Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making a Kitchen, Part 1

Anyone who knows us on Facebook and/or real life knows that Jeff and I are remodeling our kitchen this summer. This is a pretty big deal for us - we've lived in this house for almost 4 years and haven't really changed anything in the house since then.

We still haven't painted the hallway after tearing down the wallpaper before we moved in. The dishes and everything in the kitchen are still located where they were haphazardly tossed when we unpacked the boxes - not a lot of make-sense organization going on in there. So to be taking apart the kitchen and putting it all together again with better layout, cabinets, and flooring is a really big deal.

Not to mention the fact that we're doing it all ourselves. No contractors, no workers. We're doing our own flooring, cabinets, counter tops - everything. And I'm so excited about it!

I have been posting little updates on Facebook about the design process and what not, but I decided that it would be neat to create blog post updates as well. I can be a bit more detailed on the blog. So this post is mostly to catch up on what I've accomplished so far, and I'll be sharing more as we continue to work on the kitchen.

I started with the idea to remove the peninsula from the kitchen - it cuts the kitchen/dining space in half and creates a couple awkward areas. First, there's only a small walkway to get from the kitchen to the dining area between the fridge and the peninsula, and if the fridge is open no one can walk through. And second, the dishwasher opens up right in front of the sink, so we have to stand at an uncomfortable angle to rinse and load the dishes.

After dreaming about taking out the peninsula for months, I took it to the next level and started a Pinterest board. Oh yeah, I was really getting serious now! I started pinning articles about how to remodel a kitchen, plans for making kitchen cabinets, tutorials for creating hardwood counter tops, and ideas for appliances, lighting, flooring, and anything else I could think of that I wanted in my new kitchen.

Next came the actual plan. I took lots of measurements and drew out what I would like the new kitchen layout to be. Without the peninsula, it will be more open. The storage and counter space that we're losing with the removal of the peninsula will be replaced by adding some cabinetry to the wall next to the fridge.

We'll save time, effort, and money by keeping the sink and fridge where they are, and the range will only be moving a few inches so that shouldn't be a problem. But the dishwasher will be next to the sink, which makes so much more sense!

After making this general plan, I got more specific as far as cupboards and drawers and such. Here are the plans I created which show where shelves and drawers will go on the range wall, the sink wall, and the fridge wall.

These plans took a lot of brain work - I stayed up super late a couple nights making them, but I loved every minute of it!

Next came the step of creating plans and cut lists for each individual cabinet. I relied heavily on Ana White's plans for basic wall cabinets and base cabinets. As I shared on Facebook, some plans were fairly simple, and some made me want to tear my hair out! The most major plan was the cabinet that sits next to the range, and goes all the way to the corner. The fact that I had drawers and vertical shelves to plan for made the calculations and measurements head-spinningly difficult for me, but eventually I got it figured out.

Seriously, look at that! It's ridiculous how many times I had to scratch my head, erase a whole bunch of numbers, and add everything up over and over again to make it all work to fit in the space properly.

But finally, I had plans drawn up for every single cabinet I'm going to build. Major sense of accomplishment there! I chose one of the simplest plans to start with, and after purchasing some beautiful hardwood maple plywood, I was finally ready to start building.

This first cabinet took me two days to build - one to make the carcass, one to add the back and the face frame. The sense of accomplishment I feel after completing this is indescribable.

After building one cabinet, and knowing that I still have 12 more cabinets of varying size and difficulty yet to build, plus a table comprised of a farmhouse table top and two additional cabinets, plus a storage bench, plus a kitchen island, I can honestly say that this kitchen will be a true labor of love. A WHOLE TON of work, but a whole lot of love.

I'm having to work around nap times, taking care of four kids, Jeff's odd work schedule, and trying not to be working in the hottest part of the day. I have to deal with the fact that I am extremely prone to migraines, and two of my triggers happen to be heat and physical exertion, so I have to take pain relief before I even go outside to start working each day. But looking at these kitchen plans, looking at my Pinterest board, dreaming of what my kitchen will be someday soon, I know that it will be worth it!

Linking to:
Think Tank Thursday at Joyful Homemaking

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Sister mine, I am so incredibly happy for you! I know you've been wanting this done a long time, I remember having conversations about kitchen redos when you bought that house! Having done a bathroom recently, with kids and all that, I know how much work you're in for. But I also know how big you'll be smiling when you get the last plate put away in that new space. :) Seriously, I walk in my bathroom now for no reason other than to look at it, I love it so much. There's something about redoing a space, and something else about planning it down to the drawer pulls and putting it all together yourself. I'm sure waiting has been hard, but at least now you know exactly how your family will be using the space, what the trouble areas were... If you had done it right away, you wouldn't have been so decisive about what you need.

I look forward to stalking your progress, and can't wait to get to see it all in person! :)