I’ve told you all a little about our house and kitchen. For those who aren’t aware, our house isn’t very large and the kitchen is really on the small side for someone who enjoys being in there and loves to cook. For some reason, too, my kitchen has always been a “gathering place” no matter where I’ve lived, so I find I’m generally working around someone when we have company here. Thank goodness that our kitchen in this house is open to the living room and dining room because that really helps with some of the congestion of having more people around.
When we bought this house, we thought that redoing the kitchen would be one of our top priorities. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, exactly, but it wasn’t “to our taste” and didn’t function as well as I would have liked. The counter tops were tile and I would have preferred something with a smooth surface and no grout lines. The floor had a very light (almost white) tile on it, which is definitely not something that I would have put in. The sink was good sized and I basically liked it, but the shine on the porcelain had worn off and no matter how much I cleaned it it still appeared dirty because everything caused stains. If Jack poured a cup of coffee out in the sink, I had stains! And, the kitchen always seemed a little dark. Well, not exactly dark, but the one window in the kitchen was very small and you really couldn’t see much out of it. We did change the faucet in the kitchen soon after we moved in and our son, Jeff, had built custom hickory doors (which we absolutely love) for our existing cabinets, but that was the extent of any renovation that been done.
Another thing about when we bought this house is that it was intended to be a vacation home and possibly a retirement home. We had no intention of moving here permanently until a couple of years after we had purchased it. When we made the decision to throw caution to the wind and pull up stakes in Omaha, Jack and I decided we wanted our lives to be simpler and we also wanted to cut back on expenses. We wanted to be able to do more of the fun things that we enjoy and work less. We wanted our focus to be on spending quality time together building memories, not working to be able to have the latest and greatest of everything that we could buy.
After moving, the kitchen didn’t seem to be a priority at all. There were still things that I would have liked, but nothing was urgent. This spring, however, we started thinking about it again. This time our thoughts were a lot more along the lines of making the kitchen a more pleasant place to be and also making it more functional. After much thought, I decided that the floor really wasn’t an issue. There’s nothing wrong with it and at least it’s a neutral color. Also, the counter tops are fine. I don’t mind the terra cotta color and I use cutting mats or mats for rolling dough when I need to. I’ve also learned to just clean them really well with a bleach solution. The sink, however, and the window were still an issue. Also, I needed better storage for dishes. We thought about those things for a long time and then Jack went to work.
First of all, I got a new window. It’s about twice as big as the old window and gives me a better view of what’s going on outside. I can see the deer strolling through the back yard and can see up the side of the hill behind us. I get a good breeze coming through the window and it’s so nice to have the additional light. Plus, it seals a lot better than the old window, so it will keep the cold out much better and that’s a bonus!
After the window, Jack started on some shelves for a 42″ space of wall above the sink that we previously had a plate rack on. I liked the plate rack, but it didn’t hold much. Jack loved the plate rack because he likes being able to get to plates without having to open anything or move things. Typically, in my cabinets, I have stuff stacked on top of more stuff because of my limited space. To solve that, Jack put 1/2″ angle iron on the walls where we were going to put some open shelving. He felt better having a little more support for the back of the shelves and you really don’t even notice it. Then, he made the shelves so they go around the corner. He did a really nice job of joining them where they meet in the corner with biscuits and his Kreg Jig. Next he put up some brackets that he had gotten at Cripple Creek Ace Hardware. I had picked them out because I wanted something rather simple and the brackets worked perfectly. I should mention that we went back and forth about whether to stain the shelves to match the cabinets or paint them. Once we decided to paint them, we couldn’t decide on black, white, or to make them somewhat weathered/rustic looking. In the end we painted them white and I am really glad we went with that option. Jack used Ace Cabinet, Door & Trim paint from Ace Hardware for the shelves and it really went on well and has a nice finish to it. Also, the paint will be very durable.
While Jack was putting up the shelves, he suggested that we go ahead and change the sink and faucet. We had been looking for awhile and had pretty much decided on what we wanted, so that became part of our project. We got a sink that was the same size as our old one, but it didn’t fit exactly. Jack had to do a little “fiddling” with it to make it fit. Even after getting the sink in, there were a few issues that needed work. Some of the tile had come up when removing the old sink that needed to be replaced and there was a little gap right in front of the sink. Fortunately, we were able to find some tile that matched closely and “piece” it in so it’s not noticable at all. Jack also put in a new faucet that I really, really like. It’s sleek and you don’t really notice it, so it’s not distracting and doesn’t “stand out” when you look in the kitchen, which I like, It’s also easy to use and very flexible, so both filling pots and rinsing the sink are easy.
My kitchen is now done and I love it! It’s functional, the sink doesn’t stain, my new faucet is wonderful and so easy to use, my shelving is very practical and I really like the way it looks, plus I have a great view. I’m 100% happy with my kitchen and I’m so thankful that Jack took the time to do this for me. I’m a lucky woman!