Club House Kitchen Progress Part 1

I have been holding off on showing the kitchen for a while now because there was so much to do and I really wanted that one big WOW reveal! Unfortunately, we still aren’t completely done with the project but I decided to show how far we have come. We are getting so close now and it’s starting to look more and more put together. I have a bunch to show you as we progress through our little kitchen makeover so I’m going to have to split it into two posts.

Before I jump into the kitchen, I have a favor to ask. I entered my bedroom into Apartment Therapy’s Bedroom Retreat contest and they accepted my entry! Now, to get into the finals, I need votes. If you liked my bedroom, go to my entry page and make it one of your favorites. I admit, I still need a lot of votes :) Voting ends on March 31st so there are only a few days left!

Okay, now that I’m done begging, let’s move onto the kitchen… This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house way back in August. Yes, it has been that long!


We keep laughing about what we called our “move-in ready house” and that it has taken us 6 months of working on it to get it this far and we still aren’t done :) Yes, it was move-in ready. We just didn’t want it to stay the way it was so we started altering things a bit. And then the projects started building up and we thought since we were already doing one thing… let’s just keep going. The snowball effect. But we don’t regret diving in headfirst because we love it.

Another photo, this time a little closer…

closer kitchen

So here’s the deal. We know the house was redone about 5 years ago. When it was redone, it just wasn’t done in our style. Vinyl floors, laminate countertops, oak cabinets, basic appliances, pressed tin backsplash… There was nothing wrong with any of it. It just wasn’t us. At all. I knew that a little paint would go a long way. But who wants to stop with paint? Why not just rip it all out and do it all over? So we did just that! Oh yes we did :)

kitchen progress

First things first, we ripped out the upper cabinets. That a made a huge difference in opening up the space. I keep saying that in a tiny house we need all the storage we can get. But in this case, taking out some storage was totally worth it to make it feel bigger. I was instantly happier.

kitchen progress

Next, we ripped everything out. Yes, everything. We were really hoping to find the original wood floors underneath in salvageable condition but no such luck. Under many layers of old flooring we found some of the original but not enough to save it. We thought about trying to repair it but decided against it for many reasons. Ripping up the old floors was a nasty job. I’m glad it was the boys who took care of this one! Thanks guys! You see, while the boys were working at this house, I was still back at the previous house getting it ready to sell. We were really busy at this time. Overwhelmingly so :)


Next up, the boys started laying the floors. Choosing floors for this kitchen was the hardest decision for me and the one I regret the most. Like I said, we were hoping to be able to salvage the original floors. When we found that it wasn’t possible, we knew we had to lay new floors over the original and that means they would be higher than the existing floor in the dining room and rest of the house creating a little lip which we weren’t thrilled about but decided to go with it anyway. Since the rest of the house had wood floors, I didn’t want to even try to match it with something similar because you can always tell that they don’t really match. I also didn’t want vinyl or tile. Don’t ask me why, I just didn’t :) I have nothing against tile, but we had just gone from a kitchen with dark floors and I wanted something lighter. What a really wanted was wood. So, we ended up settling on painted wood floors. One thing to keep in mind was that because the house is tiny, we can’t put expensive things in this house or when it comes time to sell it, we won’t be able to sell it for as much as we put into it. The painted wood floors were the most economical and the option that sounded the best to us. Seriously, we talked about everything! And this is what we both could agree on. So, we bought unfinished wood flooring and painted it white.

painted floors

So, why do I regret it? I don’t regret the white. I regret the style. I so wish I could go back and pick something else!!! Why? Because of the grooves in the wood. We originally were going for wood flooring like in the rest of the house with no seams. When we got to the flooring store, Jason liked the look of the wide plank better. I didn’t really care that much as long as I could paint it so we picked it up. Big mistake. We never should have changed our minds in the store instead of thinking it through first. But we did and now we’re stuck. Our previous floors had a groove line too and it didn’t bother us but these are way deeper. So they are always dirty. And you can’t sweep them because everything ends up in the grooves. The only thing to do is vacuum them, groove by groove. At least it’s a small kitchen :) And really, it doesn’t even take that long it’s just annoying.

I must say though, for all that we dislike, I actually really like how they look. And the paint that we used is amazing. Seriously, I couldn’t be happier with the paint. It took 7 days to cure which was a commitment (and we didn’t live there yet) but it is the toughest paint I’ve ever had. I tried to find it on the Sherwin Williams website but couldn’t. It’s called Industrial Enamel and it’s an oil based marine paint. It’s super durable. With all of the projects we’ve had going on this house, this paint hasn’t showed any wear and tear at all. It’s so great that I painted all of my cabinets with it too. Previously I have always been a Pro-Classic girl, and still am, but this paint is even better. Especially if you have 7 days to let it cure :)

Having said that… it leads me to mistake number two. Let me start by saying that I love, love, love Sherwin Williams. They are so awesome there and they have always given me great advice with every project I have. So when I told them that I was painting unfinished wood floors white and wanted something durable and easy to clean they suggested this industrial enamel. Again, I am super happy with it. What I’m not so excited about is that when I asked what primer I should use, they assured me that because it was oil based, I didn’t need primer and it would cover well. I have never not painted raw wood without primer but I figured if they said I didn’t need it, then I didn’t need it. Plus, I had the manager and the assistant manager both agreeing that I didn’t need to prime first. They were wrong. We did two coats and was ready to do a third when we realized that yellow spots from the knots were showing through. So I headed back to SW and told them the problem and they suggested I rough up the spots with sandpaper, paint a couple coats of primer on just the spots and then paint all of the floors again. So that’s what we did. As time has gone on, more spots keep showing through. Arg!!! I would just sand all the floors and repaint them but remember how I said it takes 7 days to cure?! How can I not use my kitchen for 7 days? I’m about ready to rip them all out and start over!! Just kidding but… if you have any suggestions… I’m all ears!

