7 Years in Kingston! Revisiting the Kitchen & Pantry!

I get asked about my kitchen…kind of a lot. It’s been so long since it’s made an appearance on the blog that I understand why you’d think it must be done by now, and I’m just holding out on you. Don’t you know I require way too much attention to secretly renovate my kitchen without shouting at the whole internet about it?

We’ll work on these trust issues later.

My kitchen has been a real saga over these past seven years—going from hazmat zone to pretty nicely and inexpensively renovated to utter and complete destruction to…now. So let’s talk about now! We’re in rooms #5 and #7 above, for those keeping track at home!

I’m throwing this floorplan back in here so you can see how these spaces used to be arranged. The first thing that you need to understand about the back of the house is the extent to which things have been moved around! Additions have come down, walls have been removed, doorways relocated, windows added and enlarged…it’s all different. None of this was stuff I imagined doing when I bought the house, but then one thing led to another and it just sort of…happened? It’s kind of amazing how much plans can change and evolve over time as you really live in a space. I’ve clearly had too much time to think, and thinking is where I get into trouble. EVIDENTLY.

All this to say—just getting to the point I’m at now was a huge amount of work and a not-small amount of money. And because I live in a place with seasons, once spring/summer was hitting I had to just wrap it up and make the room FUNCTIONAL. By no means finished, but usable enough that I could work on outdoor projects and have a serviceable kitchen to use until I could circle back to the finish work.

That was…2 1/2 years ago. But hey! After literally not having a kitchen sink for 2 years prior to that, this feels practically luxurious. Anyway. You’ll see. I’ll stop making disclaimers now.

This was the kitchen a few days after I moved in! This is the view from the dining room, and by extension the living room—it’s a straight shot through two doorways to the back of the house! It was GNARLY. A lot worse than it looks. I’d already taken up the 9×9 (more than likely asbestos) tiles that were popping up all over the place, so things were somehow better and worse at the same time. Also, neither here nor there, but you can’t see in the picture that outside the window is a big wooden fire escape from the second floor apartment! It blocked way more light than the above photo suggests, and this room was really, really dark.

Bear in mind that this is where we ARE, not where we will be! But in a nutshell: the entire layout of the kitchen has been changed, and part of that effort went toward relocating the sink so it isn’t visible from the front of the house. That always felt like a bummer spot for it! Obviously right now there’s an antique secretary desk there, which is basically my home office that I only use for storage, not for actual working. So its days are likely numbered.

Anyway! The fire escape is long gone, and the window has been swapped out for a much larger new one that matches the 6-over-6 style of the rest of the house. The old casement sashes were reused as two windows for the former 2nd kitchen/current guest bedroom upstairs. You may also correctly note that the floor in here is just a shitty plywood subfloor that I stained dark and poly’d. The next major step in here is installing the actual floor, after which things can proceed. Kitchens are tough! In other spaces, I can chip away and just close the door and walk away, but this is something I really feel like I need to do with more focus than my life allows for right now. You don’t want to live without a functioning kitchen for longer than necessary. Ask me how I know.

I’m actually kind of thankful for having lived with this floor for a while, though, because now I know I do not like having floors that are stained dark. With two big sloppy dogs that run in and out of the house 100 times a day? Forget it. They look awful all the time.

That stove didn’t actually work, and there wasn’t gas service at the house for about 6 months anyhow, but it was a nice idea. Ha! Thankfully the stove in the upstairs apartment was electric, so all I had to do was relocate the electrical line and move it down here. That worked out well for a few years!

Here’s how that same area is looking nowadays! Along with the bigger window where the sink used to be, the door has moved and a matching window took its place. I really wish I had taken the A/C unit out before I took these pictures but that’s a level of professionalism I seem incapable of achieving on this mess of a website. A decade feels a little late in the game to try to convince you I know what I’m doing, anyhow.

I found that A/C unit on curb and it’s a little broken but does the job. See? Nothing if not consistent(ly a raccoon in a human suit).

It’s funny that the vinyl wallpaper behind the stove in the old kitchen was brick-patterned, since underneath it and a layer of plaster was actual brick! I knew that would be the case, but I did NOT anticipate finding a whole fireplace bricked over in there. I haven’t had that many unexpected discoveries while renovating this house, so that was a huge one!

Speaking of the fireplace—I, of course, immediately pictured crackling wood fires in here. This was short-lived, as it was then brought to my attention that this kind of fireplace was designed for coal, and the firebox isn’t deep enough to safely burn wood.

From there I set my sights on a wood stove, but for various code reasons it would have to stick out WAY too far into the room to be workable. And it would have cost a small fortune because the chimney would need to be re-lined. And because you can’t exactly just turn off a fire, I was warned that even the smallest wood stove available would likely turn this room into a sauna. And we can’t have that; I’m not a lizard.

This then led me to gas stoves that look like traditional wood stoves. Many of the same issues, space chief among them.

