A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

The Other Project(s)

In addition to the major DIY project of tiling the master bathroom, we’ve also been working on smaller projects in the remodeled attic space (installing ceiling fans and closet systems) as well as a slightly major project in the kitchen, which was also greatly affected during this remodel.

I haven’t even touched on the kitchen aspect of the job since at least July when we insulated some of the exposed exterior-facing walls with UltraTouch Cotton (blue jean) batts.

Quite a bit has changed since then, although it’s still far from being finished. At least the kitchen is functional again.

One of the biggest changes is the former awkward layout which placed the refrigerator and pantry on the interior wall opposite the sink and stove. While this created the proverbial “working triangle”, it also hindered the flow from the back door and TV room to the rest of the house. The fridge was also the first thing to greet you when you walked in the door, blocking your line of sight which made the room feel small and cramped.


In order to widen the attic staircase, we moved the shared kitchen wall (the one on the left, above) 6 inches to the right. Yes, it narrowed the doorway slightly, but I really haven’t noticed it.

The biggest gain in doing this, for me at least, was getting rid of the despised “butterfly” sink in the corner (bottom left, above). It gave me the opportunity to replace it with a beautiful farmhouse, apron-front sink in its rightful place under the window. I splurged and went with the classic: Rohl’s Shaws Original fireclay 30″ sink. Advantage Kitchen and Bath in Niles has great prices on them.

The only problem in getting a new sink was the lack of a sink cabinet to house it. We couldn’t afford to purchase new cabinets at this time, so we needed to find a cheap alternative. Off to the big box stores we went, where we found finished and unfinished stock cabinets. At Home Depot we found unfinished cabinets on sale, and a damaged one to boot! So we pleaded and received an additional $15 off the $75 sale price. We didn’t care about the damage because one of our upcoming projects (or mine, at least) is to paint the cabinets white until we can afford to buy new ones.

We had to modify the sink base to accommodate the 135-pound sink by cutting out the false drawer front at the top, shortening the doors and reinforcing the base to hold the weight. Unfortunately I didn’t take a “before” picture, but here you can see the 2x4s placed at the front and toward the back to support the sink.

This is how the kitchen looked once the contractors were done and we were ready to move cabinets back in. We had the contractor move the gas line for the stove and placed it against the new wall.

The refrigerator took the stove’s place, and the dishwasher shifted down a little to make room for the sink under the window. We still have a work triangle; it’s just configured a little differently.

Here is the same view from the opposite direction and with the farmhouse sink installed.

We were able to reuse most of the old cabinets in a new way. We sacrificed some of the corner cabinets, which I found fairly useless anyway, and incorporated more open shelving. We also installed a range hood that we bought on sale at Abt (the stove, although not shown here, is centered under the hood).

The new layout affected countertops as well, but that will have to go into another post, along with the latest photos.

1 Comment

  1. Nicole on September 18, 2009 at 9:20 am

    This looks awesome! Especially love your sink and hood. Have fun painting the cabinets. I still have plenty of that left in my future. 🙂

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