Introducing: Janette’s Kitchen! – The before and the walls go down

Have you ever dreamt of removing an interior wall or 3 to create an open floorplan?

How about installing that dream antique white kitchen you’ve had in mind forever?

Or maybe both?

Have I got a new series for you!

Welcome to Janette’s Kitchen, a new FJI series!

My dear neighbor and friend Janette lives next door to me. And they’re currently knee deep in massive renovations doing the above mentioned.  So I asked Janette if she’d mind sharing her trials and triumphs on her home renovations with you. I’m delighted to report, she was all for it!

 Who’s Janette?

You see, Janette has a special place in my heart. She’s just a great neighbor that offers the help of herself and her family whenever we’re in need. She also happens to love cooking and baking which is a total bonus to me because I’d rather not. 🙂 So it’s not unusual to welcome a knock on the door to a special treat from time to time.

Janette was also seen a lot during my own home renovation when the church team came and helped me fix what was broke. She’s the one that nominated me for the spot. Through the chain of events, it’s safe to say she helped make Funky Junk Interiors a reality.  How fitting I can document her process for her in return, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

When my own kitchen was being worked on, I knew she desired a new look for her own as well. So nothing pleases me more to see my friend achieve one of her dreams!

So she’s graciously allowed us to be a part of the process so you too can see that making some of your dreams come true is possible and feasible!

I’ll be snooping next door as the process continues, so tune in regularly for current updates!

~ The Before ~

 Janette’s kitchen was homey, warm, and immaculately kept, and serviced the family well for many years. But there comes a time when an update is desired, and you can never go wrong with an updated kitchen, especially for resale purposes.

What I love about this reno is that it’s geared for the homeowners, not the next owners. They plan to retire in this home so they desired to do it up right for their own future. Why some just renovate before selling always has me scratching my head. Enjoy it I say!

And with wide open floor plans being implemented these days, the family knew what the value of more visual space could offer. So the plan was to remove ALL the walls on this level and create an open concept floor plan alongside the new kitchen.

The family then shopped until she found what they loved,  drew out a plan themselves and got prices. They learned all they could about what parts they could do themselves. Once the deal was sealed, they started the demolition.

Behind the microwave wall is the dining room which will become the main eating area after the wall is removed.

This area will be filled with gorgeous antique white cabinets that extend to the sink area (see above) with a corner mounted gas range and custom hood. NICE.

I’ve always loved this table and chair set! I forgot to ask her if any changes would happen to them. I’d better become a better snoop! 😉

 This wall will be removed to open up to the living room and will be replaced with a dark wood kitchen island. Imagine looking over the island and seeing the sunshine pour in through the big picture window instead of looking at this wall. It will be amazing!

Some tweaking will be done to marry the fireplace to the new look as well.
So, ready for a little demo work to start things off with a bang? Sure thing!

 Son Zach gets going with the hammer. That first pound is sooo fun. Ask me how I know. 🙂

 Family friend and drywall pro Jeremy helped on my own house too. This guy’s gooooood.

 Then this wall above…

… became empty. All the cupboards in the kitchen were emptied then brought into the garage.

Want to know how to get rid of unwanted cupboards in relatively good shape fast? Put them on Craigslist for free. Janette received 40+ emails and gave them to the first one.  Just. Like. That!

And… here’s how it looked a day later. Or the same night. They work pretty fast next door!

Because the drywall dust is about to explode, everything is also covered up in sheets to keep a handle on the dust situation. It’s easier to take your sheets outside and shake on the odd occasion rather than dust every box.

 Look. At. That. Space! Isn’t it amazing?

The attic was pro checked to ensure none of the walls were load bearing, which they weren’t!

It’s just amazing how the light from both sides of the house can now bounce back and forth.

The kitchen island will sit where the fridge currently is.

The living room will keep the carpet, however the eating area around the island and the entire rest of the area will be hardwood flooring.

What you currently see on the floor is laminate. It can’t be reused as it had been glued together during install. (gluing laminate reduces potential water issues which is an awesome idea for a kitchen and bathroom)

 The ceiling got outfitted with new 5″ pot lights and may be resprayed with a finer finish. Another consideration is covering the existing drywall with new drywall before finishing to help reduce additional mess. LOVE that idea!

The home owners did all their own demo work, however they are getting some pro work done in certain areas, such as the electrical.

Next up:

So… where do they do the cooking now? What do you do with a piano you now have no room for? What happens when you have to take down a privacy tree in between two houses (that would be mine and hers!) to allow for a bigger patio? And what will the final choices be for all the kitchen details?

