Friday, August 1, 2008

kitchen remodeling...NOT for the faint of heart

Over the last several months (yes I said months) I have been remodeling my kitchen. It started out innocently enough. We were going to just remove some upper cabinets that cut off the kitchen from the den. Little did we know that the upper cabinets were all that seperated the kitchen from the attic. The soffets that were above the cabinets had nothing above them but rafters. What a mess. SO...we fixed it. The plan was to just re-hang the cabinets in another location along the wall in the dining room,which is right next to the kitchen. Those cabinets, however were such crap, I didn't think them reusable. After much discussion, it was determined that I would build new ones. Of course, I had to build new wall cabinets and base cabinets. We ended up tearing the whole kitchen out (in phases) to the studs and starting from scratch. It ended up being a whole hell of a lot more than first thought. For some reason I didn't think to get pictures of the kitchen before we started, which I regret a lot. But I have pictures of the kitchen as it is today.

This is a view coming in from the garage and entryway (otherwise known as the mudroom) The first thing you notice is the lack of cabinet doors. That's because I haven't made them yet. That will be the last step and will be very time consuming. A couple items of interest in this shot, the doorway on the left was enlarged and re-trimmed, and the window over the sink was removed and trimmed out for an opening into what is to someday be the dining room. Notice the coffee pot under the glass cabinet? Yes, it's built in. Water is plumbed to it and I just have to put coffee in it and push a button. I LIKE it. Plus it doesn't take up any counter space. Sweet thing wanted granite counter tops. However the $4500 price tag very quickly changed her mind. So we looked at a lot of different counter tops and she settled on theis 24"x24" travertine tile. She didn't want any grout lines, so I butted the tiles together and sealed them. The cabinets are about 25" wide so we had to do something to fill the extra space. That's where the small dark strip came from. The result was a look that she is very happy with. Not granite, but nice nevertheless.

This is another shot taken from the same spot, looking toward the dining room. At the far end
are 2 pantries that provide HUGE storage space.

Here is the other side of the kitchen. The upper cabinets were all made a little different from standard cabinets. Standard is 12" deep. For a little more storage room, I made them all 14" deep. Doesn't sound like much, but it makes a big difference. Instead of glasses 3 deep, they can be stored 4 deep. At the far end you'll notice a cabinet that's a different color. That is a mobile island that is still under construction. It hasn't been stained yet. The cabinets were all painted the same. A coat of primer, a coat of paint, a coat of wipe on stain and 2 coats of polyurethane. The mobile island is on wheels and has a drop leaf cutting board on the left end. The tile work on the wall was a challenge also. I have done tile work before, but never so extensive.

Here is a closer look at the pantries at the far end. The one on the left has the shelves in the front that are mounted on piano hinges and swing out to allow access to more shelves in the back. The one on the right just has shelves. Both of these are 30" wide, 24" deep and 8 feet tall. Between the pantries is a desk for a space filler and also to have a place to do undesirable things like write checks to pay the bills and stuff. A little later a charging station for phones and stuff will be built in.

Here is an older shot right after installation of how the pantry opens to allow access to the back shelves. I saw this on a cabinet at the store and figured I could duplicate it. Makes for a lot of storage in a small area.

This shot is looking from the dining room. Notice the cabinet on the right side of the dishwasher.

The small storage shelves pull out and swing out of the way to allow access to the drawers built into an otherwise almost unuseable space. Still needs a little tweaking, but it works great. I also saw this in a cabinet at the store and figured I could build it too.

This is a shot looking down the full length of the kitchen showing all of it. This has been a major undertaking and turned out to be a whole lot more work than expected. But that's what happens when you remodel a kitchen as old as this one. It probably hasn't ever been done and this house is 35 years old. The floor is natural bamboo. That stuff is so hard it is almost impossible to scratch. I tried. The lessons learned on this project are too many to try to list, but they were well learned. Overall, this has been very rewarding and we think a very good job.

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