Okay, enough ranting, back to the kitchen…

kitchen progress

They do look pretty though, don’t they?

Next up, we threw the cabinets back in the room and temporarily set the previous countertop back on. Oh, and somewhere in there I painted the walls :) We weren’t quite ready to do the new countertops at this point because we wanted my Dad’s help and he was unavailable for a bit longer so this is what it looked like when we finally moved into the house. No stove, no fridge. We were really ruffing it :)

our fridge

So, for about 2 weeks we didn’t have a fridge. It. was. not. fun. at. all. This blue cooler became our fridge. For reals. Some of our refrigerator items we kept at my parents house and we would go grab a few things every couple of days but really, since we didn’t have a stove either, we didn’t cook. Amazingly enough, we still didn’t eat out. Somehow, we managed to eat almost all of our meals at home. I think we ate a bunch of sandwiches :)


This little hut is at the end of our street. It became our new best friend :)

cooler fun

Everyday, one of us would go to the ice hut and get some ice. Then, I would empty everything out of the cooler and fill up ziploc bags with ice and salt. Then I would systematically pack everything back in laying the items with bags of ice. I became really good at this :)

We had ordered our fridge a few weeks before we were supposed to move into the house but because of Hurricane Sandy, shipment was delayed. With so many lives lost and people without anything because of the hurricane, I tried not to complain too much about the inconvenience of being without a fridge for a couple of weeks :)


And then it came!!! Yay!! To save money, we ordered our fridge from Sears Outlet. The fridge is in a really tight nook in the mudroom of the house. Just for reference, here is the floor plan again…

club-house floor plan2

See the little mudroom? It’s a really tight squeeze and a regular fridge stuck out so far into the space that it looked really funny. So we decided a counter depth fridge would do much better. Instead of being 30″ deep, it’s only 24″ deep. That six inches makes a big difference!

Back to this saving money thing… when we started looking into counter depth refrigerators, we realized they were expensive. If you get a cheaper one, then they are small. We had plenty of width, and I would rather have a normal amount of cubic space than opt for a tiny one just to save money. Then we found Sears Outlet. We got a $2500 fridge for $800 plus $200 shipping. Awesome! It had a couple of small dings on the sides (you can see them in the above photo and I knew that before ordering) but I just touched them up with appliance paint and you don’t even notice them anymore. Major score!!

Want to know our other major appliance score? Our range…

the mess

First of all, I show you this photo to show you what we lived with for months. While our kitchen was being worked on, we didn’t have anything in the cabinets and no place to put anything else so we set up some storage units in the dining room and put everything there. It was a crazy disaster. And it just about drove us crazy because it always looked messy. I’m so thankful this time has passed!

Back to the range… Early one morning when I couldn’t sleep (we were still living at the previous house) I was browsing Craigslist and came across this range. My dream range. Seriously, if you had asked me what my dream range for this house was I would have said a Viking 30″ range in white. And guess what I found? A Viking 30″ range in white plus the range hood! If the range alone had been brand new it would have been about $5000. We got both for $800. It’s not new and the hood ended up being too big but we didn’t care and the stove is one of our favorite things we got for the kitchen. I’m so happy with how it looks and I still thank the Lord for giving me this added blessing. It’s another piece of the puzzle to our tiny dream house :) I will show a better photo of the range in pictures to come tomorrow as it’s not even completely assembled in this photo.

Our new range is gas while the previous range had been electric. Thankfully, at one point there had been a gas line to the house. So we just called our plumber and he ran a new line under the house and hooked up some gas for us. I had never cooked with gas before but now that we have it? We love it! I’m still learning how to bake with gas though especially coming from a convection oven but I’m getting there. And I haven’t ruined anything… yet :) And our old appliances? The refrigerator was sold on Craigslist and our old stove made it’s way to Oregon in my parent’s vehicle when they took a trip out and is now at my brother’s house. Their stove was on the fritz and so it was a win for everyone!

While I’m talking about appliances I thought I would explain our reasons for choosing white instead of stainless. We had stainless in our last house and loved them. In this house, I wanted everything to be white. The floors, the cabinets, the walls… everything. So naturally, the appliances should be white too. Especially in that crazy little mudroom. If there was a stainless fridge in there I felt like it would stick out like a sore thumb. But the white would just blend in. And that is exactly what happens. Plus, we have gotten some really good deals on our appliances because they aren’t the “it” thing. Besides, I think white is making a comeback. Soon it will be all the rage again. Especially the white ice version. It just looks so cool! But that’s just my opinion… Hey, House Beautiful used the white ice appliances in their kitchen of the year last year and you just can’t argue with that :)

Okay, since this post has been exceptionally long, I will close there for tonight and wrap it up tomorrow. Man, this whole post was just demoing, floors, and appliances. I still have a long way to go!! Hang in there!!

And please… don’t forget to vote, if you want to that is :)