I’ll show you that next time along with some other updates and perhaps throw in a little interview to grasp Janette’s words. We shall see how quickly me hangin’ around ‘gets old.’ 🙂

If you have any questions, feel free to fire away in comments. We’ll address questions in the next post or in comments, so watch for it!

Thanks Janette, for allowing us into your home!

I know your kitchen story will inspire many other gals to keep on dreamin’. 🙂

What’s one big thing that would be on your dream list for your own kitchen?

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram RSS

Subscribe to projects!

Categories: Uncategorized

41 thoughts on “Introducing: Janette’s Kitchen! – The before and the walls go down

  1. This is so fun! I love watching the process! Thanks Jeanette!! That is so brave of you!!
    It is going to be amazing!
    Kitchen parts I covet right now? A new countertop and cupboards!! Sigh!!

  2. Wow.. can’t wait to see the rest. I love my kitchen, but it needs more light. Think I need to have someone come in and install pot lights because one over head light is not working!

  3. Good for your neighbors!! Their hard work is going to pay off with a beautiful “new” home.
    It will be fun to see the transformation!

  4. I am so jealous! I would love to take a hammer to my kitchen. I can’t wait to watch this progress. How fun that they are doing as much of the work themselves too. Ugh, now I need to destroy/demolish something.

  5. I’m so jealous. I’ve been procrastinating about what to do about my kitchen and particularly the floors. I don’t want tile. Now that I C that she is putting wood in….I’m more positive about putting wood in. Thanks for the showing. Have a great day.

  6. Wow – what fun to watch this transformation! Can’t wait to see the rest! I would have thought that long wall between kitchen and living room would be a load-bearing wall. See what I know? 🙂

  7. This looks like it will be so much lighter and brighter! I do have a question. A big one. This came up when we did our kitchen and I wanted to take a wall out in much the same way your friend did. The answer here was it couldn’t be done because it was a load-bearing wall. Strange because the wall going in the opposite direction was load-bearing, too!! hmm.
    Anyway….how can they take all of their walls out without the house falling down?

  8. Awesome! Keep up the good work neighbor! I wanna copy of the first recipe made in the new kitchen! Your going to LOVE it 🙂 Makes it so much more worth while when you adore your new space!

  9. #23 Maggie, it all depends on how the ceiling joists are built. In Janette’s home, they ran the entire depth (front to back) of the house, so that deemed things safe. No stops or twists and turns meant it was self supporting by means of where the wood joined at the ends. My home was the same way.

    The best thing to do is hire a pro to climb around in your attic to assess if you can do something similar.


  10. I’m loving wide open spaces!!!!!!!! Lots of twirling room! Looking forward to more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I know I couldn’t do what they are doing, nor would want to live with the mess. I’d rather hire it out and go soak in a tub at a hotel! But I’ll thoroughly enjoy watching their transformation!!!

    Thanks for sharing this with us! It’s VERY exciting!


  11. Love Love Love! I know some will cringe when I suggest this, but an old piano looks relly great in a cottage garden! Take the keys out and plant grass where they should be, take the top off and plant flowers in the top! If you paint it white first, then let it weather it’ll look even better! The old wood will hold up for years! If there is any really exceptional carving on it, save those panels and hang them as art!

  12. How exciting. I LOVE renovation – just so exciting. The open space is just amazing and now it looks like you can just ‘breath’ in that space. I wouldn’t even mind living through a big renovation like that if I just had the chance! How cool to have such nice neighbors too 🙂

    New England Style

  13. I just can’t over the amount of light they have now! I would love to have more light!

    Our kitchen needs an entire redo also. The finished brick stone tiles are broke, the counter tops are blistered/peeling & ugly & I want new cabinets desperately. We have an all brick kitchen. It would a major demo to get rid of all that.

  14. I just found you! I have been reading just your blog for over 3 hours. Your story is fantiastic. I don’t know what to say, other than I will be back and often. So entertaining! Please visit me at It is nothing like yours as I am new at blogging. Just wanted your to know how I loved your story. I will become a follower for you. Hugs, Joy

  15. My name is Janette (same spelling), and I am also doing a kitchen renovation. I had to look twice when I saw my/her name in your blog. We are down-sizing to a 2700 square feet townhouse, and we completely gutted it in December as soon as we closed on the purchase. We will move in three weeks, and I will start showing before photos next week. I am so excited about our new kitchen. Hey, I’m excited about the whole place. We have been in a rental for five months, and we are ready for our own place again.

  16. Wow. That’s going to be an amazing space when its done. I love to watch other people’s renovations. If it’s my own renovation, then I’m freaking out the whole time until it’s done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *