Monday, July 6, 2015

The Kitchen - Where it began

The kitchen.  It's been forefront in my mind since before we bought our townhouse back in 2011.  I love to cook (especially baking) and the original kitchen from the mid-80s was in sad, sad shape when we bought it.

In the process of removing the awkward (poorly installed) peninsula of upper and lower cabinets, we discovered massive electrical issues hidden at the top of the upper cabinets.  Which meant money to do a full renovation of the kitchen wasn't going to happen for a long while.  We made do with a few updates - painting the cabinets, putting on new hinges and knobs, putting in butcher block counters instead of the peeling linoleum, having a small island on wheels - and it worked for a while.

But over time the painted finish on the cabinets got grimy and started wearing off, the particle board sides of the cabinets started crumbling, and all in all the lack of storage began to drive us crazy.  So I started thinking.  And planning.  And sacking money away.

And finally, finally, finally come April of 2015 we ordered new custom cabinets.

Here's where we started (please excuse the crappy image quality, these are the only shots we have from before the tile was jackhammered up and other demo began):

Looking into the kitchen from the dining area.

Standing next to the peninsula.

Looking out from the kitchen to the dining area.
 Yes, that chandelier is adorned in lavender and baby pink acrylic crystals. (If you want it, it's sitting in a corner of my basement...) You can get a sense of how dark and dim everything felt.  And see a small glimpse of the ridiculous hanging fixture in the kitchen, right at the perfect height for my 6ft3in husband to knock his head on it every time he walked through.

I don't feel that these photos accurately capture the horror that we found once we started really taking a look at everything.  Underneath the sink, instead of a proper blind corner cabinet, there was just rotting particleboard and a pit of nothingness I mentally refer to as the Black Hole.  Things that go in that under-sink area never come out. Underneath the rotting particleboard were discarded bottles of alcohol and other refuse.  There are two drawers total in the cabinets (excepting the peninsula, which we ripped out - the cabinets were falling apart and nothing was properly secured). One of the shelves in the upper cabinets couldn't stay up as the particleboard sides had deteriorated too much to hold the plastic peg that supported the shelf.  I still get squicked out when I think about removing the microwave range hood - it was held in place by a few screws and 20+ years of kitchen grease.  It was plugged in to an outlet that dangled from the wall, attached only by electrical tape (and that wasn't even the worst electrical issue we found).  The window above the sink was leaking into the wall because proper flashing was never installed.