A BEWITCHING ANNOUNCEMENT: TIGHTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!

This blog has witnessed quite a few “small revolutions” in our lives. In 2010 we moved briefly from Oklahoma to California, and cooked for almost a full year in a nano-kitchen where there was no real stove, no real oven, no real kitchen sink. No dishwasher either, by the way. Last year, as we joined Kansas State University, we went  through a phase of alternating weeks camping in an almost empty home in OK and living in the new place in KS. I am not quite sure how, but I managed to keep the blog going through it all.   It so happens that we are about to face a new revolution: the renovation of our kitchen!   Tomorrow at 8am plastic sheets will enclose the space, cabinets will be removed, floors ripped off. In other words, “all hell will break loose”.

Our main goal is to make the place lighter.  Everything in the kitchen is dark right now. Appliances are black, granite counter tops are black. Cabinets are dark, the floor is dark. But we also want to modernize the appliances. Keep in mind that we nicknamed our range “Poltergeist”.  It gives you an idea of its performance. The fridge makes no ice, but plenty of noises. The dishwasher needs human help to get dishes clean, and whoever designed its racks was a geometry-challenged sadist. So the three appliances are going to be replaced.  Wait until you see the range we ordered!  It will be a gas range, it will be gorgeous, and it will have a real hood on top of it.  Can you imagine the huge smile I have as I type this?  I bet you can… 😉  It won’t arrive for a few weeks still, and because the floor won’t be installed until October, we’ll probably not have the kitchen fully functional until then.

Every weekend I’ve been writing  posts so that the blog can sail as smoothly as possible through the rough waters ahead.  But I thought you should all be aware of the excitement behind the curtains…  Here are a few shots of the “before”.  I can hardly wait to show you the “after”, a couple of months from now.

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stoveareaPoltergeist plus his partners in crime: the black fridge, the black microwave with a pseudo-hood underneath that pays lip service to fumes.

countertopphoto(6)The black granite will stay all around the kitchen, except the center island.  We’ve got a different plan for that area…

floorThe floor is a bit too rustic for our  taste.  It seems always dirty, and it adds to the overall darkness of the kitchen.  Hardwood floor in our future!

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Stay tuned for updates as the weeks move along… and keep your fingers crossed for us!  😉

Photo of our kitchen, 12 hours after publication of this post: they do work pretty fast!

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45 thoughts on “A BEWITCHING ANNOUNCEMENT: TIGHTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!

  1. Good luck with the renovation Sally and I’m anxious to see the after pictures. A friend of mine had her kitchen remodeled and used everything in it for a garage kitchen so at least she/he could function through the entire process. Fortunately there is plenty of grill weather to be had and millions of quick and easy dinner recipes to say nothing of the good old crockpot/slow cooker (I own two books on the that topic) Easy Slow Cooker recipes and one Italian version as well. The kindle versions are usually fairly inexpensive so no need to spend a fortune. The Italian book has several recipe that I really like.

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    • We have been through 4 renovations together, and are still married, very happy 😉 So this one should go smoothly too, the guy we hired to do the work comes with sky high recommendations, we are quite optimistic. I don’t have a crockpot, gave my away during the move… might buy a small one just in case

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  2. I remember when younger daughter redid her kitchen. We did dishes in the bathroom lavatory, the refrigerator was on the front porch, etc. It was hectic, but well worth it. You will get through it!

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    • Our kitchen renovation in Norman involved a carpenter we ended up referring to as “The Carpenter from Hell”

      it was an ordeal of epic proportions, and we survived THAT. I am sure this will be much easier 🙂 (it better be!)

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  3. I’m so happy for you. It’s funny, when we did our floors, I said that if you have light, you go dark, and vice versa. It’s just about a nice change. Your kitchen is pretty to me and that island is fabulous. But bad appliances? Good riddence!!! Can’t wait to see the changes!

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    • Our kitchen in Oklahoma was soooo light and the central island so big we could literally dance on top of it if we wanted. The central island here will be a little bigger and in a different shape, so we can have guests sitting around it more comfortably. And the granite will have some black in it, but overall a lighter stone

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    • The island, once we are done with the changes, should be better as far as functionality goes – right now there is no comfy way to sit around it, because the granite has no overhang, it goes right to the edge of the wooden cabinet underneath. Hard to explain it but the before and after photos hopefully will show 😉

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  4. Sally, as you know we have been through an entire “house revolution”, with lots of casualties on the way…. but we are finally getting out of the dark ages (3 long years). I can hardly wait for your bright kitchen to come along….best of luck!

