We’ve lived in this house for almost ten years, and are finally getting a new kitchen! But can’t we live with the one we have, you ask?
When we moved in the kitchen included:
1. Old wheezy refrigerator, avocado green
2. Old cool-looking but dangerous gas stove
3. Old washer and old dryer
4. Rusty gigantic free-standing sink
5. A large mirror on the wall
That’s it. No counters, no cabinets.The light fixture was two tubes of fluorescent lights. The floor was gray, cracked and broken, faded, stained linoleum tile.The walls were yellow at some point, but were faded, stained, and dirty.The ceiling looked like someone had brushed on half a coat of primer with their eyes closed and called it a day. We estimate that nothing in the kitchen had been touched since at least 1975, and that a lot of it was a lot older than that.
We knew we would eventually completely gut the room and replace everything, so we weren’t willing to put any time or money into it, other than replacing the appliances. After a year or two, we built temporary counters out of plywood and 2x4s. A couple years after that, we bought some salvaged metal cabinets, and found some others in a trash pile. Yes, a trash pile. We hung the cabinets and covered every horizontal surface, apart from the floor, with contact paper. Sorry, all photos from this era are too ugly (and non-representative) to show you.
Two years ago, on New Year’s Eve, I was cleaning the kitchen and decided I couldn’t take it anymore. What’s the point of cleaning a room when it’s going to look filthy when you’re done? I could wash the walls, but they’d still be stained. Cobwebs from 1982 would still be embedded in the paint.
So I decided to paint! We had lots of extra paint, both from painting every (other) room in our house at least once, and left over from Tom’s mural.
I painted all day long on New Year’s Day. We left the gray linoleum and fluorescent tubes, hung some prints on the walls, and felt slightly better about our new old kitchen. Note the complete lack of lower cabinets, and the blue plastic bin where our pots and pans have been stored.
Over the years we hemmed and hawed about remodeling the kitchen within its existing structure vs. tearing it down and rebuilding it. Ultimately we decided we wanted to add a second story to the structure, and since the walls are crooked and bowed, we decided to rebuild. So, the project became costly enough that we’ve put it off over and over.
Now…FINALLY…as our ten-year-anniversary gift to our house…we’re getting a new kitchen in a big way. Tomorrow, demolition begins. This entire room is being destroyed! The structure will be knocked down and carted away, leaving the foundation behind.
I’m going to try to update the blog regularly throughout the project. I can’t cook, so how else am I going to spend my time?
Maybe someday I’ll feel sentimental about these years of storing pans in plastic bins instead of cabinets…of not having to sweep the floor because it always looks filthy no matter what…of bright fluorescent light inadequately illuminating a room that is so drafty (and uninsulated) that on windy days, it feels like the door’s open…of sagging plywood countertops covered in contact paper. For now, though, I’m ready to say goodbye and never look back.
After several false starts, this is really happening. I’m mostly excited, fairly terrified, and very claustrophobic, since we’re losing several hundred square feet of living space for a while. Here’s what the room looks like right now. Extra points if you can find the toilet!
Wish us luck!