Friday was a big day. J. the contractor was here all day, putting finishing touches everywhere! It was basically his last day, but he will be here Monday just doing a few more outside jobs, like wrapping the pipes and other stuff I don’t know about. I feel sad and glad at the same time. He has been here almost every day for the past three months, many weeks only taking Sunday off. I will be glad that I don’t have to worry about getting dressed and ready for someone to arrive, but I know I will miss the activity and excitement of the “next new thing,” and his cheerful presence, always ready with a quiet “hello Noah.”
Anyway, at long last, here is the finished kitchen. Oh, but wait, first I have to show you a couple of pictures of the old kitchen. This is the kitchen that I cooked and created in for the past 28 years. The entire kitchen was 6 feet by 8 feet. The open floor area was probably about 2 1/2 X 5 feet.
This shot is from the living room, and you can see into the kitchen and the bathroom. Yes, the refrigerator just kind of stuck out like that, and it was parked in front of the door that went nowhere.
Here is the old kitchen after I cleaned it up! The entire counter space was just always filled up like that. I did all my food prep work on the pull out cutting board.
And here is the new kitchen. (Its really hard to get good perspective shots of a room. I now really admire the people who are able to do that.) For those of you who have been following this year long adventure, you probably know this–But my original intention was to only add on the studio and mudroom. And then I saw some beautiful wooden cabinets in Noah’s trainer’s kitchen… and that was the start of this whole process.
I saw a blue island in some magazine, and I really wanted that. I am searching for a few blue accent pieces to add to the kitchen. I found the plaque that says “i tuning you out” at a store on my recent trip to Lake Tahoe. PERFECT for The Queen. The cabinets are knotty alder. I fought the recessed lighting, but now I love it so much! And I like my hanging lamps over the island too. They were on sale at Lowe’s.
To the left. Oh, I found the butcher block top for the island online at a place in Ohio. I ordered it there because they were the only place that had knotty alder butcher blocks! You can see the edge of the refrigerator. After I got over my disappointment, I am VERY happy that I have a refrigerator with the door opening in this direction, instead of having to take two steps to the left to get into a side-by-side.
To the right. We used the backdoor from the studio (which got eliminated–the kitchen shares a wall with the studio,) for the kitchen. It lets in lots of light, and it has a shade enclosed in the glass. Which I have to close in the morning and the evening. Otherwise, Noah keeps watch there. (“There must be something out there I need to bark about.”)
The white door is a little pantry (which still needs shelves,) and the wood door is a little broom closet!
And this photograph?? It is from our very own Lori! I saw it on her blog and just loved it. I asked her if I could possibly get a copy of it, and she very nicely emailed it to me. I got it enlarged on Snapfish, and then had it framed about a week ago.
Here are some of the really fun things I got to go in the cabinets. A spice drawer! LOVE this. So much better than ruffling through the cupboard that I can barely reach anyway, and knocking over half the spices before I find the one I want. And see that Garam Masalla there? Yep, Lori sent that to me as a “housewarming” present. She remembered that I had mentioned that I was not able to find it out here. I am actually going to try a recipe using it tonight!
The corner cupboards are pretty deep. The cabinet guy suggested Lazy Susan’s in both upper and lower cabinets.
These two tier organizing trays are pretty nice too.
This is just a shot of the granite countertop. The granite was a good buy, IMO, from a place called Granite Outlet.
Here is a shot of the backsplash. Those tiles were on sale at Lowe’s.
I think most people are familiar with these, but they were new to me. Oh, how nice to have a place to keep the garbage away from the dogs! (and a place for the ever-present collection of diet soda cans :) )
And this baby? Oh I am very pleased with myself on this one! I am using it for dog food! The lid closes when you close the cupboard door. It is right under the sink, which of course is where I prepare their food twice a day. All of the cabinet gadgets are from a company called Rev-a-Shelf.
The floor, in case you are wondering, was one of the pricier investments… Its vinyl tile, but very thick (so says J. the contractor.) It wasn’t my intention, but it definitely does not show the dirt!
The kitchen sink is HUGE, and white. Its cast iron, and I also got a bargain on it (after choosing several other sinks that either would not work or were not available.) I feel a lot of pressure to keep it clean :) The faucet was one of the first things I picked out. It sure was fun to see it go in place.
I have been bringing stuff in from the storage shed one box at a time, running them through the dishwasher, and then finding places to put everything. Gotta admit, its fun having a dishwasher too. Everything comes out so Sparkly and Squeaky Clean!
I can’t end without mentioning Shelley again, who was ever-present via text messaging for consultations and confidence building. Sometimes I needed an opinion or advice, and sometimes I just needed someone to say, “yeah, that looks right!” Thank you again, Shelley. Other IRL friends helped with ideas and decorating advice. My BFF listened to me prattle on endlessly about the construction and decision-making on almost a daily basis. My rug-hooking friend back in Chicago who is an interior decorator also had some good advice for me. Thank you to everyone!
I want to mention one other thing. I don’t know if people are wondering about this or not, but feel like I should say something. When I did the studio and the mudroom, I used money that I had saved for ten years, specifically for the hope of adding on a studio. When the idea for the kitchen add-on and other renovation came up, I thought long and hard about that. I had some money I had inherited from my dad. Was this the wisest use of that money? In the end, I decided that it was a good investment, because if I was ever going to move, my house was not worth much as it was. I wanted to mention this because I have strong feelings (from personal experience) that going into debt for almost anything is not wise. And of course it goes without saying, that although I am grateful for the money we received from my dad, I would gladly cook in that little kitchen in exchange for more time with my dad. I like to think that this project is something that he very much would have approved of, and would have enjoyed watching.
Thus ends the tale of the kitchen. If you have lasted this far, thank you for reading along. It has been an adventure, and you can be sure it is an adventure that you won’t hear about again!