My husband and I moved into our home fifteen years ago as newly weds. We had looked at many houses and found it hard to agree. I wanted a house big enough to grow into, he was more concerned about being able to make the mortgage payments. We finally found one we both thought could work. I remember distinctly saying that the kitchen wasn’t huge but we didn’t cook much anyway. Ha! The words of a 23 year old pre-kids.
Once we had three kids, it wasn’t long before I started complaining about the cramped quarters in our kitchen. Then I really started complaining about the lack of useable space. The complaint of useable space was a valid one; we had a large microwave on the counter, as well as many other things, which limited the use of the valuable real estate of the counter. Also, we had dead corners, instead of functional corner cabinets. I felt as if there was no place to put our food!
Every time I cooked there were many grumbles and sometimes a little cursing as I fought with the ill-planned cabinets and lack of space to prep my dinner. These grumbles only grew louder over the years. I’ve been dreaming taking on kitchen renovations for a long, long time.
In my wildest dreams I imagined knocking down the wall in between the kitchen and dining room to make it one huge space. I dreamed of a huge island between the two rooms. There of course would be ample counter space and a plethora of cabinets. And a pantry! My new dream couldn’t possibly not have the addition of a pantry! Well, dreams are sometimes just that.
This past fall, I did finally get my husband on board. We did our homework and asked people we knew to recommend kitchen contractors. We met with several, as well as checked their BBB ratings, and online reviews. We finally settled on a contractor. This spring the new kitchen became a reality, sans the removal of any walls.
We worked with our kitchen contractor to try and optimize the space we had since we really couldn’t change the floor plan. We added functional corner cabinets and a pantry cabinet. My favorite addition to the kitchen is an island where our kitchen table used to be. While I may still grumble when I cook, now it is limited to the fact that I hate cooking, not that I have to cook in a poorly planned space.
This is the kitchen after it was cleaned out but before the demo began. Where the windows are is where our kitchen table was. I call this the exciting stage. I’m full of anticipation and can’t wait to see the transformation.
The project turned into a much bigger project than originally anticipated. We had no intention of going all the way down to the studs on the walls but unfortunately we found mold on the sheetrock behind where the sink was. The floor was extremely uneven, due to poor construction, and had to be rebuilt in order to lay tile. After removing the soffits, plumbing was found in odd places and needed to be rerouted. I call this the not fun stage. Which led to the I’m over it stage. Also, the “holy crap, this is going to cost how much?” stage.
I call this the FINALLY! stage. Just needs a few final touches but otherwise it is good to go. The kitchen is so much prettier, but more importantly, it functions so much better! I have a space for everything and plenty of prep space.
If you are thinking of taking on a big renovation such as the kitchen I have a few words of advice. 1.Stock up on the alcohol, because you will probably need it. 2. Plan for problems, and then some more problems. 3. Double the amount of time they tell you it will take. Maybe triple. 4. Start saving now, and plan for unexpected expenses.
While the project took on a life of its own and I couldn’t wait for it to be over, I really am happy with the final result. Now maybe I should take some cooking classes to get the full use out of it 😉