Eventually this journey of lighting fires inside the house led to gas logs. I got this set of ventless gas logs from Woodland Direct, and they’re pretty great? DON’T JUDGE THEM QUITE YET because this installation is missing the weird little lava rocks and weird little fiberglass “embers” that cover the bottom part—it’ll be much better-looking when the logs aren’t just temporarily thrown in there until I install a hearth.

GRANTED, even complete, they aren’t fooling anyone into thinking there’s a real wood fire going in the kitchen, but they heat INCREDIBLY well (the only heat source in here!) and fire creates a really nice ambiance whether you can smell the char or not. I got the add-on of a thermostat remote control, so not only can I turn it on and off with the click of a button, I can also set the temperature and just let it flip on and off by itself to maintain the temperature in the room. That sounds wasteful, but it actually uses a lot less gas than the boiler does, and since it heats so effectively it extends the time I have in the fall before I have to run the whole radiator system. I’m a big fan of my gas logs, janky as they may be at the moment.

If you walked through that big doorway now, you’d fall about 3 feet to the ground below because that whole addition is gone! You can imagine how cool that addition would have been back when it was built—basically the whole wall was windows! They’d since all been removed with three little vinyl windows in their place. The whole thing was dark and falling apart, so I don’t miss it.

Same wall! That big doorway would sit roughly between where the two windows are.

Does it drive me crazy that these two windows aren’t centered on this wall? Yes, a little bit. I did it because I was trying to make it look more natural from the exterior, because there’s a large dormer window in the room above, so these windows are centered on that. It’s ok. When all is said and done, I don’t think it’ll feel strange.

Or it will and I’ll just rip it all out and do it again. KIDDING! Sort of.

Oh! I guess let’s talk cabinetry and appliances. I HAVE MY CABINETS! They’re mostly just still in their boxes, because the kitchen isn’t quite ready for them. I did assemble those three cabinets to the left of the stove, since IKEA cabinets are pretty easy to just take off the wall later on, and I knew having more functional storage would really improve things in the meantime. I had 3 extra shaker-style fronts from the Bluestone kitchen that I slapped on that middle unit, which is why it’s all mis-matched. Haha! Anyway—they’re more or less in their eventual location already, but the countertop is a little too long which is why the stove is pushed over a little too far to the left.

Speaking of the stove! I have a stove. A standard US range is 30″ wide, but I really wanted to go at least 36″ wide—if I’m doing it up fancy, let’s really do it up! The problem with this plan? You can buy a VERY nice 30″ stove for about the same price as basically the shittiest 36″ stove. So, because I am stubborn and wildly superficial, I spent like $1,600 on a stove that…well…it works? And I think it’s pretty good-looking. I appreciate that it doesn’t have a bunch of buttons or a big digital display. That being said, it has NO features whatsoever (allegedly there’s a preheat function, but how it works is a mystery to me so I just use an oven thermometer). I guess I could use the built-in timer but I just use my phone for that. Otherwise, there is a clock. So essentially it has 5 burners that are really finicky to light and a mediocre but semi-reliable oven that lights and then sometimes goes out on its own, which can be extremely inconvenient. But hey, it looks good? Oof. I’m a fool. But having a stove is way nicer than n0t having a stove, I can say that much!

In any event. I’ve decided to just give myself over to the range hood life. See that little cut-out above the stove in the ceiling? That’s basically a standard bathroom extraction fan, which I thought I could use to accomplish more-or-less the same thing since I don’t like the way range hoods look generally and it’s not often that I feel like I even need a means of extracting smokey/smelly cooking air. It doesn’t NOT work, but it’s not great, and unsurprisingly that sconce above the stove gets a little yucky if I don’t stay on top of cleaning it, so anyway. Range hood it is. I’ll keep it cute.

Do you like my sink/dishwasher set-up? Thank you, I did it myself.

The sink came out of a house I renovated years ago—it’s just a super standard 24″ stainless sink, and I built a little stand for it. The dishwasher is not secured to anything, but it does its job well and that’s that. I think I might spring for a new panel-ready dishwasher so it ties in better with the cabinets. That feels so far in the distant future, sigh.

You can’t really tell in this picture, but those cabinets are installed on a wall that no longer exists! That wall divided the kitchen from what was originally a back staircase, which got turned into closets in the 1930s. Rather than giving up potential kitchen floor space for a very weird closet, or restoring a frankly unnecessary back staircase that hasn’t been here for nearly 100 years anyhow, I just took the whole wall down to make the kitchen bigger. Which leaves us with this gorgeous scene:

BY THE BY. I know the walls are nuts looking. That’s because the first 60″ off the ground are all scraps of plywood that I patchworked together. The IDEA here was a semi-smart one: I wasn’t ready to deal with all the carpentry, but I knew I wanted beadboard walls at 5′ all the way around the room, so I used plywood rather than drywall, thereby making the entire lower half of the walls one big nailer. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about where the studs were, or blocking between the studs for vertical beadboard…anyway.

