We survived a kitchen remodel last spring. We designed the original space ourselves 25 years ago when the house was built, but as our family grew, the room began to feel cramped and inconvenient. The fridge area was a bottle-neck, the island was too large; the gas cook-top was located on the island which eliminated a large open workspace. In the 70s and 80s a drop ceiling was all the rage and it was time for that to go. The countertops were 3-inch tile—loved the forgiving tile surface but had come to despise the mass of grout. The high quality oak cabinets needed a face-lift.
I agonized over a better design for quite a while and finally had a eureka moment. Moving the fridge across the room to the opposite wall was the key to reorganizing the space. I called four or five different contractors to give estimates:
One had grandiose (and expensive) ideas of cutting into the roofline to make an airy space. Another annoyingly kept poking fun at my 1980s kitchen claiming he would never have done things that way (he would have--it was built in the 80s). A third was unimaginative. Then I found out an old friend was still living in town, still in construction, so we went with him.
We did all the demo work (demolishing ceiling and old island, removing countertops), leg work (finding lighting, a range, hardware, sink, faucet, etc.), painting, and we refinished the cabinets and other woodwork ourselves (which led to a hospital visit but that’s a separate post).
After six weeks we got ourselves a more spacious and workable kitchen (and more cabinet space). I’m more enthusiastic about cooking now that the room has a much better flow, nicer materials, and more available workspace.