Sunday, May 29, 2011

Getting the Kitchen Out of the Guest Rooms

     Last fall we completely remodeled our kitchen. We didn't go down to the studs, but the drywall was the only thing left standing. It was quite disconcerting to see such thorough destruction of the heart of our home. I thought more than once, "What have I done??" and "Will the new kitchen come out all right? What if it doesn't?"

     We've lived under construction before, so I had some idea of what to expect. I planned over and over again in my head how I would set up a temporary kitchen on the dining room table, complete with microwave, a few dishes, and other necessities. We would wash dishes in the basement, where we have a regular kitchen sink. Thank goodness we wouldn't have to bend over the bathtub to get them done. The refrigerator would be moved to the screen porch, just outside the door near the temporary kitchen.  We'd have to go out in the cold to get to it, but not very far. I was sure we would manage just fine for the two or three weeks we were completely without.

Our Temporary Kitchen
      I should have known better. Construction projects never go exactly as planned and they always take a lot longer than they should. I started packing and moving out of the kitchen in mid-October and we weren't back in with the new appliances working until December 20th! All in all, it was quite an ordeal, and near the end I wondered whether we'd ever have a real kitchen again, much less a beautiful new one.

     Our house is a two-story one, and the floor plan downstairs is fairly open. There are few places to stash things out of sight. Consequently, most of the kitchen stuff got moved upstairs to our two guest bedrooms. Boxes packed with china, crystal, and other breakables filled all available floor space, leaving only narrow paths for access. Every horizontal surface was covered with pots, pans, bake ware, mixing bowls, small appliances, and various and sundry kitchen tools and gadgets. It was all quite a jumble, but I wasn't worried. It would only be that way for a little while. When I had to empty the pantry and coat closet so the new flooring could be installed, most available floor space downstairs was also filled and stacked with more stuff. It was a bit daunting, but I still had hope of being settled in our new kitchen in time for the holidays.

     As construction progressed, I kept having to scrunch into the other rooms in the house. Our kitchen, living/dining room, and hall are all open, meaning I also had to move knick-knacks, pictures on the wall, lamps, books...more stuff to find a place for. When the drywall dust and sawdust began, it went everywhere and covered everything, including our temporary kitchen, which ended up covered with plastic sheeting for what seemed like forever. There was also painting to do, which meant covering, moving and working around furniture. We even had to unhook the satellite TV for about a week. That didn't bother me much, but Robin suffered terribly from withdrawal.

     When the new cabinets finally came, the installers worked a 12-hour day to get them in. But much to my dismay, the counter top would take another entire day, and it wouldn't come for another week! In the meantime I worked at spring-cleaning and moving back into the coat closet and pantry. By December 15th, everything was in and working except the new gas range. I began moving in, only to find that everything had to be washed before it could go into the cabinets. At long last, the range was hooked up on December 20th. When my family came for Christmas Eve, I barely had enough dishes back in the kitchen to serve soup, which only required one pot to cook. I thought I would surely get everything put back over Christmas break.

Our New Kitchen Complete
     This is Memorial Day weekend, and I finally got everything that belongs in the kitchen back in the kitchen. There's a long story about getting clear shelving for the three lighted corner cabinets with glass doors, but I won't go into that. Suffice it to say that it took five months. And all that time a lot of the kitchen was still in the guest rooms, which now have only bedroom things in them. Well, almost. There's still an antique coffee grinder to find a new home for, and some old bottles that need to go somewhere else...

1 comment:

  1. Looks wonderful, Nancy! I know that you are loving having it finished to enjoy this summer. Some day I hope to see the whole place in person.


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