Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Sink is Now Back Online

I realize that this post is not going to be of interest to most people. Who really cares about the detail of a kitchen facelift. Well, my family apparently. And now that they are joining the blog world in droves, they are full of requests. "We want to see pictures. Post them on the blog." So this post is mainly for Sarah and Jen. (And Mom, don't waste your printer ink on a dozen silly pictures!)

Here goes.

Stuart moved to Smallville and went house shopping while I stayed in Chattanooga. He did not pick out the house that we live in for the kitchen. As a matter a fact, this blurry shot that Stuart took with his cell phone...

...was the only picture that he e-mailed to me of the kitchen, "because it's really horrible, Kate. You'll hate it." Now this kitchen did have some features that were not too impressive, mainly the cabinet that hung over the counter. I kind of had to do a little backbend when I worked in this space. But I was surprised by how efficient the setup was (Our last kitchen had three doorways in the workspace!) and it turned out that we did not need to rip everything out and start from the ground up.
It did (and still does) need a little work though to make it more functional. If you look past Faith and her math and the bread mixer and the chicken broth, you can see that the eating area is very narrow and there's a gaping hole between the fridge and the cupboard. Not to mention the lovely '80s decorating. And if you look under the math book, you can see the wood laminate countertops. They are pretty in some applications but they did nothing for the oak cupboards.

Here I am making spaghetti on the drafty Jenn Air cooktop. Every crumb and spill either fell into the burners or the vent. I stopped caring after a while. Notice that the cupboard over the counter is down here and the end cupboard needed a bit of finishing after that deconstruction.

Here the wall between the kitchen and the living room has been removed. Now there is breathing room around the table. Before we took the wall out, we used to sit around the table Last Supper style. The chain that is hanging next to the fridge held up a corner of a shelf for the microwave. A Rube Goldberg creation by Stuart. Cabinet makers will be installing a new cabinet in that gap shortly with a built in shelf for the microwave and the chain will go away.

Stuart wrestled the countertops out to the garbage late one evening just a few hours before he had to catch a plane for a business trip. I am slowly rubbing down the cupboards with steel wool, putting oil on them and replacing the hardware. Five doors down. Twenty-five to go.

We kept our old sink. It's huge! Stuart took a wire brush to it and restored it to brand new. The faucet retails for well over two hundred dollars and we got it for forty at a sidewalk clearance sale. Thank you, Jack at Homeware Acre for knowing that this little gem was stashed in the bargain bin and for digging it out for us. We never would have found it on our own.

Our kitchen has very little ventilation so Stuart was looking for maximum efficiency when it came to a the cooktop. This induction cooktop has all the temperature control that a gas cooktop has but none of the wasted heat. All of the heat is directed into the cookware. I love this thing! It's fun to cook on and easy to clean.

Here is where we stand at the moment. The countertop is a vast improvement over its predecessor. It's a foot wider at the bar area than the old one. Now the kids fight over who gets to eat there at each meal. The next things we need to work on are paint (Goodbye flowerpot border!), a backsplash, under cabinet lighting, and a floor. I'll post again for you, Jen in a few months with updates.


Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I have to say that it's not just your family interested in the pictures of the kitchen! It looks great...the sink looks incredible! I was thinking of you as I looked at all my mom's Little House pictures today, and thinking how far apart imagining doing dishes outside as a child and actually doing them outside are!

Glad to hear that you have your kitchen back...the improvements are wonderful. Having a space that you like makes all the cooking and cleaning more enjoyable somehow!


ocean mommy said...

KATE!!!! This already looks awesome!!! I LOVE the new countertops. :) And the faucet is incredible...what a deal you got there. :)

I can't wait to see what you do next!


much2ponder said...

What a warm and inviting kitchen. Being that the kitchen is probably the most important family gathering place in the entire house, I think it is fitting to post such things. I love what you and your husband have done. This is a kitchen where much love will be shared.

Julie said...

Love your kitchen, Kate

I loved what you wrote on the Fruit In Season blog.

It was beautiful.

Bless you,

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Wow! You guys have done a lot of work and it looks awesome!! I know you enjoy that countertop!

Sarah said...

Hey Kate, Your kitchen looks great. I love the counter tops. Thanks for the photos. We blew up the one with the flowerpot border to get a better look and all I can say it "Wow!" What were we thinking in the 80's?


Alyson said...

ooooh ahhhhhh love the new kitchen. great job!!

Mary@notbefore7 said...


I love to see room re-do's :) Loved this. You all have worked hard and it has paid off. That countertop is beautiful!

Alana said...

Looking good! I can already see the new backsplash and paint...it will look fabulous!

Mama JJ said...


Many thanks for the pics! You look like a kitchen goddess in the photo. For real!