Two issues: firstly, it’s not especially safe or code-compliant to do this in a kitchen because drywall is fire-blocking and plywood is not. Secondly, enough time has elapsed that I now hate my original plan and am not going to do it. So anyway. It’s nice that I can take it down and make some adjustments to the electrical placements, but instead of putting the scraps of ply back up they’ll be getting replaced with drywall.

Round and round we go.

One thing I really wanted to accomplish here was getting that exposed plumbing out of the kitchen! That waste line is for the upstairs bathroom—it was VERY split cast iron when I bought the house, and it got patched with new PVC which doesn’t insulate sound very well. Now that line has been re-routed into the new wall that separates the half-bath from the pantry, so that’s good.

Anyways, same angle different day. My goodness this is a weird room right now.

The table is an antique and might stick around! I originally had a more typical island planned, but that was 10,000 designs ago and I really do like having a nice little kitchen table. So whether it’s this one or a different one, pretty sure an antique table is here for the long haul.

So, the pantry! I’ve basically made zero progress since we saw it last, which pains me, but it’s just not been a priority. I framed that doorway to be the same size as the doorway that used to lead out to the now-defunct addition so that I can repurpose the transom window and trim. It’ll be really pretty. Someday.

Among a million other things, I have GOT to get doors on these cabinets soon before I lose my mind.

Anna’s old fridge is still trucking along, but that poor thing has seen some abuse since coming under my care. The dents are a mystery. All I can say is, maybe don’t leave a 17-year-old in charge of your house while you’re out of town. You may end up with a damaged fridge for reasons you’ll never know. Long story; different day.

ANYWAY the pantry will be great. I roughed in a water line behind the fridge in anticipation of the day it gets replaced with one that has a built-in ice-maker. Someday. The plan in here is basically unchanged, it’s just $ and time and enough upheaval that I have to really block out some time for it and get it done.

Aside from…everything, getting it done also involves installing a second sink in here! That’s what the space where all those batteries are sitting now is for. I did this because I thought I could get a soapstone sink made locally for like $250, but the business that gave me that quote ended up being a disaster bordering on a scam? I tried to get countertops through them for a different project around the same time, but instead of installing the client’s countertops they decided it would be more fun to make off with $2,500, close the business, and move to Florida. It took 3 months for the bank to get my money back and the whole thing totally sucked. I found out later that the owner is big Trump supporter, which does help explain both their moral and actual bankruptcy I suppose.

So anyway I’ll get that sink eventually, it’ll just cost roughly 6x what I was expecting it to.

That back door desperately needs a paint job. Why is everything so hard.

So there ya go! That’s the state of the kitchen. Bananas. I cannot wait to circle back and get this room done! I’ve installed six other kitchens since I gutted my own, so I guess let’s hope that practice pays off when I finally get to finish this! I just have to finish a certain little house first. No big.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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79 Comments

  1. 10.19.20
    Pat said:

    is the dishwasher a standard depth? because the photo of it and the sink (looking at their proper left sides) makes it look very shallow which excites me because I’ve got space for a dishwasher, but it needs to be shallow, or it needs to sit proud of the cabinets on either side of it (long story)…..can’t wait to see next steps in here

    • 10.19.20
      Ryan said:

      I feel you pain on needing a shallow dishwasher. I have the vent pipe for the sink running behind where a dishwasher (or possibly undercounter fridge) will be installed and want to minimize the total depth of the counter space – I’m already having to replace the original 20″ depth lower cabinets to get a dishwasher at all. I’ve been looking at Bosch but other EU brands are also more shallow than American brands at ~550mm or just over 21.5″ deep.

      I’m loving the direction the kitchen is going and if it were my space I’d be okay with it in this stage for at least a few more years. Glad to hear that you’re still loving the gas logs – i’m thinking they might be the best option for our wood fireplace that has flue/chimney lining issues.

    • 10.20.20

      It’s just a normal dishwasher! Totally standard. I’ve never heard of a shallow dishwasher! If the cabinets/counters aren’t fully installed, you could in theory just bring the cabinets out a few inches and have a deeper countertop to accommodate? But there may be a european option out there for you!

  2. 10.19.20
    Molly said:

    The Bungee photobombs are too much. You’re killing me softly Bungee. Super impressed by your owner’s talents too OBVS! :)

    • 10.20.20

      He’s such a dope! Love that dog.

    • 10.22.20
      Ellen said:

      Same, haha! I love seeing Bungee’s smiling face peeking in from the dining room. I wish my kitchen were as far along after double the time in my house. It’s half as old, so wasn’t nearly as decrepit as yours originally, but I stalled after the first year and moved on to every other space, inside and out.

  3. 10.19.20
    Ann said:

    I’m with you on preferring a table to an island in the kitchen. Tables are so much better for spreading out newspapers, doing crafty things, homework or bookkeeping, eating, squeezing an extra person in an extra chair around it. People are meant to face each other as they dine, not all stare across the room as you do when seated at an island. And don’t even get me started on the folly of having a sink or cooktop as part of the island! I can’t wait to see your kitchen come together.

