As our contribution to the Slow Movement, M and I would like to include home renovations.
We are avid cooks and while our kitchen was functional (kind of), it didn’t really give us happy cooking vibes.
We starting three years ago, replacing the leaky dishwasher and the pet-unfriendly induction stove (which proved itself useless in a power-outage). Next we removed a couple of awkward cabinets, the hideous strip of wallpaper that encircled the kitchen like a moldy bathtub ring, and gave it all a good coat of paint.
Last year, we enlarged the window above the sink and created a peek-a-boo into the dining room.
This year, we tore out the rest of the cabinets, replaced them with shelves and replaced a very large fridge with a very small fridge. Although this last change met with some concern from friends and family, we couldn’t be happier with the smaller fridge. No more surprise science experiments hidden in the back, it’s super quiet and spiffy-looking; a winning combination in our books.
Last week we put in the new floor (a light, woodgrain engineered floor that is much nicer than the old blood colour of the previous floor), new baseboards and door trim and Tah-dah! Our new kitchen… three years in the making.
What makes it work for us?
With the larger window and peek-a-boo, there is a lot more light in this north-facing kitchen. I personally appreciate that I don’t get a cupboard door in the eye when I turn around (yes, it used to happen) and I can reach everything I want to reach.
Mark also appreciates the extra light, extra workspace and the rolling cart (Roland) is very helpful for breadmaking and stir fry prep.
We both really enjoy hanging out in the kitchen now - which is a far cry from how we felt when we first moved in.
A slow change, but a really good one!
This is a photo taken before we moved in. It's the only one I could find that gives a relatively good idea of the layout.
This is the after photo. As you can see, it wasn't in our budget to replace the countertop and lower cabinet faces. I suspect we'll grow to love the laminate countertop and the cabinet fronts will probably get replaced when we have a little extra courage!
Another photo from before we moved in. This photo really gives an idea of how dark it was. It's still a dark kitchen but it feels more to us like 'romantic-dark', instead of 'dungeon-dark'.
Mark enlarged the window over the sink.
Framing of the peek-a-boo (left).
We took this photo as soon as the peek-a-boo and coffee shelving were done, late at night. But it gives you an idea of how different the light is with the peek-a-boo.
Elliot loves the peek-a-boo.
Starting to take out the cupboards.
Replaced the fridge, added homemade bar shelving and Mark made Roland the Rolling Cart (Roland is less crooked now).
We purchased the countertop from Lowes, repurposed old metal shelving and made the spice shelving up top. (Also, Frida, our fridge!)
New floor just went in! Engineered wood: Elliot approved.