It has been a year and a half since we bought this cottage in northwest Pennsylvania. The house was liveable, but so dated it was like time traveling to the 70’s. I like the 70’s. I was born in them, but why so much dark paneling and dark woodwork and fake brick? As we brainstormed renovations in the house, it became obvious that the kitchen would be the biggest project. We decided to keep it till last.
“Do you think it’ll be done by Christmas?” I asked.
“Aren’t you feeling pessimistic?” Gabe said. So I tucked my expectations away and made the best of things, which ended up being a good idea, because we were so tired of renovations in 2020 that we made a mutual agreement to wait until 2021 to do any more in the kitchen.
Here is how we started, straight out of settlement. The dishwasher, a Very Vintage Maytag, still worked; it sounded like a small jet was taking off during a rainstorm in the kitchen. The refrigerator was the newest appliance, but it was small and a week’s worth of milk and apples pretty much filled it up, with some cracks for ketchup and ranch dressing. What else could you possibly need? But still… See the wall oven across the corner? There was a vast space above and below it, perfect for hiding runaway slaves. You had to send a small child in to get stuff in the back. The stovetop was in the countertop, where the red kettle is sitting.
(WordPress is giving me absolute fits with all these photos. They don’t cooperate and the edit buttons are without pattern or mercy. I will need to go somewhere and breathe different air for awhile.)
We started by tearing out walls, and since the ceiling was low and claustrophobic, we decided to take it up to the rafters and open up the walls from one small doorway to an open floor plan including the living room. There was an ungodly mess when we took down the ceiling and all the blown-in insulation fell onto the floor. We took out the upper cabinets at that time, as well, knowing we weren’t planning on using them. Gabe saved them for storage in the basement.
Occasionally I feel almost guilty about my beautiful kitchen. It feels like an overload of goodness. Our cabinet maker did a lovely job, worked with us to make everything just how we wanted it. I marvel at the ease of preparing large amounts of food in a space that we carefully thought through for our needs. I am grateful! I said no to a lazy Susan. Life has improved!
The whole point of having stuff is to share it with others. I have not always seen kitchen work as a way to bless and minister to others. It seemed like a necessary evil because I didn’t like it, but I have grown a little. (Thank you, Sally Clarkson.) This space- this is for daily bread and fellowship and feasting.
7 thoughts on “Kitchen Makeover”
Love your new space! Cheers to you for your patience in waiting for good things…and it’s before Christmas…never mind that it’s not the one you meant! 😉 And lastly, I applaud your decision to say no to a lazy Susan! I’m looking for a time and way to eradicate mine!
That is beautiful! I commiserate with you and all the improvising done! It truly makes you so much more grateful once you have something if you have had to improvise for awhile. We are in the throws of renovating an old house and living in a camper with five children. I am grateful to have a functional kitchen. I feel very blessed that it is beautiful and functional at the same time.
Oh I love your new kitchen! Thanks for showing it to us!
I love this-the original & inviting style resonates with me. Thank you for taking the time to show us the process. We have a similar home that we work on as time and finances permit so I like seeing the projects of others, knowing well what happens between the before and the after.
Your kitchen is lovely! And I am wondering what kind of coffee grinder you have and where you got it? Now enjoy your house and especially your kitchen!
Thank you! I do enjoy my kitchen so much, especially when there are friends in it. ☺️
The grinder is an Oxo burr grinder. I think I got it at Bed, Bath and Beyond because I had a gift card there, but you can get them other places.
I do enjoy Oxo products. Thank you and have a happy fall as we are sliding right into winter weather!