Happy Spring day to all! Let's chat kitchens.
When we built our farmhouse in 2014, two things never occurred to either of us. One: We would need a mudroom. Yep, we didn't plan for a mudroom, as in, no practical place for our children to drop coats, bags, or muddy boots, and the two most used entry doors went directly into our kitchen. They would enter the house every day like a pack of tiny rhinos, dumping their stuff everywhere, kicking off shoes and clothes all over the kitchen with no rhyme, reason, or regard for my sanity. Anarchy, every day at 3:45.
Two: We never noticed how odd and utterly useless an 8 foot section of wall was in our original kitchen plans. Had we paid a bit more attention, we could have gained an extra 65 square feet and a substantially better layout for almost no extra money. But no. It apparently seemed very normal at the time.
Well, I'm happy to announce that after being barely inconvenienced by these things (considering real problems we could actually have), my "don't worry about it, but also I can't live with this" style of complaining/hinting has finally paid off after 9 years.
Now, before you think the worst of me, and that I would act like a spoiled brat in order to get my husband to take on a complete kitchen renovation 2 months before Christmas, listen up. Yes. But it's Spring now which means it's done and in the past, and I'm fairly sure he has forgotten the pain of the whole process. Much like myself and the birth of our children. See how I flipped that? Take notes.
But yes, you heard me correct. Right around Halloween this past year, we had been having the conversation more frequently about what would be involved in making kitchen 2.0 a reality, and I was feeling hopeful it would finally happen.
Don't get me wrong. I am a resourceful woman, and when there is a project I want done, I have no issue just tackling it. But, this project was a little (100%) out of my wheelhouse. We needed trailers, and machinery, and big construction tools, and spray foam, and other things out of my scope. Because of this, I knew it wasn't happening until I could convince the man one to get going on it.
I'm not going to bore you with trying to explain how the section of useless wall was previously laid out, but basically, our kitchen would become 1000 times better and way more useful by removing that wall and slapping on a simple little 8x8 foot addition. Why did we not see this before building the house? Probably sleep deprivation because of the previously mentioned tiny rhinos who were but babes when the planning had started. But, we had taken a few naps since then and now had a new plan thanks to my wicked good grid paper sketching skills.
But before the pretty, comes the gritty. Foundations, digging, new exterior walls, that spray foam I mentioned, siding, windows, a new door, a huge steel beam, and new interior walls. All things that I wasn't going to be much use for. Not to mention, guess who still likes the look of imperfect shiplap instead of simple drywall? This guy.
So, there was some work to be done before I could take over and do my part. Lucky for me, my husband is the handiest human on the planet, and even luckier for me, he is the very definition of a level headed, clear, linear thinker. As in, if there is a thing to do, he just starts doing it, and doesn't get flustered or scatterbrained. He just moves forward step by step, regardless of how difficult each step is.
Meanwhile, I'm on the sidelines spinning in circles like a total lunatic, completely flustered, and no one has even asked me to do anything yet at this point. I have little to no chill sometimes.
Anyways, mid-October I pull up to the house after work one day and he has half the deck boards ripped off and is digging a new foundation with an excavator. Two months later it's Christmas, and with the exception of some missing cabinet doors, the new kitchen is done. Done. I don't think the man ever broke a sweat. I sure did. Feverish ones. He had to tell me to go lay down lots of times.
It was (is) beautiful and is exactly what I had been dreaming of. I described the look of the new kitchen during the process as "your French grandmas classy kitchen", and I feel like we nailed it. Recessed cabinet doors with little latches like old farmhouses used to have, pegs for hanging my favorite vintage utensils and copper pots I'd never been able to display before. Shelves for all my cookbooks, a smaller vintage style fridge instead of the big stainless steel one we had before that held more old condiment jars than actual food. We had a huge island made with handy drawers and a bottom shelf for all my favorite pots and pans all laid out for easy grabbing, a stand alone pantry and a new spice rack all lined up with my favorite herbs. It's perfection and we have loved the new layout and flow of the space. Not to mention the small mudroom we were able to add where the old pantry was. It still needs to be finished, but even having that space until I get around to it...Dreamy. And so incredibly useful. As for the kitchen, there are no impractical bells or whistles, and everything has its place.
And my favorite part? As our girls grow and get a bit more interested in cooking and baking, we all have plenty of room around the new island to work on meals and recipes together.
Do they scatter like roaches and ditch me to clean up the messes they made when the fun parts are done? Yes. Do I yell at them to get back in here with my deep "I'm not your maid!" voice when they attempt this move? Also yes. Happily.
The moral of the story here is this. Doublecheck your blueprints closely to make sure you have no unnecessary walls in your house, always add a mudroom, and marry a person who is the opposite of you when it comes to critical thinking.
And, you might be wondering what I bring to the table since he is obviously the clear thinker and the one you actually want around in moments like this. Well, I like to think I bring his calm, calculated "normal" brain a healthy dose of unbridled creativity and unrealistic challenges. Being married to me is like a brain teaser. I keep his mind sharp.
But I bake him lots of things so it's all good.