  4. 10.19.20
    Diane said:

    It will be spectacular… glad u figured out the fireplace… love a fireplace in the kitchen!!!

  5. 10.19.20
    Heather said:

    Omg I laughed so hard reading this post! Daniel I love your writing style. And your reno style, which makes me feel good about some of my loooooong projects, like my very romantic en-suite that hasn’t had a door for 5 years.

    • 10.20.20

      doors are over-rated! hahaha. You’ll get there!

  6. 10.19.20
    Hannah B. said:

    The brick fireplace under the brick wallpaper has always cracked me up! I think the plan changes you’ve made over time make so much sense, I love how you’ve simplified the back of the house and brought some logic to the addition. I wager $5 that you’ll move that window ;)

    • 10.20.20

      Bite your tongue! I think my neighbors may actually have me committed if I tear up that side of the house again. They thought I was out of my mind the first time!

  7. 10.19.20
    Jeannette said:

    Even without walls and finishes its feng shui is about 1000 per cent better
    I never believe in the chi of a house until I see your rooms — emerging in their beauty like a old friend who has had some miraculous surgery
    She is emerging as her true self so beautiful to see

  8. 10.19.20
    greta said:

    This kitchen layout is the layout plan that you showed us years ago–it looks so good. The original kitchen was very unorganized and now it is a working space with purpose. To have finalized a floor plan is a huge plunge forward all by itself. The rest is mostly details.

    • 10.20.20

      Exactly! It’s all finish work from here on out, thank goodness. That’s the fun stuff! Roughing in the plumbing…not as fun.

  9. 10.19.20
    Pam in NH said:

    Been wondering about this kitchen. You can see where it’s going.
    Told a friend about you & Ikea/ semi handmade deal & she was concerned about the particle board holding up for her own place.
    Glad to see you at Bluestone. Once the sheetrock is up you will be sailing along again.

    • 10.20.20

      The particleboard on the cabinet frames themselves? That’s pretty much the standard now—full plywood construction is typically an upgrade! (they do carry a 25 year warranty, as well)

    • 10.20.20
      AnnInSF said:

      It’s not just because I’m originally from Sweden that I’m a big IKEA fan. I assembled, and my contractor installed 14 IKEA kitchen cabinets 25 years ago, and they still look and work great. It helps if you don’t abuse them, of course. :-)

  10. 10.19.20
    nella said:

    The kitchen looks great for an interim working kitchen. I also like the table instead of an island, more attractive and versatile and period appropriate, and it looks to me like you have plenty of counter space anyway.

  11. 10.19.20
    Sara L. said:

    So nice to finally see the whole kitchen as it looks currently! I love the direction you’re going with this, it has really brought this area of the house to life. I will never forget when you found that fireplace! Such an exciting moment. I am weirdly most excited about seeing the molding going back in around that door?? Like, I always love seeing you do the woodwork in this house. Always so lovely. Anyway, can’t wait until you get some time to do this up right. It’ll be a stunner.

    (I haven’t been getting email notifications on the last couple of posts. Is that still getting futzed with?)

    • 10.20.20

      Yesss, the moldings are going to make such a big difference!! I want this room to look like it wasn’t really renovated so getting that right is huge. The molding-less windows and doorway kill me!

  12. 10.19.20
    Jill said:

    I genuinely find this space, just as it is, completely charming. High ceilings, good light, spacious room to move around, functional layout, some fun historical touches, a good table, nothing precious or fussy, and dog. That is like everything I ever want in any room.

    What do you keep in the pot on the hook? That was my favorite part.

    • 10.20.20
      Maria said:

      What Jill said! Great light, the windows, high ceilings…. I’m already jealous! And the table vs island debate, not even a question about it, this is totally the right thing!

    • 10.20.20

      Haha! That’s my system for setting dirty rags and dishtowels aside to go upstairs to the wash. It ain’t perfect but it works!

  13. 10.19.20
    Cath said:

    Daniel – there is a lot of being hard on yourself is this post. You are awesome, awesome, awesome. So real and such a pleasure to watch someone really care about what they are doing, being real about how slow/fast it happens when there is life to also live. I think you’re fabulous for what it’s worth and will keep watching this house evolve over the next 10, 20, 100 years. Whatever it takes!!

    • 10.19.20
      C said:

      I agree with everything Cath wrote :)

    • 10.20.20

      I appreciate that, you guys—thank you! I do have to work on my self-compassion skills. Don’t worry—my new therapist has QUICKLY identified this as a point we must work on, haha!

  14. 10.19.20
    Mandy said:

    The ceilings in your home are so incredibly high. Do you have any idea why anyone would put a drop ceiling in there? Did people at one point like the feeling of the walls closing in on them. And also, since you’re sort of giving us an updated tour of various rooms would you consider opening your kimono and showing everyone this famed hoarding room of doom? I’m so curious what’s going on in there. From your floor plans it looks huge.

