And I am so relieved! (You can credit—or blame—Eric for the title of this post.)
We made some good progress during our vacation, but I am so excited about this part that I can’t control myself! You see, the first section of cabinets is finished. I have a (partial) kitchen again. I can (partially) move back in. Isn’t it awesome?
Actually, it’s not quite finished. Eric wanted me to load the drawers with weight so he can fine-tune the drawer glides, which operate much more smoothly under load. I have a little patching and touch-up painting to do, shoe molding to add after the flooring goes in, countertops, and backsplash tile. “Finished” is a relative term.
Oh, you thought those are the countertops? No, no, it’s just a brilliant idea of mine. I spray-painted our temporary plywood counters a gloss black. It doesn’t at all resemble the charcoal gray Caesarstone we will have installed … in fact, in person it looks like charred wood. It shows every crumb and gathers lint. Okay, maybe it wasn’t so brilliant after all, but it still looks better and photographs better than bare plywood. If I squint, I can almost believe.
Come on, let’s take a tour. The three small drawers on the right hold two sets of silverware: the one on the right I bought as an adult, and the other’s the stainless from my childhood. I love that pattern, but I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure what the third drawer will hold. I suspect it will become the junk drawer. Doesn’t every kitchen have one? It’s half the size of our previous junk drawer, so we’ll have to pare down to only our favorite junk.
Beneath the drawers are two deep-sided pull-outs that hold plastic bins for dog and cat food. Someone else could use them for recyclables.
Under the third drawer is a door that opens to reveal two pull-out shelves. Mixing bowls and some bakeware live here.
In the corner Eric created a double-hinged door that gives me wide access to the interior.
I would have liked a lazy-Susan in this corner, but because the cabinet to the right is only 18 in. deep and the one to the left is 24 in., that wouldn’t work. We used standard shelves in this cabinet. The top shelf is cut back to make the bottom area more accessible. You can buy all kinds of clever corner-cabinet swing-out shelves, but after considering many, I decided that they didn’t offer enough usable shelf space. I’m excited because I can now keep my really big crab boilin’ pot in the kitchen instead of in the attic!
On the left is a bank of three drawers. The top one will hold cooking gadgets, and the two deep ones hold pots and pans. I love not having to squat down and dig for my pans! Now they come to me! No more groaning and cussing!
As you can see, I don’t have fancy cooking equipment. A few years ago I bought a nice set of Emeril cookware, but the big pieces are so heavy (you were right, Jo!) that I tend to avoid them. Instead, I find myself reaching for Mom’s trusty old Revereware and Pyrex bowls. They’re antiques, just like me.
As I rooted through the boxes in the dining room to rediscover my stuff, I realized I have been holding onto a lot of crap. Living without access to it for several months made me realize that I don’t need much of it. I’ve been packing around some of these bowls and pots for decades, yet I never use them. The junk is destined for the dump or the Goodwill. I’m going to prove that I am NOT turning into my mother!! (Mom, I love you, but you never threw anything out!)
A BIG shout-out to Eric for completing this side of the kitchen! Every time I walk into the room I’m amazed and delighted by what I see. I baked a peach crisp—the first thing cooked in this kitchen with equipment pulled out of my new cabinets. It felt great!
Here’s a retrospective of how these cabinets took shape. Click on an image to enlarge.
Finally, we’re moving on to the other side of the kitchen, which surely won’t take as long because of all the experience we’ve gained … right? Eric is struggling with the layout of the sink wall. Yesterday I asked him if he secretly curses me for dragging him into the midst of this remodel. “No,” was all he said (obviously, the right answer). I feel so lucky to be able to leave the really hard work to him and trust that he will figure it out (and build it!) … while I wait like a chimp with a paintbrush to do the idiot work.
Soon I’ll refill the dining room with the contents of the sink wall cabinets: different junk that I can learn to live without.