Christine & Pierre's Kitchen: The Big Reveal

Renovation Diary

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Name: Christine & Pierre
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Type of building: Ground floor apartment of a triplex, 1,100 square feet

When we last checked in with Christine and Pierre, they were adding a few finishing touches to their kitchen. A light fixture that took some time to arrive (and a little bit of end-of-renovation-inertia) meant that work on the kitchen stretched out longer than anticipated... but I think you'll agree that the results are more than worth the wait.

Before: The old layout of the kitchen, with some less than attractive cabinets.
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After: The kitchen has been opened up, and the layout changed dramatically.
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Christine and Pierre's previous kitchen left a little to be desired in terms of layout. The cabinets were outdated and unattractive, but the real problem was that the space, though quite large, was awkwardly split in two by a huge pantry. (You can see before & after floor plans in this post.) Christine and Pierre's goal was to combine their existing kitchen and sunroom into one large, welcoming space for cooking and entertaining.

Christine and Pierre were kind enough to chronicle every step of their renovation for us, and having read along through the whole process, I have to say that I am almost as excited as they are about the completion of their kitchen. Let's dive in and see what they came up with.

Before: In the old kitchen, the stove was right next to the fridge, which was right next to the pantry opening. Not ideal. The pantry was removed to combine the kitchen and sunroom spaces.
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After: This is a view of the same wall. Everything is now one big, bright, open space.
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From Christine:

We are done. Hallelujah!! We've been blissfully cooking in the new kitchen for months while we've finished up the last details (hence the extreme lack of motivation to finish those details). We are so happy with the outcome. It's hard to believe it's the same space.

While there are tons of details I love, I have two favourite elements. First off, the extreme counter space! After having so little for so long, it is incredible to have so much space to spread out. Having a dedicated prep area means that we can have one person cooking and one person cleaning at the same time!

Before: The sunroom space, with beautiful light and a stone floor that was cold cold cold in those Canadian winters.
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After: The same space is now Christine and Pierre's new breakfast nook. The cat approves too.
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My second favourite element is the breakfast table. We eat breakfast every morning in here now and it's just so sunny and bright. A perfect spot to start the day.

Before: Looking back towards the kitchen, with the door to the backyard on the left.
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After: From the same perspective, a view of the new, more open space.
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It took us ages to finish up the final details of this project. As much as I'd like to blame the whole "having a baby" thing, that wasn't really it (well, that was sort of it, but not entirely). After being so pressured to finish things up for months and months, once things got functional it felt so good to NOT work on the kitchen for a while.

Another view of the new space.
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The ledge! Proof that constraints can inspire creative solutions.
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Day-to-day dishes, on the open shelves. Everything here gets used pretty frequently.
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It took me AGES to decide on a light. This was made by a seller on Etsy (sources to come!).
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Even now, the kitchen isn't really completely finished, in my mind. We need to recaulk behind the sink, we still need to find a desk, I'd like to build a bench for the table at some point, there are paint touch-ups to be done, we are still tweaking the styling of the shelves, and the walls desperately need some art and some more plants. I could go on. But at some point you have to call it done. So I'm calling it. DONE.

We ended up keeping our old stove, at least for now, and I'm glad we did. It doesn't drive me nearly so crazy now that it's part of a much more functional kitchen.
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We're still tweaking the display of the shelves to be both functional and beautiful. It's a work-in-progress.
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An additional kitchen cart to be rolled out when necessary. I expect to use it when doing some canning this summer.
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I was a little concerned I might miss the old walk-in pantry, but this holds even more in a much more efficient layout (I heart you pull-out drawers!).
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Congratulations, Christine and Pierre! Readers, Check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And be sure to join us tomorrow for a full budget breakdown.

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style.See all of our Reno Diaries here.

(Images and diary text: Christine Zoltok)

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