Kitchen Renovation aka Lesson in Patience

  This kitchen renovation started a couple years ago with the striking realization that our kitchen isn't cutting it.  It looks adorable and I can fix a meal, work, but not very efficiently, effectively, or safely.  I slipped and fell in the pantry because I couldn't see what was on the floor while returning something to the room.  (Ok I'm a klutz but still.)  There are certain drawers that will fall out of the frame if you open them too far.  Basically it's old, tired, and worn out.  The last people who owned the house did a lot of questionable DIY.  Like cutting the supports for the staircase, plumbing the kitchen sink (it was bad), and not measuring finishings. So two years ago we started the kitchen reno by addressing these issues.  Several thousands of dollars later we have a more secure home, better functioning plumbing, none of which we can see of course.  The next part of the renovation was a little more fun. We could see, feel, and enjoy picking out the cabinets, finishes, and pieces parts in general.

         It was fun at first, but with a business, kinship care, and typical time constraints that go with life, it was a wee bit overwhelming.  I say a "wee bit" even though at times I really thought I might lose my mind.  We had three different quotes from three kitchen stores and met with three contractors.  All that research made our big hires much easier.  It took us two months to finalize the cabinet color.  Picking out black granite was not easy, it took three trips to two different granite wholesalers.  It took about three months to decide on four different paint colors.  But the ultimate difficult decision so far, cabinet pulls.  I looked at so many I don't even know what I like anymore.  I have two pinterest boards filled with sample kitchens and pulls.  I cry uncle.  It can wait.  I can chill.  I will be patient with the process.  
          When it started to become a tiresome labor I would put it away.  Renovating a kitchen, although stressful, is a luxury and project I want to enjoy.  It's a luxury many people will never be able to do.  I realize this.  I honor how fortunate I am to get to do this, how fortunate my family is.  Yes, we have worked like crazy, saved, had a pretty tight budget, and will continue to, but we are fortunate.  So in the scale of life I know this is kinda a funny thing to be stressed about, a true first world problem.  When I take it too seriously I remind myself of what a treat this is.
        The work started officially Monday.  Starting with some painting that we have put off, ripping up the carpet on the stairs, etc.  It looks like a creepy movie set at night.  In the day it looks like we just moved in, or like maybe we are debating becoming hoarders.  (No offense to any hoarders.)  This is where patience comes into play.  I have prepared myself for mess, for extreme inconvenience, for many days where there is no progress, for sitting in the space between. The space between is important.  It's the present.  In doing this I find myself enjoying sitting and listening to music, packing a box of dishes, and just being. 
           So for now my fireclay farmers sink sits in my basement.  I got a huge deal right after Christmas so it sits there.  It's my talisman.  I go and look at it and run my hand over it every few days.  It's the physical proof that at some point this will be done.  I'll be cooking, salving, and chatting in a working kitchen within a couple months.  

Here is Erick Garcia, our painter, who is doing an amazing job.  We decided now was the time to rip up the carpet and take the stairs back to the antique look.  They are a hot mess and probably haven't been painted in a hundred years.  The top step was a shelf (remember the questionable DIYers) and we are replacing it with a safe tread.  No wonder I sometimes tripped on the top step. Erick actually cares about the project and was excited to do the stairs, ripping up the carpet himself! Our downstairs is a semi-open floor plan.The kitchen runs off the open dining room and the parlor runs into both so we have to paint all of the downstairs up into the hall upstairs.  Which I'm glad about we didn't pick this color.  It's way to golden to suit me.  We picked out Benjamin Moore colors, Stone Hearth for the parlor and upstairs, and Indian River for the kitchen and dining room.  All the ceilings are White River, a neutral white with a hint of taupe and mint believe it or not. Here is the hot mess after the carpet is ripped out. 

Wow the look on my husband's face was a bit priceless.  I assured him it will be beautiful painted and some day a runner. No stealth mode!!!

Please note the top step below the carpet, that is a wood shelf.  Completely dangerous the tread is shorter than the others.  At least I now understand why I catch myself at the top of the stairs.


Kitchen and pantry plan from DB&S out of Norwell, Ma.  We knew when we walked in they "felt" like the best fit.  After quotes were in they really were.  Great quality and service.  













1 comment

  • This blog post is an absolute lifesaver! Our kitchen is screaming for a makeover, seriously. We’re in the midst of this big debate – should we go all out with a massive remodel, complete with a dumpster rental to tear out everything, cabinets and all, or opt for a more wallet-friendly approach? Your insights are going to be my go-to reference as we weigh our options!


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