Here is the "mid 70's" kitchen that this house was built with.
I think the cabinets - real wood - may be the best feature.
We found the house online and asked our realtor to arrange a viewing.
This picture was how it looked when we bought the place from the "flipper".
They closed the door way which lead to a dining room (currently a study), took down overhead cabinets on the sink wall and increase the size of the opening between the kitchen and the living room. They upgraded the counter tops, the tile back splash, the appliances (except the refrigerator) and painted everything that unfortunate purple brown/grey ... taupe. Yesterday I read an article about paint colors which said that color actually decreases the property value substantially. Every wall and every ceiling in this house was that color ... it might have been on sale.
I painted the walls white as soon as I could get to it which I thought made the room "better".
The cabinets were in rough shape. The knobs were "whopper jawed" because the holes hadn't drilled uniformly on all the doors and some of the doors were crooked, unable to close. The finish trim was "glued" on crooked, with gaps, or missing entirely, making the whole cabinet system look "crappy". All except tow of the cabinet door hinges was painted over - the height of laziness and telling of hidden shortcuts made by the flippers. We replaced all the janky hardware as we set about repairing the deficits.
Tile was haphazardly applied (everywhere it had been put it was done amateurishly. I think this was a first time attempt by someone who is not detail oriented. I don't like the tile selection - it's a mosaic herringbone pattern - but the real problem with it is the lack of craftsmanship. People say a lot of flippers really don't care about anything but the time line and this house seems to support that.)
Overall, from picture 1. to picture 2. progress was made and I was glad for the head start.
I removed the tile that had been here. It just didn't make sense to me to have tile applied to the cabinet. That little section of wall maybe. Someone said "they probably had tile left over and couldn't bare to not use it. A plastic wood product was applied and sanded where wood came away with the tile mastic (thin set might have been a better choice there, but these guys seemed to love their adhesives - even a hinge pin for a 3-0 door was "monster-glued" in place, upside down). The wall duplex had been halfway fastened with a sheet rock screw which made getting the cover plate on impossible. I'm pretty good at patching sheet rock so that gouged out looking section wasn't a problem. Here's a detail of the after:
The refrigerator is too big for the space, but after two years with the tiny broken-down one at the rental house I really needed a super nice frig. When we get ready to sell this house we'll replace it with a counter depth unit because that one is going with me.
The cabinet paint color is Annie Sloan's Aubusson sealed with clear wax. In high touch areas I enjoy the soothingly soft feel of waxed wood and it wipes clean easily. I realize that not everyone will love this color as I do ... but ... I do! Left to do - change out faucet (the one the flippers installed is plastic! And while I'm being critical ... the grain on the marble makes a 90 degree turn at the "peninsula" seam - just silly - can't match it now).
As we do intend to sell this home within the next couple of years, further kitchen modifications don't really make fiscal sense. BUT if we were keeping this house I would definitely move the microwave to a built in spot below the counter tops (in that "L") and install a stainless steel vent hood over the gas stove. The microwave has a vent that can be turned on, but it just vents into the living space. I would also (and maybe still will) change the tile out to a plain white subway tile.
For how much I love to cook the kitchen is a bit small. It's a one cook kitchen - perfectly adequate for us most of the time.
-from kitchen through to great room-
I'm working out in the yard now.
Eventually I'll post some more before and after pictures of our work here.