Small Kitchen Remodel

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I could not agree more with the saying that “kitchen is the heart of a house”. This goes for everyone, even for those whose busy lives do not allow them to often cook meals in their kitchens. It is a place where you find yourself as soon as you wake up to have your morning cup of coffee or tea. It is a place which fills a home with wonderful aromas and where memories are made. Having such an important place in a home, beside being functional, the kitchen cabinetry, the shape and size ideally should suit the taste of people who use that kitchen the most.

Well, this is not always the case, and many of us end up living in homes with old, not so functional and oddly shaped kitchens. While some of such kitchens can be saved and brought back to life with some power of DIY, there are some kitchens that are helpless, and tearing them down completely is the only thing that will work.

My old kitchen was one of those helpless ones. It was a very small, mid century kitchen with built in wooden cabinets which were painted over and over. On top of it, the long time renter has made some improvements and “decor” touches that made this kitchen even more undesirable; so the day we took the possession of the house this spring, we started tearing down the kitchen cabinets.
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The kitchen area was very small, so in order to make it appear larger we removed a part of the wall that divided the living room and the kitchen. To get a better access to the backyard, we replaced the kitchen window with French doors. These changes instantly made the kitchen feel larger.

To enhance the feel of a larger space I went with white cabinets. I chose the IKEA Adele doors, and created a kitchen plan in their software. To keep the expenses down, I did not make any other structural changes so I had to work around the existing placement of kitchen cabinets. However, my challenge was how to make the kitchen functional without involving any plumbing work.
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To maximize the efficiency and functionality of the kitchen, instead of a stove I decided to get a separate cook top and underneath the cook top I placed a set of drawers for my pots and pans to have them easy accessible when cooking. The dishwasher, placed next to the sink, provides the only countertop working surface in the kitchen; pretty small isn’t it?
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However, despite the lack of countertop space, the placement of the kitchen cabinetry has been carefully planned, so the cooking and baking in this small kitchen proceeds quite smoothly.
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Opposite to cook top and sink, I have placed high wall cabinets. One of them is a 15 inch pantry cabinet with several floating shelves. Floating shelves make an easy access to the food supplies, so it is worth paying few more dollars for this commodity. Oven and the microwave are placed on another high cabinet, and the drawer below the oven is a huge bonus. This is where I store all my baking pans. The fridge is very tightly squeezed between the oven cabinet and the wall, and we were so happy to see it fit because we thought we were short for just less than 1/8 of inch.
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I played safe with the backsplash, and went with the classic subway tile. I opted for white tiling and very light grey countertop, as when pairing with white cabinets they create a uniform view and add to the feel of spaciousness.
For a pop of color I chose these icy blue cotton velvet drapes, which give the kitchen a very sharp and clean look.
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Considering the size and the shape, designing this kitchen in this space without jeopardizing the functionality and appearance was a challenge in a way. Ordering and assembling the cabinets all by myself was another challenge and a tiresome and hard work.
However the project has been completed now and, considering all circumstances, I am very happy with the way my kitchen turned out.
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So are you ready to see the before kitchen?
Here is my poor old, tired, hilarious, dysfunctional, neglected BEFORE kitchen:
BEFORE -Kitchen 2 Before Kitchen
And here is my new and bright, AFTER kitchen:
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Have you done any kitchen update lately? I would love to hear from you.

Thanks to the following blogsites for featuring this post: Commona My House; The Dedicated House; The DIY Dreamer; The Happy Housie; Share Your Cup Thursday; The Koenig’s
Thank you for reading.
Besa

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Small Bathroom Remodel Idea

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Several months have passed since we have remodeled our bathroom, and I am very happy with the outcome of the remodel. The bathroom project was the costliest part of the renovation of our old house; however, considering the transformation, I think that this remodel was worth every penny.

For several years the house was a rental and some of the “updates” were made by our long term renter to suit his needs and taste, so there were a lot of things that we had to completely redo or change.

After deciding to take back the possession of our house, the first thing we wanted to change was the bathroom and the kitchen.

The original bathroom was the typical forties bathroom of a small rancher; very small size, small shallow tub, a toilet and a vanity with an overall boring and tired look. Since changing the size of the bathroom was impossible, we were looking for ideas on how to make changes that would create the feel of a larger space.

However, while we wanted the space to feel larger, we had to focus on a design that would not involve changes in plumbing, so this way we would remain within our budget.

