Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kitchen Remodel part 1

When Jesse and I bought the red house we knew that a kitchen remodel was in the future. Our kitchen was in its original 1948 style... including the bright yellow counter tops. (In fact we have a matching yellow kitchen table which is now a garage table.)

Notice the high tech clamp on the fridge.

Our first step was to replace the stove and fridge. We were able to do this a couple years ago when we received new ones for a wedding present (thank you Suzie and Michael!). The old fridge was pretty classy, it even had a clamp attached to the door since the magnetic strip no longer worked properly. After we received the new one it took me quite awhile to not reach for the clamp to securely close the fridge. For the stove we ran a new gas line up to it as I was so over having an electric stove. Once you go gas you never go back. Isn't that how the saying goes?

We were sidetracked from moving forward on the kitchen for a couple years as we remodeled part of the basement (I'll probably feature that in a future post) Now that the kid isn't so much a baby anymore we were ready to update the kitchen. We started with removing part of the wall that leads into the dining room. The plan is to add a counter top with bar stools here. We also wanted to replace the yellow counter top and eventually tile the floor. Jesse started the demo one day while I was at work. I came home to this:

Yeah Jesse for starting the demo!

My dad is handy at all things so we naturally reached out to him for assistance. He helped us make sure that we were doing things correctly... and often made suggestions. Lots of suggestions. Most of which we did not follow. These were usually design suggestions and while we appreciate his point of view (sometimes this was quite important if it actually impacted the structural stability), but we had our vision and wanted to move forward with it. My dad should know by now that when I want something a certain way I'll be pretty stubborn about it, right?

Dad and Jesse

Once we had the wall framed up we selected our counter top and ordered it. One of the suggestions my dad had made was to also replace the cabinets. His reasoning was that if we are going to be changing out the counter this is the prime time to change the cabinets. I was torn about doing this as the cabinets were the original cabinets - made of solid wood. Sure they weren't the greatest. The hinges sometimes came loose. The drawers tended to stick. But they were SOLID and it would be super expensive to replace to the same quality. Even if we bought cheaper ones it just wasn't in the budget. My dad is the biggest tight wad I know so I thought he would appreciate that I considered his suggestion, but then said 'no' to save money. However, he called me up one day and was VERY upset that we were putting a new counter top on the old cabinets and "now was the time to change them!". He offered to help us with the cost (as a very early Christmas gift) so we broke down and ordered new cabinets (thanks, dad!) This was a little harder for me than for my husband who probably went to sleep dreaming about drawers that smoothly glide in and out.

First thing we had to do was reschedule the counter tops and then decide on cabinets. Overall, I think this went smoother than it could have. We bought our counter tops at Lowe's (they were on sale) and discovered they also had cabinets on sale. We set up the ordering appointment after Lowe's sent out a team to get exact measurements of our kitchen. Our appointment was the last day of the sale so we had to get the cabinets ordered. My husband picked me up from work that day and instructed me that I may want to sit in the back seat with our daughter who wasn't doing so well. I got in the back seat and proceeded to try and calm her down. She screamed for the whole 20 minutes we drove out to Lowes. We debated several times to just turn around and go home, but hoped that once we arrived something would change. She cried so hard that when she tried to stop crying she would gasp air and then get upset by that and start the screaming cycle all over again. Poor kid. Once we got to the store I nursed her in the car and that solved everything. She was an awesome kid the rest of the evening which went way past her bed time. Luckily we brought a bunch of snacks (like goldfish) and a banana because if we missed her regular bedtime you know we missed dinner. We ended up having to let her crawl around on the floor. The dirty, concrete floor, but whatev. She had fun and we were able to save $500 on our cabinets.

Then... time passes. And passes. And we finally get the date in place when the cabinets will be installed so we start tearing out the old ones.

And on the other side of the kitchen:

So now it really gets hard because we don't have a sink to wash dishes in. We have to make do with the tub, but plan to install the old sink back in once the new cabinets are in. Then when the new counter tops arrive we will put in our new shiny sink. Yeah!

Oh, where to wash you now?

In the tub, of course!

And finally the cabinets arrive at our house only take take up my car space in the garage for two weeks... which causes me to get hail damage on my car... which will probably not get fixed because I have a $500 deductible and it is an old car and it's just not worth it. And please don't think we will use the $500 we saved on the cabinets to pay for the car repair. Not gonna happen.

So finally the big day comes when Keith and his crew install the cabinets.

Once the cabinets were mostly installed we had the counter top people take measurements and make templates. Then... more time will pass and eventually the counter tops will be installed.

Some other kitchen updates that we plan are:
  • A new over the range microwave which Jesse tried to talk me out of. We really don't have much counter space so this would be the optimal spot for the microwave. Jesse thinks we should get rid of it all together. Silly. 
  • A dishwasher which Jesse also conceded to. I have not had a dishwasher since I lived at my parents over 20 years ago. And just to be clear, over 20 years ago means that I was in high school... not 29 and mooching off my folks. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Jesse and I decided to get a drawer dishwasher. One drawer that is. So it will be smaller than your typical dishwasher. I hope this is the right decision and not one I will regret. 
  • A new sink
  • A new faucet
  • Tile floor
  • Tile backsplash
  • Pendant lights for over the sink and bar

Well, I better get back to putting our food and dishes into the new cabinets. More to come as we get closer to completing the kitchen, but one last look at the before and the current:


Edit: My husband put a lot of work in adding the knobs so I better post that picture!

Now... really

One more shot of the other side of the room.

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