We wanted a brighter and more functional cooking space that still felt like it belonged in our Victorian house, all on a modest DIY budget. By changing the placement of the sink and stove and making careful use of Ikea’s cabinet and drawer options (along with several modified cabinets and custom-built pieces), we increased the useable counter and storage space and improved the organization of cooking and pantry items. We were also able to preserve several original features: we kept the bead board wall; we scavenged window trim from the basement to match the rest of the house; and we refinished the fir floors, which had been buried under several layers of other flooring.
Plan—and measure!—carefully ahead of time, but be open to changes when the project is underway. We considered many different layouts and even thought through what would go in each drawer and cabinet before beginning the project. As a result, we think we’ve made really good use of the space we have. But some of our favorite features—adding a custom pullout pantry next to the refrigerator and preserving the bead board around the sink (rather than putting in a tile backsplash)—were not in our original plans.
My favorite meal to cook in my kitchen::
One of the nicest things about our new kitchen is that there is now space for my husband and I to work together (with plenty of room for our 8-month old to play with spoons and bowls on the floor!) We’ve cooked holiday meals for a crowd, made big batches of jam and applesauce, and even baked a wedding cake for friends.