Today’s post is all about celebrating that glorious decade during which Dan and I were raised: the ’90s. We sang along to the Spice Girls, hunkered down for SNICK on Saturday nights, and wondered “whatever happened to predictability?” while watching Full House. Okay, Dan probably didn’t sing along with the Spice Girls, but I absolutely belted out every word to “Wannabe” on multiple occasions. Dan and I recently celebrated our love for the 90’s on Halloween, channeling Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar. Schwing!
While we are all nostalgic for 90’s pop culture, there’s one thing from the 90’s that we just can’t seem to escape: our kitchen. While I appreciate our stainless steel dishwasher and recently upgraded sink faucet, unfortunately there’s not much else in this tiny space that has been upgraded. This snapshot gives you a sense of the outdated overload. That’s laminate countertops, laminate cabinets, white refrigerator, and most challenging: complete lack of counter space.
One downside to our kitchen is the lack of room to expand. As you can see above, in the front left of our kitchen, we have a wall that doubles as our foyer coat closet. We also have dual pantry closets on the right and left at the end of the kitchen. These bookmark our space into quite a confined area, roughly nine feet wide by 12 feet long. Add in some frequently used kitchen appliances, Dan’s personal greenhouse, and our dish drying rack, and you’re looking at virtually zero available counters.Oh, kitchen. While I appreciate the fact that good things come in small packages (I am 5’2 after all), I still can’t get past the fact that the cabinets don’t go all the way up to the ceiling. I can’t reach anything on top of those cabinets, though they are a lovely focal point for any visitors. Who doesn’t want their guests staring at their cupcake trays and decorative beer bottles?
In our first attempt to make some changes, Dan and I set up an appointment with Joe, a local contractor who helped us brainstorm some initial kitchen layout plans. Right now, here is the current setup of our kitchen.
We have upper and lower cabinets all along the right hand side, including above the microwave and stove (which I can’t reach: #shortpersonproblems). We have one large upper cabinet on the left hand side of the kitchen. The lower cabinets in the right and left corners of the sink are simply blind cabinets – no lazy susan or slideable shelving options. As you can see, we have a very small slice of counter space in between the stove and the pantry which, at 12 inches, has been rendered virtually useless. After meeting with Joe, we took a trip to Merit Kitchens in Totowa, New Jersey to look at some kitchen options for us. We haven’t taken any action steps moving forward, except that we’re planning to keep up the white cabinet/light countertops look to keep our kitchen looking bigger and brighter. We worked with Joe to come up with an alternate layout as well, since just updating cabinets and countertops won’t really help us maximize the space. Here’s just a few things we’re looking forward to in terms of the layout:
- Relocating the sink: Moving the sink to the right corner of the kitchen will help create one seamless section of countertop. It will also eliminate one blind cabinet, helping all short-armed people of the world reach their pots and pans again.
- A new pantry configuration: Exchanging one pantry closet for a full pantry cabinet (like a miniature version of this one) with pull out shelves will give me LIFE.
- Adding in an extra upper cabinet and counter space: On the left side, adjacent to the pantry, we’re thinking about adding an upper cabinet and countertop. This will give us a makeshift bar area, and more importantly, a cover over the cats’ feeding area. I’m all about creating a private fine fining experience for Wallace and Wasabi. Me-ow.
So there you have it! The kitchen renovation train is chugging along, though we don’t have a budget quite yet. As a disclaimer, this kitchen renovation will not be 100% DIY: Dan and I are still working on our skills, so we’re taking some experts along for this ride. Let us know what you think about the initial plans!