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A Lesson In Patience



We all know infertility is the ultimate lesson in patience.

You know what is a close second? Remodeling a kitchen.

Yeesh this is a lot of work! It seems every weekend and some evenings are consumed with kitchen work. HGTV severely distorts the amount of time it takes one couple working full-time to complete a major home improvement project!

Despite the long hours and slow progress, our kitchen is finally starting to take shape. Mind you, there is still a ton of work to do but we are making progress. I thought I would share some mid-point photos with you all. In order to truly appreciate the work we have done, though, you have to see some photos from how it looked in January 2010. Pretty much my kitchen looked like the Primary Color Fairy shit all over the place. Red, yellow and blue… what’s a simplistic gal to do?

First, though, how about some lessons learned:

  •  Remodeling a kitchen is a lesson in patience.
  • Ikea cabinets are awesome. They are easy to build, super easy to install and look really good considering their price.
  • Spend the extra money on the automatic door and drawer closing mechanisms at Ikea. They are amazing and make for great dinner party conversation. (Ha! We are THOSE people!)
  • Wiring is never a “quick project.”
  • The Borescope we bought to locate the mystery “stink stink stink” is an amazing tool when trying to run new wiring. Buy one immediately if you are remodeling your kitchen.
  • The Borescope is also a hilariously fun thing to use to gross out your significant other (think up the nose…)
  • Don’t buy the paint/primer combo. It sucks. Spend the extra time and prime with Kilz and then paint with regular paint (Olympic is my favorite brand and believe me, I know after painting almost the entire house).
  • Invest in good paint brushes.
  • Prepare to have the contents of your kitchen strewn about the rest of your house for weeks.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to make coffee using water from the tub faucet when your kitchen sink is out-of-order. (All our house guests are now going, “Oh crap! Did they make coffee for me with tub water??? GAH!)
And now for some before photos. These were taken in January 2010 so some improvements had already been made, but not many.

We will call this Wall 1 of the kitchen. On Wall 1 we have our sink, several cabinets, one super crappy dishwasher (that was replaced this year), a “home-made” glass cabinet and a terribly rickety butcher block that held the microwave. There were several times this collapsed on me and had to be carefully reassembled. You can also see the frightening collection of knives on the wall that makes us look like we have a problem. A scary, potentially bloody problem. I am pleased to report that most of these have found a new home (Goodwill) and the remaining few live in a drawer… like normal people.

Wall 2: Door out to the sun room (which was being remodeled in Jan. 2010!), old tiny fridge with way too much clutter on it (minimalist Belle cringes) and a framed box front from Scott’s Porridge Oats. Bad. Ass.

Now we get to the real horror: Wall 3, also known as “That Freakin’ Wire Rack Wall!” It held all kinds of crap. I’m pleased to say that a large amount of this junk has been sold on e-bay.

Wall 4: My personal favorite – the huffing, puffing, stove of doom. I’m still amazed it did not blow us all up. It was also huge. And no longer white. And ugly. Also noteworthy is the shelf of crap, the over-powering fluorescent light, and all the utensils hanging from the wall. Too. Much. Clutter. (Fun Game: Can you spot all the cats in these photos?)

Now some during photos:

Wall 1: After a lot of yanking and swearing Mr. Husband finally got this cabinet out. Behind it we could see the array of colors the kitchen had been before it turned into Primary Color Central. Mmmmm, harvest gold and hunter green.

The Wire Rack has new purpose: to hold the ridiculous number of tools we needed for this project. Also, the new fridge is all happy and wrapped up in preparation for The Paint.

Behind the cabinets on Wall 4 we found some delicious (sarcasm) and super clean (sarcasm) old wallpaper. Also, meet my new stove!

I steamed off the old wallpaper which revealed the first cheerful thing about this kitchen (sarcasm) – mint green paint. I also spent a day patching the myriad of holes in the walls. My new stove had been wrapped up and I decided it needed a painters tape bow.

Our help. They were lazy and lounged the entire time.

And now this brings us up to present day. Please forgive the really low photo quality. Better photos will follow when more progress is made.

Here we are at wall No. 1 with the fabulous new upper cabinet. The rickety butcher block is gone and has been replaced by a temporary drawer unit. This unit will go away once the other bottom cabinets are replaced. Also, because I know you are dying to know but are too polite to ask: Yes, the tacky blue counter and red floor will be replaced! The sink is also sporting a snazzy new faucet. Ours died a slow and mysterious death (hence making coffee with tub water).

Sigh. This is my favorite view so far. The wire rack and small fridge are gone. Now we have a larger Fridge with a smooth front (I can’t stand how dirty the textured finishes get), low-profile cabinets that add storage while not taking up a lot of space and beautiful white shelves to hold my collection of dry goods. Swoon. So white, so pretty. The walls are painted a rich brown with gray tones. The color is hard to appreciate in this photo. Also noteworthy: the new toaster that toasts in record time and a wind-up rhino which you might not be able to see.

Wall 4 features new cabinets and a wall-mounted microwave with vent. The new stove sits next to a tall cabinet that holds utensils and bake ware. On the stove are the glorious new pots we purchased with our eBay earnings. The trashcan will eventually be relocated and a corner shelf will be installed to hold the Le Creuset. NOTE: the color of the wall through the door is like WAY distorted by my crappy camera. We DO NOT have pink walls.

Another new cabinet. The basement door will be replaced with a neat and tidy bi-fold door. The current door does not open all the way and has a hole cut out of the bottom by the previous owners. The lower cabinets on Wall 1 will be replaced soon and then new counters will be added to all the surfaces.

And finally, a swatch of our new kitchen drapery fabric. I’m still debating what kind of window treatment I’ll make. Any ideas? Oh, and you can see where I need to add a new piece of molding and finish painting the trim and wood paneling. Like I said, this is a work-in-progress!

And that’s it so far! I have been feeling a little blue about the infertility this week. Posting photos of how productive we have been while not trying to make a baby has made me feel a little better about things. At least our little house will be all spiffy if when baby arrives!



Post a comment
  1. September 27, 2011

    WOW! A LOT of hard work!!! Looking great!!

  2. Mo #
    September 27, 2011

    Wow! I am seriously in awe of you.
    Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  3. September 28, 2011

    wow, looking swish! I LOVE the colour of your pots on the stove 🙂

  4. September 28, 2011

    Thanks y’all! I will be sure to share photos when we are done. Crossing fingers that we finish it before 2012!

  5. Rachel @ Eggs In A Row #
    September 28, 2011

    OMG. I’m so impressed! I know for sure the man and I would kill each other if we were to attempt that! LOL.

  6. September 29, 2011

    looking good! can’t wait to see the finished product… don’t forget to post more pics 🙂

  7. October 1, 2011

    I never would have thought to choose that deep brown paint in a kitchen but it looks absolutely fantastic against the white cabinets.

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