Monday, February 24, 2014

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

This is a non crafty post about why I've been MIA.

So, this kitchen remodel has taken over my life.  *LOL*  I am SUPER blessed that we are getting a beautiful new kitchen.  It's awesome that we get to select each and every design element.  It's also insanely stressful.  I've been without a full working kitchen for over 2 months.

The old kitchen.  Note the spaceship like light fixture, plain white laminate, and tons of wasted space above the upper cabinets.  We also weren't feeling the breakfast nook, it caused constant traffic jams at the kitchen entrance.  We've used it for over 3 years, and spent every day wishing we could re-do it.
My handy husband is doing all of this himself.  He's our plumber, our electrician, the whole deal.  He does excellent work and takes great pride in each step.  It just takes him much longer than a professional crew.  He's one man working full time and doing this kitchen on nights and weekends.  Plus, he often stops to think about all his potential options and select what he feels is the very best one.  I can be one heck of a perfectionist, but he gives me a run for my money when it comes to remodeling.   The big disadvantage to this is the amount of time it takes.  However it's saving us thousands and thousands of dollars and he can have each step done the way he prefers it.  Frankly if he weren't doing it himself there is no way we could afford this new kitchen. There just isn't. 

There's our favorite handy man hard at work.
Although the other side of the floor isn't finished, just check out this amazing curved edge on our tile!  He hand drew a curve and was able to execute it perfectly.  Take that professional tilers, my hubby has mad skills.  *LOL*
We've been surviving with a makeshift temporary kitchen in our family room.  Ah the adventures!  The fridge hogs a lot of power, so if I have more than one other small appliance running with it the breaker trips.  So I can't run the hot plate and the rice cooker at the same time.  I've gotten creative and I'll use the rice cooker on the floor of the living room and then the hot plate in the temporary makeshift kitchen. 

Our temporary kitchen with our old cabinets set up in the family room.

More of our temporary kitchen.

I've got some good basic appliances to use.  A microwave, a toaster oven, a hot plate I ordered just for the remodel, an electric kettle, a rice cooker, a crock pot, and of course a coffee maker. I cook all our meals at home.  Hardly ever eating out.  It can be done, but it's exhausting.  It can take me 2 hours just to make a simple batch of fajitas with my one little hot plate.  We have certainly eaten a lot more junk food than normal for snacks, but have not resorted all the way to TV dinners as they are so expensive and I know my husband would eat at least 3 of them before we was full. 

I have been buying an abundance of paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils.  This way I have fewer dishes.  Still there are plenty to wash with the knives, cutting boards, having to use regular plates for things like thawing meat, the crock pot, etc.  I take dirty dishes downstairs to the basement utility sink, often using a laundry basket to carry them.  I also fill gallons of water and pitchers down there.  If I just need a little water for the coffee maker or kettle I use the bathroom sink.

The whole house is totally taken over by this.  Of course the family room is invaded with the makeshift kitchen.  The dining room has stacks of back splash packages, and lots of boxes of things that belong in the kitchen.  For 2 weeks after our new cabinets arrived and were not installed we had them all stacked in the living room and dining room.  It was so bad we had to skip homeschooling for those 2 weeks because I couldn't even get to the kids' supplies.  I basically hid in the basement and tried to pretend that none of this was happening.  *LOL*

Where's the school desk?  Behind all these cabinet boxes.
Here's the view from the other side, more cabinet boxes.
To top it all off since Archiver's closed I just HAD to go buy a big fixture right.  So awesome!  Except now it's in my house and we can't get it in the basement with all the stuff in the way, so now it's living in my poor dining room too!  *LOL*  Perfect timing, right?  It will be wonderful when we finally figure out how to take it apart to get it downstairs, and hopefully re-assemble it without totally killing the poor thing.  Oh fingers crossed.

This past week I got a cold that no one else in the family got.  I just KNOW it's because I'm such a control freak and a perfectionist.  Having my house all messed up and feeling like I can't clean properly and I don't know where things are or can't access them.

