The kitchen before had a 10x11 work area and a U-shaped counter configuration.
The area from which the photos were taken in the BEFORE state was an eat in area. We had our dining table here for quite a while. That area was 12x10. It had a 32 inch door leading out to our deck and 2 full length windows. There is actually a 2 foot jog in the outer wall. We investigated putting an addition on the back. The price tag on the addition alone was $40,000. No cabinetry included.
I am glad we didn't redo the kitchen right when we moved in. It wouldn't have been the right combination of elements we needed. I found after cooking in the kitchen for a while that I couldn't cook dinner while a child was doing dishes. That's a problem. I couldn't cook dinner and make a dessert at the same time-not enough counter space or a place for a cooling rack to put something when it came out of the oven.
We had kitchen guys come out and price new cupboards. 16,000 dollars. The cheapest was 8,000. That was before we figured out we didn't have enough space to cook the way I really want to. Crazy! Nuts!
I had this vision of the whole family working together in the kitchen. Having the girls certainly changed my way of cooking. I normally had one or both of them at the counter (or on top of the counter) observing. They were being, "Cookas!" But I knew that the ideal kitchen was not in the budget. I wanted to continue to have them help me (cause that is how they learn) but give me enough elbow room that I wasn't gritting my teeth the entire time. I want to enjoy this time with my children.
In all the houses we have owned I have been cursed with a kitchen that is a thoroughfare for the house. I especially disliked our last house with the stove 14 foot away from the kitchen sink. I prayed every time I took a pot of pasta to the sink that a little one would not be underfoot; scalded baby=no fun.
I hit the internet to see if I could just paint my cupboards. The quotes for new cupboards started at $8,000 and went up to $16,000. That was just the cabinetry. The other house still hadn't sold so I knew I wasn't going to be getting new cabinets. I hated the white. I hated how it had to be washed weekly to look decent. If I wanted it to look good it had to be washed daily. Ha! Right! Remember the six kids? I found that I could paint my cabinetry but I had to peel the plastic themofoil off first.
the door before with the thermofoil intact
there was a nick in the plastic on the back of the door
stick in a putty knife and run it down the edge of the door
peel! #3 and #4 loved this job. They were somewhat ecstatic about this job. I was surprised but then I thought about last summer when they both got sunburns. They would stand and peel each other's skin for hours. Some principle-just plastic instead of sunburn. I wonder if there is a job out there for people who like to peel things?
door with not plastic covering. It is MDF--sawdust and glue.
Once I figured out we could actually paint the cabinets I knew we could go somewhere with this project. I kept on cooking for the family and scheming, bringing new ideas to DH. Every now and then I would get frustrated (think end of canning season) and stomp up to his office and say, "This is NEVER going to get done! I might as well just feed ya'll frozen dinners for the rest of eternity. I need an increase in the grocery budget." He would calmly reassure me, "This is going to get done. I promised a kitchen and it is going to get done." I would stomp back down stairs (because a timer was beeping or something) grumbling, "Yah right." cause I knew the other house hadn't sold. (Remember that don't go into debt thing? we were saving up.)
I remembered I had a prep sink in the barn. I was going to try to put it in at the other house but we never got around to it. I am really surprised I didn't donate it during the move but here it was. Already paid for and stainless steel. The old sink was a white corian-ish material. It was horrid. Last fall mom and dad traded us a stainless steel sink they didn't need for their kitchen renovation for a hammermill.
The ball starting rolling when the contractor who helped us after we bought the house came over. He brainstormed with us. Then he shared some information, "Lowe's regulary has windows and door that someone returned that are 75% of the original cost. You just let me know if you want me to keep my eye open for you."
Tom started watching out for deals for us. In the meantime we moved the books to the basement and the dining table to the dining room. We had been using the dining room as a library.
We decided the first thing that had to change was the door. The door needed to be moved. We debated about moving it several places but we ended up moving it to the wall next to the living room. And we changed the windows from full length windows to half height.
Tom did this in February. We put in a banquet table to help with the congestion on the countertop. The toasters and fruit bowl moved over and I had some breathing space on the countertop.
