Tomorrow is the BIG day! My kitchen is being completely destroyed and a new one will rise from the ashes.
Well, there's this big inconvenient, expensive thing that happens in between, but it's easy to be positive the night before the BIG day.
I live in an old house. It's at least 100 years old because I found a picture of it in the archives from 1910. Old houses are interesting places, if your idea of interesting includes, crooked, hacked together, weird and drafty.
My kitchen has likely been renovated several times and we're pretty sure the last time was in the early 90s. I could live with that, except it was renovated by a crazy person. My kitchen is messed up in ways that I didn't know could happen until I bought this house. On one of those HGTV "holy fucked up houses shows" messed up. We've been here 5 1/2 years and it's time to say goodbye.
Of course, I need to document the fine features of my soon to be destroyed kitchen.
At first glance it looks like a normal, perhaps a bit dated, plain, functioning kitchen, and it's not like we had to pump our own water or anything, everything worked. It's just that stuff was a tad off kilter.
Let's start with the floor. Ceramic tile. But why use 1 colour when you can use lots of colours and arrange them in a pattern?
It's even more interesting when you don't plan your pattern out in advance and things get a bit tricky in the corners...can you see there things went awry?
Another thing about this tile is that it's freezing in the winter. Right at the top corner of the above photo is where it gets coldest--wear your shoes to wash the dishes cold. The kitchen is not over a basement and one of the goals is to take up the floor and find out why the hell it's so cold by the sink.
Speaking of sinks, that's another fine feature of this kitchen. For reasons known only to the guy who did the work (I have ceased trying to understand this guy long ago because I like my sanity) the counters are only 19" deep. Standard counters are 25" deep (seriously, go check). Throw in a standard kitchen sink and you get this and it makes you and the floor all wet when you wash dishes.
And try to get a frickin' pot into the sink to fill it with water. We usually keep an old towel on the floor because of all the spills. The light switch in reach of the tap is also a big no-no since wet hands and electricity are kinda not good together. Details, they're important. (That molding under the cabinet likes to fall off when you're doing the dishes too).
I bet you already noticed the fine tile work. Tea pots AND flours from two different tile lines. Pretty. There's a third tile motif on the counters. Yes, my too narrow counters have unglazed tiles. The kind with little pores and holes that fill with raw chicken juice and assorted bacterium. Mmmmmm salmonella.
I try not to think of how dirty these are. Sometimes I tell myself that they're really full of Comet cleanser so we're just eating a lot of bleach.
The other neat thing about these counters? The guy who built them was clearly concerned about them staying affixed to the cupboards he built (wait, that's next!) so he used a lot of long screws to set the plywood onto which the tiles are glued. Good, long, pointy screws that scratch your hands when you stick stuff into the cupboards.
Fine finishing work eh? And yes, the cupboards were "custom" built to accommodate the 19" depth. The doors were purchased and the stains don't quite match since the frames are plywood. Oh, and the upper cabinets were made shorter by 6" because of the narrower counters. And our guy didn't really know what to do with corners, so he just butted them against each other creating these long areas which aren't reachable, but into which your stuff tends to migrate.
We found some good shit in there when we cleaned out that cupboard. And it turns out the upper cabinet cubby corner is where our surplus mugs hide.
I saved the stupidest thing in our kitchen for last. The gas cooktop. It's on the opposite side of the room and it's literally the thing you walk into when you come in the back door (my back was pressed against the door to take the picture below). The cooktop is taller than the window behind it (I'll get to the blue plastic in a minute) so it was set out from the window and that shelf was put in behind it. It used to run right into the pantry (you can see where the stain is missing in the picture) but I took out that piece in the first year so we could slide our portable dishwasher into the space.
The shelf was about 13" wide and just floated there--WTF?
Under the shelf/stove is even funnier. That's where the heat duct is. So what did they do?
Yup, they just worked around it. I suppose you have to admire buddy's ability to jimmy stuff.
So back to the blue plastic. That's a garbage bag holding in broken glass. We broke the window on the outside trying to remove the old deck of a billion frickin screws. We were impatient, and well the piece of the deck was heavy and into the window it went. It wasn't a big deal until we looked at the damage inside. Buddy built that shelf into the fucking window frame. We would have to chip out the tiles or perhaps even have to remove the cooktop to change the window.
That was the final straw. I started trying to come up with a plan to finance a new kitchen. And for 3 or so years, that window has been boarded up and that duct tape and plastic has been accumulating almost as much grease as our "venting fan".
If it works in the bathroom, it'll be fine for the kitchen (and yes, we unscrew the grate and wash it but it's still gross).
So now the kitchen is empty and tomorrow the contractor will bust it all and take it away. The only thing I liked about the kitchen was my fridge, which we bought and is now in the dining room as part of our makeshift kitchen area.
The next 4ish weeks are going to be interesting but it's totally worth it.