Friday, August 19, 2011

Kitchen Makeover Part I

A kinda long post.... but you know... it happens.

So I was making Chicken Cacciatore for dinner, and it occurred to me that it would be an ideal time to take some "Before" shots of  my kitchen makeover that's supposed to begin on Monday.

Suffice to know that I'm having all of the cabinets refaced (new doors, drawers and hardware with the same basic "boxes" refinished with veneer), the counter top replaced with Quartz and a lovely, glass tile back splash installed.  I'll tell you more about that later....   

SO.  For now.... THIS is my kitchen. 

Not so bad, right? 

No.  Not on first glance.

Not so bad, that is, IF you can stand 1980's "pickled oak" cabinets and 6" white tile/grout counter tops.

I can't.


You might note that I've chosen to cover the offending oak with my kids' pictures. 

And it DOES offend.  It DOES.

 I DO like the little dining area.  It's barely big enough for a smallish table, but it works, and I can look out the window into my tiny backyard and watch the lizards.  That's always fun.

Try to ignore the peeling "comfort foam" rug there... I have been, knowing that I'll just be replacing it soon....
(Why can't they make those things NOT peel???)

The stove stays.  It's consistently 35 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than it should be, but other than that, and since I've already grown accustomed to the cooking math required, I'm ok with that.

You can see the Dining Room from here, and will note that the boxes are already stacked on the floor, ready for me to disassemble and pack everything in sight.

I won't enjoy that part.

You can also see the Living Room from the kitchen.  The whole bottom floor is all one big open space with a staircase in the middle.  Makes for good running/skootering/bicycling around in circles if you are four.  Or nine, as the case may be at my house. 

I love the floor.  Floor stays.

Confession?  I rarely have to mop it.  It doesn't show a thing. 

I DO mop when company comes, though.  Just don't show up unannounced.

View from the Dining Room, looking in...

Ah, yes.... I blinged my KitchenAid with some butterflies. 

'Cause I'm like that.

And then of course, they were just BEGGING to continue up the cabinet.... So I did.

I might miss those a bit....


See.... Didn't look so bad from afar did it????

Just don't get within 3 feet and you're ok. Any closer and you see this digustingness.

Nothing I can do about it.

LOOKS like dirt.... isn't.  The finish has degraded to the point of un-cleanability and uber yuckness. 

OH!  And look HERE!  Such a lovely, clean looking counter!

Makes you want to just lick it, huh?

Dear LORD, this is the corner of my sink..... It's very difficult to convince yourself that you've cleaned the dishes, I can assure you...

WHY on God's Green Earth would anyone EVER think that 6" white tile with white grout was a GOOD IDEA?  Sure you can blame a LOT on our fabulous tastes during the 80s.... but come ON...


Bleach has no effect.  Steel bristle brushes have no effect.  I've re-grouted, re-caulked, re-sealed, etc, etc, etc.... It just comes back. 

It's hideous, I tell you. 

A monster.

I plan to ask the contractors if I can borrow their sledgehammers when they arrive to demolish it. 

Maybe even make them some tall glasses of lemon aid and send them out to the patio while I give it hell. 

I just might do that.

And this....

THIS is my silverware drawer.  OMG.

Another issue... About 8 years ago, I tried to install handles to save what remained of the cabinet finish at THAT time... and this cramped corner-space here... had to take the handle OFF so that I could open the other drawer. 

Oh, I cussed LOUDLY.

I did.

You probably heard me.

This is the current state of my ceiling light fixture.


A few weeks ago, the (again 80's) plastic cover fell on top of my head while I was making dinner and cracked on the floor.

Sure, I could get another ugly plastic cover... (again)...But it was at that point that I called the contractors.


That being said there are a few things I will miss when I have lovely cabinets and don't need to cover it up with artwork.  A few example, because I find them hilarious:

The Divine Miss M, age 4 drew this.  In case you can't read what her Pre-School teacher has written,  it says, "Evan (her brother) was doing a bad dance in jail."



So HI-larious that she did another version a few days later.  She did this one while *I* was watching her, and dictated to me that it was "Evan doing a dance in Jail".  


I'm starting to wonder what is it I don't know???

And one more of my favorites by Miss Milla:

What?  You've never seen a "PigMouse" before?

Silly you. 

Aaaaand, A few things that stay:

This is Swim.  He's a fish.  He's sticking around. 

He wanted to say "hi".

He's pretty old for a fish, actually... hope I didn't just jinx the poor guy....


I installed this light yesterday.  So I'm not giving it up yet. 

In fact, it's a genius little thing... A fixture that converts what was once ugly Can Lighting to a Pendant... cost less than $50 for the fixture and the glass shade. Doesn't match the current kitchen, but it WILL... Oh, it WILL....

The country valance is disappearing as soon as is humanly possible.  I only bought it because I was desperate for a new one when my old cotton curtains started ROTTING... ew... and I couldn't find anything else that was white in my hour of need. 

I'm not actually this country-fied...  I DID try to convince myself that I do love sunflowers (it's true), but I wasn't fooled. 

As least it was only a $20 mistake.

I think at one point this Guy had a name.  Mr. Something or Other.

I've had him for so long, I've forgotten.

What?  You don't have a Kitchen Protector Rooster on top of your refrigerator?

You should, you know.

Cookies don't burn.

Children never get hungry.


And, ah yes... The magnetic Philosophers.

A must in the home of a Philosophy Professor.

My kids could say "Nietzsche" before "Mama" I think.

But not before "Fish", which was Evan's first word. 

Q: How many Dada-ists does it take to change a light-bulb?
A:  Fish

He's been a surrealist from the start, that kid....

And finally... Proof of the small master's genius hanging on the fridge.

A straight-up 600 out of 600 on the California State STAR Math Test. 

Uh-huh.  That's right.

Two years running, baby.

SO... tomorrow, a Chicken Cacciatore recipe that's a bubblin' right NOW...

See you then.



  1. Okay, so I had a little bit of the green eye envy going on while looking at your overall kitchen picture. Now its all out envy over you being able to redo your kitchen! Would you like a pure white formica kitchen counter? I'll toss in the press board kitchen cabnets with the fux wood grain doors for free!

  2. PRESSBOARD you say?? Now who's making who jealous??? ;). Honestly, though, I'd take Formica over the tile any day of the week... Oh, ugh!

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