More than You Ever Wanted to Know about my Kitchen

July 08, 2012

As you have probably guessed, you are going to be hearing a lot more about what is happening with our house in the coming months.  Because, HOPEFULLY, in the coming months, something is going to start happening with our house.  Hopefully a lot of somethings.   We have really just put everything on hold for a while so we could save up to tackle the big stuff, and I just can't wait until we start making progress again. Mostly, I can't wait until all the progress is over and we are just DONE.  But, seriously, is that ever going to happen?  It is a little hard to imagine.  I haven't lived in very many "finished" homes in my life, so this would really be a new thing for me.

Still, until the HAPPENINGS begin, maybe it will be good for us to just take stock of where we are in our home remodel to this point.  So you can all see what I live with everyday and feel really sorry for me.  So let's begin a new series I'm going to call "Crappy Pictures From Every Room in My House."

Let's start with the Kitchen, shall we?

There it is.  All Kitcheny and what not.  We always planned that it would be temporary so we put as little money into it as possible, but it has still been a good little kitchen that has served me well.  Even though it is SO YELLOW.

I bought all but 2 of the cabinets used for $100 and painted them white.  (The other 2 were stock cabinets from Home Depot that I painted white as well.)  And the countertops are just plain black tile we paid $1 a square foot for.  I thought the tile countertop would drive me crazy, but I actually haven't minded it at all. They are chipping along the front edge, but I love how shiny they are.  Here is a better shot.

And I love that brick wall behind the cabinets.  The kitchen was built as an addition onto the original brick house, and this was one of the outside walls.  So pretty.  There was a window right behind where we put the oven, so I did this kind of mosaic tile thing to cover it up:

That was pretty fun.  Even though it has been this way for 8 years, I still like the white cabinets and black countertops enough that I will do it again in my next kitchen.  I like the size of the kitchen too.  Everything is close and accessible without being cramped or crowded.  It is a little too small to hold all our stuff though.  Or rather, we have a little more junk than we have room for.

AND, most importantly of all, this addition that was added onto the original brick house was built without a foundation.  Just 2x4's stuck strait into the ground.  When we bought the house the addition was literally falling off the back of the house.  The lady who lived here before tried to hold it on with tape:

So we jacked the addition up, and stuck some concrete piers under there, but it was never meant to be permanent.  Eventually we are going to have to tear the whole addition down and build it over again.

Wanna see some more Before pictures?  Here is how the kitchen looked when we bought it.

Looking at that picture, I can't believe we bought this house.  Obviously we had no kids.  Obviously we were young and energetic and delusional.  Honestly, I think I must have just been bored.  Why else would buying that kitchen seem like a good idea?

What I WON'T Miss About My Kitchen

1) The Faucet

See that state-of-the-art spray feature?  Yeah, it does that all the time.  The faucet is maybe 3 years old.  After we'd had it for a year or so, while I was using it one day, the nozzle just fell apart in my hands.  I tried to put it back together, and later my husband fixed my attempt at putting it back together, but now it sprays all the time, no matter what.  The finish on it is all cracking and soon to flake off too, which just adds to the overall Piece-of-Hud feel I am going for in here.

2) The Floor

I did that floor myself.  I did not do a great job.  After we pulled up the corroded linoleum that was in there we first tried to refinish the wood floor underneath.  It did not go well.  Then we tried laying down a sheet of linoleum.  That didn't go well either.  (I would go into detail, but I don't remember any.)  So I put down these linoleum tiles.  They looked pretty good when I first did them, besides being slightly off square, but now several of them are loose and there are gaps between them and the section in front of the heater vent is very yellowed and sad looking.  I can't wait to get rid of this ugly floor.

3) The Space Above the Cabinets

I like the pottery I stuck up there, (though it is looking a little crowdy now) but really all that space is is just one more spot that I am never gonna dust.   But I feel like I SHOULD dust it.  And it gets pretty bad.  So once a year or so the Dust Guilt gets so bad that I finally have to climb up on top of my counters and kind of bend over in the space there and dust all those vases I stuck up there to look pretty and every time I finish I'm convinced that it isn't worth it and I'm never doing it again.  And I won't.  My solution is to remove the whole problem by removing the space.  My ceiling will be lower or my cabinets will be higher or whatever needs to happen so that the space simply doesn't exist.  

