Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ichin' for a Kitchen

We had talked about it long enough.
And to me Talk is Cheap, but a kitchen renovation isn't. So it took some time, 3 long years in the making, and it came together(nearly) the way I planned.
And just then the other night P had said the words that I knew, he felt it was all worth it: 
"I can't believe I proposed to you in that old kitchen"
The old kitchen had 2 outlets and the stove in a strange center-of-the-wall arrangement.
There was no work triangle, and even less counter space. This is actually After I moved the fridge from the corner it always resided in. It's quite awful, but notice we still have fresh flowers? lol Eye spy a celling fan? Yes, because you always want to fan dust around an area that you'll be cooking in. Makes perfect sense.! The piece of furniture in the corner was actually our pantry which I do miss.
None of the cabinet doors closed and before I moved in I covered the cabinets with fabric to make the white paint considerably less awful. I guess you could say I was trying to put lipstick on a pig, and boy did this one squeal! The one single saving grace in this kitchen that we actually saved? The white cast iron sink.
  But then one day in February, perhaps Cabin fever got the best of me and I dug in. Literally. I yanked down the upper cabinets and started snooping into the soffit. Soffitt is singlehandedly the biggest waste of time materials and labor of the century. There is rarely, if ever, anything behind it and it was just a quick cheap way to get out of building upper cabinets. in the 80's people started building kitchens with out soffits, allowing them space above to display silk ivy plants, various epicurean goods and baskets: Read: Dust Collectors. Gross.
Pete was so impressed with the removal and clean up afterwards, he thought I hired a professional to come and do it! HHHmmfff!! 
Awful, awful and more awful. 
One night while starting at the (also) awful plaster ceiling, I had the brainchild to cover it with bead board. I had used this material befor in a kitchen and it cleans up like a dream. After considering the time and materials it would take to re- finish and re- drywall the ceiling, the bead board was the way to go. Considering the time and era the home was built in, this wasn't a far off fantasy.
 Note to our neighbors: We are still happily married despite what you may have heard coming from our house the 2 consecutive nights we were on scaffolding trying to hang 4x8 sheets of this goodness.
Early on in the project I decided Not to have upper cabinets installed. Yes,,,I can her you All now,,,"But what about Re Sale!!!???" Anyone who asks me that question should be prepared with the resounding answer I have giving for the past 10 years, 3 houses later, eehh, "Are you building a house for you, or someone else?" Given that there were no upper cabinets going in, I could get a little jazzy on the backsplash, and I decided to use what I had originally wanted for the ceiling. Yes, its re- production, yes, do I love it?! Absolutely. And yes, we trimmed the edge after this photo was taken...move along people..
And there She is!!! Bam!!
So where's all your sports bottles and travel coffee cups, and basically where's all my..Crap? 
That's the(other) delightful part about this. I have taken more trips to Goodwill this year than ever before.(and may have walked out with a few things) Anything that wasn't esthetically pleasing, I got rid of. We have 2-3 traveling coffee mugs that are either in the car, or in the lover cabinets. Everything is Super easy to put away, and there's no cupboards crammed with one off  crap. Clearly I still have plenty of "stuff" 
I knew I wanted to wall of Anniversary plates and had been collecting them for years(even before I was married). The idea that someone hands you a ,,plate? for being married  certain number of years? Well I sure hope there has been some cake on these plates that have become so endearing to me. Eye spy: Doggie food station. No plastic for these pups either. I wouldn't have them eating out of anything I wouldn't.
Near the end of the remodel, I was searching for just the right hardware for our new cabinets. I found a gentlemen on Etsy that strips old boats and had a large number of boat cleats. Living in a maritime community, and in one of the 2 original houses in town, I decided the cleats would be the perfect pulls for the cabinets. We also decided to keep our original dishwasher and oven. I am not a fan of stainless(ignore fridge) and the appliances(except said fridge) were in favored condition. Because I wanted everything along the bottom to flow and be un- interrupted, I painted both of them. Yes I Painted my oven and my dishwasher! And 4 months, 2 dogs and one extremely clumsy man, they've held up to the challenge.
After we installed the new cabinets and moved the fridge, our pantry space was gone. We were left with a smidge of space that, thankfully in my sleep at some point, I had figured out a way to use it. A coffee bar was installed and a sliver of marble was made to match the rest of the countertops.
Side note: Being the baker I am, I Always, Always wanted marble. I was willing to accept that his may not happen in this kitchen and had chosen some options. P, in the end, was the one to spring for it and say Hell yeah, we have to do this the right way. And there's nothing, Nothing else truly like it. I've done some beautiful kitchens, and it Really does matter what's on that surface. 
P used the left over bead board and trim from the ceiling to make a custom range hood for over the stove. This was the last project he was procrastinating on. I had given him some crude napkin drawings of designs I had in my mind. He made it perfect right down to the extra deep ledge for the cutting boards. He now likes to say, "How many guys you know that can whip out a range hood?"
I'll give him that one, and keep my answers to myself. He Did get me the marble. 
So its been about 9 months that we've been birthing This baby.
Yes at times I was scared, nauseous, and eating out of to- go food containers.
And I didn't quite know how our relationship would develop through it. Standing on scaffolding, and wielding a Sawzall in my hands made everything worth it.
And now that it's Done, we are no longer, Ichin' for a Kitchen 

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