I'm seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.  The cabinets are installed.  Of course that means they are off the floor, so that's a huge plus.  I've also been able to put some things in some of them.  I can't load the top drawers of the lower cabinets without a counter top in place, but some is way better than none.  My husband has gotten most of the wiring for the main lights, and our fancy new under cabinet lights done. 

Here's the kitchen today.  Starting to look like the space of my dreams.
The best part is that yesterday we finally picked out our granite.  It will be installed in about a month.  In the meantime I hope my husband can set up the water for the new fridge location and move the gas line for the stove.  Then after the granite is installed he will just finish the plumbing for the sink and dishwasher.  That's not something to do now because we need to see how the sink sits in the cabinet. 

So, in about a month I will have a fully functioning kitchen.  Not all the cosmetic components will be finished, but the kitchen will work and I'll be able to use it.  Then he can fiddle around and take his time painting, installing the crown molding, and installing the back splash we're doing throughout the entire kitchen, and adding hardware to the cabinets. 

Soon it will all be over.  It will all be worth it, I hope!  *LOL*  It's expensive, it's exhausting, it's a kitchen remodel.  As frazzled as I am I also feel truly blessed we are able to do this.  To get to pick all the colors and details is pretty special.  I love our new cabinets.  The color is lovely and I even got some great built in organizing features, just a few, but they make a big difference to me.  It's a dream come true in so many ways.  I'm just looking forward to getting past this part of the process.

Thanks for reading about my adventure.  I'm pretty frazzled and stressed, but what a wonderful result it will be.  Seeing the progress at this point is amazing.  The kitchen feels SO much bigger with the new layout and the lighter cabinets that go up higher.  Once the crown molding is in it will touch the ceiling.

I love you all dearly.  I will try and catch up on your fabulous blogs again soon :)

Hugs and crafty best wishes!



cuilliesocks said...

Hi Amber, gosh what a tremendous amount of work for your hubby, but he has done so well, and the new kitchen looks as if it will be fantastic.
I can well understand the stress of the upheaval, especially when you also have young children, but you're nearly there, thanks for sharing your new kitchen adventure, hugs Kate x

Pat N. said...

OMG, the new kitchen looks like it will be wonderful, not to mention so much storage space! I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

Lisa said...

Oh wow, the new kitchen is looking amazing!! What a ton of work for your hubby!! He is doing a fabulous job!! I love the curve of the tile!! I can't wait to see what it looks like when he's finished!! I know it will be fabulous!! Have a great evening :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

jessica said...

WOW Amber!!! What a job but OMG it looks amazing so far! I can not wait to see the completed project!!!
Thanks for sharing and have a GREAT night!

Shona Erlenborn said...

Having just gutted and remodeled two bathrooms, I so feel your pain! it is such a relief when it is all over and it looks like you're on your way! You will love it when it is all over.

Missy said...

Oh Amber it looks absolutely gorgeous! It is a blessing to have a handy husband, isn't it?? Mine finished our basemen 2 years ago and I love it, and I love that he did it himself. I can't imagine how challenging it would be to be without a fully functioning kitchen though, although once your new space is complete I bet you forget all this chaos in the blink of an eye!!

Karon said...

WOW Amber, you husband is a star. Your kitchen is going to look awesome. I love that curved edge to the tile - wowzer! Have a great week.

Norma said...

Oh my goodness Amber the kitchen is looking amazing and what a wonderful and talented husband you have to to able to work on your kitchen. I'm very happy and excited to see the final result which I know will be AMAZING!!! Almost there:) TFS and enjoy the rest of your evening.

Kim Heggins said...

wow...this will be amazing to see when it is finished...can't wait!

Diane said...

Wow Amber the kitchen sure looks nice.

Hugs Diane

Peggy said...

love ur new kitchen also did tour of ur craft room looks great

Peggy said...

love new kitchen and great tour of your craft room

Norma said...

Hi Amber:) You are almost there and it will be all worth it at the end with your beautiful kitchen and all those amazing meals you will be making for your family! Thank you for stopping by my blog and your sweet comment:)