Archive for October 2011

the kitchen: part 3, the island?

as we've thought about our kitchen renovation for the last 2 years, we've kept coming back to a few "needs" that have remained unchanged. we would like more countertop space and more functional storage. and i have always thought it would be nice to have a place for people to sit in the kitchen.

i have our house plan in cad and in sketchup, and have been working on a new layout on and off since we bought the house. a few of the designs included a kitchen island. since we have lived with the open kitchen for so long, we weren't sure how we'd like having an island in the middle of the space. a few months ago, i took the ikea butcher block top that we had on the top of our old media cabinet, sanded it down, and spent less than $10 at the hardware store on some 2x2s to make a base. it's not pretty, but i just wanted something that i could put in the center of the kitchen for us to try out.
it's been a couple of months now, and the conclusion? i love have the extra countertop space. it's a little tight, but still workable.
i didn't realize how messy the kitchen was when i took these photos! woops. oh-well, just keeping it real...

hope everyone is having a nice weekend!


the kitchen: part 2

now that you know what we're starting with, i'll move on to the why.

i'll admit, after typing up that last post and showing the before/now photos of the kitchen, i realized that you may be wondering why we're planning on doing a full gut reno. the last photo doesn't look all that bad... but the kitchen looks way better in the photo than it does in real life. i promise.

also, at some point recently, i decided that i actually like to cook and bake. i'm not saying i'm good at it, but i've found that i really enjoy looking up recipes, chopping vegetables, and preparing meals. mike and i tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so it would be nice to have one that is more functional. and prettier :-)

this is our current cabinet situation. while we do have a decent number of cabinets, the layout makes it difficult to organize. because of the corner sink cabinet i cannot reach anything in the last wall cabinet. there is not enough space for pantry items, cooking oils, baking things... we use our basement for overflow kitchen storage. we do not have much counter space, and the counter is stained and chipped, it never looks clean.

as for the actual cabinets - they are falling apart. paint really helped to make them look fresh, but the cabinets were probably a low quality cabinet when they were new... 30+ years ago. the shelves are all warped, some so badly that we can no longer use the shelf. the sink cabinet and the cabinet by the dishwasher have started to deteriorate from moisture. the end panel beside the dishwasher has to be pushed back in to place often or else the countertop starts to fall.

and the appliances - the only thing that works well is the dishwasher, which is the one appliance we replaced when we moved in. i'm honestly surprised that the fridge still keeps things cold, although the ice maker quit a while ago. the stove top only has one temperature - high.

so we are planning on replacing almost everything. we've been thinking about this for a long time and hopefully we will be able to start the process soon. before we made the final decision to replace so many things (and therefore spend the money needed for this type of project), we did discuss our ideas with a local realtor. we are not planning to sell this house right now, but we try to approach every project with re-sale in mind. we have a number in mind for the overall cost, and hopefully, if we can stick to that number (or even better, below that number!) we will be able to get a good portion of the cost back when we do sell. and in the meantime, we'll get to enjoy using the renovated space!



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