Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kitchen Makeover - Part One

Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Yes, that is our kitchen. Now you know why I haven't shared many photos or much of anything about our kitchen. It's not horrible, but it's nothing to write home about either. Look, I recently read THIS POST which makes SUCH a great point regarding remodeling, redecorating, and home decor--and what is really important. I'm going to stop you here, GO. READ. THAT. POST. Then come back and we'll talk.

Done? Good. So don't get me wrong, we have a kitchen and it works and it's a wonderful thing! Yay! Our house came with a kitchen! {And a kitchenette in the basement, well shoot, we're rich.} I've been struggling lately with my priorities and daily life. I've experienced a paradigm shift and have realized in a way I've never experienced before that we don't have much time here and most of what I've been doing with my life is unimportant. Oh boy...that sounds really depressing doesn't it? I'm not depressed, actually, I'm {intensely} looking to the clouds with anticipation, if you get my drift. I need to be more careful when I'm driving.

So it's been a struggle to convince myself not to give up on the hobbies and things I used to indulge all my free time and effort into. It felt unnatural at first, to focus some of myself back onto materials and things and appearances, but I'm getting into this kitchen makeover thing now in an effort to keep busy. We've officially started the project.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Our kitchen is subtly dated--by that I mean, it doesn't have avocado green appliances or shag carpeting, just 90s touches and disgusting tile and grout. And yellowed linoleum that we don't care to tear up because asbestos. I haven't felt much motivation to be in there, decorate, or put much effort into the kitchen. It never feels clean.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
When we bought our house, we fantasized about knocking down the wall that borders the living room. In fact, we've been in several open houses here since moving in, and seen our same model updated in the same way, knocking down the wall and opening up the kitchen. Oh yes, we thought we'd ditch the galley kitchen setup and open the kitchen up. We had plans for an island, all new appliances. We also realized that was going to cost at least $20k, if we did it right and to code. Basically...it was never going to happen any time soon.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
But a funny thing happened when we moved in and started using this kitchen for a couple months: we started liking it. Surprising to both of us, a few months in we found ourselves having an evening conversation along the lines of, You know, I really do actually like the kitchen this way. Our rental home had a galley kitchen also, however, it was a dead-end galley kitchen and was 18 inches narrower. Those details make a huge difference. Also, we have a surprising bit of extra cupboard space, this kitchen is bigger than it appears. It's plenty for us.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
A few cosmetic updates will be just the ticket. No need to replace the cupboards, they are so sturdy and well built, 1957 quality--they don't make 'em like they used to, ya know? So a handful of cosmetic updates is the plan. We're having fun so far with this project. I think.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Dude, there's tile on our window sills. All of them. With the worst, most dirty looking grout. It looks gritty, it ain't pretty. I want it gone, gone, gone. It's in our bedrooms too, and I've been painting glossy white it to match our trim. But that's like putting a Band-Aid on a festering wound.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Since we've moved in, we've gotten two quotes from two big window replacement companies--the best of the best--and while we'd like to have our 1957 crank-style, poorly insulated windows replaced ASAP...it's not cheap. But here's the thing about remodeling or DIY makeovers: there is a domino effect. You want a new countertop? Might as well update the sink while you're at it. And the tile MUST be replaced if you're going to mess with the countertop. If you're going to replace the tile, you should go ahead and do the window while you're at it. So Justin decided to be brave and attempt a window replacement on his own.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Yes! Yes! Yes!!!
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
GOODBYE TILED WINDOW SILL! Buh-bye now! Buh-bye!
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
I will admit it: I had my doubts. I wasn't sure. {I also freaked out when he started the project--which included cutting out the METAL window frame with a sawzall--and he forgot to tape off the window and use a mask and the kids were around. A 1957 window means LEAD, friends. So I made him call Poison Control to see if we needed to have our kids' blood tested before he moved on. All is well.}
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
It was an intimidating project {to me} but he did it. The window has been replaced! Will he do all of them? I don't know...we really want higher quality {than what you can buy at Home Depot} windows in the rest of the home, and taking out all those metal frames would be a nightmare. What, with the LEAD and the NOISE and the WIFE freaking out. Oh, and we're thankful for our neighbor, "Handy Dan", who--despite his recent hip replacements--is still kicking and hardworking. He was able to help Justin out when he hit a tricky spot, and loaned us his crow bar as well as an heirloom tomato and a few heads of garlic from his garden. {He actually did the roof on our house!} We have some eggs set aside for him and his wife.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
So with Justin working on the final touches on the window, and the kids distracted with Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit {Haven't seen it? Watch it, it's British humor, creative art, and family entertainment at it's very best--what other animated film can you watch and see the artist's fingerprints all over it?} I got to work on killing this tile!
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Oh man... this felt good to do. Whoever did this tile job could not possibly have been a professional. {Not that we are either, but we've tiled before and done much better than this.} Wavering, uneven sandy gritty grout lines. Rippled square tile--not offset. I was so pleased to take a chisel and a hammer and take out all my rage on this tile. I was all like, TOWANDA!!!!

