Friday, February 12, 2016

New Kitchen REVEAL

So ever since the day after Christmas, we have been going through a kitchen renovation. I feel an apology is owed everyone who has had to talk to me, read anything I wrote, or even look at me at different points during this renovation. As an introvert homebody working to raise 3 small children while growing #4 in a home invaded by chaos and lots of dust and even more people, I struggled through this renovation more than I realized I would.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this renovation was done to get our house ready to sell (because of Addison's bolting and us living next to a busy street and truth be told a wee bit more space with 4 kids would be really really nice). Honestly I have wanted to do this kitchen renovation for 7 years, but it was just never possible because this isn't something you can do little bits at a time. This is an ALL IN or nothing kind of project. Thanks to an insanely talented husband (you seriously rock), in-laws who graciously bent over backwards to lend their own skills to the project or even to give us a space to crash when our house was inhabitable, and fantastic contractors who worked with Aaron- we are at 38 weeks pregnant...and we have a new, fabulous, workable kitchen almost ready to sell our house for us. Perfect timing.

So without further ado (or whining...I promise.)- here is my pictorial journey from old kitchen to new. 

Here is a lovely shot from the side. You will notice a cabinet completely missing a door. (ha). About four years ago I painted these cabinets, but as far as quality they were nothing more than cheap plywood from the 1960s nailed onto the wall in patterns. They needed to go a loooong time ago. The paint made them much more photographable. But not much more functional, sadly.
Here is from the other side. Not a lot of storage space and quite frankly- a mess. As you can tell, the lighting was bad. There wasn't anywhere to put anything so it all kind of spilled out.
You see the back yellow wall? That is about to revealed for all it's glory (that wall is going bye-bye) and in all its glory I realize what a mistake that yellow wall was. Ha! You live and learn...
Ok so here is standing in the Dining Room facing into the kitchen. I share this picture because the gray wall is also about to go bye-bye. You can see the space wasn't being used well because of these extra walls, a bad kitchen layout, and old, old 1960s falling apart cabinets.
Enter: my husband, Uncle James, cousin Austin, Chip, and Papa...the Team of Demolition. (this picture was texted to me while I was safely at Papa's house- away from a lot of nasty dust with the 3 kiddos). After 6 hours of tearing out, this is what we were left with. (Yellow wall...cringe)
This is the next morning facing the other side. The room was gutted, and we realized we had to rebuild part of the floor and walls....and ceiling before the contractor could even start assembling the new kitchen.
Papa and Aaron replaced flooring... (That skylight to the basement was interesting but probably not the best selling point we had to offer)
...and lots of other things too. Slowly. Around 2 full time jobs. (Yes, that is my ginormous belly in the corner. I had to document the insanity.)
This is why the ceiling had to be re-drywalled. Where the old walls were- lay much evil.
Greg, Aaron, and Papa (with the help of a drywall lift)...made magic happen and VOILA a new ceiling is created.
And then the drywall to be hung. Oh so very, very much drywall. (That is Papa and Aaron slaving away on it once more)
And here is Addison eating popcorn, watching Papa and Aaron slave away on the driveway. (rough life)
So during this whole process, my fridge was out in the garage, and I was able to still feed my family pretty well (see #DinnerintheLRKitchen hashtag on IG). But I had to laugh. Just as I got used to going through the construction zone to get to the kitchen, all of the cabinets got delivered and blocked my way. I then had to go OUTSIDE (and it is cooold) to get to the fridge to get back to the living room to create miracles in my LR kitchen set up (and wash the dishes in the bathroom). Once I got used to this set up I got kicked out of the house for the entire house floor installation process...oh and somewhere in there while I was driving the kids around town just to get them out of the house and keep them safe from the construction zone, my van died...yeah...the entire process taught me a lot about what I really need. Do I need an easy route to my fridge? Or a working van? Or even a house? As things were stripped away thing by thing...I realized I really don't need any of those things. It's amazing how little you can survive on when life necessitates it. So long story short...these are the cabinets that taught me valuable life lessons along the way. (-;
First cabinets going up!!!! (with the lovely, yellow backdrop. You're welcome)
