my head on it almost every day. We’re planning on selling the sideboard with all our coffee-related crap on it, which is something I feel a little bittersweet about. I bought it on Kijiji about 5 years ago and it’s moved with me so many times and has been in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. It’s not even that nice, so it’s time for it go to a better place.


Dining Room - Before

The wall separating our kitchen and dining room is the one we’ll be tearing down. Or I should say, Ryan will be tearing down. Everyone comes in here and is like, “is it a load-bearing wall?”, right off the bat. Answer: yes. Don’t worry, Mike Holmes isn’t going to have to come rescue us when the house starts falling down. We’re installing a beam to support the weight and getting a structural engineer to sign off on our plan before Ryan sledgehammers anything.

Here’s another reminder of what once was. Don’t ask me why I was standing like that. Is it just me or does that light fixture seem extremely low in this pic? I promise, we do not live in a miniature house.


Here’s the same angle today:

Dining Room - Before

We’ll be replacing this window in the new kitchen, because this one is too low for a counter top. Our kitchen sink will be right below the window so I can yell at Ryan while he’s bbqing on the patio. I’m not sure where we’re going to move our beloved Simon and Garfunkel poster. I really like having Paul and Art watching over us while we eat dinner.

Our dining table is also a bit too big for the space but it’s another item that moved with us from house-to-house over the years. It’s also solid wood, so we’re reluctant to part with it because there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve tossed around the idea of reusing the table top to make a slightly smaller table, but I don’t remember if I told Ryan that was my plan.

Thanks for following along with this part of the journey! There’s so much more to come!

3 thoughts on “Before: Kitchen + Dining Room

  1. Love the play by play and what a great way to capture memories of things that once were. Renovation can become a blur and money seems to just evaporate. Best of luck to you on this journey, can wait to see the finished product.

  2. Love the blog! I had no idea you started a home reno blog. Side note; if you sell that sideboard, let me know . I’ve been looking for one for our dining room! Haha

    – Tash

Leave a Reply