Elsie’s Kitchen (BEFORE)

Before- Elsie's kitchenI can hardly contain my excitement because today I'm starting the process of documenting this great big renovation we've been working on! Actually, I guess it started last May when we filmed the empty house tour. But today we're going to get into MUCH more detail. (I LOVE details!) 

Let me start by saying I love this home. It was built in the seventies, and when we first viewed it, it looked almost just like this (but with MORE seventies furniture and decor). I took these photos on our closing day when the house was empty. Anyway, the couple that lived here before us actually built the home themselves and lived there for forty years. I LOVED how they had it decorated. It was super cozy and very seventies. It reminded me of my own grandparents' home in some ways. Good vibes. We fell in love with it pretty much instantly. 

With that said, I am a very big believer in making a space your own and loving where you live. For us, this kitchen was never going to feel like us without major updates. And as much as I admired this well cared for yellow vintage kitchen, we knew we would love it even more if we updated it.

Before- Elsie's kitchen Here are some of the basic changes we planned from the beginning. I really liked the cabinets, but we ultimately decided to replace them and here's why. 1. Getting them painted was more than half the price of all new cabinets. 2. I had my heart set on open shelving (inspired by this kitchen, which I loved SO much), which meant only keeping the bottom cabinets. 3. I wanted a traditional oven so that the space would feel bigger and more open (and more balanced). So once we factored in the painting and then reconfiguring the bottom cabinets, it made sense to replace them. The thing that really appealed to me about new cabinets is how fresh/clean they would be. 

I knew we wanted to do a quartz countertop again because it was the best update we made in our previous kitchen. I can't even count the number of times we wiped red wine, coffee and oil off of them, and they still looked brand new when we moved out. 

The rest of the updates are more for aesthetics. I really wanted a farmhouse sink, mixed metals, subway tile and a fresher, brighter vibe. Oh! And definitely a new floor. The laminate was very old and had major sun stains in the breakfast nook right beside it. 

Before- Elsie's kitchen  That grate in the window popped right out. When we removed the drapes, we realized the window was much bigger than it appeared—Yay! 

Before- Elsie's kitchen   Here's the view of the kitchen from the breakfast nook. Some of you commented that you thought I should leave this lattice, which I thought was kind of fun/cool. I'm hearing what you guys would do. 

What we did, though, is said "goodbye" to our old friend (to be fair, we were only friends for like a week) and left that opening empty and clean. 

Before- Elsie's kitchen     Before- Elsie's kitchen     These vintage ovens were SO cute. I kind of wanted to keep them, but they were broken anyway. I don't know if you can see it, but there is black electrical tape holding some knobs together up there. Our inspector said they needed to be replaced ASAP. We decided to get a traditional oven instead and open up that counter space. 

Before- Elsie's kitchen       Here's one last view from the kitchen into the front living room (do you call it a den? I don't know) and the entryway. This clock ended up being hardwired into the wall (perma-clock) and kinda a pain to remove. Haha—that's nothing, though, compared to some of the other expensive/annoying renovation surprises we ran into. Another story for another day, my friends. 

I'll be back soon to share the progress we're making in the kitchen! It's come a long way since I took these photos on May 15th. I hope you enjoy following along with our big project! It's about to get crazy. xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson