Monday, May 16, 2011

The Projects Never End!

I have shared several projects at this point and I hope I'm not boring everyone. I like sharing these projects in blog form. It is a great way to document what we are up to for my own benefit. One day when many of the projects are done or we sell the house, it will be fun to look back on what we did. Secondly, blogging about plans keeps me somewhat accountable for what we plan to do. It also is a great way for me to organize my own thoughts about what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and what is priority.

In that spirit, I want to back track and give some background on our kitchen.

When we moved into our house a little over two years ago, we completely redid the entire kitchen. It was very necessary because the old kitchen had horrible cabinets, no appliances, and disgusting walls. Nothing was worth keeping so thanks to my father in law and several other helpers, we completely gutted the kitchen. The walls were torn down, the floor pulled up, the ceiling cleared off. . . everything was taken. We reinsulated and re-ran the electrical system since we had access to the exterior walls. When we rebuilt, we put in new cabinets, counter tops, and floors. As far as the appliances go, we went very cheap free with them (all hand-me-downs) since they didn't quite fit in the budget, but they are all in good working order so that is good enough for now.

Let's check out a few pictures taken back in 2009 before and during our remodel.

This was the kitchen before we did anything to it. As you can see, it was a horrid yellow and had absolutely no updates since the day it was built some sixty years prior:
 The kitchen itself was split off from the mini dining room area by an archway. Only problem was, the fridge was not on the kitchen side of things:
There were NO appliances other than a very old stove that we found laid to rest in the basement. The fridge that was there was broken. Here where the stove should have gone, you can appreciate the lovely, glossy, grey tile that went so well (NOT) with the yellow walls:
 On the "dining room" side of the kitchen, there was an ancient intercom system. There were smaller receiver boxes throughout the house that we got to rip out too:
I think we can all now appreciate why everything had to be redone!

Now for some fun shots of the work in progress:
It was a ton of work, but so worth it. It is nice having a father in law that is a contractor; we can't thank him enough for all his efforts! We had several of our friends and family friends pitch in as well. Mike's uncle is an electrician so he helped rewire everything. Eight months pregnant ol' me got to come in on occasion to snap a few photos and pick out counter tops, it was pretty rough.

Within a few weeks we were getting much closer to having a usable kitchen:
Those are the closest pictures I have to "after" shots to share, but I will post some current photos soon.

Once all the big items were installed, the smaller details were much slower going. For example, I installed all the cabinet hardware I think a good year later. From the time this last set of photos were taken, all the trim work on the cabinets and windows were put in soon after. All the light fixtures, outlet covers, and light switches were put in too. Oh, and a microwave was put in above the stove.

As of now, here is a list of what still needs to be done in the kitchen:
  • Put in crown molding for the cabinets - We bought crown molding with the cabinets, but they have just been hanging out on top of the cabinets for a couple of years now without actually being installed.
  • Install valence over the sink - Same as crown molding
  • Put something on the naked wall of the "dining room" - More details later
  • Put in a backsplash - Hopefully sometime this summer with my mom's help
  • Window treatments - I'm thinking roman shades
  • New stove - Not a priority since the current one works great despite looking ancient, but it clashes with everything else in the room.
I'm sure that list will grow, but for now those are the bigger changes that need to happen in the kitchen. At this point, I just want the place to look finished for when we sell the place in a couple of years (hopefully). While I would love all brand new stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, we are saving the high end stuff for a more long term house.

Now that I have managed to actually get a few projects off the ground and finished recently, I am ready to tackle something new. Obviously the garden is still a work in progress and will be for the whole growing season, but the hard part of building it is done. So I started thinking of what is next on the good old to-do list. Hubby and I really want to get started on finishing the basement, but that will have to wait a while longer as we scrounge up some more time and money. . . that should be easy right?

For now I have to settle for a much smaller project and that is going to be one of the smaller kitchen projects. Stay tuned for details on that.

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