November 6, 2008
The Kitchen (as is)
Although we've lived in the house a year now, the kitchen hasn't changed since we moved in. The new flooring went in a year ago and since then we've lived with the kitchen as is. Which means the cupboard doors are off since the doors had so much paint on them they didn't operate, the microwave sits on some old melamine shelves, the slide in range we bought to have a more built-in look just sits there with its unfinished sides exposed. The only functional prep space in the kitchen is actually the "custom" cupboard we built to fit first in our apartment and then retrofitted for the previous house and now it sits in front of the superfluous door that will soon be eliminated from the kitchen floor plan. There are just so many things that need to be done in the kitchen it was hard to get started. I bought a new sink and faucet last year, but can't install them until the counter tops are replaces, which can't happen until the existing lower cabinets are adjusted to accommodate a dishwasher (yea!) and of course there is always plumbing and electrical adjustments necessary for all this.
The new cabinets in the sketch above will go on the stove wall opposite the sink. There are no cabinets and no counter tops existing on that side of the room. When we moved in the stove and refrigerator were side by side in the space between two doors and the outlet for the refrigerator is located directly above the stove top (handy right?). The refrigerator was relocated to the basement and a new built-in undercounter fridge goes in the former breakfast area. I know some people couldn't live with the fridge in the basement, but it isn't very far, it doesn't hurt to have to go up and down a few stairs every day and it took up so much space (physically and visually).
The push for the kitchen right now is that my dad volunteered to make the new cabinets this week. This doesn't mean they will be done this week, but soon, and a lot sooner than they would be at the rate I was previously going. I took new measurements and designed the new cabinets to exactly match the existing ones. However the new base cabinets will have drawers instead of doors with full extension 100 lb drawer slides - so much more functional. I'm also matching the hardware to the existing but I'm a little torn over getting the really nice cast brass latches or the inexpensive pressed plated steel latches. The original latches are plated steel (and as such may need to be replaced also) so it's not like the originals were the top o' the line quality either. It's just the cost. The nice ones cost almost 5 times as much bringing the hardware cost for the upper cabinet to about $180. Uh, that's a lot right? It's all that brass that costs so much but brass doesn't rust which is nice for a kitchen.
The wood above is the countertops - american cherry butcher block. Due to cost and time they'll be coming from Lumber Liquidators and finished with Waterlox. Around the sink it will take six coats to properly protect the wood (six coats!) and four on on the other surfaces. Waterlox is a strong but renewable finish that offers more protection than mineral oil, but can be touched up, unlike polyurethanes.
So that's the plan anyway. I still have to figure out paint for the cabinets and walls, scrape and prep the cabinets (new and old), and figure out that plumbing/electrical stuff for the dishwasher (yea!). Can you tell I'm excited? I almost can't believe that we're on the way to having one room in the house "done." It's a start.