|The makeshift kitchen in our front entryway--not exactly roughing it.|
We decided to forego the designer after we began working with one last year when we thought this project was going to take flight. I'm no interior designer (though I've wanted to be one since I was six), but I've designed (or at least initially sketched out) many of our home's built-ins, updates, nooks, crannies. I can certainly appreciate what these designers do after the additional legwork it took, but will say that the moment the plan clicked for us--me and our contractor--we all felt like geniuses. It remains to be seen, of course, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be fantastic. The demolition began this morning and is progressing quickly and will hopefully continue to do so if we can keep the inspectors on schedule.
We set up a temporary kitchenette in our front entryway. We don't own a microwave and haven't depended on one for a decade or so, but have a slow cooker and toaster oven. I borrowed a rice cooker from a friend and a portable 3-burner electric stovetop from work. Good things we're at least familiar with camp cooking because we may need to institute a few of those recipes or techniques before it's all said and done. I've never used a rice cooker before and am excited to see what healthy foods are possible. Last night we began cooking "off-site" with a whole chicken in the slow cooker on a bed of root vegetables--carrots, celeriac, turnips, rutabaga, and onions. After eating our portions of chicken and refrigerating the rest, I blended the remaining veggies, herbs, and chicken stock in the blender and--et voila!--we have dinner for tonight all lined up. For a minute I thought this might be the bloggable challenge I've been waiting for. But I don't know that I should commit myself to that. Besides, it's likely that we'll be dining out plenty during the process--I have quite a few gift certificates in queue after pillaging restaurant.com a few weeks ago. But it would be nice if we could save those funds for kitchen accessories--a kitchen cart, new dish drying rack, perhaps some new-to-us plates--after the remodel is complete.
I probably won't be posting many recipes for a while--though if I do, they will be for preparation in a slow cooker/rice cooker. I see myself posting lots of "Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned During our Kitchen Remodel" kinds of lists as well as before/after photos. Here's what I've come up with so far:
1. When we reduce our kitchen to just the essentials we'll need for the next month, it sort of makes me wonder why in the world we keep all the rest of that "stuff."
2. When I don't have control over the remodeling-related messes in my kitchen/basement/dining room, I'm going to be very controlling--perhaps obsessively trying to control--the dust, dirt, and grime in other spaces. (This could be a positive thing!)
3. If my child can sleep through demolition--and go out like a light in fact--she can probably sleep through anything.
4. Sometimes to make things more efficient--energy or otherwise--one has to tear out and upgrade. I was fairly conflicted about this project for that reason. The old kitchen was workable, but if we wish to stay in a small house and maximize the space, we need to tailor it to fit those needs and goals. The main goal for this kitchen project is to get more working space. We did our best to consciously choose new materials for construction--beeswax sealant for the butcher block countertops, No-VOC paints, energy-efficient hood system--and to reuse when possible--keeping the fridge, dishwasher, reusing the sink, repurposing old cabinets between our basement and my parents' garage.
5. We currently don't have enough wine in the house to get us--well, me--through this project for the next 4-6 weeks.
Aside from the final product, of course, I'm excited to see how this slows us down as a family. Between finding where everything is in our makeshift kitchen, learning a new rhythm as we prepare food in the front hallway, and realize that we can't use certain parts of the house b/c of temporary lack of heat, electricity, or water we have no other choice, but to kick back and read a book. Sigh. Let the fun begin!
|There will be a doorway on this wall very soon |
(view from hallway into dining room)
|Back "pantry" and Ben's desk will be demolished and soon|
have opening shelving and a "family media and
|Sink will soon be in front of the window|
|Bringing in a 36" 6-burner commercial-quality stove I can|
beat up with all my preserving/cooking
|Shifting it all to the left and the doorway will disappear|
|No more angled corner, will have hardwood floors|
|Good bye doorway and traffic pattern cutting|
diagonally through the kitchen