First kitchen updateFirst kitchen update

I don’t know how often I’ll provide updates because I don’t want to bore anyone, but we’re at the stage where the kitchen looks like it will never be finished. The contractors uncovered two floors beneath the one we were walking on; look at the retro red linoleum in the photo! A big setback is that the over-the-range microwave simply won’t fit into the space that I had planned for it. I guess that’s why you hire kitchen designers to make these plans for you. I had hoped to get some extra storage space for myself that way, but I guess I’ll have to put a range hood there and put a microwave somewhere else in the kitchen. Consumer Reports says the over-the-range microwaves don’t work all that well anyway (as ventilation).

Some folks have mentioned that at least in summer I can be cooking outside, and using my coffee maker, etc., but the reality is that just about every available surface in my dining room is covered with the dishes, gadgets, food, and cooking equipment that I removed from the kitchen. I don’t want to have food detritus and garbage upstairs in the bathrooms or bedrooms and don’t really have any available surfaces up there for any kind of food preparation anyway, and obviously there’s no water in the kitchen. So, no, I’m not doing any cooking at home at all, not even grilling or using the coffee maker or microwave.

One good thing is that Calvin is away at school through the first week of August and we have been on the road most weekends, due to my husband’s performing schedule, so we would be eating out a lot anyway, and it’s just the two of us at home. I guess I had pictured that we would be grilling and picnicking, but when I was imagining that I wasn’t taking into account the fact that my whole downstairs would be under siege and that I wouldn’t be able to find any of my supplies or equipment. I suppose some women might have been a little better organized about how they emptied their kitchens than I was, and had a floor plan (the dishes here, the pots and pans there, etc.) but it felt like 100º when I was working and it was all I could do to stagger back and forth with armloads of goods, dropping them wherever I saw a clear patch of floor, table, or rug.


Are you kidding me?! I find this fascinating. Please keep up the kitchen updates!

I agree with Ivonne — please keep up the kitchen updates!

I totally sympathize with not cooking at all while your kitchen is inoperable. I know I was unprepared for the level of chaos that kitchen remodeling creates and even though my kitchen guy was very great about working around the stove and the sink and keeping them operational until the last possible moment the reality was that I didn’t really want to be in there amidst the construction rubble, digging cooking stuff out of storage containers and moving drop cloths off of everything in order to work.

We ended up eating a lot of takeout.

Thanks for the interest, ladies; addendum to today’s post is a plumbing saga that’s not over yet. I currently have a strong, steady leak from the kitchen dripping through the floor right on top of my dryer in the basement. Repeated calls to the contractor, each more urgent, are just being shunted into his voice mail system. I have noticed in the last couple of days that most of my calls seem to be ending up that way.

I know because of my son Jon, who is a painting contractor, that as a client it’s important to be courteous and respectful, and I think I am, so I don’t think it’s that. I’m guessing he has a couple of jobs going at once and doesn’t want to hear about any problems.

But meanwhile, my dryer is getting inundated and I don’t know how long I can let that go on. Getting an outside plumber out on an emergency call on a weekend would be prohibitively expensive, if I could even find one to come and untangle this mess…

Since I found my way here because of a comment about your remodel, I certainly am interested in updates. I’m an architect, so this is the stuff of my day-to-day life.

I love the red linoleum! We also found very old linoleum under a couple of layers of vinyl; we loved the pattern, and would’ve kept it if we could. What sort of new flooring are you planning to install?

I hope that by now your contractor has responded to your phone calls, and taken care of the leak.

Hi, Kimberly – I like the limoleum, too, and if it were in better shape I might consider keeping it. We are going to be installing a slate floor at the suggestion of the contractor, although my mother thinks I’m crazy and wants me to get cork or bamboo. I think the slate will be handsome but maybe a little hard on my feet and legs.

I didn’t hear from the contractor until this morning but fortunately my Jonny came over last night and figured out that the new valve that had been installed between the basement and the kitchen was left on, leaking into the kitchen, and back down into the basement and onto the dryer. My husband and I aren’t too good at figuring that kind of thing out for ourselves. Once that valve was turned off the leak stopped.

Yikes! That sounds like a scenario with the potential for disaster. Lucky that you were home so the leak didn’t go uncaught and lucky that your son was able to figure out the source.

My kitchen was torn up last year, and it was pure hell. Taking out all the stuff made me see just how out of control my food shopping is. Four kinds of rice, six kinds of curry, three types of sugar,etc. I couldnt cook for a week, but the homecoming was all the sweeter. Don´t despair.

You’re so right, Ximena – I would think I was out of something and replace it; I found quite a few duplicates when I delved into the depths of the shelves, standing on my stepstool. And I am determined to LABEL all canisters of grains and flours from now on, no matter how certain I am when I decant a purchase into them that I will surely remember what it is (any idiot can see that this is coarse-grained polenta, etc.) After several months I look into the canister and think, semolina flour? bulgur wheat? kasha? grits? wheat bran? steel-cut oats?

There were jars and canisters that had to be thrown out entirely because several generations of insects had completed entire life cycles in them. I guess those should have been kept in the freezer. The production team of the Alien series of films could have saved themselves lots of money by photographing the insides of my cupboards in close-up – scary!

Add a comment