Laughable's Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal
Thank you to all who have shared a piece of this journey along with us. I appreciate the encouragement I've received from this board. I've gotten quite an education from what you have shared here.
Some back story: We bought a fixer upper farm back in October of 2008. Unfortunately I don't have good pictures to show any "befores". Suffice it to say, it was pretty bad. The post and beam house was built around 1840. One of the support posts in the basement had rotted, and the whole house needed to be jacked up about 7" because it had sunk in the middle. DH was able to see the posts and beams tighten up and lock back together as it was jacked up and resupported.
None of the windows had been replaced. There was variegated brown carpet in the front room with dark paneling and insulated orange drapes. Dark, dark, dark! Peel and stick tiles that were cracked and pulling up from the floor were in the back part where the kitchen stood. Even getting down on my knees and scrubbing did not improve their look. One small window, covered by an awning, looked out to the back yard. There was no back door. A very low ceiling hunched over the kitchen area. A 7' run of butcherblock laminate counter ran along one wall (where the refrigerator now stands) with a sink in the middle. A small handful of simple oak cabinets were in place. The cutout for the sink had been made into a tiny counter with some open shelves below it and that became my serving area when we first moved in. A stove and fridge sat smooshed together against a wall that we took down. That was it.
The first winter we were here, the kitchen froze! We froze! It was so cold, my legs ached while I did dishes. Come to find out, there was a dog-sized hole near the foundation on the SW corner (location of the prevailing winds here) and the cold was whooshing through that and into the kitchen. I felt like we were survivors when we made it to the first spring here. It gave me a new appreciation for the pioneering spirit that settled the west.
My DH, oh how I love him, was able to recapture the space under the kitchen roof and vault the ceiling. I cheered when he put the large window in and could see the back yard. I was thrilled when he put in the salvaged farm sink next to the stove. We were ecstatic when we tore out the icky flooring and found the original floors all ready to be refinished. (After removing tons of ring-shank nails holding the subfloor to them.)
For a long time, we kept the sink in the spot where we found it and just tried to work around it. The fridge never seemed to find a comfortable spot. The kitchen finally came together when my DH decided to push out the wall where the sink was and make a tiny addition where the fridge now stands. It was just big enough for 2 fridges, which was wonderful for our family of nine.
Now we had room for an 84" long island. We tried having a clean up counter where the dresser with fruit now sits. We enjoyed the newfound pleasure of 2 dishwashers while it was there. But, we did not like hauling all of the kitchen items back and forth between the 2 separate zones on either side of the island. Nor did we like walking in the front door to be greeted by a counter with a sink in it.
Fast forward a few months, and we decided to sell the farm and get a place with a bigger house and a lot less land that's closer to where DH works and we fellowship. This was when we needed to make some cut-throat decisions and finish this place up so that we could sell it. We realized most buyers would not need 2 fridges. So he built in the pantry to fill up part of the fridge hole. (This kitchen needed a pantry anyway.) We tore out the cleanup zone by the front door. We put a dishwasher in the island. Is it the perfect location? Nope, but it still works a lot better than carrying everything to be cleaned "up front".
We went on the market this summer, and sold within a week. Praise the Lord! Now we are scrambling to get the next house ready to move into. In the midst of the busy-ness of it all, it's so nice to have this finished, efficient, bright, cheery place to work in!
If I were to do KIA pictures today, you'd see us putting up nearly 50 lbs. of blueberries that we picked yesterday. You'd see us boxing up some extra kitchen supplies to take over to the new house. You'd see a fluffy white poodle on the couch, dolls and toys strewn around the front room. And books tossed here and there with several noses stuck in them. :-)
Thanks for taking a peek into our farmhouse kitchen!
Here is what you see when you come in the front door: