What a difference three weeks can make! Have you ever been through a renovation? It’s not quite like the HGTV episodes. We moved into the cottage about a year. and a half ago. The concept was to live in our new Grove home until the cottage was ready, and we’d take our time doing it. The cottage was a hot mess and had had stressed renters in it before us. There was no water, little safe room to live and a hot mess of termite damage.
God laughs at my plans. We didn’t wait a year while we worked on the termite-damaged little cottage, no, we leased out our home in Grove and decided to camp out onsite at the cottage. Let’s remember where we began. The house has 6 total rooms including the bath. At the time of move-in, only 1 was inhabitable, three had missing walls and all floor joists past the kitchen were kapoot. It was August and the only thing that was hopeful was the air conditioning unit was in tack.
My Feller asked what could make it workable for me, and I said “one done room”. I can imagine the rest but I need ONE place to rest my eyes. We hustled to get the addition (which the previous owner had built to be a dining room) to be a Master Bedroom temporarily. We hauled out the awful, painted and put down fresh linoleum. Wallah, insta sanity. I was having ZOOM meetings, working on large projects as a business strategist and living my live about 15 hours a day in this one.finished.room. Our 25-year-old daughter lives with us, and she was living on the pull-out Ikea couch too, all the fall last year..
The kitchen was a gut job from day one. We pulled the cabinets down the very first tear-out day. The amount of gunk on the cabinets would not wash off, not even with tsp. YUCK. Kitchen design is not my thing and there was an awkward layout. I decided one thing and one thing only… I wanted the sink to have a kitchen window to look out at the beautiful green outside and I didn’t want the washer and dryer to be in a closet that took up 10 feet of precious space in the 1,0000 sft place.
We spent that entire year tearing down walls, replacing joists, and living through the reality of it. We jacked up the house to attempt leveling it. The whole thing was precarious, but with the help of five floor hacks, we got her solid. During this time Feller was unemployed so my main job was creating new business to overcome his salary that went away for 23 months due to Covid. We had left DoD service to go to a private industry and could not return while the hiring freeze was on. Feller has specialized skills, so placing him with 32 years of DoD service is not easy.
The first Christmas we used plywood and open cabinets to have running water for Christmas. The stove was absent until month 8. We used a tabletop convection oven and air fryer in one. it was a rough patch for folks who daily eat at home.
This past Christmas we were still very rough where the kitchen was concerned. We changed the layout several times in 2 years, but right after Christmas, before installing the cabinets we found just the right fit to get maximum storage. We made a U shaped kitchen with an antique island in the middle with a marble top for pastries and candy our daughter the chef likes to make. We’ll build a walnut shelf on the backside of the island to hold our many types of gluten-free flour, and large soup pans, but we are delighted with the difference this plan has made.
This weekend is Martin Luther King weekend and we are about 95% complete with the kitchen. We have paint, knobs, a stove hood, and one cabinet to go. We gathered guests throughout the two years, but this gathering everyone had a clean kitchen to enjoy.
What a difference combining new and old makes. We love the freshness of storage but the familiar joy of pieces that have been family favorites for years. Our white-on-white kitchen allows for many color changes for tablescapes, for decorating with the latest, and for simply looking clean. We chose countertops from Lowe’s when Covid meant that soapstone or quartz would be months getting installed. Life is too short to be disappointed by timelines.
This morning we are gathering with 5 family members (2 of the chosen family) for brunch then time to enjoy the snow after church. We’re visiting a new church today, and we’re happy to know them. Our home church is so close to our hearts, but I’d like to see my roots in the area. God rather puts us where ever he can use us and so we typically have a home church, but substitute or work with where ever he sends us.God has humor, he put opposites together and sends us to churches that never imagined they wanted leaders to come in and support their growth.
I’m working. on a design for the oven hood. We are thinking wood and white, but may use some of the fabulous copper we have as a hammered look. It’s time to get creative!
Have a happy week and share with us what you love about your kitchen!