The Kitchen Remodel–Day 1

I have been bitching about this kitchen since we moved into it in 2003. Imagine 50 linear feet of gray, faux wood grain, laminate cabinets, 50 square feet of white countertops and breakfast bar, and 250 square feet of gray tile with white flowers. Imagine a wallpaper with faux paint splotches in maroon, teal, and silver. Imagine pink carpet and a floor-to-ceiling mirrored alcove in the dining room. Now imagine a raw, gaping wound of dust and shattered tile, a black subfloor and exposed drywall. I couldn’t be happier.

For the purpose of full disclosure, I have to admit that the wall paper and pink carpet came out by the end of 2004, maybe the spring of 2005. We put bamboo flooring in the dining room and ripped the mirrors off of the walls. I started complaining bitterly about the kitchen around then, but kitchens don’t grow on trees and then I got pregnant, and we started playing the what-if-we-move? game. I started hoping that the 1972 original installation appliances (except the dishwasher, which was new when we bought it) would fail so we would be forced to replace everything–the counter would have to be destroyed to swap anything out, and the cabinets were not worth putting a new countertop on. We got close when the refrigerator failed, but a replacement refrigerator fit in the spot. We got closer when the cooktop failed, but managed to chisel a hole in the tile counter to cram a Craigslist replacement into. Then my mother remodeled her kitchen in October, 2007 and we inherited her perfectly good appliances, and I started shopping around. Then I stopped shopping around because I thought we might move again, but then we built that wall upstairs to turn the giant room into two little bedrooms and a playroom, so we could house two kids.

This year I think we were just sick of how the smoke detectors would go off if you baked anything in the oven above 400 degrees, of how the sink was so scratched up that you couldn’t clean it, of how the stupid European hinges in the doors meant that you couldn’t replace them should the door start to hang funny, of how messy the breakfast bar always was, and how stupid the placement of the phone jack was. IKEA started advertising its kitchen sale, all the legwork I’d done the year or two before paid off, and it was super easy to pull it all together. I’ve said here before that I originally wanted the Liljestad style, which is a darker wood with a more traditional pattern, but we ended up with the Adel Medium Brown that I think will look really good with the bamboo. We let ourselves be talked into a Caesarstone countertop (Jerusalem Sand), and we’ll install another tile floor with a tile backsplash. It was easy to buy, it was easy to schedule installers, and I (perhaps naively) believe that it’s going to be an easy finish, despite the fact that the guy demolishing the kitchen cracked the corner of the cooktop I was going to try to sell on Craigslist. I know I should probably be annoyed and demand reparations, but we aren’t putting it back in the kitchen and we bought it off Craigslist in the first place. I don’t really care.

The only snafu has been with IKEA itself, regarding the delivery of the materials. I originally scheduled a delivery date of June 10 (a Wednesday) but after talking with the install people I tried to change to June 4. Turns out IKEA was in the middle of switching delivery companies, and screwed up my shipment. I had to delay all the contractors a week, but they all had availability. When the shipment finally came (albeit two days later), everything was delivered that was on the packing slip, and everything was on the packing slip that was on my store receipt–plus a piece from someone else’s shipment! (It was easily delivered to its rightful owner–Adel Light Brown–who lives in my neighborhood. We didn’t have to involve the authorities at all.)

So here I sit, on the morning of the first day of demolition, feeling pretty chill about the whole thing. The floor guys were in and out of here on Monday really before you could blink, and I’d had the last of everything out of the kitchen by a semi-reasonable hour last night, so I didn’t have anything like an all-nighter (which I pulled the night before the tile guys came). Puff Cat is annoyed that she can’t be out with the workmen (she loves workmen), and Sam Cat is hiding in my bedroom closet, but no one’s heart rate seems to be elevated. Fella and Filly are out and about with Husband, and we will be staying at my mother’s house instead of coping with the mess of all this–and my mother isn’t even there! I repeat, perhaps I’m being naive, but this is starting out as a relatively painless process. Until I step on a nail, I bet. And because no one really cares about kitchen remodeling stories but because everyone really likes remodeling pictures, I’ll post them now:

Hideous Gray Tile Floor Detail

Hideous Gray Tile Floor Receiving Its Just Rewards

Kitchen: Before

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