Surviving a Kitchen Remodel, Week One

We are remodeling our kitchen.

I am not sure how this topic relates to natural living, but since it is going to occupy a lot of my consciousness over the next couple of months, I feel compelled to talk about it.  We aren’t even doing a lot of research on green remodeling, although much of what comes out will be reused and we intend to keep up our green habits like composting and eating local during the process.

We are on a tight budget of both money and time, and the move was a little impulsive.  Since I left corporate America last year and started a green business, I was surprised at the tax benefits of a drastic income reduction and when the tax refund came, my wish was clear.  With a more flexible schedule, I would manage our kitchen remodel.  Time was of the essence since my two CSAs would begin delivery of prodigious quantities of food by August with more modest amounts starting mid-June.

Here is the pre-work that has been completed so far:

  • cabinetry designed and ordered
  • flooring contracted & scheduled
  • electrical work scheduled on time & materials

We decided that May 17 would mark the official start of the project.

Week 1, Day 2 (Tuesday May 18)

Accomplished today:

  • Selected flooring (confirmed red oak to match the rest of our 1939 colonial).
  • Cleared out space in basement for stove and storage,
  • Moved shelving into the family room for more storage of regularly used kitchen items.
  • Completed “use cases” (old IT person coming out)—scenarios of typical kitchen activities like making breakfast, packing school lunch etc. to validate what to store where.
  • Baked 7  loaves of bread (really), following 5 on Monday night, to freeze for a long dry spell.
  • Took “before” pictures (hurray–we always forget to do this!)

Mood:  Apprehensive & excited.  The schedule is not especially flexible, and I thought I’d see things like cabinets coming off walls by now.  Excited, because this has needed doing for 20 years.

Of note:  Ironically we never felt we could afford it before and now at less than half the income we are biting that bullet—guess time and stress were more relevant than we ever acknowledged.

Here are some pictures of our classic art deco kitchen (unfortunately long past its prime) complete with vitrolite (glass) wall tiles…

Before image of our kitchen

Before image of our kitchen

Another before kitchen image

Another before kitchen image

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