Showing posts with label Kitchen remodel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchen remodel. Show all posts

Kitchen Chronicles-before and after

My kitchen remodel is complete!   The finished product – new floor plan, range and materials – is usable and I feel complete.  Although it feels a bit overly dramatic I must say this has been one long journey where the final destination has often felt like a mirage; visible but a tad out of reach.

The stops and starts to this project were due to things which are probably not that uncommon:  an issue involving the house structure we couldn’t see until layers – in this case the tile – was pulled back.  That led to fixing the damage, ordering new cabinets which weren’t planned for and then revising the electrical (also not originally planned.) 

For someone so used to having a game plan and sticking to it this turned me on my head.  There were days when I questioned why I’d started this project in the first place.  Oh yeah…I bought a stove on eBay four years ago and it was time to get it out of my garage.
The stove came from a seller in Florida who shipped it to my garage in California.  I didn’t unpack or check it until right before the remodel (I know, that is nuts.)  There was a moment where I panicked and thought “what if I said ‘Thermador’ and the guy heard ‘make sure it has a door’ and my stove was super cheap version brand x.    Fortunately what I ordered was what I got:  a 36 inch dual fuel Thermador with griddle in the middle –at a killer price.
The minute I fired up that grill I just knew things were going to be okay.  Better than okay.  It’s two months later and I still can’t help but marvel at the novelty of making blueberry pancakes on a Saturday while standing at the island in the center of the kitchen.  
Although my Kitchen Chronicles have seemingly come to an end, my culinary journey – and the many meals to follow – has just begun.   
Thermador 36 inch dual fuel range with griddle.  Professional quality made for the home.  LOVE.

Kitchen Chronicles - the island is in sight!

I'm into week 6 of a kitchen remodel and the end is barely in sight.  A few speed bumps have slowed progress along the way; electrical which had to be replaced, a cabinet with a crack (discovered once it was installed) and the list goes on!

I'm learning a kitchen remodel is a journey which requires patience before you reach your destination.  It also requires some creativity if you don't want to eat out every meal.  Here are a few of my recent experiments:
  • Spaghetti squash on the grill - and yes, it worked but took some work!  I poked the outer "shell" with a knife - be careful - and placed on the hot grates.  I kept turning the squash as it browned and at some point was able to cut it in half, scoop the seeds and wrap in foil.  Another 40 minutes back on the grill - check it periodically - and I was left with a mountain of golden roasted squash.  A little parmesan, salt and pepper for the perfect finish.
  • Restaurant leftovers - pork belly from Cotogna in SF - combined with sea bass in a foil pouch on the grill makes for good, fast food.  The pork belly pieces added richness and depth to the otherwise mild white fish.  
  • Ramen noodles - the packaged version from the produce aisle.  Boiled water in the microwave, added noodles then the spice packet and some extras (onions, grilled chicken) for the perfect cold-weather meal.
  • Japanese sweet potatoes grilled then mashed.   Odd, but good.
Finally, here's a picture of the island - check out the color! - amidst the center of the kitchen.  It's progress people!

Kitchen Chronicles - construction, day 1

After six years of plotting I've taken the plunge and the kitchen remodel has begun.

Here's the "before" shot (it's a beauty.)  Originally this entire space (including the area I'm standing) included the cooking area, breakfast nook, a small TV room (across from the cooking area) and a dining room (across from the breakfast nook).  All these rooms added up to many sliding doors and separated spaces - too many in my opinion. 

So we knocked out the wall between the TV room and dining room to create one large dining area filled with one very large table.  The last step in this journey is to remove the wall (below) and create an open, airy space which allows for easy flow of guests and occupants alike.

As a commentary on dinner parties, it's true that everyone ends up in the kitchen and in this case the smallest space (the "cooking area".)  Once this remodel is complete, they will probably still stand there but at least there will be room for everyone (including me, the cook) to move around.
The photo below shows the demolished kitchen with older - but well-made cabinets - remaining.  The range (out in the garage for..yes...almost 4 years) and hood (arrives tomorrow) will fill that old center area.

Then, we (as if I'm actually doing the work) cover all surfaces with beautiful granite and resurface the floors with new tile.  Stay tuned and I'll be sure to post a few recipes for Top Ramen and other items cooked by microwave.  I know, I know, cue the violinists so everyone can feel sorry for me!

 All kidding aside, I am excited to see the results and I'm sure I'll wonder why it took me six years to get this project off the ground (oh