Kitchen upgrade: From 1967 to 2014

I’m currently studying interior design in the evenings as it’s been an interest of mine for some time.  So when my dad asked for some decorating advice on re-modeling the kitchen in my childhood home, I jumped at the chance.  Of course, he didn’t ask until he had already demo-ed the kitchen, so I’m a little short on before pictures.

My dad no longer lives in my childhood home, but he rents it out, so many of my selections were largely based on this fact.  Thus high-end appliances and top-notch finishes were not on the menu.  In fact, my dad had recently seen a similar home in the neighbourhood where the owners had removed the wall between the kitchen and the living room and made the main floor largely open-concept with an extra-large island in the kitchen.  I agreed it looked good, but I really didn’t see the return on investment versus a straight re-do of the kitchen.  The added cost couldn’t really be re-couped in charging a higher rent.  The house was built in the ’60’s and it still lacked other amenities like an ensuite bathroom, walk-in closet and even a powder room and thus couldn’t warrant a higher rental price.  That said, it still didn’t mean we couldn’t maximize the kitchen space and make it look fabulous and more functional.

Floorplan 1960s
This is the builder’s floorplan from the 1960’s. It’s a split-level home so the rec-room area beneath the bedrooms is not shown here.

The original kitchen was a California-style kitchen with a penisula-shaped counter, with uppers and the fridge and another small counter on the opposite wall.  The eating area has patio doors and there is a nice window above the sink.  And if you can believe it, that dotted-line circle that is in the corner of the penisula, was a circular dishwasher that you had to load from the top!  Crazy!

My parents added a dining room addition onto the house when I was 8, the pantry that is shown in the floor plan is no longer there and that is now an opening to the living room.  The dining room addition is basically behind the garage.

Secord model update

The peninsula portion of the kitchen was the first thing we agreed had to go.  It really blocked the flow and view into the eating area.  We also decided to re-position the stove in the corner.  With this simple re-configuration, it would create a really large, open kitchen.  We also decided to extend the cabinets on the living room wall closer to the entrance of the kitchen.

Secord model update_new kitchen layout

From the new floorplan it may look like we actually lost cabinet space. However, the 196o’s cabinets didn’t go all the way to the ceiling, so by taking the new cabinets all the way up, I think we actually maintained the same amout of space and eliminated all the akward corners.

I’m proposing some simple white shaker-style cabinets,  a sleek and polish-looking extra-long beige floor tile and a countertop that will mimic granite (because the real thing is not in the budget.)  My dad is completely opposed to white subway tiles for the backsplash, but I think complemented with a stylish glass accent tile, I may be able to sway him.    I also think I’m going to have tough time convincing him to put something up other than those flush-mount ‘boob’ lights, so fingers crossed.

I’ll have some ‘reno-in-progress’ pictures soon.




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