So, as you all know, we have been undertaking massive renovations on not one, but three houses. Right now, the most important to me is the main house at the farm. It isn’t terribly functional yet, and it is the one we’re planning to live in. As such, we’ve kept busy with constant projects.
The thing is, there is a bizarre-o event that takes place when your house is updated: Suddenly, the rooms you thought were fine, the one you thought you could deal with, start to look shabby. In my case, that room is the kitchen.
Originally, we thought we would use some of the equity in our Heights house, once it sold, to re-do the kitchen. Later, when realizing the inherent troubles that come with attempting to heat such a large house with propane, it became obvious that the reasonable thing to do would be to use the money to put in geothermal heating. Given that gutting and reconstructing a new kitchen will probably cost us our arms, legs, and firstborn child, I decided to deal with the kitchen as-is. It became the “one day” project. One day, when we have less debt and fewer projects that HAVE to be done, I will get a new kitchen. I have no issue with that, but the more we updated around the kitchen, the more dated and out of place the kitchen started to look.
In addition, it isn’t terribly functional for my purposes. The oven works, but is quite small. The stovetop has one working burner.
That’s when the crazy voice inside of my head–let’s call her my Inner DIYer (ala Mother Hen’s Inner Comedienne )or Di–began to follow me into the kitchen. Every time I crossed the kitchen threshold, she was there.
I’m pretty sure I first met my Inner DIYer when I was seven, and she convinced me to cut my own bangs. That turned out about as well as you might imagine. Since then, she has gotten me into a lot of trouble…
“You know what would be nice in here???”
“What?” I mumbled, paying very little attention to her and sorting through likely the millionth llama halter that I probably don’t need. (Hopefully I will check “donate extra llama halters” off of my list eventually, but at the moment, it’s just one more thing I need to do.)
I have to be honest, it’s dangerous to let Di talk to much. She has big ideas that will quickly unleash chaos.
“A coffee bar.”
“But why??? All you would need is a small island, and like, a few other things, but it wouldn’t be that hard…probably.”
“Because you’re pointing to the washer/dryer…”
“Oh yeah. Those would have to move, which, by the way, is totally cool because you don’t want house guests to see your dirty underwear on the way to the sunroom ANYWAY! Besides, think about how bad your barn clothes smell! Do you really want that in your KITCHEN! Your food is here.”
I glanced up. She had a point. I mean, who wants dirty underwear in their kitchen…and my barn clothes are pretty bad…and Jeremiah’s shoeing clothes are way worse. Gross…
Di grinned. She is excellent at reading the room and always knows when to push an issue.
“Know what else? If you knocked down the wall in front of the washer/dryer, you could put in a breakfast nook.”
“What about the coffee bar?”
She shrugged. “It will probably still fit. Or you can just put it in the sunroom. You’ll be repainting, right?”
“This room? No.”
“Because you’re in love with the orange and blue floral wallpaper?”
“Because it would require me to REMOVE the orange and blue floral wallpaper.”
“But just think of how good it would look. I mean, I wasn’t going to say anything, but this room looks ridiculous next to the new dining room.”
I glanced around. She had a point.
“And it’s dated.”
Also true, but holy cow, whining much?
“And really, I mean, I know it looks small now, but this is a big space.”
I looked around, confused. “It really isn’t.”
“No, you’re looking at it all wrong. You have to sort of wipe the slate clean in your head. Just, like, mentally remove all of the cabinets and appliances…and the washer/dryer.”
It took a moment, but once I did that, I realized she was right.
“So,” she continued, “if you take out this island with the cooktop,” (she slid a finger across it like it was going to infect her with unimaginative design or something) “which only one burner works anyway, and you took out the cabinet where the stove sits and replace it with a standard oven, you can maximize floor space and open the floor plan. It will look way bigger.”
“If we take out the island, we’ll have to replace the floor.”
“And that’s expensive and time consuming.”
“Well…yes. BUT, you could wait on the floor. Put a rug down in the meantime. You don’t even like the current floor so who cares.”
“That’s true…but really it’s the cabinets…”
“I mean, if I could only change one thing…”
“I would change them.”
“I knew it!”
“But it would be WAY too expensive.”
She scrunched up her nose and looked around.
“We’ll paint them.”
“Yeah, I saw it on Pinterest. Can totally be done. And it’s going to look great.”
“But first, the we’re going to take down the wallpaper.”
So, we’ve been tearing down wallpaper (big thanks to my friend Vicky who helped me remove almost all of it), sanding cabinets and prepping for paint, both on the walls and the cabinets. And we’re discussing tearing out the island, putting in a few new appliances, a new backsplash…
Maybe a breakfast nook…
This is the room I wasn’t going to touch.