When Tate and I decided to move to Charlottesville we also decided it was time to buy our first home.

A combination of high rents in Cville, [relatively] low house prices, and a desire to put down some real roots after a decade of transitions led to our decision.

At first we thought we could do a ‘fixer upper’.  But we were wrong.  By the time we were on the hunt we’d been living out of backpacks for 7 months and sleeping in a different bed every few nights.

We looked at a lot of crappy houses that month.  My heart sank with every purple carpet and smoke stained wall.   Then we found our house.

It was renovated in 2008 and then sat empty with an inflated price and a housing crisis.  The house is kind of odd.  The original structure is from the 1920’s but several additions have been added, creating an unconventional footprint and a low roof in the dining room and kitchen.  The renovation was also kind of shoddy; unskilled labor, lower-end fixtures, and several ‘cut corners’.

But honestly what I saw was brand-spanking new paint, floors, fixtures, appliances, three big bedrooms, and a great lot.  A home!  And a price that was below our budget.

There were some minor issues when we moved in (that we knew about going into it); the first few days in the house were spent without water while the plumbing was repaired from sitting empty through a hard winter.  We’ve done a lot of work in the yard but nothing major to the inside.

Until now.

As we got to know our house we quickly realized that the weakest link (other than being situated right on a busy road) was the kitchen.

It’s a postage stamp.



I have managed to “make it work” for the last 18 months but seriously, y’all know how much I love my kitchen time!

Now that we are settled into life in Charlottesville and work it’s demo time!




We are moving the kitchen from it’s current location to the downstairs bedroom.

I didn’t get a before shot while it was still set up as the guest room but here it is mid-clean out.



The tape on the floor is the new kitchen plan!

We are tearing down the wall between this room and the dining room to create a more open floor plan.

Tate is doing a lot of the work himself!



I plan on getting my hands dirty too but my main job will be attempting to keep the rest of the house in working order during construction.  I am so excited about our new kitchen, little terrified of the process, but mostly excited!

Any advice for living in a construction zone?  How about things you LOVE about your kitchen or wish you had?


19 responses to “Demolition

  1. I love my pantry, and think it’s one of the most important “zones” to plan for in a kitchen. Having ALL canned and boxed foods in one spot makes preparing meals so much more cook-friendly. Have fun with your project! I hate messes like that, but love, love, love the end result!

    • gracefulfitness

      The pantry is one of the things I am most excited about! We are keeping the old closet, without the door, and lining it on three and a half sides with floor to ceiling shelves!

  2. Ahhhhh so it begins!

  3. How fun! I love kitchens so I look forward to reading about your reno!

  4. Sounds very exciting!! Enjoy the process. We put a serving bar/window into our kitchen two years ago, and while the work was happening I just set up shop with a toaster oven, etc. in another room. I also prepped some freezer meals to make it even easier.

    • gracefulfitness

      Because we are moving the kitchen to a new room and not reusing any of the cabinetry we can keep our old kitchen set up until the last minute, when we move over the appliances. This definitely helps calm my nerves around the whole thing but it’s still going to be a crazy few months!

  5. You know the Farmhouse kitchen, and how I planned for a long time. Special things I like are the alphabetical spice and herb drawer, the tea drawer, the hide away roll out bulk bin, and the low marble baking counter to accommodate kneading dough. Thanks for asking.

  6. omg, that is so exciting & intense! Can’t wait to see the finished product. Things I love in a kitchen are natural lighting & I would LOVE to customize cabinets & such to really utilize space more efficiently. So many cookie cutter plans really waste a lot of potential space. Excited for you!!

    • gracefulfitness

      Our new kitchen will have much better light but not amazing. We aren’t doing any traditional cabinets! Under the counters will be drawers and the the walls will have a few open shelves for choice items. So excited!

  7. Fun! My 30s era kitchen is a postage stamp too, maybe on a little heavier envelope. After 18 years, I have only changed the wall finish. What I especially love? My 1950s Chambers gas stove–a magnificent beast, the two arches (an arch detail above my sink, an arched doorway), and my pantry (narrow long shelves and wide doors to see every inch inside). What I don’t like? Lighting. Ceiling fixture in the center of the room. I cast a shadow on every task unless working at the porcelain enamel topped cabinet I situated right under the light. Here’s to a great lighting plan!

  8. I love these photos. Keep em coming.

  9. So exciting! A great cook like you needs a great kitchen! :)

  10. What will you do with the old kitchen space?

    • gracefulfitness

      For the next year or so it will be a little walk-through office (we turned our upstairs office into the guest room). The backdoor to the deck, garden, and car is still through the old kitchen but in the future we hope to build a screen porch and outside access off of the dining room and close off the old kitchen as another guest room.
      It’s funny, I didn’t mind our current kitchen until I set my mind on moving it and now I can’t stand it!

  11. so are the countertops oak? looks like ikea, right?

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