I should tell you about my vision, the kitchen-to-be. See, it involves an apron sink, see? :::taps cigar and wiggles eyebrows::: Because I've always wanted an apron sink. Like, always. Our home didn't come with one, our rental didn't have one, our previous homes didn't have one, my Barbie Folding Fun House didn't even have one. Now, I have one.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
New sinks can be expensive, especially fireclay apron sinks. Thankfully, IKEA has a very affordable one, the Domsjö comes in a single bowl or a double bowl. The double won't fit our kitchen unless we hacked into the silverware drawer, but I also really prefer a single bowl. I just dew.

Imagine my heartbreak when we arrived at IKEA this past weekend, for their special deduct-your-restaurant-tab-from-your-purchase sale, only to find that they were INDEFINITELY. OUT. OF. STOCK!
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
I went through the several stages of sink grief at this point. First I doubted, No, this can't be true. Second, I pouted. Third, I snapped at my husband who snapped back {we were hungry too}. Fourth, I snapped at my kids {they were fussy...because they were hungry}. And finally, I accepted, I'm never going to get my apron sink! Woe is me. Can the world just end?

So, we had lunch and planned to get the countertops that day instead.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1Kitchen Makeover - Part 1Kitchen Makeover - Part 1Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
Long story short: With our food receipt in hand, we headed back up to the kitchen section. Spoke to IKEA employee. I'd Googled enough during lunch to learn that this sink has been backordered for EIGHT. MONTHS. I'd also read that a few were making it into stores here and there, and that many stores had a waiting list. I hoped to get on that waiting list. Instead, the employee told us she believed they had TWO--2!!!--in stock at the moment. She called down to the warehouse, had ours reserved--DIBS!--and we paid right there in the kitchen section. Yes!!! There is hope of owning an apron sink before the world ends after all!

The next day, the last day of the sale, we went back for lunch and to buy our countertops. We strapped them to the top of our Volvo and carefully drove down I-25...for a 1/4 mile before I made Justin exit and take the long way because I have visions of the wind ripping these things off and killing a family of four in the SUV behind us. {My blasted imagination combined with my anxiety at it's best.}
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1
And so, our little kitchen makeover has begun. {I can't call it a remodel, right? Since we're not knocking out a wall, I think.} Part 2 will hopefully show our removal of the old counter tops and the installation of the sink. I'm chomping at the bit to get going, but alas, we have to wait for FedEx to deliver the new faucet. {Although I'm trying to convince my husband that we can drag dirty dishes down to the basement sink for the time being, so far he's hesitant. I bought paper plates. He's still hesitant.}
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1

Cheers,
Heather, tile killer

4 comments:

  1. Oh wow. You and I are in a very similar situation right now except for the fact that you are actually redoing your kitchen while I am still begging my husband to let me (well, not me) remodel ours. I HATE MY KITCHEN. Isn't that awful? Our house is 6 years old. We built it. I hate the kitchen. It's not functional and my style has changed so much since we built. I want to paint the custom cherry cabinets (gasp!) and replace the gorgeous granite countertop with marble (the horror!). I will get my way. Otherwise that fishing boat that is in my name? It may be making it's way to Craigslist. It's nice to have bartering tools in my arsenal.

    Can't wait to see the progress. Plus, I still need your address :-)

    ~Erica

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    Replies
    1. Once I gave Justin the green light on the window project, he was all in. He lives for projects! I bet your kitchen is lovely. Would love to see it! But I understand the need for updates too. (Can you believe, when we first married I loved modern and oak and everything was from Crate & Barrel!)

      I'd LOVE marble too. Have you ever checked out Edie @ Life in Grace blog? She talks about--when they rebuilt their home after a house fire--she wanted marble countertops and everyone warned her not to, but she did it anyway. LOVE marble. Go for it.

      Thanks Erica!! I still need to email you...

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  2. That was so much fun to read!! You had it honk alike. And I love the cheerful colors you've already got in your galley kitchen which, by the way, is a underrated design. It makes for cozy moments with other chefs, eh? xoxoxo close quarters and all. I love your attitude towards having enough. It's beautiful. And I cat wait for more of this adventure, ya! Congratulations on the apron sink!!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! You get me. I love the idea of the "close quarters" kitchen. It's true though, my husband and I get cozy in there ;-)

      Thanks MARIE!!

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