Kitchen Transformation: Prelude to da chaos

When Paul and I bought our house, we made a list of the repairs and remodeling that we intended to accomplish within the first year or two. We put “remodel the kitchen” on the list below earthquake retrofitting, remodeling the bathroom, and painting the exterior, but above reroofing. A couple of years later, we had made it partway down the list, but we’d run out of steam before getting to the kitchen remodel. Not only had we run through the money allocated for work on the house, but I hadn’t yet figured out how to solve the design problems that the kitchen presented. (More on that later.)

Here’s how the kitchen looked when we bought the house, and how it has looked for the seven years since:

kitchen before

With this photo of the kitchen close at hand, I’ll take a moment to respond to the “ten things I hate” meme with which Janeen tagged me over a week ago. I’m generally not one to say that I hate either people or things, but there are at least ten things that I strongly dislike about our kitchen. (I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to play, if you wish. And no, you don’t have to write about your kitchen.)

Ten things I dislike intensely about our kitchen:

  1. The cheap cabinets. Cheap doors, cheap hinges, cheap drawers. These cabinets were cheap 20 years ago, and they have not aged well.
  2. The emerald green formica. Enough said.
  3. Electrical wiring that has a dishwasher on the same electrical circuit as upstairs bedroom and bathroom lights. Would you like to have your bathroom plunged into darkness whenever your dishwasher hit the rinse cycle? I didn’t think so.
  4. The electric stove. As if electric weren’t bad enough, it’s the 1970’s type with solid (not coil) burners. Furthermore, only three of those burners work.
  5. Not having counter space on both sides of the stove.
  6. No vent fan over the stove. Extra points deducted for stove placement directly under a window.
  7. The sheet vinyl flooring patterned to look like something else. Does that floor look like brick to you? (Sheet vinyl that’s patterned to look like linoleum is OK.)
  8. The dropped ceiling. You can’t tell in this photo, but the existing kitchen ceiling is dropped several inches below the original ceiling. Would you lower your entire kitchen ceiling 9″ just to install 2 recessed can lights? (If you would even consider it, please don’t answer. There’s enough sadness in the world already.)
  9. The butchered window trim. Removed under the windowsill so that the stove would fit. Cut down to a sliver on the right side so that the upper cabinet would fit on the wall. Why not make the cabinet 3″ narrower? Really.
  10. Of course I can’t leave out the kitchen sink. It’s not deep enough to hold my largest pots. Grrrr.

After seven years of living with this kitchen, I’m thrilled that we’re finally starting the remodel. Demolition is well under way; rebuilding begins next week. There will be photos, and dust, and stories. And three months from now (give or take), we will have a brand spanking new kitchen, without any of the things that I so dislike about its predecessor.

7 thoughts on “Kitchen Transformation: Prelude to da chaos”

  1. Look forward to seeing the new look!!! Your list was a good one, this is quite a boring kitchen, Im sure you’ve got some great ideas for the transformation.

    Beware kitties, plaster is gonna fall!!!!
    BFN, G

  2. Just be thankful you don’t live in NYC where you have to be a millionaire to have things that most people in the U.S. consider standard in their homes (washer/dryer, dishwasher). I pay – well, I won’t even tell you what I pay in rent, you’ll recoil in horror – and my refrigerator is held together with duct tape.

  3. Wow, and I thought I had a miserable kitchen with a really old and tiny stove, no vent near the stove (yes, the fire alarm goes off everytime I cook!!!), NO counter tops, I repeat… NO couter tops and hardly any cabinet space. Thank God I rent and will move in another year or so.

    Best of luck with the re-modelling. I bet the McKittens are not too happy about it!

  4. I assume you designed it yourself. Perhaps you could post the plans, and how are you going to cook while it is under construction? I never cooked that much anyway, in fact looking back it was probably stupid to enlarge my kitchen but it did make it brighter and probably added a little to the value of the house. (In Mississippi there isn’t much that will add value to the house since most people don’t want to move there in the first place.)

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