I forgot how to kitchen

I lived with a partial kitchen, no sink – but a stove, or no stove – but a sink, for a long time (about a year). It seems like every couple of weeks I was disassembling it more, and removing more (all) wall cabinets. Why? Because I am a glutton for punishment.

Here was the kitchen on a GOOD day:

Terrible befores, make for Good afters.
Terrible befores, make for Good afters.

Yup. No prep space, no landing spot next to the stove.

It was very stressful planning out a new layout for my kitchen. I am not a designer, I didn’t want to PAY for a designer. I am talking about a lot of sleepless nights, before I paid for our custom cabinets, and a whole lot of sleepless nights afterwards. The people over at gardenweb would probably tear my layout apart.

But, you know what? My kitchen.

And also. Can I remind everyone, 1 huge window and 4 doorways, a radiator?

I did keep in mind adequate space for walkways around our peninsula (42″+), and so far it’s worked really well.

The biggest change that we made was moving the cooking to the center, in the peninsula (it’s connected to the wall on one side – semantics). It. Is. Awesome. It’s the little cooking epicenter, it has the Induction cooktop, oven, butcher block for prep work, the trash can, and spice pull out. There’s enough room behind the cooktop that my soon-to-be-4-year-old can sit back a safe distance, but also lean forward to help me stir (while supervised).

Moving the fridge into the kitchen was pretty good, too.

The drawers across from the peninsula have the pots and pans/Tupperware.

Soft close. Holla.

Here’s what the cabinets look like as of today:067085 070 068

Can we just talk about the behemoth of a fridge surround? It’s 107″ tall, 31 3/8″ deep and 36″ wide. My outside doors are not that wide. I carefully measured my INTERIOR doors, and they were wide enough, so I ordered the cabinet. Only days before the cabinets were to be delivered, did it occur to me to measure the exterior door. Oh. Em. Gee. Too small. How am I going to get the cabinet IN the house? It’s ok, if I remove part of the doorway jamb, it will squeak through.

Yeah, turns out that I was not familiar with pre-hung doors? I guess it’s all one solid piece. I have lived in 100+ year old houses for the past 20 years, and door frames were put together of individual pieces of molding. In a fit of frustration and panic, I beat the hell out of the door frame with a hammer and a crow bar. I did this:

There's supposed to be another strip of wood and about 1/2" thicker
There’s supposed to be another strip of wood and about 1/2″ thicker

The cabinets show up. There’s a brace on the back of the fridge surround to keep it stable. It doesn’t fit. Tears were shed. Curse words hurled. Luckily, it could be stored in our garage.

For install, our contractor was able to remove the whole frame, so that it could fit through the door. I was the only one home when that happened. It was me, and him, and we had to get that thing from the garage, through the back yard and through the door, and lifted up into position. I am tiny, 5’2″ and rail-thin-kind-of-tiny. Boy, was my body sore the next day.

Turns out that it was good that our ceiling was torn out, otherwise, the geography of getting the cabinet up, would not have worked. Small victories.


There’s still so much to dooooooooooooooooo. At least it feels like progress.