Friday, July 19, 2013

Week One of Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Week One of Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Dare I Say, "I Want My Old Kitchen Back"?


Ok, ok. Before you go thinking I'm being ungrateful for my ongoing renovation (because really, I am immensely grateful), let me just preface this by saying I just cleaned a smashed, whole kiwi from a jute rug. How it got there, I do not know, but clearly someone stepped on it... and neglected to mention it to me... so I stepped on it, too. So now, having picked smashed kiwi off the rug and cleaned it off of my foot, I can finally write my post... but I'm not in the cheeriest of moods, to say the least.

I guess I wasn't mentally prepared for living through a renovation. I mean, I knew we'd have to shift some things around, etc., but I didn't realize how much it would affect our day-to-day routine. For instance, we are eating on the front porch. We are storing our food in the family room. We are using an absurd amount of paper products, and our trash is more full than it's been in years. We have no countertops on which to put food or tableware. We didn't have a sink for a while, but then my husband hooked up a utility sink, which has been a big help, but it's still not "smooth sailing" by any means. Maybe I was just basking in the success of getting our kitchen removed for free... or maybe I was just being ignorant. Whatever the reason, I wasn't prepared.


But here we are, approaching the end of Week #1 of our kitchen renovation, and I thought I'd give some updates on what we've accomplished (although it doesn't seem like a lot at first glance, my husband has been gotten an unbelievable amount of work done considering he's also working full time).

What We've Accomplished in One Week of DIY Kitchen Renovation 

  • Dealing with Ikea Issues: Well, we were missing two major pieces in our Ikea delivery: the dishwasher and the sink! So we had to drive back to the store, load them into our car, and lug them into the house (ok, I won't pretend to take credit for all that). Then later in the week we realized we had too many cabinets for the space (at least to use it comfortably), so I had to go back to the store and return all the pieces for that.
  • Removal of 2/3 of the Old Slate Floors: Want a good arm workout? Use a crowbar to smash up some slate tiles. Then carry them outside.
  • Installation of 2/3 of the New Bamboo Floors: With a floating, "quick-click" system, this is an easy install. But the Laminate Installation Kit is definitely recommended (even though we had hardwood, the "clicking" process is the same. Ben put in some similar floors a few years ago and didn't have it. He said the process with the kit was dramatically better.
  • Putting Together All the Ikea Cabinets: Ever put together a piece of Ikea furniture? Not quite as simple as it seems. Multiply that by 7, and you can imagine my husband's mood during that process.
  • Leveling the Cabinets: This is a bit of a painstaking process, but totally necessary to ensure the counters don't crack later on.
  • Converting the New Stove from Natural Gas to Propane: I'm not going to pretend I really understood this process, but I did run out to Home Depot to pick up an adapter and some tubing. I'll try to do a more detailed post on this one, but I'll need Ben's help.
  • Cutting One Section of Counter Top: Actually, this wasn't part of our DIY plan for this week. We were supposed to have a contractor come and install our counters, but he flaked out on us.  But my husband promised to take care of it after a few days of contractor-no-shows, and he did a great job cutting piece #1. And he let me use the extra chunk for my stain samples!
  • Experimenting with cabinet and counter top stain colors: Honestly, if I didn't get to play around with that, I don't think I would have survived the week. For some reason colors have a therapeutic effect on me.

But back to the title of my post.... No, I don't want my old kitchen back, and now that I can finally see the kitchen looking like a kitchen again, there's at least an end in sight. But I'm not about to pretend living through this is easy! The house is a mess, the kitchen is a danger zone, I need to go through an obstacle choice to pour milk for the kids... but we're making progress. And I'm excited at the same time.

Well, what do you think? Any words of wisdom for living through a renovation? Will I make it through another week?


  1. I can understand your frustration! Renovation, if you thought about it, can be exciting and something to look forward to. But when you're finally on action, it's only then you realize how difficult to move and shift things and how it will affect your routine. Hence, it's important to keep a strategic plan ahead of time for a more organized renovating procedure. Arthur Bryant @

  2. I can honestly feel you. I also lived through renovations before, and it was for our whole house, though not all at once. What the contractors did was work on one part of the house and we would sleep in another for the meantime. When it was time to work on that part, we would switch rooms, and so on. Anyway, I assume the renovation's finished by now. How was it? Was all the hassle worth it? :)

    Enis Hodzic @


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