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Kitchen Remodel

Right before Thanksgiving and Christmas is probably not the best time to start a remodel on your kitchen, but we did. We'd been saving money for what seems like forever. Jen had been considering various design options again for what seemed like forever. We joined Angie's list to find a contractor but ended up going with a contractor who has been working our neighborhood for the last few years. ( I have to check with him before posting his company name. ) Our kitchen was cold, didn't have enough  storage, didn't flow very well, and was ugly! We wanted to update the look, fix some of the obvious design flaws (dead space in the corner, a misplaced dishwasher), and make the space more usable.
Before Remodel

After Remodel (though still incomplete)
The cabinets, short 30 inchers topped with a soffit, were circa 1980. The particle board shelves were warped and broken on some, and  the laminate was pealing in places. Not in obvious places perhaps, but when you know where to look you see those little things all the time. The dishwasher and stove were not old, but they were not the appliances we wanted either. The stove was a 24inch Hotpoint, and the dishwasher, although a pricey, high end model, left crumbs on the dishes and continued to break. I had replaced the control panel once and door latch was about to go out...again. The floor was some type of faux hardwood which had seen better days. So, we decided this year to get a new kitchen for Christmas!

We had the kitchen completely demolished. Every wall was brought down to bare studs. As an added bonus, the drywall was removed from the dining area so that it could be insulated while everything else was torn up. The kitchen was just brick and drywall, which made for cold winter mornings! Once the ceiling was taken down, we realized that we could raise the ceiling, which was only about 7.5 feet high and always left us feeling claustrophobic.  Because our kitchen is at ground level, the ceiling was a dropped-ceiling to allow the routing of electric, gas, and water lines. By routing the lines through the ceiling joists instead of under them, we were able to raise the ceiling by 4 inches. That plus removing the soffits gave us the added height allowed for 39" cabinets. Mind you, the cabinets had already been delivered, so we had to return all of the top cabinets and order new ones. We ordered frameless cabinets from Ikea to give us just that much more storage space. They aren't solid wood, but they have a 25-year warranty and come with soft close drawers and doors. We splurged on the wood grain style to avoid the plastic look of white laminate.  

We added a double bowl sink and a faucet with a retracting sprayer on the handle--our contractor thought they cost twice what we paid for them. The sink came from and the faucet from Faucets I think. We splurged on a stainless steel KitchenAid range with 5 burners and a double oven, and a panel ready Kenmore dishwasher that blends in with the rest of the cabinets. The old floor was removed, and new Tiger Strand bamboo was installed. We put a cork underlayment underneath the  flooring to protect our toes from the concrete slab below, and we replaced two of the three windows in the room. Now the kitchen is the toastiest room in the house!

As an added bonus, when we put everything back in the kitchen, we spent some time thinking about where we use things in the kitchen. Just reorganizing and having space for everything has made the space work much more efficiently. Even though we weren't able to change the footprint of the space, we don't have to dance around each other anymore. I don't have to unload the dishwasher onto the counter, close the door, and then put everything away anymore. Plus we have the most organized flatware drawer ever! Its fabulous!

 So far, we're loving the new kitchen. Hopefully, there will be more posting about food now that this project is getting closer to completion. Of course, it might be interesting to write about our cooking adventures during the remodel... in the living room on a single hot plate and cuisine art pressure cooker.

The best part of the kitchen remodel is Jen and I are cooking together again... at the same time and really enjoying it.

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