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Tuesday, 06 August 2013 08:00

I'm Dreaming of a White Kitchen...

This past year we renovated our bathroom, and installed new windows. I have all kinds of before and after pictures of my bathroom, but I completely forgot to take before pictures of our bedroom windows - all I can say is, you should have seen them, they were growing mushrooms! No word of a lie... 

Anyway, we got all of the bedroom windows replaced, leaving only one spot of mold in the house - the kitchen. There is black mold on the kitchen window, as well as under the kitchen sink where there appears to have been a slow leak for years that probably no one noticed or bothered to fix. 'No one' at this point has to include us, because we have been in this house for nearly 4 years - but I know the mold in this particular spot was already here when we moved in, so let's just blame the previous owners, shall we?

Anyway, this is what my kitchen looks like now:

I love our stove - especially since we got this beauty for free (thanks Grandma Lesser!). Our goal here is to do an entire kitchen reno for as little cost as possible (our budget is $10k for the kitchen, window and floor), and since we have perfectly good appliances, we won't be replacing these. 

There are a few things to note here - one is the random space to the left of the stove. What is this? I can't imagine anyone built a kitchen thinking "this is where we leave a space for one of those AWESOME $15 Walmart shelves..." I just don't get it...  

I also don't understand the random shelf above the stove. It's kind of low, and has the black sooty underside to show for it, and is too small for any microwave I've ever seen. We've tried to dress it up with some of our more decorative cooking and coffee accessories, but I can't help but hate it. It has a thick layer of greasy dust all over it from years of steam and cooking splatter and is therefore impossible to clean. Also, note the half-melted fish tank lamp mounted below the shelf... 

The countertop is ceramic tile... which is the stupidest thing I've ever encountered. Not only are there grout lines that catch all crumbs and make it impossible to neatly wipe down the counter, there is a wooden lip around the entire edge of the counter top. This lip gets in the way of brushing crumbs off the counter, as well as knife blades when chopping vegetables. The grout around our sink has also collected a bit of moisture and is almost entirely worn away in some places. I would be complaining about the maintenance involved here if we didn't intend to replace it within a few months...

Moving clockwise around the room...

I kind of skipped over the sink here, but there's not much to see - the window is a bit moldy, but not really newsworthy and I don't want anyone to see under the counter... 

Ok - starting at the top - we put in those white shelves from IKEA, and I've loved them. They add so much to the room, I think, and give us some storage space where there wasn't any before. If you glance down (we don't actually drink that much, we had a family gathering - should have moved those...), at all the clutter just above the countertop, you might notice that there are two plug-ins, about two feet from each other, which is a bit odd. However, if you keep looking down, there is a standard sized dishwasher with a significant spacer to the right of it. This is either bad kitchen planning, or this wasn't the way the kitchen was initially set up. 

I think (as in, I'm 100% certain) that this is where the fridge was when the kitchen was first built. There was no dishwasher, and the countertop was put in across this new space when the fridge was moved. This also explains why there were no upper counters here either. 

Just in case you didn't notice those bottom two drawers - her's a close-up! The panel on the right side of these drawers that used to hold up the right side of each drawer on wooden tracks, has separated from the rest of the cabinet at the bottom. Over the last couple of years, it has gradually inched outward, causing first the bottom drawer to slip from its track, and then the second. Now the bottom drawer is resting directly on whatever is below it, and the drawer above is resting on the bottom drawer. It's kind of a fun game to open either of these... When the drawer above them slips from its track, I think we will have to stop using them until after the reno, but I hope we manage to get the kitchen completed before this happens. 

Don't mind my clutter, or the obviously not cleaned up supper dishes still sitting on the kitchen table... Note the brick wall. I love this brick wall. It's not really brick, but a plaster wall covering of some kind, and if you look at it really closely you can see some of the original red colour leaking through the white paint, so it needs a new paint job badly.

This is where the fridge currently is, and although it's probably not obvious from this picture, the fridge juts out into the room a few inches further than the wall at its side, and it does feel a little bit awkward. We plan to return the fridge to its original position where the dishwasher is now, and to move the dishwasher closer to the s ink and have the two sitting next to each other. I 'Googled' this, and I think that if we put in an insulated spacer between the two appliances, this should work fine. 

We then plan to put a stretch of lower cabinets where the fridge and microwave stand is now, and probably remove only this stretch of the brick wall so we can hang the shelves here. 

My pantry is a bit cluttered, but I'm not too embarrassed by it - it used to be much worse! I'd like to put a pocket door here, instead of this hinged one, and replace all of the shelves - which are all random and different depths - with those white wire pantry shelves that are classic in newer houses. 

Hey, I didn't know we had Kinder Surprises... who put those there??? 

Anyway, so this is the task ahead of us. Part of the work we plan to have contracted, and part of it we plan to do ourselves. We've been browsing the IKEA options, and had decided on an off-white cabinet, but then realized this would probably not work with our white brick wall. IKEA also doesn't seem to have a middle-of-the-road counter top option, so we may have to do that locally. 

I'm excited to have this project done, but daunted by the task. Any tips or thoughts or ideas for me? Has anyone ever ordered a kitchen from IKEA? 

Read 2471 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 08:21

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