Renovating the Farmhouse Kitchen: Before Pictures

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The kitchen was one of the rooms we did not intend to originally renovate. I had a picture in my mind of the perfect kitchen and we thought we could live with the one in the house for the time being and renovate the kitchen at a later date. Of course if you read my Getting Settled post you might remember that the kitchen is where I found much of the feces and some dead critters! Plus that smell that came out of the cabinets….I have no idea what it was but it still haunts my dreams…. So the kitchen got bumped up to a full reno right away like most of the rest of the house.

Before I share the before pictures I thought I would take a minute to answer a few questions we’ve gotten about the renovations….

Does your husband  have a background in construction?

Yes, the hubby has worked in both construction and home repair for many years (although it’s not what he does currently). There’s no way we would have gotten through the renovation without his experience!

Did you do all the work in the house yourselves?

Yes. With the exception of a few weekends of help from my dad and brother, my husband did all of the work with me helping when possible. That’s why the work has taken so long.

Why did you put ___ here or here? It looks weird….

Although some things (like electrical outlets) might look weird in pictures, it’s hard to see the structure of the house inside the walls which led us to the placements of things. And as far as electric goes…we did all the wiring but it still had to be inspected to make sure it complies with new construction codes and electric codes these days are rather strange! Also, the house is very crooked and angles tend to look a little off in pictures. While the house is structurally sound, we did have to replace the main brace in the basement that had rotted away some time ago and not been replaced when it should have been. For 124 years old though, it’s doing pretty good. 🙂

Was it really expensive?

Not really. We made sure to purchase a home well below the amount we could afford (1/3 of the price of our previous home). We paid cash for all the renovation work from money that we had saved, random money that came in from closed accounts after selling our old home, some money from selling off personal items, and the rest of the money was every last penny that didn’t go to bills during the 6 months of renovations. Sometimes we had to wait an entire month before buying more things for the house but paying cash was worth it! So now we only have the debt of the original mortgage and a practically brand new house.

If you have any more questions just let me know in the comments!

Back to the kitchen. Yes, previous to our renovation it was laid out very poorly. It was dirty, everything was really old, and nothing was original so I didn’t feel the need to keep anything. We also discovered more lovely (not) plaster in the kitchen.

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

Here is the west wall in the kitchen. I love this window! Although I think I may love it less in the summer with the afternoon sun coming in, in the winter it’s very nice to have so much natural light in this small space. I will hardly need to use any lights besides late at night. These are the cupboards that were old and so so smelly. I asked hubby to save them for outside storage but they were so brittle they just broke apart when he tore them out. The sink was cast iron and enamel, kinda cool but it was really rusted and not in good condition.

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

This is the east wall in the kitchen. It’s only a half wall and wasn’t even big enough to have this stove and fridge on it so they stuck out into the walkway. It was just a very awkward use of space and make the room look super tiny. (The room is 7×10 feet) The brown paint didn’t help anything. The window in this side of the room was still an old one and needed to be replaced. The larger window was newer so it was fine.

Kitchen Farmhouse Renovation

Here you can see the kitchen from the dining room. On the west wall in the dining room (right side of this photo) there was a large pantry with deep shelves. The door to that opened into the dining room (which you will be able to see in the dining room pictures soon).

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

And then it looked like this! No more cupboards, walls, or anything else! Half of this room was part of the original house, we think it was a pantry. The other half was added on in the 1930’s. There was a small amount of insulation in the newer area but it was mostly in bad shape (tunneled by mice). In the 1930’s there must have been a cookstove in the kitchen because the vent pipe was hiding in the wall.

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

From this picture you can see the entire west side of the house. On the right is the bathroom, on the left is the kitchen. This is looking at both from the dining room. The wall in the middle of them (in the dining room) is where the pantry was. (The door went into the dining room on this side.) You can see the placement of the old chimney in this picture too before we removed it. Yes, the ceiling was charred above the chimney, just surface charring though.

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

We had to put a new floor in the kitchen and it was the only room in the house we could not restore the original floors. The floor was sloping at least 3 inches from one side of the room to the other. My hubby shimmed it all up so it would be level again and put in a new sub-floor.

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

All new insulation! Much better. Like the rest of the house we also reinforced the ceiling before putting on the new ceiling.

You can check out the After Pictures here!

Farmhouse Renovation Part 1: Moving On
Farmhouse Renovation Part 2: Getting Started
Renovating the Farmhouse Bathroom: Before Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Bathroom: After Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Landing: Before Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Landing: After Pictures

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  1. I also have a window on the west side just like you. However, there is a pergola over the patio just outside this window. It helps to get more diffused light. Maybe some vines or a deciduous tree outside your window? I have dwarf fruit trees outside the bedroom windows that are also facing west. It does help in the summertime.

    1. We were just trying to decide this week where we are going to plant some more trees, I’ll have to talk to my hubby about putting some over there 🙂

  2. I just found your blog a few months ago, and I have been enjoying reading all your posts about your house renovations. My husband and I are considering buying an old house that needs renovations, but we are having a difficult time finding one. You mentioned finding your little farm on the internet. Are there some websites you could recommend using to find what we are looking for? Thank you!

    1. I think we might have found it on ? Sometimes places with land are hard to find. Once we connected with the realtor that was selling the place that we bought we also asked her about any other properties she knew of in the area with land and she gave us a list. Of course we ended up going with this place that we’d found but it was good to look over the other options and most of them weren’t even listed online!

  3. I just want to tell you,You and your husband are doing a Awesome job! Its exciting seeing the before and after pictures of your home 🙂 It’s nice to buy material as you go, its paid for! That is what we have done with our homestead buy what we can when we can. and don’t get discouraged if it seems like its taking a long time to finish the end result will be amazing! We have been working on our homestead for years and it is exciting to see progress :-)You all have a good day:*)

  4. Wow your kitchen looks a lot like mine. The house was built in 1908 and the kitchen was re-done in the 30’s. Our kitchen is huge. I love this about the house. Their is a sink that was used when the men came in to wash and a kitchen sink. A very large pantry which we did put new walls, and the shelves were solid beams so we just redid them. It looks amazing. I can fit two tables for 6 in their. My kitchen window faces the north. But have two really large window that let in light. I love how you are fixing this up. I think the older homes have so much charter. You just don’t get that in a new build

  5. Were you able to keep any of the hardware from the kitchen drawers and cabinets? Those things are expensive, and the older ones are usually of much better quality!

    1. No, the ones that were in there were from the 60’s or 70’s and were cheap and not in good shape. I ended up finding a great deal on new hardware from Amazon actually!

  6. I think kitchen renovations are the most fun but maybe that is because I spend so much time in there 🙂 So exciting!

  7. I really enjoyed reading your post. Renovating a kitchen is indeed a big project because it involves so many things to consider and many important decisions to take. If you know the right steps to follow you can renovate your kitchen conveniently and beautifully.

  8. Like the other readers, have said. You are doing a great job! When do you think your kitchen will be finished? Can’t wait to see the After photos. 🙂

  9. We were going to redo our kitchen last year and the carpenter was so long on his last job, I lost interest in having someone so slow do it. So it is NOT even started yet. We have 3 different counters and many different cupboards since the farmer who lived here before built them as he went along I suppose. The ones above the sink are metal and too low. I need custom cabinets because none of the area is standard measurements. It seems to be way more than we can do on our own and to hire someone is so expensive. My husband wants to take it down to the studs to get rid of the old plaster and lath and this completely turns me off, such a big job, so it is going to have to stay the way it is.