T-3 Days Til Demo!

You heard that right. E and I got crazy hair and decided we should take advantage of his summer off (thanks teacher career) and go for it! We've been talking about it for such a long time and carefully preparing ourselves for that final leap, even trying to think ahead to the days when we'll be sans cabinets for a while - that's one of the reasons why we added our recent banquette, to provide some extra storage in case this project turned into a full-summer affair. (I need to add updated photos of the banquette. We now have curtains, knobs, and a bench cushion!)

Queue leaky sink. This spring our sink decided, after 60 years of cooperating and sticking to the path in the pipes, it would make it's own trail and send us flying for buckets and tupperware every time we ran the dishwasher. We know you can fix a leaky sink, but we were hoping to move its location when we finally decided to remodel, so a repair would deter us form that end goal. Oh, and in case you haven't been privy to our lovely dishwasher situation, it's portable, so every time we run it we wheel it over to the sink and hook it up to the faucet, and then are forced to stay clear for a few hours since said dishwasher squats in the middle of the kitchen - a barricade that makes any food prepping a challenge. Needless to say, the added challenge of emptying buckets halfway through a cycle just might be the final straw ...

Enter Mark Mann. We started doing some research on kitchen renovations, and after a few estimates quickly learned that a full kitchen remodel wasn't exactly in the budget. And besides, we're more the do-it-yourself type anyway. Then Evan came across Mark Mann from Mann Made Handyman Services, who offered us a great deal where Evan (and myself when I'm not working) will put in our own sweat and blood (hopefully not too much blood) for exchange for a completely affordable kitchen.
Add a sale at lumber liquidators and the discovery of a farmhouse sink within our budget, and we're sold!

Good thing we've been dreaming up this kitchen for a while, because demo day is scheduled for Saturday.

This Saturday!?!

I'm thrilled and excited but now we have to act fast. This past week we researched flooring, cabinets, and countertops, and finally are making some decisions. Mark helped us set up a budget and brainstorm  kitchen layouts and how to solve our sinking floor between the house and addition. We spent last Friday night donning our architect hats and playing around with Ikea's floor planner software, this afternoon Evan ordered our flooring, and this evening we stopped by Ikea and bought our first two cabinets (we'll purchase them in shifts since they can't all fit in the car and we have to assemble them anyway).

But on to the exciting part. Here's our lovely BEFORE photos. I never remember to take these pictures, so I made a point this time of snapping a few before too many cabinets come down (you'll notice one uppers is already bare). I didn't bother to clean up first, so you'll notice some cream cheese and crackers, my "appetizer" in some of these, and some pesto later on - dinner! Oh, and some muffin tins sudsing in the sink ... kinda grimy. But that's the point right? These are the no-frills photos. The grumpy, unsmiling, before-the-diet portrait shots, if you will.

This is taken from the entrance to the kitchen. 

The entrance to the kitchen is off to the right there, by the odd half-cabinet.

This is taken from out by the dining room table, looking back at the kitchen. I'm sad the cabinets we added above the fridge and stove will have to come down, but we've decided to either Craigslist them or find another use in the basement. You live, you learn, right? At least our work running an electrical line up to the microwave will remain.

This is again, near the entrance to the kitchen. Not sure what's going to happen on that far wall yet ... it might not change much for now. But I thought I should take a picture anyway to round out the story. I'm kind of obsessively thorough like that ; )

And here's our tentative plan! The white cabinets from Ikea don't look that white in the pics below. And the pantry added to the far wall isn't in the plans right now. The cabinet on top of the fridge will be deeper (standard fridge depth), and we're not sure what'll happen to the right of the fridge (I don't think the kitchen cart really fits there). The new dishwasher will go directly to the left of the sink, but we might not opt for the panel covering it (you have to get a higher-end dishwasher for that to work). And we're planning on carrying out the countertop a bit and wrapping it around the back side, we just didn't know how to illustrate that.

But my favorite part?

The window!

And here are some of the floor samples we were considering. Left is a cork floor - we wish we could've done this, but the laminate (middle and right) was SO much cheaper and still a durable product, so we had to pass the cork by. Although I love how dark that middle sample is, it was hard to visualize in our space, and would be harder to match with the rest of the hardwood floors in our house.
So we decided on the sample on the right!
Toasted Chickory from Lumber Liquidators, on sale for $1.99/sq ft.

We aren't decided completely on the countertop, but will likely go granite, and this is one of my favorites:
Bianco Antico granite - from TBD (sold many places)
You can see it in a kitchen here.

The next few days will be filled with assembling Ikea cabinets, boxing away dishes, moving the fridge to the living room, and planning meals for the next week or two sans kitchen. Anyone wanna invite us over for dinner? : )


  1. We'd love to have you over for dinner - too bad it would be a 1200 mile trip!

  2. But we can fly in some Magma Pizza and Falafel sandwiches to tide you over!


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