09 July 2009

Histoire de la Maison

It occurred to me that I've been Tweeting about my kitchen remodel, and some of you don't know anything about my house. Since we're about to tear into the old cucina, I'll start there.

Our house was built in the early '50s, when apparently all one needed in a kitchen was a giant stove and about six inches of counter space. Delicious avocado-green lino tiles were the flooring choice of the day. Oh, and the cabinets? They've got fixed shelves that prevent me from storing anything taller than a salt shaker.

When we first moved in, the far wall was half windows, the floor was half carpet and half linoleum, and the walls were covered in hideous, nicotine-coated paper. Two tiny overhead fixtures and one ghetto-tastic under-cabinet fluorescent strip were the only sources of illumination. Your basic nightmare:

Wall color: NICOTINE

That thing lurking next to the microwave cart? Yeah, that's a boiler.

Fake fruit, a birdhouse, and a china cabinet made entirely of particle board.

We couldn't afford to gut and redo the kitchen at the time, so we settled for some minor changes. We closed in the huge, nonsensical doorway to the dining room, added a sliding glass door to replace the bank of single-pane aluminum-frame windows, and swapped out the appliances. The hideous wallpaper got covered with plain white paint, and I scrubbed the tar and nicotine stains off of every surface I could. A vinyl remnant went down where the carpet used to be. 

It was a big improvement; we were making the best of what we had. And it really didn't bother me to be without broad expanses of counter space, a dishwasher, or functional cabinets. That is, until I had to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Dinner for six, cooked in the tiniest, most poorly laid-out kitchen I've ever worked in. And that year (2007), the far wall still had exposed studs and insulation hanging out over the stove. Everyone likes a little fiberglass in their stuffing, right?

Anyway, we've made do for as long as possible. But now, it's got to be done. I'm home to cook dinner five nights a week, and I can't work in this old, stinky, Formica-coated U anymore. I thought we'd be stuck for another couple of years because of financial constraints, but lo and behold! My fantastic mom and mom-in-law have offered up the funds needed.

We're going to use Ikea cabinets, mostly because they're inexpensive (everything we need for under $2000) but also because they're nice looking and well-made. The countertops will be LG HiMacs solid surface, and the same flooring we used in the rest of the house (Armstrong laminate in "Tiger Maple") will continue into the kitchen. Here's the plan:

An Ikea Dream, in greyscale

I can't put into words how grateful I am for my two moms and their generosity. And how lucky am I to have a hubs who's going to tackle 90% of this work on his own, while working full time AND finishing up his MBA? Yep, pretty darn lucky.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, That's freakn' amazing! I'm so happy for you, Jenny! I get so excited about DIY projects, especially kitchen re-dos. Ikea is awesome too.

    What color scheme are you going for? Are you going to make it modern like the rest of your house? Check out etsy.com for neat "extras" for your kitchen. :)