It’s Christmas Eve and Dave is busy working, so I thought I’d take the kids to Einstein Bros. Bagels (one of our favorite school places) so they could do their school while I update the blog!
Many of you are asking about the progress of our kitchen renovation, so I thought I’d take some time to show you the BEFORE pictures.
(I know I haven’t updated the Land of Binks blog in awhile, so many of you out-of-towners don’t know we pulled our kids out of public school and are homeschooling again. And some of you are wondering why our kids would be doing school on Christmas Eve. More about that later).
Anyway. Let me tell you about the house we bought. It’s in a neighborhood 3/4 mile from the new house we just sold, and it was built in 1990. What 1990 means (meant) for our “new” house: green granite-look laminate countertops; honey oak cabinets with cathedral arch design on upper doors; linoleum floor (which was “updated” with sheet vinyl); cream-colored solid surface bathroom countertops with shell sinks made of the same solid surface as the countertops; wallpaper; yellowy “brass” hardware; etc. Etc, etc, etc.
Let me show you:
I knew you’d be impressed. This was a picture from when the house was on the market, so the things in the photo that are not nailed down belong to the seller (1990’s arrow-back Windsor chairs; assortment of baskets, etc). The island was not built in, but we opted to keep it until we could find better since the counter space was lacking.
Some things to note: the mammoth (but lovely) fluorescent light fixture with the wood frame. Measures over four feet long. The black track lighting nearby. The lovely faux-tile sheet vinyl on the floor (which we found was concealing the original linoleum floor underneath). The fridge looks updated but was made in 2001 and stopped working on the evening of Day 1 of living in the house.
We also noticed that the range has no brand name on it. This was discovered when Dave accidentally pulled the oven door off and we looked online for how to fix it. It’s pretty difficult to find out how to fix it when no manufacturer will claim it. The other problem was the fireballs it created when I turned on the burners. I normally don’t swear, but when attempting to boil water results in a fireball getting dangerously close to burning my eyebrows off, let’s just say I’m glad my kids weren’t in the room.
Soon after, I learned to expect the fireball and backed away as far as possible while keeping my hand on the knob to turn it on. Then came the fireball and a shriek, no matter how many times I knew it was coming. And then there was the time that a kid came and leaned on the knobs, only to turn on the gas without realizing it. Dave opened the window thinking someone had left out a pizza box again, just as I came down the stairs to the tell-tale stink of gas. Then we found one those wobby knobs turned just a little, waiting to turn our house into kindling as soon as I decided to light a nice-smelling candle.
Here’s another view:
In some ways, I actually kind of liked the kitchen. It reminded me of what the cool people had when I was a kid. I grew up in an old house, and everyone I knew grew up in a new house. This was the “new” house. And it was mine, 25 years later. (Un)Fortunately, it was now outdated and made many people question our sanity.
Other than the outdated-ness (which I planned to enjoy for a bit as a trip down memory lane), it had some major function problems (beyond the warm fridge and stove-top fireballs). The cabinets were too small to put anything in, and I was at a loss for where to put pots and pans when I couldn’t actually get them into the cabinets. Also, the countertop space was almost nothing, with the stove and sink taking up most of the space. There was also a built-in buffet-like part of the kitchen with more counter space, but it didn’t help much, since it wasn’t near the sink or stove. Here it is:
We had a few options.
- Allow the fireballs to burn the whole thing down, and let insurance pay for a complete redo.
- Live with it, except maybe get a new fridge to avoid food poisoning. Pretend it’s 1990 and enjoy having a brand-new, in-style kitchen.
- DIY some little things that would help, like take the doors off the cabinets and those little divider things that make it so the pans and dinner plates won’t actually fit in the cabinet. Replace fridge and stove.
- Get my dream kitchen now and get a huge loan to pay for it.
- Get my dream kitchen sometime without paying for it. Pray about this.
First, we chose option 2. But that didn’t last long because I got mad trying to shove the pans and the grilled cheese maker in the cabinets, and then couldn’t get them out. So I took off the doors and sawed those annoying dividers off while Dave was gone. I also enlisted my kids to help.
Then, Dave came home and I asked him if he could finish.
And things were a lot better. Except, it looks really stupid to have doors on the bottom cabinets without that little divider thing, but at least the pans fit now. Except, the handles stick out the space between the doors.
We got a new fridge and tolerated the fireballs. Then, one day, while shopping at ReStore, we found a brand-new 36″ Wolf cooktop that was for sale for 1/3 of the regular price. The only problem: it was only the cooktop and was meant to go with a wall oven. Plus, we didn’t have a 36″ space for it. Our existing range was 30″. And, we didn’t have anywhere to put a wall oven. But, that didn’t stop us.
A professional cooktop for cheap was too awesome to pass up. So we bought it. And thus began the unplanned, unplannable, kitchen remodel, for cheap.