January 10, 2015

The kitchen just got bigger (or the little renovation that happened over Christmas vacation)

Remember the playroom?

 Now it's the dining room, which is what it was actually supposed to be. But we were using the (I guess you'd call it a) family room off the kitchen as the dining room because they were open to each other. There was a big pesky wall between the kitchen and the real dining room.

Let me show you.

We we bought the house it looked like this:
Ugly, orange curtains and an ugly old light fixture that I ran into every single time I walked through the room. The wall on the left is the wall that blocks off the kitchen.

And here's the kitchen, as seen when standing in the family room.

And here's looking into the family room from the kitchen. 

Now, for awhile things looked like this:
Home office in the kitchen. The desk is against that darn dining room / kitchen wall.

 The kitchen. Which isn't that bad but is pretty dated.

 Like these glass-paned cupboards, which face the family room. The glass is yellowish; it's pretty ugly, just like the brown paneled soffit above it.

Yet if you peek inside you can clearly see that I'm ready to entertain. Come for cocktails or tea! I'm ready!

Where I spend soooooo much of my time:
The dishwasher was original to the house so we got a new one right away.
If you look at the top half of the window, the darker, wing-shaped part is where hail or debris hit it during the tornado. We do have a replacement in now but really the whole house needs new ones.

I'm not a big fan of the black stove and microwave and the beige fridge. Also, I really, really miss my gas stove.

I do love the open shelf above the microwave. I keep my "Paradise Falls" coin jar, my cookbooks, and my tea kettle.

On top of the fridge is a little filing box, appropriately labeled.

And this is what the room usually looks like. Dishes, dishes everywhere and no one remembers which cup is theirs. 

Now on to the supposed-to-be-a-family-room, which looked like this:

The built-in bookshelves (swoon!) that flank the fireplace (swoon again!) were painted white and the walls were painted a bright blue color that Travis picked out. I picked out the Target curtains which seemed so bold (coral!) at the time but when you compare them to the paint Trav chose they're pretty tame. 

Our custom-built, hand-made with wood from the cherry tree that stood in my parents' yard buffet was put against the wall and doubles as a liquor cabinet and a family home altar. 
On the wall above are some of the prayer prints that Kendra makes. My kids and I learned the Morning Offering by reading that prayer every morning before breakfast. (Thanks, Kendra!)

So that's how things were.

But then Travis had two weeks off of work over Christmas and he decided to take down a wall.

So he did.

Holy smokes! Look at all that room!

I loved having the map, white board, and other prints in the kitchen so I just moved them. I love them there.  

But please excuse the mess. Travis is obviously not done with the mudding. 

The old suitcase and white basket container I use for miscellaneous storage used to sit next to the computer desk. I have them tucked in a corner of the dining room now and I really like them there. 

Here's the view of the updated dining room from the living room. I kept the antique alphabet chalkboard where I had it when the room was a playroom. Underneath I put the buffet, which still doubles as a liquor bar and home altar. 

Back to the other side of the kitchen. The family room now looks like this. I call it the Sitting Room and we love it.

My grandparents gave us a sofa they wanted to get rid of. 

This rocking chair was salvaged and reupholstered by my mom. She did it years ago and it's been sitting in her basement just waiting for me to finally have a spot to put it. I love it. (And I loooove that fabric!)

 Above the chair are Kendra's prints.

 Under the huge window, with a beautiful view of the backyard, sits this desk that my parents have had for ages. The kids, especially L, love to sit there and color.

And one more picture of the fireplace and bookshelves, this time with all the Christmas decorations cleared away and a nice fire lit.

 I love our home!

You can see the bedrooms here, the living and "dining" rooms here, and the outside here.


  1. It looks really great Bonnie! I LOVE that color, it's so happy (and looks great with the prints!).

  2. What a beautiful, cozy home! I love all the changes and space and wall color! Enjoy your "new" home!

  3. Ah! I love projects that make such a huge difference but without *that* much work! So much room! I still heart your fireplace so so much!

  4. Beautiful! Your home looks so cozy and happy. I especially love your liquor bar/home altar combo :)

  5. Looks fantastic, I love the more open plan! :) Thanks for sharing.

    1. PS, I also swoon over built-in bookshelves. :)

  6. I love it all, Bonnie!!! So happy for you - a huge achievement. So beautiful to have your loved ones together in a space that embraces you all. :)

  7. It all looks great. I really like the blue paint. It is so cheery. And maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I kinda like the yellow glass in the cabinet doors. :)

  8. Lovely! I definitely don't have the courage to simply knock down a wall, but man you've made look easy and open and -again- lovely!

  9. I love a good DIY Bonnie! You are really making this house into a home. It has such charm. Don't forget too I'm a Skype away if you need a second eye ; ) I mean pair of eyes! Talk to Melody at Blossoming Joy... she was my guinea pig. I mean first eDesign client!! Regards!

  10. Wow, this is looking so great Bonnie! What a great Christmas present!

  11. Wow! What a transformation! You have such a beautiful home.

  12. It must be so nice not to have the playroom right off the front door anymore. I hate stepping over toys as I'm trying to leave the house!

  13. Well done! I bet this brings you so much joy!
    We have the opposite problem in our kitchen/dining area. We need to tear down the wall and make the room bigger by building on. That's just a tad more work than just tearing down one wall so I think I'll just have to keep daydreaming about that. ;)