Friday, November 26, 2010

The Kitchen: Just A Bit Of Work??

Our kitchen used to be the main floor bedroom. The den used to be the kitchen. Back in the 80's they were swapped. The new kitchen is quite a bit bigger, but it's a total 80's flashback! I am SO SO SAD that the original kitchen is not in this house. Nothing beats those 50's cupboards for functionality and durability. In my laundry room is a bank of cupboards, top and bottom, with a fake marble counter, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they came from my kitchen. The marble is really unobtrusive, so I would have liked it! Ah well, what can you do? REMODEL!

When we bought the house, we thought that the kitchen was painted a light green. It was in pretty good shape. The floor is kind of cool, as far as old vinyl laminate goes. The cupboards are custom made, with solid wood doors. The wall oven (yeay! Love them) was also for the early 80's, as was the dishwasher. Things looked clean and orderly.
You can see the coach lights and the monstrous ceiling fan, also wall oven and dishwasher.

Well there is certainly something to be said for outside appearances. Not that there was anything horrible going on, but there was just a really long list of little things that sucked. The sink is pointing into the darkest corner of the kitchen. They had hardwired a TV into the wall underneath the counter. Like, how is that possible? Well someone thought it was a good idea. Bare wires under a sink... good thoughts, those. There were carriage lights mounted on the cupboard above the sink, which looked kind of Gothic in that Elephant and Castle kind of way, but which I came to loath. Those were also wired in very strangely. I tell you, my electrician had a good laugh or too at our expense. Again, this is an area that our inspector didn't even bring up.. he looked under the sink, went, 'ewww..." closed the door,... and that was that. We didn't know any better. I recomemmnd to everyone I know to get a separate electrical and plumbing inspection when buying a place. Especially if it's an older home. Totally worth the money, believe me. I think we could have negotiated lower with what we found out later. Ah well... we must move on :)

I like to dream up scenarios involving the decision making capabilities of the old owners. The one that I have imagined for my kitchen involves a loving idea to make his wife a nice new kitchen that she will enjoy cooking in. However I think that he designed it as a surprise for her, without consulting her as to functionality or how a cook would use a space. I think he had good intentions but I think he was an impatient man who didn't like to listen to others. The cupboards are totally useless, space-wise. very badly designed. Additionally, the sink is in the shittiest spot in the room. It is recessed where one would stand to do dishes, so that someone can open the drawer on one side and open a door on the other side, without having the dishwasher move anywhere. I call this the Ass Hole.

Solomon stands by the sink

See? This is the Ass Hole!

If you look at the first picture, you can see where the sink is recessed, how rough the side of the counter-top is. It's like he sawed a hunk out of it. I don't get it. The other problem with this area is the the seam for the halves of counter meet behind the sink, and cross through where the faucets are into the back corner. This area is rotting out. It gets wet all the time and leaks down into the cupboard below. This has now started to mould. Overall it is a shabby job, due to lack of foresight and capability. SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT DO RENO'S ON THEIR OWN! You know who you are!

I changed out the coach lights as soon as I could. A funny story about them: There is a barbershop down the street, two old French guys run it. Greg went to get his hair cut one day soon after we'd moved in. The guy, I think it was Jack, not the other guy Jaques, asked Greg if he had moved into the nieghbourhood, and where. So he said where our house was, and who had owned it before. "Oh yes!" says Jack, "that's the one with the lights in the kitchen! I used to cut that guy's hair at home! Weird lights, those!" Anyways, I bought some cheap sconces at Rona's that are actually meant to be indoor lights. When we remodel these cabinets are coming down so I don't really care if they look great or not. The old lights are now on the garage, where they belong. However the Gothic hinges and pulls are still there to remind me. Awesome.
Ah yes. Back to the paint. We thought it was green when we bought the house. Years of cooking and smokign had rendered our kitchen this colour, though it was actually blue underneath. A light blue, mind you, but blue is not green at all. We discovered this because the cross that was hanging above our window left a blue cutout on the wall after it'd been moved. Also we took the chair rail down and as we sanded the repair putty down the under colour shone through. I had stopped smoking a few months before and I can tell you, dealing with the stain of years of smoke really made me happy with my decision to quit. It's really really disgusting to look at those walls and think about why they are like that. Ew. But anyways, I liked the kitchen green so that's what I painted it. It went with the brown floor and the colour of the cupboards. Also green is my favourite colour :) We made the ceiling white and the trim as well.
My father-in-law made us some really nice shelves for extra storage. These are not them.

Something else that we learned about buying a house is to ask if any included appliances actually work. You would assume that they do, cause what were the last people using? Greg ended up putting a new motor in the dishwasher (it was way cheaper to do this plus it's kind of fun to keep around and tell people that it's older than your husband), but the most disappointing part was that the oven was a piece of crap. It took 45 minutes to preheat and did not cook evenly. AT ALL. I was sooooo excited for a wall oven. I used it for a year and this spring I bought a 7 year old awesome one off of Kijiji. It is a convection oven and everything! It takes 6 minutes to preheat, cooks evenly, and it's beautiful. I will miss it when I put in my turquoise oven when we remodel :(  So, FYI, ask questions about appliances.


One more thing that we did was change the fan. It was totally ugly... brown wicker blades, big bulbous light painted with brown field flowers... you know the kind. It was greasy and disgusting and it overpowered the space. Again I went to Kijiji and got a nice white one for $25. It looks way better.

Not a whole lot different looking, just fresher.
That's it for now in the kitchen. We have to save up to redo it the way we want. Kitchens cost so much money and i just know we'll be doing plumbing and electrical once we get behind the walls. I can't wait to get going on it though!!!!

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