We moved into Maple Hoo two and a half years ago. We knew before we moved in that we were going to remodel the kitchen. You’ve been hearing us talk about the waiting to start, the being in the remodel process, and the gradual everyday use of the increasingly completed project. You’ve seen glimpses of it in food-styling glamor shots. You’ve heard us rave about how much better it has made our lives. And now, Gentle Reader, the time has come for the reveal; here it is — 99.5% finished, our New Kitchen!
Okay, we don’t have some fancy panorama camera that can take in the entire scope of our gorgeous and enormous kitchen, so let’s take a little tour through all the high points, bit by bit. We started out with a dinky, dingy L-shaped space that combined the internal kitchen proper and an added-on, many-windowed breakfast nook that we used as an open-air, walk-in pantry space into which we could not walk because we’re slobs:
The first step in the remodel was the (admittedly sad) removal of that side window, to make room for a vast wall of stove, vent hood and upper cabinets. Goodbye, view of our garage, and hello, storage space that keeps us from having to stow our supplies on the floor!
After a brief, painless interval (HAHAHAHA!! We crack ourselves up), this is what the view from that same spot looks like:
Yeah, we know. You can take a minute here to compose yourself after that shock.
Here’s another view into the old nook:
And here’s the same view now:
You’re probably wondering what the kitchen part of the kitchen looked like, right? Well, here it is — with a Boomer sighting!
What does that space look like now? Behold:
But… what’s behind that door? Where the old drop-in, nasty-assed range used to be? Oh, nothin’ much. Just… our amazing, awesome, peerless pantry, is all.
Shortly after we moved in, our designer very kindly did a mini-demolition, taking out a bit of useless, skanky cabinetry and a refrigerator surround that our fridge didn’t fit in, and put in some stop-gap remainders cabinet boxes to let me have my 36-inch oven and five-burner cooktop. The end result was, while appliance-happy, sorely lacking in aesthetic appeal. We lived with this arrangement for over a year and a half.
Fortunately, things are a lot better now!
Now, the most expensive part of this whole project was turning a weird little alleyway of deck between the exterior walls of the breakfast nook and the sunroom that a previous owner had added onto our dining room into something a bit more useful. The L-shaped kitchen has now been squared off, with about 56 square feet of interior space added to our lives:
Creeping a little further around the room, you can see that we’ve put a “hutch” of built-in cabinetry along the wall that used to be outside of our sunroom:
One of the biggest problems for the old kitchen was that it was essentially a hallway in a circular floorplan; the front hall opens into the living room and the kitchen, the living room opens onto the dining room, and the dining room opens into the kitchen. With the nook as well, the kitchen had doors opening onto three different rooms, and had to accommodate traffic flow. That left little room for actual kitchen utility. These last few pictures have shown what the kitchen looks like from the front hall, and here’s a view of the newly utile space from the dining room:
When we moved into Maple Hoo our most frequent complaint was that the kitchen was too small — we didn’t have room for all our stuff, because of our inefficiency and disorganization there wasn’t enough room for any complicated food prep, and there wasn’t enough room for more than one of us to function in the kitchen at a time. As soon as the demolition began, though, we realized that all the times our designer chortled to himself in disbelief while looking at our plans, “This is going to be a huge kitchen” hardly prepared us for exactly how huge it is. Yeah, the island is 8×4. That’s eight feet by four feet. Here in the dead of winter, waiting for Spring, it looks pretty bare. But this is what the island looked like late last September:
Yeah, we need every inch of that space.
So that is the glancing overview of our Unicorn Kitchen. Extravagantly expensive, ridiculously long in coming, but fantastically worth it in the end. In the interest of not writing the longest blog post in the history of the universe, we’ll stop here now, but this is only the beginning. Stay tuned for some closer looks at the things that make our kitchen completely and utterly perfect.