We’re one week into our kitchen renovation. I haven’t shared about it earlier because I have to process things before I share them. Last year I went through a traumatic renovation that I still haven’t shared about because I’m still processing it (I’m almost ready to share about it). I was hesitant to tell you about this reno until I saw how it was going. Great news – it’s going really well (knock wood)! Let me show you what’s happened this past week.
This is what our kitchen looked when we had a home inspection done. I joke that if Darth Vader had designed a kitchen in the 90’s, this would be it. Let me start by saying, that I realize that this is a wonderful kitchen in many, many ways and I’m thankful for that. But it just isn’t us. Since we may (or may not, thanks to the military) be in this house for a while, we wanted to make it work for our family.
What I liked about the kitchen:
Lots of storage – we had plenty of cabinets and a pantry closet.
Good amount of light – coming in from the right side of the picture. There’s a glass door and two windows just to the right of the hanging light.
Good traffic pattern – the layout worked well most of the time for a busy family of 5 (plus a nosey dog).
Half of the appliances were newer – and quite nice. The previous owners had purchased higher end appliances that I’ve appreciated.
What I didn’t like about the kitchen:
The cabinets – that pronounced wood grain irritated me every time I walked into the kitchen. I like very sleek and simple designs. The curve on the door fronts combined with the pronounced wood grain was Chuck E. Cheese visual over-stimulation for me.
The black granite countertop – was just too dark and depressing. As we’ve selected a new countertop, I’ve come to realize that really it was the black backsplash that depressed me more than the countertop. It was just too…. Darth Vader-ish for me. Plus, it reflected everything. I’m a streamlined, simple girl and all that visual over-stimulation irritated me.
The door into the laundry room – opened into the kitchen and covered a fifth of my counter space. Every time I had to get into the cabinet to the left of that door, I worried that I’d get knocked out if someone came barreling through the door (yes, my family is like the 3 Stooges sometimes).
The cooktop in the island – left me with no counter space on the island. I think this must have been a trend in the 90’s because most of the houses in our neighborhood have the same set up. It can work well in a large island (or on a cooking show), but it was a daily headache in our home. There was barely room to even make a sandwich on it. That meant that items, like the plastic bread bag, were placed on the grates of the cooktop. (I know you see what’s coming.) Which means that some of those items have melted onto the cooktop grates when persons (not me, but it was probably just a matter of time until I did it, too) didn’t realize the grates were still warm. The whole set up just felt unsafe and didn’t work for our family.
Since we’d had an unpleasant experience last year with our basement renovation, we made sure that we found someone we felt comfortable with (more on that in the future). So far, it’s been a great experience with our new contractor. My kitchen looked like this two days ago. They’re moving along so quickly that I’m not keeping up well with photographing it.
And this is what my temporary kitchen looks like. Maybe because we’ve moved as a military family so many times, we don’t mind camping out like this. Each one of my family has told me separately that they’re enjoying our camping out kitchen. We all spend more time hanging out here together and there’s less stress because there’s less stuff to take care of in the kitchen right now.
Have you gone through a kitchen renovation? What tips do you have for me?
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.