A “before before” look at our kitchen

We love our little house, built in 1955. I’ve really neglected posting about the Golly Ranch (as we lovingly call it sometimes) on my blog. I do get asked questions about it and I’m totally guilty of procrastinating about taking proper photos and sharing some of the things we’ve done. Nothing nearly as intense as our bathroom remodel, but we’ve had un-blogged painting and decorating and minor fix-it projects. I thought over time you might like a few small tours of our very modest home.

And so I’m starting off with our kitchen! At 1,100 square feet, our entire house is quite petite. The kitchen is no exception.

We have a small kitchen with an open eat-in dining area separated from the kitchen by a peninsula. I took photos during our first house tour and later on inspection day, so you can actually see what it looked like before we were the owners! That’s why I think of these are “before before” photos. Before us, and before painting last month!

Below is the view into the dining area as we first saw it, standing in the kitchen. This is the point where I pat myself on the back that I can look past over-sized furniture, jungles, and bad paint jobs to see the potential. πŸ˜‰


The previous owner and her husband bought the house in 1979 (he passed away a few years before she sold the house to us in early 2012) and raised their two kids in it. She actually had a large dining room table setup in the basement, presumably for family parties that the kitchen couldn’t accommodate.

Inside the kitchen proper, here’s a look at the sink area…and the side of Mel’s head. Sorry, this was taken quickly on inspection day. The scalloped wood valance and display shelves were one of the things that attracted me to this house instantly!


This is the last “before it was even our kitchen!” kitchen photo, looking at the wall with the stove, and into the hallway that leads to the bathroom, two of the bedrooms, and living room beyond:


The day we moved in I also thankfully had my camera, so I have a few shots of it completely empty! And since at this point the photos are now once we owned the house, feel free to blame us for not immediately painting over that disgusting poo green color that kept me from posting photos of the kitchen. (More on that in future posts!)

So here’s what the kitchen looked like the moment we opened the door with the key for the very first time:

kitchen when we moved in

The other view is standing in the kitchen at the peninsula, facing the dining area. I love the eat-in kitchen and the peninsula! You know those shelves were meant for my vintage Pyrex, naturally.

dining area when we moved in

Here’s the dining area from a different view, standing by the back door (for reference, in the photo above, the back door is to the left of the picture window, out of the frame):

dining area

It’s a small kitchen by modern U.S. standards! But coming from a condo with a tiny galley kitchen, this was miles more space than we were used to. Sure, sometimes I’d love to have more storage or an actual pantry, or more counter space, but honestly, no complaints. It’s really quite a liveable size for us!

See? Here’s a photo from Christmas Eve a year ago, cooking for a small dinner party. If it can easily handle the mess I make when I cook my grandma’s pasta sauce, I’m good. πŸ˜‰

cooking in my kitchen

So that’s the “before” of our modest little kitchen. And it’s really “before before”. I was so embarrassed by that lingering paint color to ever really share many photos of it anywhere. Terrible, I know!

Since moving in, we honestly haven’t made any changes except swapping out cabinet knobs to chrome (still need to replace the brass hinges), painting (accomplished in December), and window treatments (just last week). But I can’t wait to show you how much nicer it looks with a fresh new paint job (aqua!), our own little touches, and the little details in the kitchen. Stay tuned for future kitchen posts, coming soon!

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Golly, 19 Comments!

  • How fun! My kitchen is getting a makeover too. Just wallpaper removal and painting but that makes a big difference sometimes.


  • Ack! I need the ‘after’, Tasha. This is such a tease. lol πŸ˜€

    I love your kitchen cabinets. I wish I didn’t have to tear mine out and start from scratch….


    • I know, I’m a total tease! But I figured since I had shared NOTHING so far, it was worth it. πŸ˜‰

      I know you were bummed to have to get rid of your cabinets. Ours are the only original thing left in our kitchen! But I’m sure your kitchen is going to be ay-may-zing. πŸ™‚


  • Is that a little plane mobile? Why would they leave such a treasure behind!! lol They plant was a nice house warming gift I suppose though. …unless it was sickly. Then that’s just cruel to leave a fallen plant behind. Can’t wait to see the after photos!! But honestly I don’t think the original paint color is THAT bad. My kitchen used to be the exact color of an avocado starting to go bad. Now THAT is poo green haha!


  • You sound like my mom when she used to complain about her kitchen – for years it was a pale gold yellow with green spongeing and green cabinets. And I have that exact bird mobile!
    The wooden scalloped valance is lovely. Can’t wait to see what color you went with to repaint.


  • What an adorable kitchen! I love all of the old touches, like the scallops above the window and the cute little shelves (and so nice, having a window above the sink! Mine faces ugly wallpaper). I’m looking forward to seeing the after!


  • That kitchen has great “bones!’ Even before the makeover (which I can’t wait to see) it was a cute kitchen with a lot of potential.


  • when i see your bathroom before and after i want tho know what you make with the kitchen.


  • Eager to see more kitchen pictures! Your story sounds a lot like ours; my boyfriend and I just bought a house, also built in 1955, about 1100 square feet, whose previous owner had lived there since the 70s (and we have the wallpaper to prove it). Our kitchen is set up differently, but I love seeing “small” kitchens like these instead of the massive fancy ones on design websites. πŸ™‚


    • Yes, that sounds very similar! It’s so nice to hear of other people buying and appreciating small houses. Ironically we were looking at slightly bigger houses to begin with, and I felt intimidated by the space. This place is just perfect for us! I think some of those modern houses have “great rooms” that are probably as big as our entire house. lol

      I have a huge piece of old bathroom wallpaper we found behind the mirror when we remodeled, it’s huge brown and gold flowers. I have it pinned up in the basement! πŸ˜‰


  • I totally know what you mean about even a modest – in the grander scheme of North American homes – kitchen feeling like castle-like after years in a cramped, tiny cooking spot. We’d been in a series of small basement suits and apartments for years before getting our current condo (which is in the range of 1,200 square feet in total) and having the stove and fridge on one side of the kitchen, a bit of open space, and then the counter and dishwasher on the other nearly brought tears to my eyes when moved in and I started cooking in it.

    β™₯ Jessica


  • I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with it. I like the look of the details – that scalloped trim over the sink is really sweet – and I’m sure a fresh coat of paint really freshened it up a lot. It’s amazing what a difference just a few changes can make in a room.


  • When we moved into our house, we got right to changing things. After a year of working on it every night, we slowed down. Home ownership!
    The kitchen is adorable. Cannot wait to see what you’ve done.


  • Wow you have amazing cookers in the states! I’m new to your blog from the UK. Love watching the transformation. I’d been following you on Instagram then found this. Fabulous. ❀️


  • I like a petite house πŸ™‚ I’ve seen hints of that turquoise on Instagram I think?! Looking forward to seeing the changes you’ve made. It’s a gorgeous little space; and well done for seeing past that poo green!


  • I looked at the “after” post this, then this one, and I must say, the aqua really makes a difference! I also like the scallops and shelves combo over the sink. It seems to make it a nice place to do a boring chore.


  • I knew right away that set up looked familiar! My parents were looking to purchase house in Midway area but settled in nearby suburb. They wanted bigger yard to grow their tomatoes & pickles (this summer they added some fruit trees) because they’re from rural Poland and need to have room for that! πŸ™‚ I recognized the ranch floor plan and looked you up (sorry, had to do that).

    I was looking for window treatments and that’s how I found your blog


  • […] talked about our kitchen a bit before. Here’s the “before” before, when we moved into our house. I did a post about painting it. And I gave you a tour after […]


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