Monday, March 26, 2012

Adventures in Remodeling...

While the rest of Pinterest and Blogland is in Spring and Easter craft heaven, we're a little over a week into the kitchen remodel, and we're surviving. Better than surviving, things have actually been going pretty smoothly, all things considered. I'm very grateful to Pinterest for all the crockpot freezer meals I found recipes for and prepped ahead of time; I'm grateful to Reynolds Wrap for making liners for crockpots so I don't have to wash it; and I'm very thankful I have a hubby who was willing to dive into this with me and make it all happen :) These pictures are from March 17, right before we started ripping it apart. I've purposefully never posted pictures of my kitchen, because it was always such a cluttery mess. Here, the counters are empty and the clutter gone - relocated to the basement and our bedroom for the next 6 weeks. I'm determined that half of it will leave the house, not to return to the kitchen. In hindsight, I really can't believe how much STUFF I had crammed into that small space.
It doesn't look bad, on the surface, does it? Basic white kitchen, Corian counters, cast iron sink. What could be missing? A pantry. Those cabinets to the left of the table were a pantry on the plans. Back in 2002, when our house was built, everyone was putting desks into kitchens, so that's what we got. It actually functioned as a desk for a while, then William came along and pulled the front off the drawer - the only way to fix it was to screw the front into the face of the desk - no more drawer! The back of it became Evie's secret hidey-hole. Under the clock on the right we put a jelly cupboard that functioned as a snack pantry & lunch box holder, and the rest of the food was stuffed into cabinets, including 3 - yes THREE - corner cabinets. I hate corners.
These are basic builder grade cabinets, with white thermofoil. Which means they are particle board held together in the corners with triangles of plastic; the doors are melamine - heavy as all get out - and heat fused with a plastic coating. After 10 years that plastic coating cracks and starts peeling; the piano hinges on your corner doors lose the screws that are holding them together, and the magic eraser you use to clean them just leaves them looking streaky, because there's a very fine texture to the plastic. And yes, these are all first-world problems, I know - call me spoiled - the bottom line is, the materials were kind of crappy, the u-shaped layout meant one-way-in/one-way-out, and really only one person could work in there at one time. Clearly it must go :)
If you look at the picture below, to the right of the sink is the corner where everyone who'd come over would like to stand and keep me company :) Which of course is right in front of the dish cabinet, and the dishwasher - so if I'm trying to cook/serve or cleanup, you really need to be on the other side of the counter - but there's nowhere to sit, unfortunately.
The desk area, which we no longer used as a desk, became a waste of space with the unused desk knee hole underneath - I've been wanting to rip that out for a long time and replace it with a sideboard. I figure the space gained below will help offset not replacing the wall cabinets above with a hutch - I just want an open wall above....

Brothers having fun walking around all the empty counters
10 years of opening the sink base door with damp hands weren't kind to this cabinet door - no more child locks!
This was the left desk base cabinet - it was broken when installed, they just faced it with a blank panel. The whole thing fell apart when Matt picked it up to move it into the garage.  

Over the years, we've had mice in the kitchen - thankfully not since we've had a pest company bait around the outside of the house, but they used to get in under the kitchen cabinets - now we know why - nothing like a good sized hole at the bottom of a wall - they'd get in under the fireplace in the basement, run along the joists, and come into the kitchen. That hole has now been permanently filled, thank you very much.
So Matt got all the cabinets out, and removed the drywall over the weekend of the 17-18th. While he scraped liquid nails off the studs, I marked out the new layout for the electrician and plumber, who came first thing Monday morning :) YAY!!!!

As of right now, the rough-ins are finished and inspected; Matt has replaced the insulation and hung new drywall; we've found someone at the 11th hour to finish the drywall for us starting tomorrow so we can concentrate on getting the house ready to have the floors sanded next week; my new refrigerator arrives TOMORROW (happy dance, happy dance!) and things are just generally moving swiftly along. So far so good! Now if only my kids would get with the program and stop bickering with each other/torturing Sarah/do what we ask within the first dozen times we ask, life would be perfect. But who wants that???


  1. Wow, yountwo are awesome. I couldn't imagine doing so much on our own and my OH is handy too. Maybe I'll have to take a deep breath and rip out the bathrooms. They're not going to magically update themselves.

  2. What a big job, but I'm sure it is going to look great when it's done. Good luck until then!

  3. You grossed me out with the mouse talk! You two are so cute and handy and in shape!!!

  4. Once again, I am so darn impressed - I don't even understand what you are writing on the walls to be honest with you. But I can not wait to see what it magically turns into!


  5. Jen, I am so impressed. I am still recovering from our bathroom remodel two years ago! Go, you! I can't wait to see what you all do.

  6. I liked your kitchen.

    got your message...a get together would be fun...of course, I can't plan anything more than 24 hours away. We live to minute to minute over here...sometimes, second to second.

  7. I'm so excited to see what this looks like when it's finished!

    And thanks for the picture of Matt. :)

  8. I've been keeping up with your remodeling progress on Facebook! It's looking good!!


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