Sunday, September 10, 2023

Kitchen Renovation Odyessy

 It is funny how these things go: I thought ordering a specific oven would mean that the last piece of the renovation would be that.  Nope, the counters were delayed and delayed again. So, tomorrow, I can declare a completed renovation after our contractor, Ron, does the last bit of paint, caulk, and outlet covers.  We started in late April, the cabinets arrived in a timely fashion as our contractor was finishing the prep work (new ceiling was a surprise as we needed more space for the potlights), and so all but the counters were done in late May.  Ron did a great job of cutting one of the extra cabinet pieces into a temporary counter, installing the sink and faucet, so the kitchen has been operational all summer, even though the island had no top, some counters had cardboard covers, and the rest had handy cabinet pieces as counters.  I wish we did this four years ago, so I would have had a better pandemic baking environment, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.  Mrs. Spew was out of town for most of the planning/ordering since she was taking care of her mother who was moving.  Some of the color scheme (blue/gray) and the idea of a farmhouse sink was hers, but I was able to design the structure with the handy person at HD, and make most of the decisions without too much bargaining ;).

So, before:


How do I love my new kitchen?  Let me count the ways:

  1. An island!  We never made good use of the big dance floor. The island gives us a heap of counter space so that I can work without blocking the entire kitchen.  It also has drawers for most of our appliances (hand mixer, rice cooker, food processor, etc) and for bowls and other stuff.
  2. The bookcase in the island!  I forget whose kitchen inspired this, but now I have all of my Nigella Lawson, Sally's Baking Addiction, Smitten Kitchen, Air Fryer cook books handy plus binders containing the NYT and other recipes I have amassed.
  3. A pantry!  So much handier to have roll out shelves, easy to organize, easy to get stuff.
  4. A double-oven.  Yep, for cooking pitas and the stuff that goes in them at the same time.  Also handy for cookie baking outbursts.
  5. The lighting!  Our previous kitchen was pretty dark.  Now, we have a better system of undercabinet lights plus a heap of potlights.
  6. Lots of storage space especially in the corners.  We have a lazy susan in one corner and really cool pullout shelves in the other.
  7. A huge sink. This was my wife's idea, but the color choice was mine (added a few bucks to the cost).  Now, if we had triplets, we could bathe them in there.  Instead, pretty much all of my cooking gear fits into their to be cleaned.  The faucet is pretty cool as well--can turn on/off with a wave of a hand, which is great for when my hands are covered in chicken juice.
  8. Microwave no longer sits on the counter, so we have a place to put our air fryer.  
  9. New fridge with filtered water/ice on the outside.  So much more convenient than having to make our own ice and have a water pitcher.  We opted for a bigger freezer/smaller frig, which we are getting used to.  It will come in super handy when I make a lot of cookies that need to be frozen before delivery day.

There is more to it, but those are highlights.  Last house, we also renovated the kitchen but only enjoyed it for a few years before moving here.  And it didn't have as much special stuff.  This time, we splurged as we plan to be here a while.


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