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    • he, he, he… casualties along the way, that is so true! It took us a long time to recover from the big renovation in Norman – we even went to court against the carpenter and won, but of course, he never paid back a single penny, and since he had not regular job, we were left powerless to do anything – but it’s ok, at least we felt vindicated 😉

      We really like the guy we hired for this job – a man in his mid fifties, born and raised here in Manhattan. After working in our garage for a couple of days without leaving a single spot of dust behind, I told him how impressed I was and he said: “my Mom still lives here, and if she hears that I left a mess behind in a home, she will get pretty mad at me” (cute, non? 😉

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  5. Sally, it’s good you’ve been through a kitchen renovation before and that you start with a good sense of humor! While the current kitchen is attractive, I can see it’s not a “cook’s kitchen” immediately, certainly not worthy of your creative cooking. For one thing, if natural gas is available, who would want a glass-topped electric stove? And you will love having a “real” range hood. I’ve lived through one major kitchen renovation and one new construction and am starting on another new one, so it’ll be interesting to see your job proceed. When we did the renovation, we had the refrigerator in the dining room along with the microwave, did dishes in a nearby bathroom sink, used mostly paper plates, ate a lot of takeout, and generally hated the whole process (9 months). But the result was well worth the pain. Keep us posted, and I hope you can still do some recipe posts along the way, but we’ll understand if most of them are of the “how to roast a turkey in a microwave” variety.

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    • I am sure I can keep posting some recipes – the grill will be working at full speed, we have two electric ovens, a cooktop (induction) – a rice cooker. Cooking pasta might be tricky for the draining part, I don’t want to be carrying a huge amount of boiling water around, knowing my propensity for disaster 😉

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    • We are prepared for a few dark clouds, because once you start breaking things, you simply never know – but we always joke that we are “problem solvers” so…. all should end well

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    • thanks, Denise! It should be wonderful once it’s done! We are also knocking down a wall to make the fireplace room connected to a tiny living room on the front of the house – that should lighten up the place too

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  6. Good luck! We are just finishing a very, very minor job-knocking out a wall, to create a dining space out of a small “bedroom” next to our kitchen, and a couple other things. We will be SO HAPPY when we have our house back, and no more workers in & out! I love before and after photos…..keep them coming!

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    • Will update as the weeks go by…. it is exciting, and I know the first time I cook on a gas stove again I might shed a few tears…. I am an emotional being, you know 😉

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  7. good luck with the renovation! How/where are you going to cook while the work is in progress? Peter says “be careful of hardwood in any area that’s going to get wet”, but I assume you two already know that.

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    • Sandra, I don’t care for hardwood in kitchens myself, but many people do. What puzzles me is that I’m seeing a great deal of hardwood floors in new bathrooms. That seems like a recipe for disaster!

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    • We will cook in the patio and outside on the grill

      We’ve had hardwood floors in Norman and if they are properly sealed with polyurethane there’s usually no problem. The guy doing the renovation here has some tricks to prevent any problems on the floor in case of leaking dishwashers or fridges. We like the uniform look it will give to the house, as the kitchen extends into the fireplace room and all floors will match then. We also like the “feel” of hardwood on the feet, and its kindness on things that fall. If a plate or glass falls on ceramic floors, that is pretty much it

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    • Thank you, Kristy! We are just waiting for the crew to arrive, decide where CHief will be during the chaos (he cannot be outside with the other dogs ’cause Buck would kill him. Literally) – and go to work

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  8. Good luck with your renovation Sally. Looks like your kitchen could benefit from it. I can’t wait to see the after shots. I am preparing myself for house renovations in the near future, but won’t be without a kitchen, instead it will be my pantry, dining room, and living room! Although frustrating to go through renovations are always exciting!

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  9. I imagine this is a lot like childbirth, Sally. A whole lot of pain and anguish but then, once you find yourself standing in your new kitchen, you’ll forget all about it. Of course, one big difference is that you won’ be doing this again for 20 years, not months. Yes, there is *that*! 🙂
    Good luck!

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  10. I’m so excited for you!! After living in a ton of student kitchens that I’m not happy with I definitely look forward to someday being able to alter my own to my own taste. But for now, I’ll just live vicariously through you. 😛

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  11. Yay Sally! I’m so excited for you! And I can’t wait to see the finishing pictures. My mom just redid her kitchen and it looks AMAZING. I’m sure yours will look just as lovely. XOXO

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