Kitchen Remodeling – Heaven or “The Other Place”

Kitchen remodeling is one of the biggest jobs you will do while redoing a house. It is the one place where everything, and I mean everything, can and generally will be replaced and reworked.

When we did our kitchen (see home page), we planned on being ‘out’ of the kitchen for 4-6 weeks; it took 4 months. We had plastic sheets hanging from doorways to keep the dust from taking over other areas of the house. It truly was a mess. We cooked on an electric skillet, a hot plate and the microwave (for reheating things).

The coffee maker was in our bathroom. (Actually, we liked this so much that when we re-did the bathroom, we had space designed just for the coffee maker and supplies plus a small under counter refrigerator. This is definitely another story; check it at Designer Bathroom.) We washed dishes in one of the bathroom sinks. The front bathroom became the odd kitchen sink area – not a pretty picture and certainly not for the length of time it took.

In the meanwhile, the kitchen was slowly taking shape. Everything was torn out and into the dumpster. Once we had decided on the functionality and the movement patterns, we went to work with a passion.

The basic framing of the cabinets was made and set up. We had decided that everything would be in the floor cabinets – no wall hanging cabinets at all. The one exception was one large wall cabinet that had been a coat closet. That was divided into two sections. The upper one was shelving for dishes, crystal as well as everyday glass ware and large serving pieces, with the lower section divided into more large drawers for the linens you need to feel civilized. Two drawers were designed with felt lining for silver pieces. Since this had been a closet, the cabinet was flush to the wall. You cannot imagine how well this worked. The interior design of the kitchen was becoming refined in fact and in deed. Since the kitchen was open and without walls, serving was going to be a delight and cooking was a joy.

Anyway, once the cabinet frames were constructed, they were set in place and we placed the long folding tables on top of them so we could live with the placement for a few days before the frames were attached. We did this to check the flow and feel of what we had planned. It would not do if the grand plan of space did not work as a room. It was hard to pretend some of it – as there was no stove or sink. So without a function model kitchen, we worked the space anyway. We used boxes to represent the stove, extra ovens as well as the sink and dishwasher. The kids thought it was great fun.

As I said, the kitchen remodeling was long, hard and dirty but I would do again in a minute. The rewards were greater than any of the difficulties we went through.

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