I have been completely and utterly out of control for the last week. Yes, for some reason, I suppose I had gotten used to chaos…. so when the chaos suddenly ended, I was lost and confused, running around not knowing whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt.
The kitchen was completed last Friday – but basically done on Thursday minus the cabinet hardware. I remember walking in the house after work Thursday night… it was literally one of those HGTV “Big Reveal” moments. I had seen the layout. I had seen all the cabinets going in. I had seen the MDF countertop form. But to see the real countertop on those cabinets… and all the doors and drawers on… the sink in…and all the appliances in place. It was amazing. Drop dead gorgeous, I can’t believe this is my house, this is a rich person’s kitchen amazing. After our installer left, Mike and I just stood there like idiots, marveling over it. We were both blown away.
The light colored countertop brightened the entire room and complimented everything – the cabinets, the floor, the appliances, the sink… And I just knew all my red accent pieces (toaster, knives, Keurig, etc.) were going to really pop against it. Not only that, the entire countertop was seamless – even in the corners! And the backsplash went up on the wall much higher then our old one. The countertop also butt right up to the stove, so no more dropping massive quantities of foodstuffs down there with no means to clean it up. It was awesome.
The sink fit so much more easily in our new cabinets too – no more too-big stuffed-in-there look with no room to clean behind it. Now we have countertop behind and in front of the sink for easy cleaning. Plus, the sink light, which was always off-center above the sink is now truly centered! (You have to remember, we made yard sale cabinets fit the space, so we’re lucky the light made it in even the right vicinity the first time.)
The weird corner by the fridge where the old window used to be is finally looking like “part of the kitchen” instead of “a weird corner where a window used to be.” The upper cabinets on that side work perfectly, despite my hesitation at getting them. And the extra counter space on that side makes the whole kitchen look bigger, as it creates a better flow. (A U shaped, circular flow, if you will.) The large fridge finally looks like it was meant to be there, instead of a huge-ass fridge somebody stuck in a super small space.
Our stove, if you recall, we moved over about the space of one cabinet, at the suggestion of our designer. This too, I was unsure about, since I didn’t want to lose any cabinet space. But I’m so glad I followed his advice. Again, this one small change, a little tiny move to the left, makes a huge difference in the overall flow of the room. Before, the stove was too close to the fridge and, again, boxed in that weird old window corner. Now, the two appliances have room to breathe, and there’s still a ton of cabinet space, especially with the new above-microwave unit.
We are 100% satisfied. Expectations exceeded by leaps and bounds. Mike told the dude straight up, “You’re the only contractor we’ve ever had in here who did a great job.” And it’s true. In fact, he went above and beyond, taking his time with every detail of the installation. Everything is perfect. Perfect! There isn’t a thing out of place, and no compromises and no excuses (“Well, X and Y aren’t working so we have to do Z instead.”) and no extra monies or materials or anything needed… And no mess to clean up afterwards. Our experience was unbelievably good.
After we got over being completely dumbfounded in our new kitchen, Mike and I re-installed the track light, re-moulding it to fit the new space so that lights shined now in both corners as well as across the front. (We ended up only using four lights out of 5, which is perfect since I broke #5 while cleaning back around Halloween.) We also put back up some of our wall décor. Mike, seemingly inspired by the meticulousness of the kitchen installation, took the time to measure and properly center everything too.
Last Friday, the hardware and bottom trim installation was complete, thus completing our kitchen renovation. You’d think after our installer said, “It’s all yours!” I would have gone gung-ho, replacing and reorganizing all the foods and dishes in the cabinets right away. Nope. As soon as those words were uttered and the door was shut and the van was driving away… My brain turned to mush.
I began putting a few things here and there, but felt mostly like an overwhelmed zombie. Saturday wasn’t much better. Again, I continued to put away more stuff, but felt scattered. Thankfully, I had somewhere to be in the afternoon. I needed a mental break from lack of chaotic activity. Sunday, Mike spent most of the day installing and re-plumbing the sink and dishwasher. We ran into a few hurdles, some leaks, some bad hose, a minor flood… the normal stuff. By the end of the day – and I mean truly the end because we had a hose go bad when I finally tried to run the dishwasher around 6pm – everything was back to normal and functioning well.
But the return of the sink F’d me up for an additional day or two. Knowing the day was soon at hand, I’d let dishes just sit for a while. So there were a lot of them. And we had run out of paper plates. So there were plates too now. If I can manage to put away dishes from the dishwasher tonight, I may be finally caught up after 4 days.
And at this point, everything is finally put away and organized after all the picking away at it. I think I did a decent job of figuring out the most efficient arrangement. (Took me long enough though.) The plates/bowls are over the dishwasher for easy putting away. Pots, pans, bowls, and frequently used small appliances are in the lower corner next to the stove. Infrequently used items like good china and fondue pots are in the upper corner next to the fridge. Food items are mostly in the lazy susan next to the fridge with additional small and canned items in some of the upper cabinets around the stove.
The cutlery is below the cutting board work space. The trash cabinet is right next to the cutting board work space for easy cleanup during food prep. The trash bags, plastic wrap, etc are all in the cabinet next to the trash cabinet. The old trash can is out. (Let me say, it took us a few days just to transition to a new trash can… that’s how messed up I was.)
The cups and mugs are back where they were originally… and believe it or not, we have unused cabinet space. AND – all that bulky BJ’s food and potato/onion containers that previously had to be stored on top of the fridge because they didn’t fit anywhere else?! They all fit in this kitchen. No lie. The lazy susan is big enough to handle large and bulky items with ease. My only gripe is that items in the lazy susan must be arranged so as not to bump the hinge mechanism of the door. That’s a little bit annoying, but in no way am I dissatisfied.
The only other small inconvenience – my ice cream machine does not fit under the cabinets anymore. But that’s ok… because it fits in the cabinet with all the pots, pans, and other frequently used items.
We now have trim at the base of the cabinets, whereas before we had none and the grout from the tile was splattered messily on the bottom of the old cabinets. The hardware looks great and coordinates well. I just can’t say enough good things about this kitchen.
And here on Wednesday, I think we’re finally close to enjoying it. We have to clean the floor of all drywall mess… do those last remaining dishes… and reinstall the bag holder and pot lid holder.
How To New Kitchen In Less Then 3 Weeks. The End.