Archive for the ‘Before’ Category


The Before Gallery

April 12, 2009


“Well, it’s not that bad,” many of our visitors exclaim, “at least you have good dishes, right?”

Two things that make this exclamation funny:

  1. If we haven’t asked them, “Aren’t these cabinets bad?” doesn’t it follow that they’re responding to an inner-voice that’s saying, “Oh yuck, how do these people live like this?”
  2. It’s not like our dishes are all that fancy, but they seem to distract people from looking down:


Seriously people, does this not look dangerous* to you?  The good news (or at least the news that suggests we’re somewhat safety-conscious) is that the bottom of the cabinet has a metal panel.  The “cabinet” (and by “cabinet” I mean box crafted of plywood) doesn’t get hot, and none of our dishes have spontaneously combusted.  Yet.

Let’s keep looking down, shall we?


My, what a beautiful shop project cupboard.  And so what if the doors are finicky about closing?  It just adds to their charm.  Let’s have a look at the drawers…


Hmmmm… looks like they’ve seen better days.

A few other views of this beautiful room:


east side


west side

“But those aren’t truly horrible before pictures!” you say indignantly.  Sorry to disappoint, but there will be no “Check out this naugahyde countertop**!”  sort of stories here.  We can’t show you paisley linoleum*** or a sink standing on milk crates**** or even horrid old appliances. 

This kitchen is starting out pretty stark.  Nothing beautiful, nothing horrible.   Unless you count the kitchen’s sordid past… as a kitchen/laundry room.


What about the gaping holes left in the kitchen after the washer and dryer joined the appliance relocation program? 


Clearly, randomness won the day.  Unless you think that every kitchen needs a blank corner that houses a makeshift pantry, the garbage can, a hanging recycling bag and the stepstool.  In which case, necessity won the day.

There is one awesome thing to point out in this photo, though…

Pope + Opener = Popener
(Thanks, Kenna!) 

One more before picture.  I think this one’s freakish.  Michelle thinks it’s perfectly reasonable.  We’ll let you decide.

If you have an 80 square foot kitchen that already includes two large laundry appliances, does it seem like a good idea to build in a wall oven?  It seemed like a good idea to someone, clearly. 

Their work resulted in a wall oven with a “countertop” (and/or shelf) above it.  Four feet and eight inches off the floor.  Which is super useful when the tallest member of our family is only seven inches taller, especially since very few people like to cut/chop/stir with the top seven inches of their bodies.


This is what we’re starting with. While we won’t change the size of the kitchen, we hope to make it much more functional and aesthetically appealing. If we succeed, it just may become Eighty Square Feet of Fabulous.


*  I hadn’t realized until I looked at the photo that the biggest safety hazard is completely our fault.  That calendar will be relocated.  Or sprayed with fire retardant.  Maybe both.

***  Even our countertop is unremarkable.  Just plain white laminate.  That picks up ugly scratch marks if we even set metal on it:


****  Our linoleum is just… plain.  A little damaged, but thoroughly unremarkable:


*****  The sink is pretty plain too.  A little prone to rust, but again.. ho hum:


*****  When we were house hunting, we kept skipping over this house based on the laundry-in-kitchen issue.  Luckily, when we finally saw the house, Michelle discovered an easy answer to the laundry issue.  There was a random empty room adjacent to the garage just asking for a purpose.  Before we even moved in, we had it plumbed and wired to make a laundry room.  It’s not remarkable to anyone else, but we love it.