The Little Gray Hut – Chapter 3

The Kitchen – The Decision to Gut Everything

After several days of deliberation, searching for appliances, browsing for inspiration, pricing materials, looking again and again at the kitchen cabinets or lack thereof, we finally decided to go all out on the kitchen, at least as much as our budget would allow.  My excitement was through the roof!  We were taking the very first step to completing our first home!!

Going through pinterest has become my new favorite waste of time, even though sometimes, it’s not exactly a waste when I’m searching for inspiration, like I do when I’m searching for design ideas for the house.  While we are still planning to sell this house and move on to another sometime down the line, we still want to enjoy it while we’re living in it, so we’re creating an artistic style that can still be neutral enough for the new owners.  These are some of my favorite kitchen inspirations:  {The last, by far, was my fave, but it was a little dark for going neutral-ish.}

Photo Credit: Little Green Notebook
Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty
Photo Credit: My Domaine
Photo Credit: Remodelista
Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

Because the previous owners duct taped the drains to the kitchen sink {???!!!}, the cabinets and wall behind the sink suffered from enough water damage to rate replacing, and since the entire cabinet system was one custom installation, we decided to remove all of the cabinets, repair the wall, and start fresh with a new canvas.  Our cabinets came from Lowe’s and Menards.  Menards had the corner cabinets with lazy susans inside, so we got those from there.  One of the cabinet spaces was only six inches on the side of the dishwasher, so we made that one ourselves, custom.  We found a great template and step by step by Ana White.  She was a life saver, because that was such a critical part of our design!

In the midst of getting cabinets together and laying out the design in our small space, I was shopping around on Craigslist for appliances.  I was so in love with vintage stoves and fridges, and I wanted a set so bad, but after discussing the pros and cons, we finally decided on a newer set of appliances, so there was less risk of anything going wrong with them.  Being on a budget sometimes spending a teeny bit more initially to avoid extra, more intimidating costs later, so after a lengthy and most exhausting search, I finally stumbled over the most amazing set of stainless steel and black appliances for $200.  This one included a Kenmore Gallery convection stove, dishwater, and range microwave {such a lucky find!!}  We still needed a refrigerator, which I found after another week or so for $350 at a local repair shop.  {Awesome!!}  They matched perfectly, and I painted the sides of the fridge with chalkboard paint to make grocery lists, etc.

With cabinets strewn all over the kitchen and hearth room and appliances somewhat in the area they needed to be, we decided that we would replace the kitchen window while we had everything apart, so that would be complete, and the kitchen would be whole when we finished the details.  We measured the current window and purchased one from Menards at that size and thought it would be a quick remove and replace.  No.  Not at all.  If you’re going to replace ANY window, prepare yourself for an entire day at work on this thing.

First off, the window that we had in our old house seemed like a jig saw puzzle that was built into the wall, one little piece at a time.  That may have had to do with the fact that the builders on this house nailed everything in, making it harder to remove.  It sounds funny to say, but we’re screwing everything into place, because if it needs to be removed later, we want it to be easy for the next people.  So thoughtful of us!

Once we had the old window completely removed, we had to build up the framing to accommodate the new window, and from there, it was a little sanding and shimming, and we were in business.  It did get late on us, so we framed up the outside of the window and called it a day, promising to visit the trim on the inside the next chance we got, and we did.  Having that new window in there that would easily open and close and lock was more satisfying than we imagined, but we found ourselves sighing with satisfaction as we closed up the house, looking forward to a new day on our next visit.

{To be continued…}

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