In the end we decided to take out the tub and replace it with a walk in shower and frameles glass doors. This decision proved to be the right one as this change alone instantly made the small bathroom feel much larger.
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The uninterrupted view created by the frameless shower doors, and uniform tiling throughout, give the impression of spaciousness, diminishing that claustrophobic feel of an old, small bathroom.
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The small open shelf bathroom vanity also adds to the feel of spaciousness.
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I opted for a frameless vanity mirror to complement the frameless shower door and create an elegant and minimalistic feel. The simple, white narrow shelving below the mirror and above the toilet tank add an interest to that wall. By changing accessories on those shelves I can always create various looks so my bathroom can be always interesting.
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The bathroom floor as well as the shower enclosure is tiled all the way up to the ceiling with natural stone mosaic tiles.
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Ceiling height tiling created that grand feeling of the shower area, and moreover added to the overall feel of the spaciousness in the bathroom.
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I am very happy with this remodel, as my bathroom now feels larger and has a modern vibe with a touch of classic; something I was striving for.
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Now, are you ready for that BEFORE and AFTER moment?

So here it is: the very ugly BEFORE,
Before Bath
and much prettier AFTER.13

Have you done any major remodeling lately? I would love to hear from you.

I am linking this post to: The Dedicated House; Coastal Charm; Our Delightful Home; Tuesdays Treasures; Rain On Tin Roof; A Stroll Thru Life; Growing Home; The Turqoise Home; The Scoop
; Inspire Me Please; Common Ground; The Charm Of Home; Share Your Cup Thursday; French Cottage; The Shaby Nest; The Cottage Market; Masterpiece Monday; My Romantic Home

Great thanks to the following blogs for featuring this post: Commona My House; Our Delightful Home; My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia; DIY By Design; From My Porch To Yours; The Cottage Market
Thank you for reading.
Besa

Renovation of Our Old House

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After immigrating to Canada our goal, among so many other goals, was to own a home. It was not a very simple goal to accomplish though. Immediately after settling my husband and I worked odd jobs which did not pay much, but this did not discourage us from the desire to own a home.

During our first year in Canada we managed to build a good credit and save some money for a down payment so our mortgage application was approved easily. However, considering the low paid jobs at that time we could only purchase a small starter home so we were lucky to find a small, ranch-style home in a good location. The house was old and small, but it was well maintained and had a huge immaculate yard with two willow trees that gave the backyard a peaceful look.

Because of our job opportunities we had to move to another places so we lived in this house for only 14 months. Since then the house has been a rental, and this May 2013 it reached its 15th year of rental anniversary. Lately, we decided to go back to live in this house but ,after the last visit with the renters, we realized that in order to live there we needed to undertake major renovation.

The day the renters vacated the house we started with the “demolition”, and this is how the living room looked at about 12.00 am on 1 May 2013.
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We removed the part of the wall that divided the kitchen and the living room. This was a MUST because we love open spaces, and moreover this will create an illusion of a larger space, something that everybody strives for.
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In order to have a direct access to the backyard from the kitchen, we are replacing the kitchen window with a french door, so beside the practicality this alteration will bring more light to the space. Natural light is also another MUST to the space I occupy, as I may be described as a person who can function at its best in a space that boasts tons of natural light.
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Even at this rough stage I am loving how it turned out. The space instantly feels larger and brighter.
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We are also replacing everything in the bathroom, so this is the last shot from the old bathroom and every item in this picture is now in the landfill including the drywall throughout, as well as the flooring. The bathroom walls are being redone using a moisture resistant boards and we are doing new plumbing too.
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The tub is being replaced with a walk in shower and we have chosen the slate tiles for the shower surround and the bathroom floor.
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In order to have an unified flooring surface throughout the house we are putting new flooring on top of the exiting one, and also the baseboards will be replaced with 6” wide ones.
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Everything is selected and delivered, and awaiting the implementation.

Since this renovation is taking place in another city we took a trip and stayed almost a week in a hotel so we could oversee the beginning of the project and select and bye the needed material. However, we had to return back to Vancouver so I am now just praying that everything will turn out as I have envisioned and planned.

Even though renovations and remodeling can be quite stressful, for me such undertakings have always represented fun and joy, so I am quite exited about this project too. I will, therefore, share with you this fun and excitement by keeping you updated on how this project is coming along, and I hope you will enjoy it too.

I am sure that you would like to see those “before” and “after” pictures which will be coming soon, so visit my blog to check those out.

Thank you for reading.

Besa