Monday, February 13, 2012

The First Last Project

Much to my husband's chagrin, I love watching HGTV. So when I say "Honey, I have an idea...", he groans because he knows whatever is coming usually means more work for him! But he's a good sport about it and will let me throw my ideas around before he shoots them down for one reason or another. Then again, if I can get him excited about a project, he is more than willing to tackle just about anything.

So when husband returned home after a long weekend out of town, and found blue tape spread out all over the kitchen floor, he knew I was waiting to show him another "great" idea. This time, though, he agreed!

We moved into our circa-1969 split level house about 14 years ago. Before you cringe, understand that we absolutely love our house and, more importantly, its location. As you might have guessed, we've done a lot of updating. But one thing that has always bugged me was that I was not able enjoy our fantastic view from the room where I spend a lot of kitchen. I've come up with a couple of different plans to change this over the years, but finally had an inspiration that worked!

This is the "before" picture as taken from my dining room looking into the kitchen. You can see my original blue tape plan on the kitchen floor. We used the table visible in the kitchen for many, many years, but it always ended pushed up against the wall because there was not enough room to get around it otherwise. I actually painted that dark "treatment" on the dining room walls a long time ago, and I did love it for about ten years. But it was time for it to go! There were also heavy valances on all three windows in the dining room. I didn't know what color I wanted, but had a bunch of paint samples so tried them all!

Here are the "after" photos. Didn't it turn out great?

We continued the existing kitchen green paint color (Valspar Eddie Bauer Moss EB9-3) into the dining room above the chair rail, with a light tan (Valspar Eddie Bauer Sesame EB24-4) below the rail. I initially considered recovering the box valances, but decided to eliminate them instead. We added crisp white bead board on both sides below the built-in table, and installed new drop lights that coordinate with the existing dining room light. One thing we did not anticipate was having to reroute a water line running from the attic through the old wall to an outdoor spigot, but that was just a minor detail (according to the person who did not have to do the plumbing!).

We absolutely love the new table top. It's a 1½" thick piece of John Boos walnut butcher block with a Varnique finish that we bought online from Old World Butcher Block. Note that you can't see the four brackets on each side that hold the table in place. Husband found the Freedom Hidden Countertop Brackets on line from Federal Brace, and they are installed behind the drywall so you don't have to worry about hitting your knees! Keeps the lines looking clean, too.

This project has totally changed the way both our dining room and kitchen feel. The rooms are much more open and inviting, and my plants absolutely love all the natural light! I find myself lingering more in the kitchen just to enjoy the view. I am extremely proud of the work my husband did on this project, and so pleased with how it turned out. Not bad for what he calls "the last project in the house"! Then again, I have this idea.....


  1. Looks great! I would love to see it in person sometime. :)

  2. What's not to like? Your kitchen is brighter and roomier, your dining room seems bigger and more part of the overall house "flow", the bead board in both rooms really gives a lighter, airier feel to both rooms, and your wonderful water/mountain view is now visible from your kitchen. Great planning and execution!

  3. Love it! Wally and Curt should start their own "retirement business"! Curt's last "project" was to install wood floors throughout upstairs and completely remodel our kitchen. Turned out great! I love your new open space.

  4. Just found your blog, and we have things in common, like HGTV! Love the open airy look of your latest redo. My husband will be retiring in October, so that will be something new for us. Looking forward to that. I hope the hip replacement went well. My husband had one done about 8 years ago and it made a big difference in his life, now without pain. Thanks for following my blog.

  5. Liz -- love the new open look. Love your blog. Glad everything is working out great... I love the retirement feel... Take care

  6. Is it ok I use your picture? This is EXACTLY what we doing next weekend.....ha ! Yours turned out my fingers crossed ours does too. Bonnie