Oh, and I forgot to mention. Pretty much the entire rest of the house needed to be painted while the kitchen was gutted, we tore up the rest of the house as well to be able to paint them all uniformly before the new floors went in. (Still have the kids bedrooms left. And the bathroom. I am tired and am ready to just set a pail of paint in the middle of the room and let the next owners paint their little hearts out. Don't even tell me this won't work. I am too tired to listen.)
Pretty much almost every day for 6 weeks, my kitchen has been Chaos Level This:
Oh and lots of new lights went up into the brand new ceiling. The electrician did a fantastic job, and Eli for some reason really loved him. When the electrician would come into the house, Eli would should "DON!!!!! DON! DON!" and the poor guy would look so confused as to why this 2 year old was crushing on him. Eli still yells that when he sees a big white van. "DON!!!"
Oh beautiful, beautiful cabinets. How I love thee.
Progress was slow but sure. One little step at a time.
And then all of the flooring got delivered and progress really picked up. (And this is where we became homeless for about 3 days. Ha!)
Aaron was there with the floor contractors and I asked him to text me a pic so I could make sure it was what I had ordered before it was all down. Faithfully, I received this text. Perfection. This is the same flooring going down in the LR. (We completely packed up almost the entire rest of the house for this installation. Bonus- I got to clear out a lot of unnecessary stuff! Nesting Level Master.
Of course I still had to stop by and check for myself...
I love this flooring because it has lighter swirls, breaking up the dark. It is a gorgeous color, and really makes a difference to upgrade to real hardwood in the entire house from the laminate that was there.
And then appliances started being installed....exciting times.
And it really really started to look like a KITCHEN. 
After the floors were down, I let the kids back into the area for their first dinner back. It was SO SO hard to keep them out of this space for so many weeks. It was for their own safety but little moths to the death flame...
And then countertops were installed. I LOVE how all of the colors came together. After spending a month losing sleep over each decision, I could not be more thrilled with how all of my choices tied together. Pinterest dreams DO come true!!!
And more appliances...(this must be how Laura Ingalls Wilder felt when she went from no a new a new microwave AND STOVE. Oh wait...did it not happen like that?) I just think my appreciation for ALL THE THINGS went up hugely. Things that I previously took for granted after living 6 weeks completely without.
Oh and the sink!!!! No more washing dishes in the bathroom sink. YAY!
And then last night, my Mother-in-law finished up painting that last green wall while Papa and Aaron worked on installing the dishwasher. Fun, fun times.
An update on the poor wall that got all of those paint samples...(My Mother-in-Law has been a HUGE force in making all of this painting actually get finished. Seriously could not have finished this much without her.)
 So to be clear, we are not 100% finished. We still need to paint the ceiling...the plumber is coming back tomorrow to install some kick space heaters. We need to do something with the garage door that used to be covered by one of the walls and a couple of small framing things in the back hallway. But...since baby might happen before all of those things (a girl can only hold out for so long)...and because it is now put back together and useable and perfection (at least compared to what it was. ha!)...I am sharing a tentative "after" picture. Just keep in mind- small details will still be changed over the next couple of months before we list.

This is looking into the new kitchen from the Dining Room.
 All of that pantry/cabinet space...come to Mama. (you can see the kick space heater that isn't installed yet down by the stools)
 And the sliding door that was once behind a dark, dark wall...
I am LOVING the extra counterspace for feeding the kids, crafting with them, or even just having them hang out and watch me while I get their meals together. It is awesome to be able to include them in kitchen time.

 Use your imagination to see that ceiling painted white...
 For reference point- this is looking from the same direction:
           6 weeks ago:                                                        Today:
And this is the new, improved Dining Room. (more cabinet storage...anyone?)
And here is to show where those walls were...
So to sum up, this has been a huge adventure. I am thankful for every step being so clearly guided for us. I am thankful for being sustained through a lot of crazy. I am thankful it is mostly over. Good grief I had no idea what I was in for with this project. Good thing too, or else I never would have agreed...and never would have gotten this awesome kitchen to enjoy until we sell the house. With great risk comes....great counterspace. Apparently.

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