Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a remodel that’s seemingly taking forever (and, well, you’ve been without a kitchen sink for two months), it can be stressful and perhaps a bit discouraging to continue to go over the massive “still to do” list in your head. So today instead of looking forward, I decided to take a moment and look back, and to see how far I’ve come. Yes, it’s taken two months to get here. And yes, I was sure hoping it would go faster than this. But you know what? This kitchen has come a long way so far!
The original sink cabinet was against this wall where the window was (and still is, kind of).
I removed all of those cabinets (by myself!!) and old drywall, and added reinforcement in the form of new 2 x 4’s for the new cabinets. My brother-in-law ran all new wiring which was finished up last weekend, so now this wall is ready for drywall. Although I’m thinking that I might add reinforcements for the lower cabinets as well, so that will need to be done before I hang the drywall. This will be the wall of cabinets with the sconces, glass front cabinets in the upper middle section, and long, uninterrupted countertop.
(Obviously I don’t have the trim kits in my recessed lights yet. They’re sitting in my hallway until I finish up the taping and mudding on the ceiling.)
This is the wall that has changed the most. This kitchen originally felt so small, dark, and closed in, like a shoe box. You can see the gas line on that narrow wall, so that’s where the range was supposed to go. Once it was there, it closed in the room even more.
And now that wall has been opened up. It feels so much bigger in here now that there’s no wall separating the kitchen and breakfast room, and now that the natural light from those windows can pour into the kitchen. And of course, it’ll look even bigger and more open once I get all of my construction (destruction?) mess cleaned up, and get the appliances and cabinets out of the breakfast room. This is where the sink will be relocated.
I still need to build a half wall that the cabinets will be attached to, and where the electrical boxes for the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and outlets can be placed. (The outlets I’m talking about will be on the end of the peninsula.) But I can’t build the wall until the refrigerator and stove are back in the kitchen. And I can’t move those back into the kitchen until I polyurethane the floor, let it dry, and then cover it with that red paper for protection. And once that half wall is built, I can finish up the drywall on that wall as well.
Here’s the other original wall of cabinets.
My father-in-law helped me remove these cabinets when he was here in February. All of the original cabinets that I salvaged will be used in the garage to create my workroom.
And now this wall looks like this.
At one time, I actually had this wall looking perfectly smooth. But after the ceiling drywall and insulation came down, and then after the massive air ducts were removed (with most of them being removed through the kitchen ceiling), this wall is looking a bit banged up. But that’s nothing that a bit (more) of drywall mud and sandpaper can’t fix. There won’t be any cabinets on this wall in the new kitchen. The sink cabinets/peninsula will be on the left, and then the refrigerator and stove will be on the right.
And yes, I’m very happy with that design. And no, I’m not going to change my mind at this point. (Just wanting to head off the inevitable suggestions of creating a U-shaped cabinet arrangement.)
And here’s the fourth and final wall of the original kitchen. This is where the refrigerator was intended to go, and you can also see hookups for a portable dishwasher. So you can see that with the fridge there, you’d have to walk around the fridge to reach some of those cabinets. Very awkward.
And now, this wall looks like this. This is where the fridge and range will go, separated by a cabinet/countertop. There will also be a small cabinet/countertop to the right of the range.
The refrigerator will go in the corner. I still need to measure how high the fridge will come on the wall, and then add a 2 x 4 and drywall above where the fridge will sit. The the area where the fridge will sit will remain without drywall. I’m hoping that those additional 4.5 inches that I’ve gained by leaving the drywall off and removing one of the studs will allow the fridge to sit back just enough so that it looks more like a counter-depth refrigerator than a standard depth refrigerator. There’s a small possibility that I’ll have to cut out that portion of the wall completely and reframe it to gain a bit more space, but I’m really hoping that I don’t have to do that. I’m going to see how it looks like this first, and then make that determination.
The original floor was asbestos tiles.
And underneath those tiles was a wood floor that had some issues, especially after I started moving/removing plumbing and gas lines around and left holes in the floor. And now I have a new, solid wood red oak floor with beautiful painted stripes.
And finally, I can’t forget the ceiling! This kitchen originally had polystyrene ceiling tiles (just like the rest of the house…ugh) attached to 1 x 4’s that had been nailed into the ceiling joists. Once those were removed, it damaged the drywall, which was only 1/2-inch drywall instead of 5/8-inch drywall. And in the whole room, there was only one single bulb in the middle of the ceiling providing light.
Now I have new 5/8-inch drywall on the ceiling, and in addition to the center light (which will be a decorative fixture) I also have eight recessed lights on dimmer switches. I certainly have no lack of light in here now!
I definitely have a long way to go, but I’ve come so far already!
Right now, my one and only goal is to get this kitchen to the point where I can call the plumber and have him install my sink and garbage disposal. In order for that to happen, I still have to do the following:
- Polyurethane the floors, let them dry, and then cover with paper for protection;
- Finish installing the drywall, and then tape and mud;
- Move the fridge and range into the kitchen;
- Build the half wall and finish the electrical in that wall;
- Drywall, tape and mud the half wall and the areas around it;
- Install the cabinets;
- Pour the concrete countertops;
- CALL THE PLUMBER!
Once I have a working kitchen sink, I can focus on finishing up the decorative stuff. But right now, I’ve got my eye on the prize, and a working, functional kitchen sink is the one and only prize I’m after at this point.