Kitchen, part 1…

Chris - December 5, 2007

By the time the floors were complete, it had been eight solid weeks that we’d been without an operable kitchen. Dishes were washed in the small bathroom sink, meals were eaten in restaurants, ordered as take-out, grilled on the grill, or microwaved in my bedroom. Needless to say, I was chomping at the bit to get to the kitchen…

I had actually ordered the cabinets prior to closing on the house, taking into consideration the delivery time and as an impetus to really get to work right away (weaving through over a dozen large cabinet-boxes is plenty of motivation to begin work!). This was a tricky proposition because, while the kitchen grew in size by a foot, the remodel actually eliminated some storage in the space - in order to bring the refrigerator into the kitchen, the pantry had to go. And I knew that I wanted to open up the kitchen more to the dining room to make the space feel larger, which meant losing yet more wall space. I toyed with the idea of eliminating the wall between the kitchen and dining room completely and doing more of an island - but this would have left me very short of cabinet space. So ultimately, I decided to open up the entrance to the kitchen by providing a 30″ “window” adjacent to the former narrow doorway entry.  (In the photos below, the first picture is essentially taken through the opening, and you can catch a glimpse of the opening on the left of the second picture.)

The cabinets went in fairly easily, considering the majority of them were connecting to a plaster-over-brick wall. The cabinets are a simple, clean design from Home Depot - maple with a spice finish. For food storage, I bought a full-height pantry cabinet with pull-out shelves which actually functions better than the old closet pantry. And while I accidentally ordered a cabinet to hold a microwave (rather than hang the microwave from), I decided to keep it and use the intended microwave space as storage for cookbooks and such. As it turns out, I actually have a bit more cabinet space than I actually need (although I’m sure I’ll end up filling it up)…

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Next: concrete countertops!

From the “What Lowe’s Had” category

Kersten -

Before:

After:

It took a while to sink in

Kersten - December 4, 2007

We’re adding quite a bit of storage to this kitchen by ripping out a pantry closet and adding space where a pass-through between the living room and kitchen used to be. When Tai and his father worked on framing and adding drywall to that corner of the kitchen, they specifically measured out a spot for a tall Ikea cabinet that we knew would add a lot of space to a tight room.

Fast forward a month. As Tai tries to muscle the cabinet into the cubby hole, it’s apparent that something is horribly, horribly wrong. The space was built to be 30″ wide and the cabinet is 29 7/8″ wide. It was too tight and the old wall on the right wasn’t square (like so many things in this place) — it all made for an impossible fit.

The sad solution was to pull off the new drywall, shove the cabinet in there and hope that we’ll have time to repair the damage before moving in.

Working from the ground up…

Chris - December 3, 2007

Once the contractor cleared out with the framing, drywall and texture complete, the first project was the installation of new wood floors. The existing floors in the house are original pine and not in horrible shape. But I was looking for a more modern look, and got a good deal on some wide-plank black walnut hardwoods… so I decided to cover up the existing. I love the impact of the wide planks and the absence of nails and nail holes that the originals were laden with.

The picture below shows the new floor and the re-framed arch between the living and dining room. Beyond, you can get a glimpse of the solution for opening up the kitchen a bit while still maintaining adequate storage space. Full details of the kitchen coming in the next post…

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An angel named Becky

Kersten -

We hit a snag in our enthusiasm last week and decided to spend a couple of nights shopping for stuff for the condo instead of killing our knees with more baseboard work. After we hit up a few places (I can offer solid recommendations for inexpensive Salt Lake-area appliance shopping now, fyi), we ended up at Lowe’s in Murray on a lark. We never go there; we try to avoid shopping in suburbia in general.

We are reformed. Because of this woman:

…who is the friendliest, kindest appliance saleswoman we have met. Such a joy. Also? She sold us a kitchen oven/stove combo for one-third of its retail price, meaning that we got a stove worth three times our budget.

We bought a microwave-hood and a dishwasher from her, too. The microwave-hood combination came with a little snack:

It’s all beginning to come together quite nicely.

As you can see, part of what we worked on this weekend was putting doors on the cabinets. The color is off in these pictures because the doors come with a protective layer of plastic. Once you remove the plastic, you have to immediately wash the doors and then let them “cure” for 24 hours without touching them. That will be the last thing we do before putting on the handles.

But the kitchen is really starting to look like a real kitchen.

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