We have been living in a kitchen remodel since we moved into our home three years ago. Little by little, as we cam swing it (punny!), we have knocked out tile, a wall, another wall. We installed light fixtures, a dishwasher, a range, fridge, a sink. Currently, our counters and cabinets are cut up pieces of the original counter and cabinets screwed together. The counter we installed after taking out the south wall is our old bedroom closet door. We have several holes in the floor. It’s a mockup version of what we want. It functions great. Sure, I wish we could afford to just bang it all out in a month like all those homes my husband works on. But I’ve grown to really appreciate living with the mockup, living with the daydream of what it will someday be.
A few of the benefits of living with the mockup:
- We have changed our minds. We are testing it out and have found that things should move a bit from our original ideas.
- Waiting has allowed us to score some pretty awesome things. Like, last summer, we were given some leftover (gorgeous, designer, sea glass-looking) tile from a job my husband worked on. Enough to tile one entire wall and a backsplash. Like the range and sink (click links above).
- We are good daydreamers.
- We feel lucky now. When it is all done, we will value it more than ever.
I’ve not shared much of our progress here because I wanted to share it when there is the big, fancy before and after. Because who doesn’t love a good DIY before and after?! Truth is, our home renovations aren’t seamless and quick; they are not wave-a-wand-voila! There are a lot of guts between before and after. So, our before and during:
Looking south. Living room is back there.
Looking in from front door.
Looking north. The green door is our front door.
We lost a quite a bit of storage when we took out the south wall. It was the greatest change for us; that dark corner is now a bar counter with two stools (our girls favorite spot) – it is where all the kitchen action happens. Having limited storage space has forced us to choose what we really need. Seven pie plates? Five mixing bowls? Four spatulas? Two salad serving sets? Don’t need them. We store a lot of bulk food and kitchen items (like pressure cooker, serving dishes, extra wine glasses) in our garage.
This isn’t to say that things don’t get bananas in those few cabinets. We aren’t the most organized bunch. Every so often – when things have felt crammed and messy for a few months – I get a wild hair to sort and purge. It usually happens when I have coffee in hand and several other very pressing things to do.
During this process I always re-remember that we have enough space. There is always more than enough space.
As I consolidated and organized our pantry (a slender freestanding cabinet in our living room) recently, I took this photo. I will reference it the next time I say we don’t have any food in the house.
One of most-used pantry items is pancake mix. Thought I’d share our go-to recipe.
4 cups flour
1/2 cup ground flax (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
To make pancakes, use 1 cup mix, 1 egg and 1 cup milk (almond milk is our favorite; any milk will work). Even if I am using 1/2 cup mix and 1/2 cup milk I still use one whole egg.
These cakes can be altered in so many ways. A few of ideas:
* add 1/2 cup almond butter and one mashed banana
* add yesterday’s leftover oatmeal
* add 1/2 cup cottage cheese (might need to add a bit more flour)
* add a few spoonfuls of jam
This year in the kitchen we hope to replace the vinyl floor. (so wishing the original linoleum could be saved!)
Next will be cabinets. Counter. We took the doors off one our current cabinets to see if we’d like open shelving for the stuff we like to look at – mostly handmade mugs, colored glass and vintage lovelies. We like it and plan to install thick wood bracketless shelving there. But it could all change, by the time we get to it. I’ll continue to dream and pin and enjoy the enough-space we’ve got.