Kitchen Fever

In our last episode of Kitchen Fever (also known as Schwing, our celebration of all things 90’s), Dan and I were in the initial stages of deciding whether or not we were ready to completely seal the deal on our kitchen renovation.  While my brother and I displayed our love for the 90’s with a rousing rendition of the 1997 Meredith Brooks song “Bitch” last weekend, our outdated kitchen did not fare so well.  It’s official:  the writing’s on the wall (er, on the contract).  We bit the bullet and will be starting our kitchen renovation in May!

Here’s a quick refresher on what the kitchen looks like now:

What you see is what you get: this snapshot captures nearly all of our counter and cabinet space, as well as the less-than-high-end laminate material covering most of our kitchen surfaces.  Now that a kitchen renovation plan has been set into motion, I can revel in the joy of sharing a few potential sketches with you (along with my masterful use of FloorPlanner.com).  Floor Planner is great because you can actually scale everything fairly easily and input specific appliances into your design.  It’s nice and basic (and free!).

This is the current floor plan of our kitchen.  In this design, you’ll see the hall closet wall, which we’ve decided is a non-negotiable, marked in black on the left.  Dan and I decided that keeping a hall closet was important for us as well as for the value of our home, so we won’t be knocking it out, despite the fact that it might give us some extra space.  We also have the sink up against a big window, a microwave and fridge on the right hand side, and two pantries at the edge of the kitchen.  The current square footage is 8.5 feet by 12 feet.

Here’s the potential new layout for the kitchen area.  We’re planning to relocate the sink to the right corner of the kitchen, thus providing us with a significant amount of continuous counter space right in front of the window.  Dan and I can chop vegetables and  simultaneously admire the view of gigantic snow piles outside (is it summer yet?).  While this layout is a little unconventional, we think that it will be worth it to really improve our counter situation.  Additionally, the under-sink cabinet, which is hardly used because the pipes take up most of the space, will be pushed into the corner.  This works for us too because we’ll have more usable cabinet space underneath our counters, rather than underneath the sink.

I’m excited to show some of the sketch ups that our contractor provided to us thus far.  Here’s an idea of what the renovation will give us:

In this new layout, we are actually expanding the kitchen by about three feet.  You can see that we’ll extend some counter space beyond the microwave on the right, expand the amount of space for a larger refrigerator when we decide to upgrade, and we’ll be adding in a spanking new pantry of my Pinterest dreams.

On the left side, we’ll be adding an additional cabinet beyond our pantry closet and a small countertop.  I think we’ll use this as a bar/food serving area, and the cats’ food will go underneath it so that guests won’t trip over it (ah, the joys of cat ownership).  There’s also a vent in the wall of the pantry closet, so we don’t want to cover that up completely.

Here’s a front-facing view of the continuous countertops, the new sink location, and an upgraded bottom cabinet on the left-hand side with pull-out drawers.  This will help make use of a previously not-so-useful corner cabinet, inside which I cannot reach any of the pots and pans necessary for my non-existent cooking plans.

So there you have it: a more detailed explanation of the super exciting ultra extreme kitchen renovation!  We still have a LOT to do to prepare for the construction, which will begin in May.  I’ll be sharing the step-by-step process along the way, including how we are budgeting for the renovation and getting ourselves ready to live without a kitchen for a few weeks.  In the meantime, here’s a list of things we still need to do/decide:

Things to do soon:
-Choose kitchen cabinets.  I am currently loving white, shaker-style cabinets like these.  All wall cabinets will go to the ceiling, be self-closing, and we’ll have at least one glass cabinet.
-Choose kitchen countertops.  Does anyone else find this as complicated as I do? We’re thinking about granite, but we’ve also seen some quartz and quartzite countertops we’ve liked, like these countertops.
-Decide what to do with our current pantry closet.  It will be a little too pricey to upgrade both of our pantry closets, but I also know how out-of-place an old pantry closet will look when everything else is redone.  We might give it a fresh coat of paint and figure out new shelving as well as a new door, like this pantry closet.
-Choose a backsplash.  I’m not so into the subway tile these days, but we’re looking at a few creative options that aren’t too out there, like this gray backsplash idea.

Things we’re not even thinking about yet:
-Choosing a paint color. I’m still having flashbacks to my gray paint dilemma back in December.
-Changing out light fixtures. THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES.
-Switching out our dining table and chairs. Again, so many choices. I think I’ll need an interior design class before I make any decisions on eating arrangements. I want all the chairs.

Well, there you have it.  Kitchen fever has struck, and the only prescription is more cowbell… or more design decisions.  Or more CHAIRS.

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