Tuesday, April 11, 2017

DIY: The BIG KITCHEN REVEAL - Building an In-Law Apartment

I was pacing myself with posts of the building process, but there's always time to go back and fill those in. I'm ready to do a REVEAL (and a little showing off). I decided to start with the kitchen, since it was probably the most work. 
 It began as a creepy, carpeted mess from the 1980s.  
Well, this is what we had to work with: Mustard paint and mauve carpet. An outdated globe-less ceiling fan mounted to cardboard ceiling tiles (no joke!) was really a special focal point, but not to be outdone by the tiny, off center (non-operational) window.
I know, right?
The room lead in to a room (which lead in to another room) with no hallway. A temperamental pocket door from the 1960s parted the two - sometimes.

We built a pantry in to the back of the kitchen wall and created a "hallway" to allow for the bedroom (straight ahead) and bathroom (to the right beyond the fridge) doors.

An awkward exterior door leading straight from the bedroom to the garage was not only unsafe (as the steps were just stacked cinderblocks), but really kinda' bizarre.
We opened up the doorway and created (safe) steps down in to the former garage (new living room). Please excuse the cardboard dishwasher - we were still waiting for the arrival of the last appliance when this picture was taken.
This tiny "walk-in" closet with linoleum flooring and a collapsing ceiling was to the left of the garage door and hardly in working condition.
We turned the closet in to a laundry nook, intending on hiding the appliances behind a retractable curtain. But, my mother-in-law is so proud of her shiny new washer & dryer, she likes them on display. The dryer is elevated on a platform containing the ducting for the air intake vent - a carefully designed layout accommodation.
Ps. The blue pin-up board on the left is covering the PEX Manifold access box. Notice the recessed valve boxes in the back.
To be fair, this picture was taken after a bit of demo was underway. But, you get the idea.
We made an opening on the back wall which really opened up the room. Using the placement of the original window, we created a practical kitchen layout (with the help of our trusty Sweet Home program) with room for storage, prep space, and appliances. And we painted the cupboards my MIL's favorite blue to match her china.
Here are a few more angles of the new kitchen:

From the kitchen window: bathroom door on the left, perfectly built refrigerator nook in the center, and new laundry station on the right.

 We decided against building a custom pantry when we started running out of time. We bit the bullet and purchased a System Build pantry. It was over our budget, but for sanity's sake it was a cinch to  assemble and slid right in to place. Made me think of my Grandfather's favorite saying: "Pound it in and paint it to match".

 Still haven't found an appropriate way to hide the ugly control panel door - any ideas/suggestions? 

 Recessed lighting and neutral paint really brightens everything up, even with the dark cabinet color.


 Here is a look at the staircase Mr. Steady built that steps up in to the new kitchen. What an improvement! We were getting some killer calves and quads from climbing those cinderblock steps, but we were glad to see them go.

Well, that was the BIG KITCHEN REVEAL. We are so proud to know my in-laws are living in such a beautiful (safe, updated, comfortable) space - that we built with our own two hands. That kind of confidence is priceless.

So....what do you think? Thoughts, comments, questions?  Send them our way!!
More reveal posts coming soon!
From our home to yours,

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  1. this kitchen is soooo Gorgeous! and It is so modern and clean looking. I’m really impressed.

  2. This kitchen is absolutely fabulous!! Love everything about it. thanks for sharing.

  3. What an amazing job you did, it's just beautiful! So fresh and clean!

    1. Thank you. Blue is my MIL's favorite color. I chose the palette to compliment her China dish pattern.