I kind of ran out of time to do more postings on my life without a kitchen. For some reason, working on the renos seemed more important! It took us 5 months to complete the renos ourselves – 4 months without a working kitchen. I have to say though – I agree with what everyone said – it was totally worth it! For three years I was embarrassed to bring guests into the house with the gross linoleum and carpet, and the odour that I could never get rid of. Thankfully, we were able to rip up and replace the mildewy subfloor and insulation where the previous owners’ fish tank apparently exploded. Ta da! No more strange odour!
We were happy to get rid of the corner fireplace. It was big and dark and ate up a lot of the living room space. When we installed the new fireplace, we had to eat into the part of the room that juts out, but it was worth it.
Here’s what the kitchen looked like before we moved in – wood from 1999, and a yellowish brown paint. When the previous owners installed the too-big fridge they had to move the cupboard above the fridge up so the doors no longer fit! The design was odd – the upper cabinets didn’t extend as long as the counter top, so there was wasted space. The island was relatively small, with a raised back side for stools. The linoleum would have been nice at one time, but it was way past its prime.
I love my gourmet kitchen now! We made the island larger and dropped it so it’s all one height. We added more cupboards along the back wall, extending the kitchen into the dining room just a bit. In the main part of the kitchen there are no lower cupboards – all drawers. We installed high-end custom under cabinet lighting that brightens up the back wall and makes the space much more useable.
It’s now easy to get my heavy pottery bowls out of the drawers, and no more having to pull something out to get at something else! The toaster and bread even have their own drawer, keeping the clutter off the counter. We searched for ideas online and designed and built custom cabinets for spices, oils, utensils, cutting boards, etc. Jay did an awesome job pulling it all together. I found the canisters at a kitchen supply store and they worked perfectly.
Jay did a wicked job building the cabinets from scratch. The drawers are made of beech and they’re all half-blind dovetail joints (for those who know wood)…
The back of the island is all cupboards for my kitchen appliances. They used to have to sit on the floor in the pantry and they’d get covered in dog hair. I’m so excited I can easily pull them out now!
Even the little space under cupboards were turned into small pullouts – no space wasted!
We put extra shelves above the fridge for baking pans. We may add more shelves so that the pans are not stacked on top of each other – there should be no risk of anything falling on your head when you pull it out. So, this cupboard might be a bit of a work in progress as we use it and see how it could be improved.
I also took the opportunity to move around the dishes – the coffee cups are now right above the coffee maker and the tea pot and sugar/cream set are in that cupboard too, instead of being shoved in the back of a cupboard. Maybe I’ll use them now?
With the cupboards going up to the ceiling I’ve gained some storage space, but I did lose a bunch of the room for my cookbooks since I previously stored them above the fridge. Oh well – walking upstairs to the office to get a cookbook is likely well-needed exercise!
To help us create the design we want we hired Cindy at Purple Turtle Design @PurpleTurtleDesign. If you’re interested where we got the granite from, or the cupboard door construction and painting, let me know. Otherwise, we did 95% of the work ourselves!
I can’t wait to get more time to actually cook and bake and post more often!
See my previous posts of work in progress here: