Remodeling your kitchen? It is every homemaker's dream - or nightmare - depending on who you are talking to. Yes, there are some challenges in the process but, if you are unhappy with your kitchen, I think you should do it. Let me share some tidbits of wisdom that I gained from my own kitchen remodeling experience.
Let me say, I was very excited by our project. Our kitchen was outdated and way too small. It had been our dream to take down the wall between our little kitchen and dining room and make it one big kitchen. Finally we got up the courage to do it.
My son-in-law and my adult grandkids are all experienced craftsmen. They renovate homes, build them from scratch and build additions. You name it, they do it! So, we hired them to do the lion's share of the work. We did hire a professional tiling company to do the backsplash, though, and had the kitchen cabinet company do that installation. The rest of it is our family's work of art.
Our Project: we combined a dining room and kitchen to make one big room. It involved removing a wall, changing out normal sized windows for two French doors opening onto a new backyard deck. We also added a peninsula counter where the wall had been. Old cabinets out; new cabinets in.
We added a lovely tile backsplash, warm butternut squash colored paint on the walls and matching hanging lights over the peninsula. The rest of the room is lit by recessed floodlights embedded in the ceiling. Our smaller kitchen table was moved to the former dining room and the dining room table moved to the former living room. Since we have an ample sized family room, we never used the living room anyway! (It once held our son's pool table!)
Tearing down the wall and adding a peninsula was the best decision we ever made. It kept walking areas wide open. Had we added an island, it would have cut the room up too much. And the backsplash is gorgeous! We selected tile that looks like stone. Four years later, I still love it!
How To Prepare For Your Project
As the mom, it was my job to get every cupboard emptied and figure out what to do for meals while the kitchen was unavailable.
It took time, muscle and planning. Know that you will be tired. You probably will be stressed out, from time to time. Just keep your eye on the prize. Your kitchen is going to be beautiful and very functional soon.
Word of wisdom: EXPECT a MESS!
Plan ahead - think about what you won't be able to do while your kitchen is being redone and have an alternative. Eat out? Grill? Will you have refrigeration? How long will the stove, microwave, dishwasher and kitchen sink be unavailable? Know what you will do before you are in the midst of it and it becomes a problem.
Make room - you are going to have to empty every cupboard and drawer. It is a great opportunity to purge kitchen items, such as old plastic storage containers that you never use. Lids with no bowls? Bowls with no lids? Say "goodbye" to whatever has been just taking up space unnecessarily. Give away good stuff that you do not want anymore.
Use up your food - this is the perfect time to get rid of all items on your shelves that are expired. Read labels and toss 'em. With the rest, use it up before the project starts. The less you have to move the better.
Label - you are going to want to know where you put everything. We stored items on tables in our "new" dining room area. (photos above) It was out of the way and spacious. Problem was, I lost track of where things were. It was very frustrating. Eventually I found it all but I did discover that we had thrown away the blender accidentally! We thought we only had the base and no container. The container was so far back in the old cupboards that it traveled home with my son-in-law. He was going to use the old cupboards for storage in his garage! So, I got a new blender out of the deal.
Expect things to be a mess - this is inevitable, no matter how organized you are. Hey, you've got "invaders" in your home ripping it apart! Keep in mind that it is not forever. Our kitchen adventure lasted about 2 weeks.
Get out of the way - find a safe place to relax and think happy thoughts. Visit a friend. Go read a book. Hide at your workplace. If the weather is nice, sit outside. You will want to get away from it. My yellow lab, Lexi, slept her way through it! LOL
Setting up your new kitchen - this isn't as simple as it may sound. It is unlikely that you will do it in one day, especially if you are on your own. Plan on taking a couple of days and try to enjoy it. Put on some music. Pour your favorite beverage and savor the moment. Your kitchen is NEW!