You don’t know how long I tried to brainstorm a kitchen-related pun for the title of this post, to no avail.
I was going to split the various kitchen projects up into multiple blog entries, but there’s nothing like an extreme before-and-after story, so here I’m going to introduce you to all the awesome kitchen projects all at once. You might want to sit down. Ready? Here goes.
First wave of kitchen renovations.
I KNOW RIGHT?! I owe a huge thank-you to Ben, Craig, Jamie, and Zach for helping to make it so awesome. I’m so lucky to have such amazing, talented, knowledgeable, and strong friends in my life (though I suppose Ben doesn’t really deserve extra credit since he, y’know, lives here). Here’s the break-down of all the projects so far.
1. Dishwasher, garbage disposal, and butcher block. There was no dishwasher and no garbage disposal when we moved in and no existing electrical outlet or plumbing for the dishwasher (sensing a pattern here?). Plus, we were a little slim on counter space. So I hired my friend Zach Ervin the professional contractor to install the appliances and build us a food-grade butcher block on top of the dishwasher cabinet. Why not do it myself? Because as we learned from installing the washer and dryer, sometimes it’s absolutely worth it to have a professional do the work. In a day and a half, Zach accomplished what would’ve taken Ben a week, with zero leaks, and it looks ten times as nice. Check out that butcher block!
Gorgeous maple butcher block by Zach.
2. Accent wall. This was all me–because let’s face it, painting is about the extent of my home improvement skills so far. I used Behr paint color Falling Leaves in semi-gloss. Only took a quart of paint and about an hour of my time. In that time I decided I hated textured walls, though.
3. Hanging pot rack. This would be my third favorite Craigslist find, since it cost me a fraction of what this bamboo pot rack cost new. Our friend Craig installed it under the light in the weird breakfast nook area. Apparently it will withstand a couple pull-ups, but I’m not going to test that theory.
Pot rack, knife rack, bar cart, accent wall… no big deal!
4. Magnetic knife rack. We got this as a Christmas gift from Ben’s folks a few years ago, and it seemed a natural fit for the accent wall. I installed it myself (so I guess that means drilling holes is also in my home improvement repertoire).
5. Wooden window blinds. At long last, we have succeeded in installing window treatments on every bare window in the house! These windows face the street corner, and at night with the kitchen light on you can pretty much see straight into the kitchen from a block away, so the blinds were necessary. This was mostly me… with a big assist from Ben who is both stronger and more sensible than me (one of these days I’ll learn to use properly sized drill bits). We used faux wood blinds from Home Depot because they were about half the cost of real wooden blinds and I dunno ’bout you, but I can’t tell the difference.
Blinds! In the kitchen!
6. Electrical outlet. When we moved in there were approximately 0.3 outlets in the entire house. So our friend Jamie the electrician installed a few more. One in the bathroom (I was getting pretty desperate to straighten my hair for a few weeks) and one under the sink so we can plug in the garbage disposal and dishwasher.
7. Cabinet knobs. Yeah yeah, I know I already wrote a whole blog post dedicated to my cabinet hardware, but I’m just so proud of it that I wanted to give it another shout-out. I mean, look at these knobs!
There’s still a lot of work to be done in the kitchen, but we’re done with it until probably after the holidays. Next step: painting the cabinets. That should lighten the room up a little bit, considering it’s pretty full of dark hardwood right now. Also we need to replace the pantry door. And paint the walls. And figure out what to do about the weird gap between the oven and the pantry. And replace the ancient refrigerator. Listen, there’s just a lot to do in the kitchen, ok?!