A little over twenty years ago we moved into our house. Calling it a fixer upper was being kind. Every room needed work, but we saw the hidden charm and knew it would be a great home. The biggest disaster was the kitchen. It really needed to be gutted, but since we had so much other work to do in the house we did the bare minimum to make it look decent and be functional. We told ourselves in a few years we would do the remodel the kitchen really needed. Bigger priorities kept popping up and the kitchen kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list.
Last March that changed. My husband came downstairs in the middle of the night to find our dishwasher water valve had burst. We had water all over the first floor and dripping into the basement. We later determined the valve had probably been leaking for months. We found mold in the kitchen from the water which needed to be taken care of right away. We couldn’t ignore our kitchen any longer. It was time to do a full remodel.
I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. I cook 90% of the food my family eats. Weekdays are busy with normal meal cooking and weekends are full of meal planning and prep. If we were going to gut the kitchen and start from scratch I wanted a kitchen that was super functional and fun to cook in. We were on a tight budget which made this tough. I had to really think about the things that would make cooking easier, not just the design that made the kitchen look nice, though that was important too. I knew I needed more cupboard space. I spent more time trying to find things in my cupboards since everything was crammed in tight. I had to keep some of the small appliance I use every week, like my crock pot, in the basement since I didn’t have the room to store them upstairs. Spices were another nightmare. I probably have and use over 40 spices and trying to find them while cooking wasn’t easy. The layout of my old kitchen was fine for simple cooking, but on my weekend marathons, counter space was always an issue and if anyone else was in the kitchen while I was cooking we were constantly trying to dodge each other- making floor space another priority.
We spent a lot of time looking over designs and making a list of all our “must haves” and wishes. After many months of planning we were ready to move ahead with our remodel. Projected start date 1/2/2018. We went straight from Christmas decorations and presents to emptying the kitchen and a full tear out. It was a bit crazy on our part, but after months of having our kitchen a mess and not having a dishwasher we were ready to start.
I spent the two weekends before Christmas cooking and freezing meals, so we would have food to eat during the remodel. I estimated being without my kitchen for 4 weeks so planned for meals for one month. I made and froze 4 meals for each week and planned on the others being made in my Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, outside grill, or on the griddle. I had no idea how long we would actually be without a kitchen and if we would be able to use our stove during construction. I didn’t mind eating out a few times during the construction but eating out can get expensive. Also, since I don’t eat gluten, dairy, or soy it can be difficult to eat out. Because I had a meal plan and had the space to set up a temporary kitchen in my living room the remodel wasn’t as crazy as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t wait until my kitchen was done. Doing dishes in the basement sink and living out of boxes got old fast. Thanks to a little planning, we were able to eat healthy meals throughout the remodel and didn’t blow our budget on restaurant food.
I now have an awesome spice cabinet. I can easily see every spice and grab the ones I need quickly. I have a huge pantry to hold and organize all our food. My pots and pans drawers are to die for. I love not having to pull out every pot to grab the one I need in the back of the drawer. My Crock-Pot and Instant Pot live in my kitchen-no more running downstairs for them each week. I have counter space galore. Prepping meals for the week is so much quicker when you can spread out all of your ingredients at once. We have plenty of floor space to move around when more than one person is cooking in the kitchen. Now I can have a sous chef!
The night of the flood I wasn’t feeling thankful, but now I am so thankful for a faulty water valve that gave us a brand-new kitchen. Now when I cook I wonder how I ever managed before. It was worth the 20 year wait!!
Look at these befores!! So happy to have a new kitchen :)