I hereby declare this to be the official "before" post for my kitchen. Our home is a lovely ranch built in the late 1950's by a guy who, according to one of the garden stepping stones we found sunk into the lawn, referred to himself as "Irv the Great." In the weeks before we moved in, we did some major and minor repair and touching up, including painting every room. Sadly, although it had obviously not been updated since the 1970's (when Irv built some very sturdy-looking dark walnut cabinetry), we did not have the resources to re-do the kitchen.
Still, the kitchen is a good size and does have some very good features: an eat-in area, utility closet, lots of counter and cupboard space, and even a window over the sink - all things our prior home lacked.
And, having lived here now for a little over two years, I'm thinking seriously about how I can spruce up the kitchen for as little money as possible. And by that I mean, $300 or less. I think this is do-able, because even thought the cabinets, floor and countertops all need to be replaced, we just don't have the funds. I will be happy with refinished cabinets (new paint and hardware), and some kind of real fix for that soft spot in the floor where there was clearly a dishwasher leakage issue.
For now, here's the quick tour of my "before" kitchen, starting with the refrigerator area. One thing I absolutely hate is crap stuck all over the refrigerator. Now don't get me wrong, I love pictures of my kids and grandkids, but I really dislike having anything (even pictures) stuck to the fridge. It just looks cluttered and disorganized. This is my least favorite view of the room.
Turning to the left, here's the "pantry" section of the cabinetry...
...and a little more to the left, showing the sink area. Those windows have a really neat feature - glass shutters, which I imagine are original to the house. That is a new-ish dishwasher, but it was bottom-of-the-line when we bought it two years ago. It's the newest major appliance in the room.
Continuing on to the left, here's the main cooking area with Jurassic-era microwave and electric cooktop...
... and Tappan wall oven that's just barely large enough for a roast turkey.
Here's the eat-in area, with fab 50's paneled "planter box" colonade and shadow-box room divider.
And finally, a couple of details: the 70's hardware on the cabinets...
... and the wallpaper covering the bulkheads, which is actually not that bad but does not fit into my spruce-up plans.
So there we have it - the "heart" of this home is rather well-worn at this point, but hopefully will one day look lighter and refreshed.