Saturday, December 11, 2010

kitchen: part 2

so it took me a little longer to come back to this than i expected. max was beastly for most of the week and tim is out of town, so i have been mind-numbingly exhausted. but i'll see how far i can get tonight.

so i left off with us realizing we (my nephew) were going to have to tear apart the kitchen. i should have taken notes during the process, but at the time, i thought i would never forget. but now a lot of it has blended together. such is life.

my nephew had to go finish a project tuesday evening, so the plan was for tim and i to get everything moved out of the kitchen and ready for demolition. tim, seeing that i was about to loose it, sent me and the boys to his parent's house and promised he would get the kitchen ready.

after finally settling the boys in, i stayed up way too late looking at all things kitchen on the interwebs. counters, cabinets, fixtures-i had no idea what we would be able to salvage and what all would have to be done. i had wanted a new kitchen for so long, but just really didn't know what would happen. would we be able to salvage everything, going through a ton of work to have the same ugly kitchen but saving a lot of money, or would we have to replace everything, getting a beautiful kitchen, but lose our savings account in the process. i finally went to bed with my brain spinning.

wednesday morning my wonderful, dear, amazing mother-in-law watched the boys while i went to home depot to get a rough estimate of prices on anything and everything. i wandered around and around and around their display kitchens. then after settling max in for his nap, i headed back to our house.

i was greeted by a dining room that had the contents of the kitchen vomited all over it, including the fridge and large pantry cabinet. all the bottom kitchen cabinets were out in the yard, along with the counter top and sink. a dehumidifier was going to make sure everything was completely dried out. after talking to my nephew about the damage, we concluded that that all the bottom cabinets could be reused, minus the sink cabinet. we choose not to reuse the sink or faucet, which were in terrible shape, and i was so happy to see the counter top smashed. it was such a relief that the cabinets were mostly fine. although they look rough and need to be refinished, they are solid oak and have potential. i didn't like the feel of any of the cheaper cabinets i had looked at and new solid cabinets would have totally broken the budget.

after a little more clean-up, i headed back to tim's parent's house. i had a better idea of what we needed and had to start figuring out what i wanted. we needed a new counter top, sink, faucet, and some kind of back splash. i wanted a new floor plan that opened up the kitchen instead of going back to the tiny kitchen of isolation.

i really don't know what i would have done without tim's mom and my mom during this whole process. i bounced so many ideas off them and rambled on and on, trying to get all the jumbled up confusion out of my brain and worked into something do-able. tim's mom was so helpful with the boys and my mom was such a prayer warrior for me-praying for peace and wisdom, that i could get this all figured out in such a small amount of time.

thursday morning i was back at lowe's and home depot. my nephew was going to be working on resetting the cabinets and building the new box for the sink and i needed to make a counter top decision. at first i looked at a lot of really dark samples, thinking eventually i would like to paint the cabinets white. after talking to my mom, i got realistic and decided to pick something that would go with the existing cabinets instead of adding more stress and more projects to my life. but as i talked to the kitchen associate, one major problem became very clear. anything i picked would take at least two weeks, but more likely three or four weeks to be fabricated and installed. we didn't have that much time. blurg.

when i explained all this to tim's mom, she mentioned a place in town that her sister-in-law had just used on her kitchen project that had a really fast turn around time for counter top, but you have to install it yourself-they just make the cuts. i called the place, and they confirmed that yes, as long as i picked a color they had in-stock, they would have it ready in three days. three days was much better than three weeks, but i was still pretty hesitant because they only carried eight colors in-stock. having studied what seemed like every color of laminate in existence, i knew there were a lot of colors i didn't like. but i thought it was worth a shot, so we planned to go there the next day and take a look.

in the meantime, i went back to the house to pick up some things and talk to my nephew about the plan. as i stood in the kitchen, i just kept getting disheartened that it was still going to be the same dungeon kitchen, even if it had new counter tops. and then i had an *idea*. what if we added a window?! a window above the stove, so that as i cooked dinner, i could keep an eye on the boys in the backyard! a window that would let in glorious sunlight! a window that i could see the beautiful sunsets through as i cleaned up the kitchen in the evening! yes! a window was the perfect solution for my sad kitchen! my nephew was a good sport and agreed to try to work out the plan. i left and for the first time, i felt really excited about the whole project. something good really was going to come out of all this work and stress. i stopped at lowes on my way back to bel aire, checking out sizes and styles of windows. i think the window guy thought i was nuts, getting almost giddy over a window. (i didn't realize i had paint in my hair and smeared on my face, adding to my crazy lady look.) i discussed the window with my mom, sister, and mother-in-law and they all thought it was a great idea! yay! progress! it finally seemed like things were coming together.

but then the call came. thursday night my nephew called after discussing the window plan with his dad-my brother, who helped build the house. the window was still do-able, but it would be way more work and expense than we had thought because of the way the house was built. as much as i wanted it, i had to axe the window idea. my nephew was so sweet and supportive, insisting that it could still be done. but i just didn't feel like it was worth the extra resources.

late into that night, tim and i discussed the option of opening up the kitchen a different way-knocking down half of the wall that divided the kitchen and dining room. could we recreate a big island for baking, or maybe a bar?

ahhhh! this project was making us crazy!


  1. Eeek, what a cliff-hanger!! What happens next!! I must know! :)

  2. This sounds just like my life in my kitchen now!!! It's crazy how many senarios you come up with and then what actually ends up working out. Life is certainly an adventure!! I will have to keep tabs on your have a beautiful home!