Bulkhead business

Back in February we started our main living area project. Even though that was several months ago, I just hadn’t gotten around to sharing pictures of the kitchen. Last week I posted about our new kitchen table, but the kitchen has undergone a few other changes as well.

Here’s what it looked like before the new table and before we started this project.

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Our kitchen has a HUGE peninsula which really serves no purpose but to house the dishwasher and one set of drawers. We realized a while back that there probably used to be cabinets hanging from that bulkhead like we’ve seen in several other houses in our neighborhood.

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When they took them down, they didn’t really bother trying to fix the underside of the bulkhead before installing two pendant lights (incorrectly, I might add.) So it looked pretty gross…

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It was nice having extra light there, but the bulkhead made the kitchen feel so closed in and it seemed like an unnecessary visual obstruction. We figured if we switched out the spaceship looking light fixture in the kitchen with a fixture that took 2 light bulbs instead of 1, we wouldn’t miss the extra light from the pendants so much.

So first things first, after moving out all the furniture, we covered the entire kitchen with plastic. We scraped the ceilings and sanded (not a short process) and then Andrew got to work on removing the bulkhead.

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Somehow I missed getting any pictures of the process: tearing it out, the huge hole in the kitchen ceiling covered in plastic, installing new sheet rock and mudding…Nope. No pictures. But basically that’s what we did. First, we were careful to score around the edges of the bulkhead so as not to damage any more of the ceiling around it. Then we removed the wooden and metal frame creating the bulkhead, removed the pendant lights, installed new sheet rock in the ceiling and squared off the corner of the bulkhead, and spent countless hours trying to mud and sand to make it look smooth (it’s pretty close, but not perfect!) You can still see where it was if you knew it was there, but most people don’t notice. We’re no drywall pros, what can I say…

Here’s before, with the bulkhead and pendant lights. And the fluffy sir.

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And here’s the bright, open after!

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Once it was gone, we realized how much it really made our kitchen feel smaller and more closed off…

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And now it feels open and bright! Comparatively, at least.

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Here’s yet another angle…

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Notice the new chandelier, of course the new table, and the new paint color!

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As I thought, the new fixture (that takes two bulbs) sheds enough light that we don’t miss those pendants at all! Plus, it just looks so much better than the old one, especially with the smooth ceilings. I shared these pics in a previous post, but here they are again because I LOVE them! The old light/popcorn ceiling vs. the new light/smooth ceiling.

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And we replaced this builder grade chandelier…

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With this much cuter one, plus a simple ceiling medallion.

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Even our over-the-sink window area looks better now that we have our new windows and upgraded faucet.

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Our kitchen is finally starting to feel a bit more cheery and a lot less gross with all these changes we’ve made. As simple of a change as it was, getting rid of the bulkhead made us realize how closed off the kitchen felt from the dining area and how much more open it could feel without the peninsula! We do like the extra counter space, but it makes our small kitchen feel smaller.

Our long term plan (when/if we do the full kitchen remodel) is to eliminate the peninsula, move the dishwasher to the right of the sink, and extend the counter top out a few feet. We would also love to get rid of the rest of the bulkhead above the cabinets and install 42″ upper cabinets that go all the way to ceiling to add a sense of height, plus a lot of functional storage!

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For now though, I can just stare this direction at my pretty new chandelier and ignore the icky cabinets!

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What do you think? Did you like the bulkhead and pendants or do you prefer the “after” version?

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2 Responses to Bulkhead business

  1. Valerie B. June 28, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Wow! It is amazing what a difference that made! It looks great!! Nice work!

  2. Ashleigh Pinkerton July 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    This is SO impressive!! I love the updated look!