After months and months of talking about it, and thinking about doing it every day since we first laid eyes on our condo nearly two years ago, we have finally started ripping apart the kitchen. Just in time for Christmas dinner!
The mess started innocently enough. Just a couple of butcher block slabs in the middle of the living room.
And then more materials started spilling out.
And soon we had to start emptying the kitchen entirely, overflowing into every room in the place, the hallway, the nooks and crannies...
But let's talk more about the kitchen, because I know everybody loves a before and after. Even if the after is still a long way off.
Here's the kitchen before we started for real. What's that you say? You say it's little more than a long, dark cave? Right you are! And that's why we are so desperate to chop it to bits. (Well, not really. But we are itching to brighten it up. And get rid of the hideous yellow tile with dark pink grout. Oh yeah, and the pink countertops too. And the general yellowness of the space. That's no big deal, right?)
From the other end, you at least get some of the light from the front windows.
But before we could do anything real, we had to strip it down, label the cabinets, and give the stuff left in there a little protection. Enter the kitchen's new look: Plastic Chic. (And I love how bored the cabinets look with their newly added blue tape.)
Our major progress on Christmas was stripping out the old lights, priming and painting the ceiling, and installing the new lights. (We painted the walls too, but I'll save that for the big reveal in -- here's hoping -- a few weeks.)
The old lights.
And the new and improved versions (a steal at Home Depot), with a little fresh paint and primer. (P.S. It is pretty uncomfortable to paint under halogen lights. They get hot-hot-hot. But it's only uncomfortable when you're RIGHT up under them.)
Our other big project was stripping out the built-in china cabinet that had had its back to the fridge, but which will now serve as the base for a new bar in our eat-in area. To move it, we first had to detach it from the wall, which proved a lot tougher than expected.
Cabinet minus the doors and countertop, but still very much attached to the wall.
After quite a lot of prying and nail removal, many, many nails still remained.
Free at last.
But just look at all of that nail damage. Seriously, guys. Did you really need FORTY nails to secure one little cabinet? Did you really?!!?!
We learned the hard way in both of our bathroom renovations the value of careful wall prep, so we did a better job this time around, and you can now barely see where the cabinet and countertop used to be attached. (Hint: I think drywall compound is about a thousand times better than spackle.)
With some painting done, some lights replaced (and some electrical troubleshooting -- wouldn't be one of our renovations without some electrical glitches), and a cabinet freed, we were finally ready to do a little celebrating, even if it did have kind of a battlefield feel to it.
The green plastic sheeting cast a nice, Christmasy glow over our cramped table. But we still found space for a clearance balsam fir centerpiece and some silver sparkle.
And if you squint and only look from a certain angle, it looks like a normal (if short) Christmas tree.
I hope you all had an awesome Christmas! Despite the mess, ours was a blast. And it feels so amazingly good to be making progress -- at last! -- on the kitchen. Now it's on to the cabinets.
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