East Coast Kitchen Plans…

This week I’m sharing our plans for our future kitchen renovation!  Dee actually just posted about her future kitchen plans – apparently, we both have kitchens on the mind lately. 😊 Back when we moved in, we knew we wanted to create an open concept, and we were able to do “phase one” right away.  The kitchen renovation is phase two, but there are many sub-phases.  Haha.  The easiest way to understand our kitchen plan is to view the existing floor plan (top), and future floor plan (bottom):

So many numbers!!! Here’s the breakdown of our plan:

1. Remove the dining room wall, which will completely open the kitchen to the dining and living rooms.

2. Move the refrigerator to the opposite wall (where the stove sits today). The fridge will also become cabinet depth so It doesn’t stick out as far as our current one.

3. Widen the window over the sink, and slide the sink and dishwasher closer to the dining room. This will allow us to keep our sink under a window after change 5…

4. Change the direction of the island, so it’s parallel with our dining room table (currently it’s perpendicular). We also plan to have a counter overhang on the back for some bar stools (so you will be looking at the sink when sitting at the island).

5. Install a double, wall oven next to the refrigerator (the brown box to the right of the fridge). Also, install a cooktop and fume hood to the right of the window (the dishwasher will be between the sink and cooktop). The brown box to the left of the fridge is a full length, pantry cabinet. The idea is that the future wall ovens, fridge and pantry will look like a continuous wall of cabinets/appliances, until the ovens hit countertop.

6. Turn the double windows into French (or sliding) doors. We also want to expand our current deck so it runs the entire length of the house (so the doors give access to the deck from the kitchen). Currently, the deck ends at our laundry room/future mudroom (which is between our den and kitchen).  The kitchen windows are only double windows in the brick on the photo below:

Basement door outside

7. Add upper and lower cabinets for a coffee/wine bar station. Since this wall is shared with the laundry room, I want to leverage the water access to add a pot filler for the coffee pot (or maybe a small sink). (We plan to move the laundry upstairs and turn that room into a mudroom in the future, so eventually the water line will not be needed for the washer). We may even add a beverage fridge here! I am definitely most excited about this change!! 😀 I cannot decide if we should have only upper cabinets for this area, open shelves, or a combination of both…

8. Add some pretty (reclaimed?) doors to the open shelving in the walkway between the kitchen/den, and use them as a pantry (or pantry extension).

9. Update ALL of the floors so that the entire first floor (except the den, powder room and laundry/mudroom) has the same wood flooring throughout.

10. Take a nap! Haha.

As you can see, we have a lot of big plans for the kitchen. Unfortunately, each change will cost a lot of money to execute, so this will be a slowly evolving project (over the next few years). And thanks to termites, we’re nowhere close to starting this project (but at least the living room will be done soon!!). Speaking of: the termites have officially been evicted! We are now getting the chimney ready for a gas insert. I’m hoping we will get started on installation of the gas fireplace within the next few weeks so we can start on the fun part – built-ins!!

We will likely do the pantry (change 8) and deck projects (change 6) first, and slowly buy appliances as they need replacement. The wall removal, floor updating, new cabinets and remaining layout changes will have to happen all at once, so we have a lot of saving to do!

Since we’re so far out from our final kitchen layout, we did some easy upgrades to help us enjoy the space in the meantime. Our first upgrade was painting over the yellow walls with Palladian Blue by Ben Moore.

The closed door in the bottom picture leads to the basement.

When we moved in, there was an adhesive material (used in lieu of thinset during backsplash installation) on the walls. According to our neighbors, the backsplash the previous owners installed with this product came crashing down in the middle of the night (and I thought I knew what defeat sounded like)! So I will never trust that stuff… 😂 (You can still see a few errant tiles next to the window over the sink in the before photos).

Our next upgrade was tearing the adhesive off the walls, and installing a new backsplash. The tile we installed was on clearance for only $1 per square foot (though I had to drive to 3 different Lowe’s locations to get enough)!! But getting something so inexpensive made us feel okay about installing a backsplash that we’ll only have for a few years before ripping it down (it only cost about $50 for the entire kitchen). The future layout changes will make it hard to salvage all the tile, plus I’ve always wanted a white kitchen (I know – very unoriginal, haha), so we aren’t worried about saving it. But for now, I think it does a great job of tying together the two cabinet colors and the wall colors. Very lucky find!!

Here’s a good before/current picture of the pantry hallway between the den and kitchen. You can see the door to the laundry/future mudroom on the left (and baby H! ☺️), and future, pantry shelves on the right:

A couple more before/ current pics (note the adhesive was removed, but new backsplash not yet installed in some of the “before” pictures):

The lower right picture shows how that space looks most of the time – those Death Star measuring cups are basically her “kitchen toys”… 🙂

And one more set of pictures after our initial updates, to give a really clear sense of the current footprint:

Does anyone else have designated (or default) “kitchen toys” for their little ones?  How about the coffee and wine bar area – should I do a combination of open shelves and upper cabinets?  Or uppers only?  Or open shelves only?  GAH!  I see the merits in each option!

8 thoughts on “East Coast Kitchen Plans…

  1. White kitchens for you and your sis?! Bah! I hope you like cleaning! The house I’m renting has an all white kitchen, and my husband does NOT like cleaning. I hate this kitchen, and I miss the gray-blue tiles at my house most of all! 😝 (Well, maybe I miss the American sized fridge most of all!)

    No no. I miss Chick Fil A most of all! Lol.

    I love your new kitchen color, though! And I vote for a mix of open and upper shelves. Have fun!


    1. Bahahahaha – Patty, you’re hilarious!! I would miss CFA, too! 😂 Thanks for your feedback – I think a mix of open shelves and uppers might be the best of both worlds for the coffee bar…

      Also, I do think you’re right – a white kitchen will be a lot of cleaning, but I’m already a clean freak about our current kitchen. I actually dislike how the wood cabinets and dark counters hide smudges; when I find them I always think – ugh, how long had that been there?! Lol!


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