Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kitchen Project

Here's what my kitchen looked like before I moved in and messed it all up.

I got rid of the dishwasher and 30-year old microwave before I moved in, and got rid of the leaking, 30-year old refrigerator shortly after I moved in .  Sears doesn't sell any fridges that small any more, so I got the smallest one they sell, but still had to rip out the cabinets above and to the right of the fridge in order to get it in.  The stove is so scary that I haven't used the oven in a year and a half (actually the water heater guy says it's unusable anway).  That will be replaced soon.

Everything else works.  Sort of.  The sink has two P traps that are just resting next to each other, and it blocks up pretty regularly, and too much water at one time pushes the traps apart and ... everything gets wet.

But other than that, everything works.  Even though I cleaned the cabinets, the mousies still get in and poop, so I don't use the cabinets for anything that I use.  Even if I did want to use the cabinets, the door holes are small, so stuff doesn't really fit.  I took the doors off so the cats could get at the mousies, and now there's muslin held up with velcro over the cabinet door holes over mostly empty cabinets that I think are just gross.

But other than that, everything's fine. Actually there's nothing left after you take out the fridge, stove, and cabinets.  Oh, the countertop.  That's fine.  Yeah, it inclines down toward the back, so liquid runs toward the wall.  But it's really fine.

(By the way - I'm not complaining.  You don' t get a house and 25 acres for what I paid without some serious problems somewhere.  I knew it was going to be fairly bad, and was prepared to have to do work.  I wrote a blog post a while back talking about how I found this house online while I was bottom feeding the real estate listings.  And by now you know that I love a project!)

What I'd really like is to have just big open spaces under there that I can cover up with curtains.  Since the kitchen is more or less usable, I've been putting it off.  Replacing the cabinets and countertops are a want, not a need.

Until I saw this:
I walked into this guy's kitchen and immediately realized I was going to have to take pictures.  This is what I want.  And even better - he made these out of plywood from Home Depot.  This is something I could actually do and not spend a mint to get a kitchen I like.

So I've been going back and forth.  Should I do this project this spring, this fall, or put it off until next year?  Yesterday I was forth.  This morning I was back, and now I'm forth again.  I've replaced a kitchen before.  Actually twice.  I mean ... two kitchens.  In different houses.  The only part I haven't done is build the cabinet things.  And this project should be easier than those other ones - I'm going to leave the floor intact.  The white tile is pretty solid and doesn't look bad at all.

Now that I'm back to being forth, I'm deciding what I want the countertop to be.  One thought is butcher block, like the picture above.  The other thought is this:

boomerang laminate!

with chrome edges, like this!
I love that stuff!  But I haven't got any prices yet - it may change.  In fact - the whole project may change - or not happen at all.  This is one of those decisions that don't have to be made on any timeframe.  I'm pretty on the fence, and it's possible I may go back to being back (which for those of you not keeping track of my back and forth means not doing it).


  1. I'd do the kitchen in the fall or when the outside work slows down for you.

  2. Where will you be constructing the cabinets? DO you have indoor workspace warm enough to work in? if not, it may have to be warm weather work... and if you are planning on canning and stuff, you may need to either be not started or mostly done by that season. The chickens and goats might be ahead of the kitchen in line..and that might make a difference...oh, what to do, what to do?? I need a kitchen redo, as my cupboards and drawers are falling apart, but I'm not ready with ideas yet, so that is what I should be doing now..

  3. I tore my kitchen apart when I moved here 10 years ago and I am still working on it. When we ever get some warm weather and I can leave the windows open at night I will start up painting in the kitchen again. I like your ideas, especially the open cabinets. Have fun!

  4. It's amazing how these projects somehow become so important and sometimes we lose perspective. I do agree that it'd be smarter to hold off on this one, but I might just be headstrong and do it anyway!