And So, It Begins

That’s a pretty dramatic opening, isn’t it?

Well, it is a pretty dramatic moment.

We are redoing our kitchen, and today, this very afternoon, the first tentative bangs and experimental crashes will begin on the destruction of the current edifices in place.

The only things in these photographs you see that will be the same by the time we are done are the windows and the tile floor, which we had installed before we moved in.

The rest will be gone, and made totally anew.

The cabinets are not very strong, and are not built according to what we need to store in them. We have heavy Fiestaware dishes (which are now currently taking up the upstairs kitchen that one day, hopefully quite soon, will become the Tigers and Strawberries Culinary Dojo) which have begun to cause the upper cabinets to sag away from the wall. This is not good. Therefore, we decided to go ahead and redo the kitchen sooner rather than later.

The cabinets, countertop, sink and dishwasher are going to our good friends Dan and Heather who are hopefully buying a house this year and want to remodel their kitchen. As they have not managed to accumulate such estravagent amounts of culinary equipment over the years as I have, these cabinets will be perfect for them, and they will look so much nicer in their kitchen than the current older metal models.

Our new cabinets will be oak, done in moss glaze and honey-toned stain. Our first shipment of them comes in on October 7, so we are going to be cleaning out our garage in a frenzy this week.

The new stove will be ordered sometime in this coming week. It is a monster–a beautiful, amazing culinary machine–with one of its six burners capable of pouring out 20, 500BTUs of cooking power. A far cry from the wok stoves I have used professionally that are like volcanoes spewing 300, 000 BTU’s, but still–for a home range, that is the upper range of heat, and will make awesome stir fries full of wok hay.

Some people say that if you love a woman, you give her pearls.

I say, if you love this woman, you give her BTU’s.

The current refrigerator is an older model Sub-Zero, which i do love, but which takes up huge amounts of space in the kitchen–space that could be better used for equipment storage.

We are replacing it with a more normal-sized counterdepth Kitchenaid, but we are keeping the Sub-Z–we are just going to put it over in the utility room and plug it in there. That way, when I do personal chef and catering work, or throw parties, I will have plenty of storage space for extra food.

The design is very pretty, and will very much maximize the space we have without being overly extravagent. We are also using the style of cabinets and colors to tie into the oak floors in the rest of our house and the Mission/Arts and Crafts/Asian styles we are using as the guiding principles of our decor.

The main cabinet color–oak with honey spice stain–will call to mind the golden colors of the oak floors throughout the house. The moss-glazed pieces, British Racing Green stove, and green paint on the walls will call the green from the trees in the view out the window inside and carry over the theme of nature and earth into the room. The terra-cotta tile floor will be echoed in the tile backsplash behind the stove, and the speckles in the stone countertops. The drawer pulls and knobs will all be in copper, further extending the warm red tones of the tile, and we are going to go for a black sink, and black appliances (except for the stove) in order to echo the streaks of black that are in the tiles and the countertop. Black also will make the appliances other than the stove recede into the background, thus allowing the stove to take center stage.

As the destruction and construction take place, I will post further updates as they occur here–the trials and travails of having our kitchen redone should result in some amusing situations for all, I am certain.


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  1. I am absolutely in love with your vision of Kitchen to Come. Actually, I also like the kitchen in its current iteration. In my new place, someone had the rather large lack of foresight to decide that no one really needs *drawers* in a kitchen.


    Comment by knitvixen — September 30, 2005 #

  2. The basic idea of the kitchen now isn’t bad–it is better than when we moved in when it had yellow and white gingham wallpaper on the walls, teal green carpeting and teal countertops. ICK!

    No drawers in a kitchen–whoa. That gives me hives just to think about, Kris! Good on you for now convulsing with frustration over it!

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — September 30, 2005 #

  3. Oh, I convulse every now and again. I suspect my kitchen was remodeled by the same guy who laid carpet over the phone and cable lines. It’s…interesting.

    Comment by knitvixen — September 30, 2005 #

  4. Yea! Death to the forehead smacking lamp!
    (Notice you didn’t include a pic of it!)


    PS-Monday good for you 3 for the movie???

    Comment by Bryian — October 1, 2005 #

  5. When they take that lamp down, Bry, I am planning on giving it to you for target practice.

    Where that lamp is now, is where they are building in a desk with drawers below and cabinets above so I can put my laptop in there, loaded up with all my recipes. That way, if I want to remember exactly how to make the Aphrodite Cookies, I don’t have to print it out, waste paper and drag it into the kitchen–I just call it up on the laptop and go from there.

    Also, when I improvise something, I can go right over to the laptop and write it down to remember it.

    Very nice!

    Oh, and I took a picture of that damned lamp, but didn’t post it. Maybe I should have.

    I think we can get the kid to wait to see the big damned movie until Monday. I think. I am not certain, as she has of course, not seen it yet, whereas we all have.

    So, I will consult.


    Comment by Barbara Fisher — October 1, 2005 #

  6. I enjoyed reading about your travails in kichen remodeling. It brought back many memories, both positive and negative.

    My wife and I went through the same sort of thing when we moved into our house in the Texas Hill Country North of Austin on Lake Travis, a 65 mile long artifical lake. Our house is delightful and meets our needs nicely, except for one thing — there is no gas available for the kitchen so we are stuck with electricity. We investigated propane as an alternative, but our lot is such that there is no convenient place for a tank.

    Your kitchen looks very nice and very workable. My wife and I spent a lot of time designing ours, as I know you did, as well. We took masking tape and laid out floor plans on the floor to be sure there was enough “butt room” between the island and the stove to allow two people to be in the kitchn at once. My wife decided that she wanted cabinets that went all of the way up to the ceiling instead of starting part way down, as most do. She saw no reason to give up that much needed storage space. I wanted the counters to be an extra six inches deep. This is an idea I got from Craig Claiborn’s kitchen in the Hamptons. It allows me to keep mixers, food processors, and the like on the counters instead of stored away below. I always found it a hassle to have to retrieve them and then store them again when through. The convenince is GREAT. Likewise, our caqbinets use sliding shelves to allow acces to the back of the cabineet. This is a convenient feature for everyone, but particularly useful when you get older, as we are.

    I assume you are still happy with your new kitchen, which is a very personal thing, in my opinion. Yours is certainly attractive and looks beautiful.

    If you have any curiosity about mine, I can send you some amsll jpegs, off list, showing you how ours looks…



    Tom Spillman
    Asst. Professor (retired!)
    Information Technology

    Comment by Tom S. — October 27, 2006 #

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