Even though I’m having surgery on Wednesday, we’re still moving ahead with our much-needed kitchen and dining room renovation! Ryan won’t actually start work until I can hobble around a bit and get out of the way more easily (I won’t try and do any work on it myself until I’m full healed, I promise!). But since I’ll be unable to stand and cook anyway, not having a kitchen during my recovery doesn’t seem all that problematic.
Or, we may postpone until I’m better. We’ll see.
As this is a real-life renovation, I took some before shots of our kitchen, to show what we’re starting with. I’m using a new camera and I’m still learning — I apologize for some of the blur in the shots. I’ll get better! I actually feel like the photos don’t do justice to how grimy and old it is. Darn nice camera, making things look better than they actually are.
I realize it’s not the worst kitchen in the history of the world (somehow we escaped horrible wallpaper and avocado appliances). But it’s pretty bad. Allow me point out some of it’s many shortcomings that we’re looking to change in the remodel.
It is a whopping 9 x 10, featuring a 1980s dropped ceiling and ugly florescent light, and permanently sticky and dirty linoleum “tile” floors.
The position of the fridge means the freezer door bangs into the wall because there’s not enough space to open the door properly. The fridge and range aren’t the worst, but we want a counter-depth fridge to save on space (we found one on sale at Sears that has more cubic feet of storage than our current big fat fridge), and a range that’s not stained and chipped and you don’t have to stab to turn on and off.
The dishwasher is relatively new and quiet, so we’ll keep that.
The cabinets over the stove area are almost all too high for me to reach, and they cut off the view into the living room. The cabinets are original to the home, but someone decided to roller paint them white maybe ten years ago. So there are ten years worth of fingerprints that I can’t really scrub off because I take paint off too.
And they look so lovely next to the off-white chipped and stained laminate countertops.
This next shot really shows the high quality (ha) of the cabinets and paint job. The entire frame holding the cabinet doors on is falling off — a few valiant nails are holding it together.
Even with all of the 1980s-ness, lack of storage is actually our biggest problem. We have no pantry. None. Our pantry food lives on a shelf in the garage (in plastic bins, so we don’t attract mice). I forget half the food we have out there because it’s buried in boxes. Other pantry staples just sit out on the counters.
Our cabinets are small, with low shelves and dark recesses. Most of our cabinets are stuffed to the brim. Putting things away is like playing Boring Grown-Up Tetris. As we clean them out, I’ll definitely purge anything we don’t use. (Ooh, the grime on the cabinets is nice and apparent here, too.)
Our sink is chipped and stained porcelain, and the faucet is so low and the bowl of the sink so shallow that I can’t fit anything large in there to wash it properly. Because our microwave has to sit on the counter, there’s no room for a dish rack and the sink must do double duty.
Along with the kitchen, we’re renovating the adjoining dining room. I thought about keeping the orange and working with it, but it’s just too dark and small of a room — it needs something lighter and brighter.
To help address the storage issue, we’re going to put cabinets along the back wall where the mirror is.
We should have room to perhaps store our dog food in a cabinet, instead of the floor. Gunnar is so well-behaved he never gets into it, but I’d rather not have it just hanging out on the floor. We’ll also build in a trash can so it doesn’t have to sit out.
And perhaps our wedding presents will make it out of their boxes and into cabinets, instead of being stacked in the corner. There’s a Kitchen Aid mixer back there that I haven’t set up because where would I put it? So many cookies, not being made!
So take one last look and say goodbye to the particle board, roller paint, dropped ceiling, ugly lights, and no storage. We went to IKEA this weekend and designer our new kitchen! I’ll be posting about our IKEA kitchen design experience soon — looking forward to sharing our update with you!
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