    • 10.20.20

      They’re actually a bit under 10 feet, so not crazy high! Drop ceilings pretty commonly went into old houses in the 50s/60s/70s. In the 50s/60s it was often to cover failing plaster ceilings or inexpensively run new electric or plumbing, and in the 70s it was largely a reaction to the oil crisis and having less space to heat. The hoard room is huge—I have to work up my courage! In the meantime there’s a pretty extensive video tour over on Patreon ;)

    • 10.20.20
      Mandy said:

      Guess what Daniel. I did it. I’m normally too cheap/lazy but I just signed up to Patreon just to follow you! I just wanted you to know that you’re worth it. You’re so different from all the bloggers and influencers out there because 1) you’re laugh out loud hilarious, 2) you’re a gifted writer, 3) you’re a talented home designer/DIYer/renovator, 4) you share really valuable info that I’ve used in my home, 5) you’re an honest, open, and lovable person who I want to hug after every post, 6) you have great dogs. I love watching your evolution of style and design decisions. Whenever you post anything I genuinely get excited, and I’ll put it away until I can watch/read with total concentration in private. So thanks. I highly recommend anyone else reading this to sign up!
      It’s pretty painless. I just bought a $5 donut (by accident) this morning and would rather have spent it on you. End of my unsolicited advertorial.

  15. 10.19.20
    Tia said:

    Did I miss a beat? I thought you were going to have the sink under a window (my preference) and the stove where the sink is now?

    • 10.20.20

      Nope! I mocked it up to show on the blog, but that’s never been the plan. :)

  16. 10.19.20
    Kathy said:

    Thank you for all the details – today I needed the reminder that it is normal for things like this to be “so hard”

    I love your DIY attitude and your high standards for everything you build and design.

    I find hiring people like plumbers and electricians to be “so hard” I get all wrapped up in my head wanting them to be as excited about my project as I am and end up demoralized when hiccups happen.

    Anyway – keep working and keep writing – I love it!!!

    • 10.20.20

      I think relying on others is the hardest part of renovating! It’s really my main motivation (aside from $$) for learning to do so much myself, because it drives me bananas!

  17. 10.19.20
    Claudia said:

    Love how candid you are about what you’ve learned during the ongoing renos! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    PS Yay, Bungee!

  18. 10.19.20
    nicky said:

    I really like what you’re doing in this room! I recently binged all your archives (my work focus is not so great from home) so I’ve seen all the iterations on fast forward. I love how the kitchen table looks in there, and your pantry is to die for. Keep going, you’ll get there, and if nothing else this proves that there are 100 different ways to do this room and all of them are great :-)

  19. 10.19.20
    Katie said:

    I appreciate so much that you show the hard work and grit that’s ACTUALLY behind a home renovation (and have the talent and sense of humor to make reading about it so much fun!).

    I find the glossy, immediate before and afters from so many design influencers to be so boring and unrelatable, especially since I don’t have the budget to hire a contractor to do a soup-to-nuts gut job all in one go. Most of us mere mortals are plugging away at our homes as our budgets and schedules allow, (and if you’re me, you get distracted by another task midway through a job).
    This is real life– and it looks good! Bungee especially adds panache.

    • 10.20.20
      Anna, from Balmy Wisconsin said:

      +1 Couldn’t agree more!

    • 10.20.20

      I am definitely like you—I got distracted by a whole other house! hahahaha

  20. 10.19.20
    Caitlin said:

    Love keeping the table in the kitchen. It just automatically makes it feel so welcoming and cozy, especially with the fireplace.

    You’ve had so many stumbling blocks here, but I hope it turns out that every delay will improve your end result! I know whatever you do, it will be a delight.

  21. 10.19.20
    Emily said:

    I AM ROOTING FOR YOU!!!!! And no, I’m not 80 years old, just super excited.

  22. 10.19.20
    Lisa said:

    I feel like the kitchen’s spirit is now evident.

  23. 10.20.20

    so so great to see the progress… yes lots of progress.
    agree with the other comment about being hard on yourself – you have so much else going on at the BC.
    its great to see a IRL project – we are all humans and make mistakes and take time and learn

    i think that is what endears all of us to you – you are willing to show us the reality. and thats what we all face too!

    ps love that table and yay Bungee!

  24. 10.20.20
    Barbara said:

    Bungee always looks like he’s about to say something we all need to hear! What’s he thinking? I love the kitchen and the color of the brick is so lovely.

    • 10.20.20

      I think he’s thinking “FETCH?! FETCH?!?!? WHAT ABOUT NOW CAN WE FETCH?!?!??!”

      I think that’s about all he things. Juliet says his brain is a smooth egg.

  25. 10.20.20
    Hope said:

    Daniel,

    I’ve been meaning to ask for ages: how do you live without a coat closet on the first floor? Where do hats and boots and things like that go in the winter?

    • 10.20.20

      Mostly hooks in the kitchen and the back of chairs for now, haha! It helps that I normally live alone. ;)

  26. 10.20.20
    Lori said:

    Ahhh, the rooms I am most curious about! I didn’t think you’ve finished on the sly, but I was curious about that whole fireplace situation. I love the coziness it adds! I’m going to need to check out this whole ventless gas log thing, since I have regular gas logs and all the heat goes straight up the chimney!

    I actually like my kitchen island since I like to prep standing up on a higher work surface than a table, but I do prefer how the table works in your kitchen, scale-wise. Plus hanging out next to a fire in the winter? Sign me up!

    Your offset windows will be less noticeable once you install a vent hood, I think. It’s the matching off-centered sconces that make me notice the window placement now.

    Also, Bungee cracks me up. He’s got such a resting bitch face, but then there he goes straight up grinning at the camera. I can’t believe you’ve had him for 2 years! I think my brain exploded a bit in the last post when you said you’d reconstructed the bay window 4 years ago. I feel like I’m gonna wake up tomorrow and it’s gonna be 2040!

    • 10.20.20

      GURL SAME. how does this keep happening?!

  27. 10.20.20
    rikki said:

    super cool. love your humor too!

  28. 10.20.20
    Jo said:

    I love your kitchen in all the iterations you are brave enough to show. It is a testament to your sense of style that they always look more stylish than the gorgeous kitchen that came with my antique bungalow in Tacoma, WA. I love my kitchen. I love almost everything about it – except the counters and the sink and the island situation, and its connection to the back deck. But those can all be fixed. And in the meantime, I daydream about what my kitchen might look like if you lived here.

    • 10.21.20

      Where in Tacoma, a native of these parts, just curious. My house began life as a 1 bedroom, one bath home when built in 1908 or rather the best that was ascertained by the realtor helping to sell the house, but the date coincides with the area itself age wise of most of the homes.

  29. 10.20.20
    Rose said:

    Can you tell me the source for those calendars?!

  30. 10.20.20
    J-Dub said:

    Hi Daniel, This looks so great! Congrats. I love your table, and as a shorter person by far prefer a table in the kitchen to an island. Tables are people-friendly while islands seem appliance-oriented. But I’m one of those people who uses the dining room to, um, dine… Anyways, what are you thinking about the floor? I’ve got an old bungalow with fir floors throughout, and then an orange oak floor 1980s addition. t looks like you may have similar old-and-great vs not-as-old-and-horrible issues when it comes to flooring. I’ve been thinking about whitewashing the oak floors, or pickling? The grain would show thru. Would like to know what you’re thinking…

  31. 10.20.20
    Alena said:

    Bunjee’s quizzical looks are adorable.

  32. 10.20.20
    Heidi C said:

    So glad to see your dishwasher/sink setup. Honest! I neeeeeeeed a dishwasher and also need to not spend too much money getting it in the kitchen.

  33. 10.20.20
    Tara said:

    The best part about this post is the last pic: Bungee’s darling face turned toward you.
    What a sweetheart!

  34. 10.21.20
    Louise said:

    Really good layout. You have gotten so far, working appliances, running water! I love the table, the pantry and the stove the most. This room is really centered around the important factor of food and company. I think the countertops just are better of fading, like in a good restaurant you don’t look at the cabinets. I agree on the symmetry w the windows, you need to change the focal point and make it more asymmetric. Those two centered lights make it way worse. It is like one-two- where is three? Hanging pendants, like tom dixons “melt”, you can even it out with 5 or 7 or 9 hanging pendants. Set a new center so to speak. I think the range hood will help to balance it. Make a wall triangle with art/shelf/mirror on the left wall. Or really flexy wall lights from Bolia.

  35. 10.21.20
    Thel said:

    Crikey Daniel, I wouldn’t leave a 17 year-old in charge of my house when I went out for coffee, let alone went out of town . . .

    I must say, you strangely have this knack of making rooms look like they’ve always been that way.

    Really like that you’re keeping a table in the kitchen, it’s just a much nicer feeling, and fits better with a period house. And you can sit down from time to time while working in there, and I like that.

    At Ikea they have some nice porcelain kitchen sinks, the cheaper ones seem a nicer design. I’m sure you can get a really good sink for the pantry, either new, at Lowe’s or Ikea, or second-hand.

    • 10.21.20
      Thel said:

      So, you have a new therapist. Good.

      But read these books. They’re also good – very good.

      ‘Lost Connections’ – Johann Hari

      ‘Quit Like a Woman’ – Holly Whitaker

      ‘Sleep’ – Nick Littlehales

      I stopped drinking alcohol on the first of September.

      I no longer have a bedroom, I have a recovery room. It’s only been five nights and I have experienced an immense improvement, so I am convinced to keep going with it.

