Friday, June 29, 2012

Kitchen Renovation, Part 1

When Gracie and I returned home from our trip to California a month ago, this is what I found:

Yep, a construction danger zone with everything that used to be in my pantry piled up on my dining room table.  You can't even see my computer in the corner!  To be fair, Robert warned me that the house was a mess.  Also to be fair, he cleared most all of the stuff off in pretty short order.

As a point of reference, here is a picture from last year:

The main changes were switching the fridge and pantry and opening up the counter that divides the kitchen and the dining room.

Here are a couple more pictures of how it looked that day:

Robert added that box to the top of the counter thinking it would add more storage.  The only downside is that it gives it a less open feel.  Robert's idea is (was? not sure if he still wants to) to built a second box next to the wall and putting a fish aquarium in the middle.  He has wanted an aquarium for at least as long as we've been married, but we've not had the room for it.

This is the pantry that was pulled out of its other location, cut down to not be so deep (It was so deep that things would get shoved to the back and never found until I reorganized everything.).  Robert also lowered the microwave shelf.  Before it was too high for me to feel safe or to want to clean it out often.

Here is the box looking from the kitchen.  Robert rerouted some wiring and added the plug in.  It will eventually have a plate and will look a lot better.

Next Stage of Renovation:

Robert continued working on it and this is what it looked like at the next stage:

 More shelves and some of the bottom is closed in.  He also added a beautiful tile picture of a pheasant.  He has had it since before we were married, intending to put it somewhere in the house.  It makes for a unique addition.

 More junk on the counter and the stove.

This is the gap between the fridge and the drawers under the counter.  I forgot to mention that in order to make the fridge fit, Robert had to remove part of the countertop, the trash can drawer, and the round cubbies that used to hold my rolling pin, saran wrap, and tin foil.  The gap turned out to be a good thing, because my stepstool fits in there perfectly!  Before, I kept it in my bedroom (so that I could reach the top shelf of my closet), but this is ever so much better!  I also like that it's not so obvious to Gracie that it's there.  She has not tried to remove it.

Here is my mostly-redone pantry.  It has been painted, the microwave has been lowered, rolling wire shelves have been added, and there is a new home for the trash can drawer.  Eventually, Robert will add an adjustable shelf above the microwave so that I can have a place to put my saran wrap, tin foil, and wax paper (etc.).  I asked for it to be adjustable (up and down) for whenever we need to get a new microwave, so that we can make the shelf fit right over it no matter what size the microwave is.  I also want another shelf or something over the trash can drawer.

Current Stage of Renovation:

Robert added facings to the shelves and put on an initial coat of white paint.  The water cooler will eventually be moved to the opposite corner of the room diagonally, basically behind where I'm standing to take this picture.

 You can see the new arrangement.  Eventually, we'll fix up that area above the fridge so that it doesn't look too different from the shelf above the cabinets.

Another view.  We added a fifth rolling wire basket.  I've organized most of them (that's for another post).  I don't like having all the junk on top of the appliances and pantry, but I don't have any other places for them at the moment.

The counters are mostly clear.  The little cubby to the left of the plugin holds my straw container and my Chlorox wipes.  The larger cubby will continue to hold the knife set, but I will undoubtedly move that little crockpot to another location.  Eventually all that stuff piled on top will be gone, and I will only have an iPod boombox (or whatever you call it, I know that's the 80's term!) on top and maybe a knickknack or candle.

I had hoped that Robert would get to work on the kitchen some more today (6/16/12), but he had another project that needed tending to immediately.  We have a sinkhole in the back corner of our backyard.  It erodes away as it rains, and Robert has put untold amounts of dirt and concrete to fill it up.  Part of the problem is that we can't grow grass in the backyard because of the dogs.  They are so active that they prevent grass from growing and taking root.  He's working on a plan to prevent it from happening if not slow it way down.  Anyway, when he was cutting the yard, he misjudged his distance and backed up into the hole, falling in and landing in the hole which was as high as his waist!  So, he had to get that filled in today.

Once the new counter is all fixed up (Robert wants to add {plexi-}glass doors to the fronts of the shelves) and everything else in the kitchen is done, the next phase is to convert the utility closet into a pantry/storage area.  Most of my nonperishable food items are currently sitting in the garage.  They WERE on the dining room table, but I had enough of that and moved them.  I also have several other boxes of kitchen stuff that are in the garage loft and stuff in the shed out back.  I would like to have easy access to all of it which is why we need the extra storage space.

The utility closet is located on the other side of the dining room wall and is only accessible from the garage.  It's a rather narrow room, about 32", so it presents a little bit of a layout challenge, but I believe I have figured out how to maximize the space.  I'm very excited about that particular project.  Hopefully, it won't be too long before I can share more updates with you.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! It looks great! I can't wait to see the finished product. It helps that I was in your kitchen to know how it used to look and how it's set up. Robert's had to work really hard, I know he's proud! :)