Posted in Projects

The Boring Kitchen, Pt. 1

OK so this is about our kitchen remodel, so just go ahead and click through to something more interesting. Really. I won’t be offended. The very term “kitchen remodel” is synonymous with “things nobody cares about but you, so please be quiet about it, thanks.”

In fact, here’s something to look at instead of this blog post: Animals Sitting on Top of Capybaras


If you’ve made it to this sentence then I assume you’re doing your own boring kitchen remodel. Huzzah! Excelsior!

The Facts:

(1) Our house was built in 1915 and the kitchen was added around 1935. Everything is old.

(2) The kitchen is very ugly and was made for the small people who lived on Earth in 1935.

(3) We bought a gigantic fridge and a gigantic stove for a tiny-person kitchen without thinking about the future remodel.

(4) I don’t like to spend money so I’m budgeting the hell out of this project.

Here’s a picture of the existing ugly galley kitchen east wall (note the slanty beadboard ceiling that is not at all friendly to square cabinetry):kitchen-wall-comp1 I know! And here’s our gigantic appliance wall on the west side:

fridge-2Now here are two pictures I Photoshopped last year to show my wife some possible adjustments:

appliancesfridge-compNot bad, right? I mean, better.

Now I’m going to skip over the disagreements discussions we had about designs and get right to the solutions:

We settled on Ikea cabinets and bamboo flooring. Ikea has a very neat little online kitchen planner tool that lets you build a scale model of your kitchen, then drop in existing appliances, new appliances, cabinets, flooring, lights, whatever. It’s all in there. You just have to be patient while the Ikea Javascript window loads and maybe crashes once in a while, but it’s worth it.

(Ugh, Javascript. Different topic).

Here’s what our new floorplan looks like in overhead view:

kitchen-aboveThe diagonal thing is actually a custom cabinet shelf thing that we’ll replace later. We’re keeping our normal-size-people fridge and stove, buying a dishwasher and above-the-stove microwave, and will also need a new disposal. I could tell you about things we need to with the plumbing, electrical and gas line, too, but I’ll save that business. Just keep in mind that if you have an old house, you also probably have old plumbing, electric, and gas, and if you start tearing things apart you’re going to find out just how old some of that stuff is. (Insert GIF of contractor rubbing his hands together greedily over how much he could overcharge you to bring those things up to code).

Here’s a snappy image of the new west wall design:

kitchen-west-wallAnd an equally snappy image of the east wall design:

kitchen-east-wallHere’s an image of what it would look like if you were a mouse who found your way into our new glass-front cabinets:

kitchen-mouse-viewAnd here’s what it would look like if you were a creepy person standing on our back porch looking in through the kitchen window:

through-kitchen-windowHere’s a picture of when we went to Ikea to look at our kitchen in person:


The nice part about doing the Ikea thing is that you can go and look at all of it, touch it, stand there and imagine wiping down the counters and putting cereal away, and then talk to the Ikea Kitchen People about how much money you’d like to give them. If you already made a design in their laggy Javascript application, you can log into it right there in the store and show them, and they will happily point out all the upgrades you could purchase. I’m kidding. They were super helpful, actually. And they pointed out a few small details that we would have never thought of that would have been sort of a problem. Things like door clearance, wall clearance, filler pieces, toe kicks, side boards for exposed cabinet faces – these are all crucial little hobgoblins.

Here’s a picture of just some of the paperwork, sketches, and budgets so far:


In future Boring Kitchen Posts I’ll cover topics such as:

(1) The look my wife gives me when I say I’m doing the demo myself to save a few bucks.

(2) Bamboo flooring – will it grow if you spill water on it?

(3) There are a lot of contractors who used to be Ikea cabinet installers who are happy to do your project for a lot less money then actual Ikea Kitchen Installers. How to find them and talk them into doing some things for free.

See you then!





Graphic designer / project manager / gardener living in Denver, Colorado.

2 thoughts on “The Boring Kitchen, Pt. 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s