Then we decided in March to cut off the end of the peninsula and see what came to us next. Tom moved the cabinetry that was the peninsula over under the 1/2 height windows and filled in the tile (there were some in the basement from the previous owners). I had bought a 4x2 shelving unit that had a butcher block top. I put it in the kitchen to see if I like having an island.
We lived like this for a few months.
I knew I needed a clean up area and a prep area. The old configuration wouldn't allow for dinner to be made at the same time dishes were being done. I needed space for more than me to chop, dice, peel and open cans.
Then it finally came to us. The idea came. DH spent a late night measuring our existing cabinetry and came up with plan that only needed 3 new cupboards. That meant I had to pick colors. I stopped by a kitchen store and picked up a laminate sample of every color I thought would look good. I came home and dealt out the laminate samples like a deck of cards over the floor. It was very obvious which color worked. When were first contemplating the kitchen re-do we looked at granite and other options for countertop. Our kitchen is a working kitchen. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with maintenance of a stone countertop and I was worried about how my brood would treat a more sensitive material. We stuck with laminate.
We debated and debated about replacing the floor. We are notoriously hard on flooring. I decided to save the money and replace it in a decade or two when there aren't as many people in the house to tear it up. I never have liked this tile but it is durable. I just needed to find colors that would go with it.
We called Tom and told him we had it figured out. Then mom or dad called and said that Menard's was running a sale on countertops. We scrambled to get things ready for a visit to Menard's. Tom and his wife met me there and we were sorely disappointed. They couldn't do what we need to do at the sale prices. We just bit the bullet and had the countertops made the way we needed them (no seams in the corners) at the kitchen shop we had been using all along.
I had to go to Sherwin Williams and get color samples for the color of the cupboards. I did the same thing I did for the laminate--dealt them out on the floor and sorted through the ones that didn't work and then picked the one that looked best.
Tom moved my sink and put in the prep sink where the old big sink was. The new double basin sink was placed under the new windows. DH and I made the home improvement store runs, Home Depot for faucets and garbage disposal, Lowe's for ceiling fans and track lighting, Menards for the new cupboards and backsplash materials. I always forget how much time the shopping takes up when doing these projects.
I started painting the faces of the cupboards. Three coats, all sanded or steel wooled in between coats. I waited for good weather for the doors and drawer fronts. There are 51 and I just didn't have the space inside for them to dry. I worked on the deck for painting the doors and drawer fronts. One night with impending rain we had to move them in to the living room. They took up almost the whole room but we double stack them on the little kid chairs and 2x4s. The last coat I was racing against the wind and the fact that my Hartford pear tree is going to start shedding its blossoms any moment.
Backsplash choices took a long time. I really knew what I wanted but there is just now way it was going to fit into the budget. The backsplash needed to go with the floor and the laminate. I ended up choosing a pink marble. Then I learned how to cut marble with a wet saw and mastic it to the wall. Yes, I did the backsplash all myself. Tom was impressed. He told me I have better tile cutting skills than other men he works with. So, I could have a new profession!
Knob choosing took the longest of the whole process. Who knew the man would be so picking about a knob? "No, not that one. This one feels flimsy. Isn't stuff going to get caught in it? I don't like this color. This one is assymetrical. It looks like a blob. No, I don't like assymetrical." and more. :eyeroll:
#2 putting on the tip out drawer fronts
our bulletin board magnetic system. It is just 4 magnetic knife holders from Ikea. I chose this because anything metal could hold the papers up. Magnets have a way of disappearing in a homeschool household.
Finally a home for the toasters, egg cookers and waffle irons.
10 plugs underneath the bar. This stopped #3 in his tracks. It was so funny. #3 was walking into the kitchen from the living room, saw them, stopped walking, did a triple take and then said, "Whoa. THAT is aLOT of plugs."
Two dishwashers, two sinks, two ovens (the range has a large oven and a small oven and the mircowave can bake also), enough countertop for the whole family to make runzas together, 3 1/2 gallon buckets with gamma seals for dry goods,prep area and clean up area separated. Whew.
See who made us a cake? Dumpcake!
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