Monday, November 3, 2014

Once Upon a Kitchen

Once upon a time, Stephen and I lived in an apartment with a kitchen the size of a hallway. There was a fridge, oven, 8 cabinets, and just enough space for a counter-height table for two, and one bar stool. There was no dishwasher, which means that 80% of our newlywed fights were about dishes, and our microwave - the smallest one we could find - took up one-third of our countertop space. Which left us with two countertops.

When we moved, it was to our Home Sweet House. Our two-person counter-height table looked sadly out of place in the expansive kitchen, but we were thrilled at the opportunity to find and buy a more appropriate table. Other than that, there wasn't much that we loved about our new kitchen. 
This is what I started out with: yellow formica countertops and backsplash from probably the 60's. 
That wallpaper took me about a week to remove.

I MEAN. I don't want to complain, but I'm just saying. 

The cabinets were durable, but not too pretty.

Aaaand, this was the floor. A beautiful, flowery laminate. 
It was too overwhelming to re-do everything at once. We started with painting the walls.

You can kind of see it here: the two-toned gray that we did in the rest of our casa.
The next thing I attempted to change was the countertops. I scoured blogs about how to paint your countertops to make them look like granite, and one day did it as a surprise for Stephen.  
He was very nice about it, but he wasn't really sold. He is all about the real Mccoy stuff. 
The next big thing we re-did was the cabinets. We wanted to re-do the floor, and in order to do that, we had to take out all the cabinets, and once we had taken them out, it was clear they were not going back in even if we had wanted them to.
When we took off the weird box thing above the cabinets above the sink, we discovered that that wall had never been finished. Ever. 
The demolition part of the cabinet re-doing was actually kind of fun! We used a crowbar and a sledgehammer, and Stephen's brother helped.  

We moved e'erything in the kitchen (appliances included) into the living room.

So that was a little awkward and we looked like hoarders, and I told my visiting teachers they couldn't come over, but I think we can all understand why.
We toiled over the floor (more details on that here) and when it was finally in, we were ready to insert our new cabinets. 
This was enough to keep us happy for a while. Some friends of ours gave us a dishwasher and microwave, which we pretty much peed our pants over. It is our first dishwasher we've had the whole time we've been married! 
With the cabinets up, we had some more choices to make. We had gotten a plain ol countertop from Ikea, but as I mentioned before, Stephen is all about the real Mccoy stuff. After a lot of back and forth, we finally decided to get granite. 
We ended up ordering our granite from Ogden Flooring. We highly recommend them! Sterling was the main person we talked to, and he was amazing. He was so prompt in getting back to us and really made an effort to get us exactly what we needed and wanted. We also ordered our backsplash from them, and the sink.
But unfortunately, everyone else loves them too, so that meant we had to wait another 3 weeks after ordering before the kitchen was totally finished. 
Which meant that when I made pumcakes, it looked like this.  

.....what a life.
Oh! And you know what else? I didn't have a sink for that time. So dishes had to all be done in the bathroom sink, and one time I made tomato soup from my garden tomatoes, and it looked like we killed someone in the bathroom when I was done. 

Oooh. Here's one of me making tuna noodle casserole. No countertops = you have to improvise.
And then! One day! Stephen texted me this picture, along with the caption: "Looks good so far!"
We were so excited, we put knobs on that very night. 
Also, our date night may have been clearing the clean dishes out of the dishwasher with child-on-Christmas-morning-like enthusiasm, and making comments about how warm and clean they were. It's the little things. 
Notice that we moved the dishwashing soap back to it's home, as well as our knives and wooden spoons. 
At this point, we were just waiting on the backsplash and two more drawers. 
Just a few days after the countertops were in, they came back to do the backsplash. We are a little obsessed. 

Clearly, there is one thing in this picture that sticks out like a sore thumb: the oven / stove / range. (Why does that thing have 3 names.) It's the one that came with the house, and we were planning to replace it next. But for the time being, it worked fine and wasn't too big of a concern.

THEN our friends who got us the dishwasher and microwave called to say they also have a new oven for us! When he was describing it over the phone I couldn't believe my ears. It was exactly the kind that Stephen and I had talked about getting!

So it was out with the old and in with the new!

Much better :)
I know I complained loud enough for my ancestors who cooked over fires in the wilderness to hear me, but throughout the whole process, we were really very blessed. It was not a small task, but now I have a kitchen that I am excited for my family to see when they come out here for Christmas! I have an oven that I can safely set to the right temperature, instead of turning it 50* lower. I have a microwave that I can fit a whole dinner plate in without it clanking against the side when the turntable turns. I have more cabinets than I know how to fill and more counter space than I've had my whole life as a married lady.

And best of all, I don't have yellow formica on any walls, anywhere, in my house.


I probably posted way too many pictures for anyone to have made it all the way to the bottom of this post. I just can't stop looking at the transformation! Just tell me if you want to see it in the person. We'll invite you over for dinner :)


  1. HEATHER! IT LOOKS AMAZING!!!!! You guys are rock stars, holy cow.. I cant believe you did all of that! and so many blessings! Cant wait to see it in person!

  2. Thank you Larisa!! You are such a sweetheart. We'll have you guys over soon :)

  3. okay heather this should be on a tv show or something it looks amazing. also i was laughing (but nicely) at your pasta in the bathroom sink...hahaha. but seriously your kitchen looks fabulous.