|Our kitchen, the day we bought it.|
Our kitchen has bothered me since the day we bought the house. It came with nice, new IKEA cabinets in a warm brown and granite countertops, but it was severely lacking in storage. And it was dark.
|I had accidentally set my camera to monochrome, so please ignore the colour.|
|The fit beside the stove is so tight that Steve actually had to modify the drywall |
in order to allow the oven doors to open.
Here's the original layout when we bought the house.
|Cabinets ready for the countertop installation.|
|We moved the pantry that was beside the original fridge opening to the opposite wall,|
and added an L of cabinets along with matching countertop. All of the new base
cabinets were really efficient drawer units.
And, while the newly-installed cabinets offered a long stretch of counter, they were far away from the sink which makes them almost useless for prepping fruit or veggies. It's a great corner for baking, and sometimes, I'd create a buffet atop those new cabinets. But it was still cramped getting into the dining room.
When Steve and I talked about our retirement finances, we decided that we would spend some of our savings on a kitchen renovation, when he was available to do most of the labour. (It is absolutely wonderful being married to a man who knows how to do carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work!)
Over the past couple of years, I've used IKEA's online 3D Kitchen Planner to test out almost every possible permutation that would improve our kitchen -- everything from shuffling cabinets to starting from scratch. Meanwhile, I retired and started spending a great deal more time in the kitchen, especially while working on the cookbook, where that miserable corner with the stove got under my skin every single day.
Then I went to Regina for my friend's funeral and dropped my jaw when I saw the galley where she joyfully prepared gourmet meals and hand-kneaded loaves for the people she cared about.
Then I went to Europe and marvelled at the tiny kitchens of my friends and family.
And so I questioned the whole idea of renovating our kitchen.
I became increasingly ambivalent about the project.
The thing is, I don't truly need a new kitchen. What we have is beautiful, if awkward and (to me) frustrating. New lighting and maybe even new countertop would bump up its brightness. Maybe that would be enough?
But, as Steve pointed out, we're going to be in this house for another 20 or 30 years. And if we're going to change the countertop, why not take the opportunity to move some of the cabinets and appliances around?
And then I saw this:
Not coincidentally, I saw this:
|Some of the other cabinet styles are 50% off.|
All that to say: we are taking on our fifth kitchen renovation. In the coming weeks, I'll post updates on the preparation challenges, and what layout and cabinet options we've chosen and why.
P.S. Here's a picture of me taken while we were house-hunting in 2010. I look a little stressed, don't I?