Monday, September 28, 2009

Before and After

I've mentioned renovations quite a few times here on MLM, but I'm not sure I've ever really given an idea of just how much we did. It was a three-phase operation: Phase 1 was our master bathroom, Phase 2 was our floors, and Phase 3 (most relevant to this forum) was the kitchen.

Phase 1 went very well. There were a few very minor bumps in the road, each easily solved and none of which put us more than a day or two behind schedule. We took the bathroom down to studs and slab and started over, everything new except the toilet. It turned out fabulously, with a larger shower, deeper soaking tub, feature wall of stone, more cabinetry, and small layout changes that made a world of difference.

Phase 2 involved more work, both on our part and the part of the workers. Hubband and I packed all of our things, and moved every piece of furniture out of the first floor. The garage was full of our furniture, the bedrooms upstairs were stuffed with boxes; there was even a bookcase on the front porch. He and I moved into a guest bedroom at Mom's for about a week and a half (Thanks Mom!) while the workers came in and chiseled up the wood floor. (Yes, chiseled. It was glued down.) They had the old floor up in 3 days, and laid the new floor in just 2 days. We spent the next few days cleaning the house with the help of some wonderful neighbors and setting things to rights again before we could move back in.

Phase 3, the kitchen. The phase that involved the most planning and the most thought. The phase with the most bumps in the road! There was some confusion over cabinetry pieces, a few minor things that were fairly easily fixed. The biggest issue was the range. To make a long story short, after much research and thought, we settled on a very particular model, which we were assured was in stock. The night before we were scheduled to take delivery, we received a call telling us that there had been a mistake, the range was not in stock. It was, in fact, back-ordered. It would be two more weeks before we got it. Then, a few days before that delivery, Hubband called to double-check. Oops, the company rep said two weeks? He meant four. Hubband demanded that we be provided with a loaner range in the meantime, which eventually we were. They ended up pulling something close to what we ordered out of their showroom. It was very disappointing, but I've found myself curiously at peace with it. I spent a lot of time cooking with my Mom, and I've gotten to challenge myself by figuring out ways to make meals with a wall oven, a microwave, and a single gas burner that's outside, attached to the grill. Now that we have the loaner stove, I'm playing with that a bit, and discovering that there is definitely going to be a learning curve. Before we get into that, though, how about a before and after photo?

Note the nice color, but plain style of cabinets, backsplash made of various shades of tan porcelain tile, and icky shades of beige countertop.

All new cabinetry (the old was recycled, given to a friend to redo their kitchen. Countertops were recycled as well.) including a large hearth/mantel style hidden hood. The backsplash is a continuation of the countertop, natural stone. We moved the refrigerator, placing it next to the existing full-size wine refrigerator and placing a microwave, wall oven, and hidden warming drawer where the fridge used to be. The range has increased in size from 30" to 36", from four burners to six. We installed an LP tank and gas line. In the 'Before' photo you can see the extent of the island; it ended at the pillar on the left. In the new kitchen, we've added more cabinetry there and extended that end to create an integrated eating area, as well as a very large workspace. I love that now when we entertain, guests will be able to sit at that eating area and talk to me while I cook, but not have to worry that they are in my way. I think we've added a lot of character to what was a very bland and standard kitchen. I love it.

The first thing that I made with the loaner stove had to be pasta, because I was finally capable of boiling a whole pot of water in a reasonable amount of time! Bacon, caramelized onions, butternut squash, with a splash of white wine, fresh thyme, some chicken stock, and a pinch of cayenne.


Starfish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Starfish said...

MMMMM Your pasta looks great! And so does your kitchen!! It's beautiful!!