The Getting From There To Here

So we’ve shown off the classic “Before & After” views of the Unicorn Remodel, and aside from the sort of obvious underlying message of “it cost a lot of money to get that done”, there’s not much pain and suffering present. We fully put forth that no one cares about how miserable a remodel they weren’t part of was, but we also fully put forth that it’s impossible not to be fascinated about the process of your own remodel, so here’s the post where we talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff.

So we’re currently living the good life, with an opulent kitchen of limitless surface and storage space, but it hasn’t always been so. Recall, the old stove set-up:


Well, it got worse:


That was part of our “fully functional early-in-the-remodel” kitchen, back during the early rounds of last year’s playoffs. Notice the vast expanse of counterspace! For all our prep-work needs, we had a handy bit of peninsula counter around the jury-rigged sink our contractor left in place for us:


(And I should mention that the single most annoying part of a kitchen remodel is living sinkless. We did a full remodel in our last house, too, and during that job we had our stove and oven the entire time, but went 12 weeks without a sink. This time around we lost our oven early on, but had a sink for all but two days of the three-month span of big-time construction and installation. Living without a sink is a billion times worse than having no other appliances. So in that regard, this whole affair was as painless as is humanly possible.)

It was with this kitchen in place that we harvested our first crop of mesclun last Spring, and tried our hand at our first bit of food styling with a homegrown salad and some fresh-squeezed lemonade:


It brings a tear. I really miss that subflooring.

But as bad as that cut-out piece of oven/stove cabinetry was, it quickly got worse:

Sawhorse Stove Favre

When your stove is on sawhorses, there’s really not much to be done with it other than this:

Sawhorse Stove Matsui

The cats knew they could walk all over everything because, while the kitchen itself wasn’t beating us down, the dining room was.

Dining Room as Kitchen

It’s all well and good to have a stove and a sink for the 12 weeks of construction, but the thing that eats at your soul is having your fridge in your dining room and your kitchen turned inside out and dumped out in there as well. By the time this job was done we didn’t care so much about being able to cook as we did about being able to put all that crap away.



Filed under Unicorn Kitchen

9 responses to “The Getting From There To Here

  1. 1. I love that you are fridge decorators.
    2. I remember that mesclun salad!
    3. What did you do without a sink? Not being silly but really what did you do?

  2. 1. The single most exciting moment of the entire kitchen completion was discovering that our new fridge was magnetic! A life without fridge magnets is a life we don’t want to contemplate.

    2. I hoped you would remember it!

    3. We washed dishes in a bathroom. We used the bathtub for big items and the sink for small ones. And it was AWFUL.

  3. 3. Correction: we washed dishes in my bathroom. For months and months I had a dish rack on my vanity. It was NOT COOL.

  4. Gosh. That’s giving me flashbacks. I was without a sink for several weeks. I was happier to see it than the stove. When I moved all the stuff out of my bedroom and back into the kitchen, it was the best part.

  5. Caitlin

    I wish I had pictures of our house post water heater explosion.

    We had these massive fans all over our downstairs (about five total) constantly blowing for four and a half days with a ripped up kitchen floor that was essentially cement.

  6. But now! Whoooo! I’m so excited for you!

  7. Caitlin, I think the water heater explosion ranks as one of the all-time worst home disasters of anyone I know. I’m just horrified at the thought of it!

    Patty, for all that we’re like, “Yay! We got to put everything away!”, we still have boxes of gadgets and stuff in the dining room, and a lot of dusty glassware. But we did finally get the temporary shelving units out. That’s a start, right? (And the fridge is out. That fridge kept breaking, too, so we were living out of a mini-fridge in our guest room while walking around a giant fridge in our dining room.)

    HG, we try to keep our revelry tempered with at least a bit of “NEVER FORGET!!” It keeps us grounded. :P

  8. HG, we try to keep our revelry tempered with at least a bit of “NEVER FORGET!!” It keeps us grounded. :P

    I’m thinking of having some “before” pictures framed and hung on the wall in my kitchen. When it started looking like a real kitchen but was still missing things like the pantry and the island and the vent hood and such, I was a little depressed about it. I wondered if it was worth it. Then for an unrelated reason I dug out a “before” picture to show someone else and as soon as I saw it I realized how great my new kitchen was.

  9. Ooooh! Keeping “before” pictures on hand is a GREAT idea. (Not that I ever wonder if my kitchen was worth it, but I felt that way during the sloooow finish of our last remodel…) I have had SO much fun looking at them for these posts; I should do it more often!

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