December 2011- yep, I’m over a year behind

Some people choose to buy themselves nice things for their birthdays or spend their limited vacation time flying to exotic locales, but not this girl. At least not until my little house is sufficiently pampered.

For my golden birthday in 2011, I decided to take a week off from work between Christmas and the New Year to finish up the kitchen.  This project was too big to be done in one shot, so I took a two-phase approach.

Phase 1: The En”light”enment (March 2010)
paint cabinets, update countertops, update knobs, rearrange movable cabinetry

Phase 2: Cookin’ (one week and massive progress)
maximize countertop and cabinet storage space while creating a more usable space

It can take a little time to figure out how you use a space and how to make changes that maximize utility while keeping the theme of the room. The plan for the kitchen took many Sunday afternoons at the good old Carnegie-Stout public library reviewing small house design/layout books, scratching floorplans onto scrap paper or napkins as the ideas flew into my head, and using (free) online tools like to reconfigure the space.

My final rendering on floorplanner is pretty close to how the project turned out:


It ended up taking the full 7 days from start to finish, including:

  1. Choosing cabinets that closely match the originals
  2. Removing old, non-matching cabinets from the back of the kitchen (future dining area)
  3. Patching and repairing vinyl flooring where cabinets had been
  4. Driving to IKEA to purchase additional countertops and cutting to size
  5. Additional wood paneling patching and painting
  6. Moving old and hanging/installing new cabinets

Oh, did I mention I had my awesome mom helping out most days that week? She kept me from overdoing it as I somehow managed to catch a plague that ended up wiping out my voice just in time for the unveiling of the finished product at my birthday party (more on that later).



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