4)  The Pantry

Yep.  That is my pantry.  A Bookshelf painted white.  It worked surprisingly well for a while.  But not with kids.  When Harrison was very little  I used to try to organize it and make it look nice.  Ha ha ha.  What a silly goose I was.

5) This

This is a perfect example of more junk than space.  We have this handy little cabinet for stacking cookie sheets.  But half of them fell out recently when my husband was fishing for a muffin tin, and, being an engineer, this is how he put them back.  I haven't had the energy to reorganize it again.

6) The Dining Room

I'm hanging out, in my Yellow of All Yellows kitchen, I turn around and BAM!  There it is.  My Dining Room.  Laughing at me.  Reminding me that, although there are 3 different types of flooring in there, it really is a part of the kitchen, basically, and there is nothing I can do about it.  Hardy Har Har.

With its exposed insulation, ugly wallpaper, tools on the floor, stacks of lumber and cardboard boxes, and broken water heater it mocks me.  And, let's not forget, my dining room floor is covered with what is probably the ugliest linoleum the world has ever seen.

It seems like a factory accident, doesn't it?  I just can't imagine anyone would make that on purpose.  

That is all.  That is all the pictures I got.  Unless you want to see the Before BEFORE pictures.  

The dining room when we bought the house:

That picture is looking from the opposite direction of the ones above it.  That room you see through the doorway there is the kitchen.  And behind that wall with the tinfoiled window is a skinny little closet.

We knocked out the wall between the closet and the dining room and the kitchen and opened the whole space up.  So even as it is now, it is a whole lot better than it was.  

And that is it.  I'm out.

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  1. Did you two actually pay to live there? or were you kinda forced into it?

    I really like look of the bare brick walls. It's just too bad they're so difficult to wire for electricity.

    And the linoleum we found underneath the carpet in our kitchen and dining room could give yours a run for its ugly money. I don't think we took any pictures of it, though, it would have broken the camera.

  2. But look how far you've come! And oh-my-goodness-gracious, my kitchen faucet does the same blasted thing. I curse it every time I use it, even if I would have been using the spray feature had the faucet been functioning properly.

  3. Lots of potential there! The dining room would be perfect for a built-in banquet seating area. Love the brick wall. Finally, my Dad is a custom cabinet builder that doesn't charge nearly what he's worth so let me know if you need a bid for a lovely kitchen from an honest, super-awesome guy. Been in the biz 40 years and he's never needed to advertise- he's pretty awesome like that!

  4. I hope you guys can find a way to keep and incorporate some of the brick because it really is super pretty. I don't think those pictures of the linoleum really did it justice though. It is much much uglier than that. From a distance it looks grayish-brown and you can't really even see the pattern unless you shine a light on it and get close. And then you wonder, what is this thing I'm standing on?

  5. WHOA! That kitchen before picture--- that proves that you are extremely brave, buying the house with a kitchen like that. :|
    I loved seeing these pictures, and I think you and your husband are so cool, fixing up the house and everything!
    I wouldn't mind an unfinished basement, but anything crazier than that would make me want to hide in a corner all the time. X[

    Oh yeah, and linoleum...I lived in a 200+ year old home in Belgium that had linoleum flooring in the BEDROOMS (very very cheap and miserly landlady). We were lucky enough to have diarrhea-green "carpet tiles" to hide the linoleum on the edges where the fake persian/oriental rugs didn't reach. Man, it was ug-a-licious. It looked like someone decided it would be fun to use their flower-pressing skills with some barf. Yes. Barf-pressed linoleum....what a good idea.

  6. Potential. I think that's what you saw. And it's so nice when you get something done that you love and think of the huge improvement to make something like that happen from that before place. Like wiring and installing a ceiling fan with a remote, it seems almost like you are magic.

  7. I built our last house entirely out of tape and ugly linoleum, so I don't see the problem with the BEFORE before pictures.

  8. I love your brick in your kitchen. You are very very brave. It helps when you are handy with linoleum tiles though. Luckily you are both geniuses.

  9. As-is, I think your kitchen looks okay overall, and really nice in the cabinet-counter-exposed brick area. We keep our muffin tins, broiler pan, and baking sheets in the "warming drawer" below the oven. It is certainly easier on us than trying to get them all to stand on end.