Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mini Kitchen Remodel

I have a small kitchen. Not as small as the one in our house in California, but no where near the size of the one we built in Virginia. However, it is a nice enough little kitchen. Hal built an island for it which I'm pretty sure I showed in an older post. I tiled the top. It helped with the usefulness of the room but I've never liked having the refrigerator next to the stove. Besides having grease splatter all over the side of the fridge, the fridge itself stood next to the landing to the basement stairs with about half an inch of floor space to spare. So an 18 cu ft refrigerator was the largest fridge that would fit in the space.

I found the original realtor's photo of my kitchen. That dark space to the right of the refrigerator is the first step down into the hall/basement stairs. There was no dishwasher then, either.
original kitchen 2000
closeup tiny counter between stove and fridge
There was only one foot of counter space between the stove top and the fridge which didn't leave any real room for moving pans around (and of course, lent to the grease splatter problem). On top of that the piece of counter was made from a cheap piece of scrap Formica that didn't even match the rest of the counter, nor was it attached. I had to slide it back against the wall every few days. I've been dealing with this for 12 years. You get used to things, don't you?

The vinyl flooring is also in very bad shape. It was not installed by professionals and was obviously pieced together from left overs. It's peeling up in places and missing in others. Because the kitchen is part of a "great room" including the dining and living rooms, the plan was to replace the whole floor, including the crappy carpet that is literally glued to the floor without any type of padding. I was going to do that last year, had the vinyl chosen in fact. Then I had an epiphany and it wouldn't cost a lot of money. Why not switch the fridge with the cabinets on the other end of the kitchen? Those cabinets share a wall with the sliding door that leads to the back deck. Lots of room for a bigger refrigerator there! Brilliant! I'm not sure Hal thought it was so brilliant but he agreed to do it in February, after hunting season and after he'd already cut plenty of firewood. So the new flooring was put on hold and last month Hal went to work.

removal of cabinets
First he removed the upper and base cabinets. Then he had to cut off a piece of the counter. He was very careful, first scoring the surface with a knife to prevent chipping, then at the backsplash he had to use a hacksaw since the circular saw wouldn't fit. We actually left a 15" overhang of counter to slide the trash can beneath. At long last, a trash can I don't trip over!

hacksawing the back splash

After moving the refrigerator he had to switch the hinge from the right side to the left. Note the counter overhang that the trash can will go underneath.

Here is the completed cabinet/counter wall where the refrigerator used to be. I've got a nice expanse next to the stove now. Unfortunately, though I planned to tile the counter to match the island, the store where I bought the tile no longer carries anything but white 4" tile. So this is how things stand till I can track down tile somewhere else, or do something entirely different. I still like this much better. And now that the kitchen is set up the way I want it, when the flooring goes on sale in April, we can finish things up.

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