Monday, November 13, 2006

The Evolution of a Kitchen

One more day! One more day and my kitchen is FINISHED!

For those of you who may not know (Welcome, NaBloPoMo Readers!!), my family and I have been living through a massive addition to our home. The work started in May of 2005 and isn't quite done yet, though we're definitely making measurable progress.

We added on a family room, a combination dining room and library, a master suite upstairs with a full bath, and extended the kitchen by six feet. Truly, People: we essentially doubled the size of our house.

Now, as I've already stated, the work isn't quite finished yet. We've moved into the living room and dining room, we're putting up bookcases and have installed a new (huge and glorious) dining room table, and my husband has been, bit by bit, putting the kitchen together. There is no progress whatsoever on the upstairs and, really, I don't care at this point. What I REALLY want is a finished kitchen. We're all still cozy and warm in our own bedrooms: I can close the door on the new rooms and never notice they're there. No, what has really bothered me - pushed me damned near the proverbial edge, in fact - is that my kitchen has been in one state of upheaval or another for more than a year. Don't believe me? Here's photographic proof.

The addition work began on May 31st of 2005. The kitchen extension was built outside of the existing kitchen, so we got to live a relatively normal culinary life until about August, when the breakthrough was executed.

Here's me, on August ninth, taking stuff out of the cabinets. Even though we still had a working stove past this point, all the food was scattered around the house in boxes and bins. Don't even ask me where the pots and pans were...

Not long after, the kitchen was essentially inaccessible at varying points. Here, for example, is what I found when I came home from work on August 26th, after the drywallers had their way around my house. If I remember correctly, I cried from the time I walked in the door until my husband arrived home....

My husband disassembled the half wall on the ninth of October. He later kicked himself for doing this because, almost six months later, he was busy rebuilding the wall in essentially the same damned place the old one lived.

We sort of limped around with mostly-instant food and a few key recipes cooked on a two-burner, Wal-Mart hot plate until my husband and his twin took the rest of the kitchen apart in anticipation of the new floor being installed. This was December 21st.

They reinstalled the sink and dishwasher after the floor was put down. Even without a stove, I was surprised by how much I actually used the sink. This is January 3rd.

The now mostly-famous trip to IKEA to get the cabinets happened January 17th, two days after my birthday. I was beside myself with anticipation.

The first cabinet was installed by my beloved husband on the 23rd of January.

By the 28th of February, the cabinet installation was well on its way. Notice that the sink is gone again? It was un-installed and re-installed no fewer than four times in the process.

Then there was a long stretch of not-much-happening. The oven, the stove, and a vent that we later discovered we couldn't use (UGH!) were delivered on the 27th of June.

On August 28th, the countertops were installed. Here's before.....

...and here's after.....

I'm not sure why, but I don't have a photograph of the oven installation - I can't begin to tell you why, because I've been obsessively taking pictures of every little step - but the stove was put in on the fourth of August.

Husband made some great progress on the last little bits this weekend. He finished putting the toe-kicks on the bottom of the cabinets at my insistence...
...we'd thought that we could do without them, but every single freaking time I dropped something, it would hit the floor and roll all the way under the damned cabinets. Ugh.

He also bought and installed the new microwave!

I don't use a microwave very often; it's mostly for reheating Olive Garden leftovers and melting frozen veggies. I DO use it, though, and isn't this a pretty one? Oh, and I found out this evening that thirty seconds on power level three brings a stick of fridge-cold butter to perfect cookie-making softness.

The only thing left to do, really, is to replace the door that we brought back to IKEA because it was defective. Guess what *I'M* doing tomorrow?

There are a few other picky little things - Husband wants to frame the microwave with molding and there are two ceiling speakers that have to be installed, but those are just gravy. As far as I'm concerned? The kitchen is DONE!!


Blogger Kizz said...

What will you and the H do to celebrate this HUGE accomplishment in the process?

11:26 AM  
Blogger The Grammar Snob said...

Done and BEAUTIFUL!!! I'll be consulting you when we start building next year (I need to get you THAT story...have ew come far enough in our blog friendship to exchange emails??!! Am I moving too fast?!?!

3:23 PM  
Blogger meno said...

It really looks great. Maybe i'll go clean up my kitchen.....Naw!

4:30 PM  
Anonymous ESY said...

WOW! That is a lot of work. I thought having our kitchen unsable for 2.5 weeks when we put the tile in was bad. very impressive! Looks awesome!

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Weed Woman said...

It is so fantastic! I am so pleased for you that your house is once again feeling like a home. Although you were warned, as we all have been, it is shocking to live through the amount of work a remodel, especially a kitchen remodel, takes. I've told you the story about washing the dishes in the bathtub for months while we installed the kitchen cabinets in Deadwood. Home building and remodeling is NOT for the faint of heart! For those considering it, make sure your marriage and sanity are stong enough to weather the storm!

9:13 AM  

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