      The connections part is the hardest for me, since I am not naturally inclined to make connections with people. But I understand some of the impact my current life is having, and I know I need to change some things in the next year. Change is hard for me though, so it is a long process.

      I think you’ll find these books very interesting. Let me know what you think.

  36. 10.21.20
    Simone said:

    Given the space, It reminds me of the kitchen in Big Night (which I love) maybe look at that (movie) for some inspiration as well? That kitchen looks like it is fully functional and yet also as if it exists outside of time.

  37. 10.21.20
    VBVB said:

    Oh my gosh this post reminded me of the very first post I read on your blog (back in 2013) with your “after” in this kitchen (https://manhattan-nest.com/2013/08/26/the-kitchen-the-big-reveal/) It’s come so far! I LOVE THAT WALL WITH THE TWO WINDOWS where the door and addition used to be. You’ve made huge strides even if it might feel like you’re far from the finish line. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  38. 10.21.20
    Tamisha Lee said:

    Daniel, you’ll get there. Renovation is not for the faint of heart, as you well know! It’s looking great, and kitchens are super hard to commit to when you’re living in them. I think designing other people’s kitchens is MUCH easier than designing one’s own. I think it’s the idea of living with those expensive decisions forever that makes it daunting.

    So, how challenging is it to have the fridge in a different room? I’m plotting my giant kitchen renovation in my small house. Essentially, I’m turning half my great room into my kitchen, so like 1/4 of the whole house will be kitchen, but hey, I do actually cook and entertain! It’s 17 feet long, and on the short western edge, I want to put the sink, on the short eastern edge is the fridge, and on the long wall in the middle will be the stove. And I will have an 8 foot bar in the middle (designed more table like so that we can sit catty corner day to day and not diner style). Is that too long of a haul between fridge and sink? I don’t think so, but want an opinion I trust.

  39. 10.21.20
    Lindsay said:

    Cool! You should put up one of your fancy lights in the pantry, better served there than in storage! ;)

  40. 10.21.20
    Robin said:

    I have a table in my kitchen too. I love it. Now if I could just get it cleaned off enough to sit down for a cup of coffee! Mine is made (by me) from a vintage very narrow paneled interior door and hairpin kegs, with a glass top that I just shattered by dropping a hot jar of apple butter on it. Oh wait, that’s my story…..your table is gorgeous and should definitely stay. ❤️

  41. 10.21.20

    I love this, unfinished I know but love where your trying to go with it.

    I’m still rocking the old 20’s era cabinets in my kitchen, the old I think peel and stick tile that’s not in the best of shape, the water tank in the corner, and a janky sink cabinet that’s been reworked to accept a used dishwasher and it all works, thanks to a $400 purchase of an island from IKEA (the Rimforsa) as it adds gobs of storage, 2 large shelves and two drawers that could a smidge deeper inside but do self close (nice!) and then back in January, found a vintage dinette table with leaf that seats 6, 8 in a pinch if you don’t mind being pressed together!

    Anyway, it’s kind of sad, but wicked functional, thanks to the island next to the stove, a pot rack and an additional shelf above the island, come counter.

    I think a table is a good way to go as you can use it as a way station for stuff to go back into the pantry when your done with them, allowing you to clear unneeded stuff off the counter while prepping as that’s how I do it.

    Not one hundred percent certain but most ovens, you turn on the oven, set the temp and it’ll let you know when it’s at temp, like my stove, I press broil or bake, then ON and then adjust the temp and it’ll beep to let me know it’s at temp and the display goes from Pre to the temp I’ve set. Mine is basic, does not even have convection, does yours? It’s not a Bettazonni is it? They are less pricey than Blue Star and both come with convection and regular as well as broil.

    I may stick with the standard 30 due to space, but am open to 36″ if possible.

    Otherwise, a nice start.

    BTW, know about not having a kitchen, my parents redid theirs in the early 90’s and mostly it was to update cabinets as the basic layout of the space was fine. The house was initially built in 1974 and the redo, 1991 so dark brown EVERYTHING and it was DARK so when they redid, they kept the layout the same, just redid the blind corners to non blind corners being largely the biggest difference, outside of more white than brown.

    Anyway, hope you can circle back to and redo your kitchen before too long!

  42. 10.22.20
    Whitney said:

    Its the Bungee poking his head it to the shots for me ;)

  43. 10.22.20
    Carol said:

    Hi, I love your kitchen ideas. I was wondering though, have you ever thought about an antique stove? I have a Chambers (model C) that is 36” and looks and works beautifully. You can find them on Craigslist and eBay for a variety of prices.

  44. 10.23.20
    Amy said:

    I know you have a ton of work still to do, but the kitchen already looks so much better! I’m wondering too how it works with the fridge separate? I’ve looked at a few houses with fridges outside of the main part of the kitchen and always worried that it might be awkward carrying piles of stuff to and from the fridge.

  45. 10.23.20
    Paula said:

    Two things:
    I’ll take a kitchen table over an island any day.
    Hi Bungee!

  46. 10.23.20
    Erica said:

    Hi Daniel, long-time/first-time! I’ve been reading you since, good grief, the pre-Kingston days. I love, love, love your posts and your writing and your attitude and your dogs.

    I live in a 1959 house with a 1972 kitchen. My husband and I have upgraded a few key things, but the overall vibe is still very…. wood-grain Formica with 50 years of grease accumulated on it, let’s say. We joke that it’s our “functional workshop.”

    Your kitchen is a bigger, prettier, better-lit functional workshop! I truly enjoy the interim version! It has a functional charm, and there’s something austere and sort of Shaker-y about it that totally works with the house as a whole.

    The gas fire sounds delightfully cozy, especially on a cold morning before you’re ready to turn the whole-house heat on. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I would happily sit at that table and drink coffee.

    I don’t think the slightly asymmetrical-from-this-side windows are a problem. Kitchens don’t lend themselves to symmetry anyway. As another commenter said, embrace it.

    I love this post and the whole retrospective series. Thank you for sharing your home journey with us for all these years! Here’s to at least seven more!

  47. 10.25.20
    Cate said:

    This all looks wonderful. What amazing progress you’ve made in only seven years. The asymmetry of the windows is an opportunity to do something really cool that no one else can have — per Rita Konig, who says often the best things about a room are solutions to problems. Perhaps consider something like some quirky shelves set back on top of the counter in the extra space in the corner, which would make the windows symmetrical. Jersey Ice Cream Co., Plain English, Beata Huemann, Bungalow Kitchens (the book by Jane Powell), Remodelista may have some visual inspiration. I’m fascinated by the stove, a model I’ve never seen before, since it looks better than many $6,000 versions and is significantly less expensive. But I guess it sounds like it’s not very reliable. That’s too bad. We have a 1990s black and white stove we got from a neighbor. Beat up with some chipped enamel (my paint-on enamel repair lasted about a second) but kind of works with our blue kitchen. If someone could please tell me if a $6,000 stove is better than a $600 stove in functionality, I am dying to know. Everyone who has ever had a Chambers praises them so I gather those are better. Mazel tov! By the way, the armchair renovator in me is on the edge of my seat waiting for that preposterous wall separating the main parlor to be demolished — and of course the two radiators to be moved. NBD, I’m sure. :)

  48. 10.25.20
    cate said:

    I should have looked more carefully at the photos before suggesting adding shelving in the corner. Looking again, I see that would ruin the symmetry of the other windows and compete with the chimney. Well, maybe stick a spice rack or mirror or painting up there or something. I’m sure you’ll figure out something brilliant.

  49. 10.26.20
    Lisa said:

    One word of warning on the fiber glass “embers”, my dog thought that was just THE. BEST. TOY. A place to dig inside the house, yay!!! Insert eye roll, bust out dustpan.

  50. 10.29.20
    Rebecca said:

    Daniel, I’ve followed your blog for years now, and your place(s) look fab!

    I was wondering if you would do a post on how you uncovered the fireplace? I’ve learned a lot from you and would like to learn how to uncover a fireplace without ruining it!

  51. 11.3.20
    Stephanie said:

    While I think, with the placement of your stove, that a wall hung oven vent would look better (especially if you off-set it with wall shelves on the far side of the left window), if you really hate them, have you thought about something like this – they take up little room in the ceiling apparently and sit between joists. https://www.canadianappliance.ca/ALUE43ASX.html?gclid=CjwKCAiAnIT9BRAmEiwANaoE1aDswv4K06siVMZwZS3pjgXCiu1y_4Db0QFpoZt0evgiQbhVBXFiLxoCpaAQAvD_BwE

  52. 11.4.20
    Stephanie said:

    Forget my earlier comment regarding shelves to the left of the window (looking again – I forgot about the window on the other wall being so close) – what about moving that light up instead (especially if you’ll be having a wall extractor between the windows (instead of the cool ceiling one I earlier suggested) and put two to three rows of picture shelving and display cookbooks and a couple small pieces of framed art work on them – they’d add colour and visual interest.

  53. 11.14.20
    kmkat said:

    I empathize with your scam sink maker. The local firm that I contracted with to make the new cabinets for my remodeled kitchen took all my money — ~$6,000? — and absconded to California. With the cabinets. Sheesh. That guy was probably a trumpster, as well.

  54. 11.29.20
    Jeannette said:

    Daniel, how would you gank this well written recipe so the tree is 18″ high, the branches are straight, and the base is a cross of wood into which the tree trunk is inserted?
    I realize it may not be your pagan winter solstice decor of choice but would much appreciate your insight.
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GCwyv9W4QpsJ:assets.marthastewart.com/d30/THD_Holiday_Project_Dowel_Mini/THD_Holiday_Project_Dowel_Mini_Tree.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b-1-d

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