It all started with the microwave. It stopped working and we jumped through hoops to get it fixed through our home warranty (bad idea--we'll only use that for big stuff from now on). After nearly two months of fooling around with the stupid microwave, we finally had all the parts to finish it off, the repair guys came, they took one look at the electric cord snaking up into the attic from the microwave, and said we'd have to get an electrician to bring that down to a more up-to-code location. The wrongly-installed plug probably explains why that ugly black 16-year-old monster of a microwave was still there when we bought the place--the previous owners didn't want to mess with relocating the outlet for it. So the ball's in our court now. Can't replace the microwave until the electrical problem's fixed, so we'll do that first, and we have to keep in mind that we'll be switching the stove/microwave into the refrigerator's current location & vice versa when we redo the kitchen in 2-3 years, as planned, so gotta position the new outlet like so, but what about plugging in the microwave now, plug's gotta be higher, and so forth & so on.
Foolishly, while we were at Home Depot picking out a microwave and hashing out the problem of the plug, we wandered by the rest of the kitchen displays, picking out what we'd like for our future kitchen remodel: countertop colors, cabinet style, backsplash tile, wall paint, faucet....
And at a certain point, our minds must have snapped. "Let's do the kitchen now," said Sister A.
"Seriously?" I goggled.
"Wouldn't it be great to have the whole house finished?"
By then, we were carrying around samples of our future floors, our future countertops, our future backsplash.... We had homed in on a particular style, and the precise components of it, A. pointed out, might not be available later.
"So we'll pick something else that's close," I said, trying to hold onto fiscal sensibility against the huge wave of YES, LET'S DO IT! that was building up in my head.
Sister A. fanned the samples longingly. "But these are perfect!"
"Well, yes, they are...."
Long story short: we're remodeling our kitchen now.
This project actually involves three rooms, if you count the garage, which will be getting a spiff-up consisting of repairing holes in the drywall, painting, moving old cheap wall cabinets from the utility room to the north wall of the garage (in front of A's car), and also moving a pegboard from the east wall (to the left of my car) to the north wall. Little garage stuff will go in the cabinets, resulting in much less clutter, the ladders will go on sturdy hooks fixed to studs, and there'll be plenty of room for the stuff that has to sit on the floor.
The utility room, of course, is losing its current cabinets to the garage, but it will be gaining most of the current kitchen cabinets--those sturdy old hardwood things from the early '60s. The base cabinets will end up being a little shorter than the current base cabinets, which will give us more for the ironing board and other laundry doin's. The "new" utility room cabinets will be painted Cancun Sand (like the living room and all our trim); the base cabinets will reuse the countertop from the old cheap base cabinets--we'll just have a bit cut off the end that goes against the wall and superglue the loose spot on the other end. It's in good shape, otherwise.
The doorway between the utility room and the kitchen will have its jamb knocked off and will be sanded down and painted to look like the other archways.
Now we come to the kitchen. The current kitchen cabinet configuration doesn't include enough storage (partly due to a foot-deep, space-wasting soffit above a plate rail), and there's a stupid peninsula sticking out right across from the refrigerator, bottlenecking traffic (especially for two ladies with, um, generous hips). We also want to switch the stove and refrigerator locations. The new base cabinets will extend a few inches beyond the current peninsula. There's paneling (painted) all around the dining area, but we're not going to rip all that out--it's too much more work & mess--so we're just going to have our "honey-do" man snap a vertical chalkline and slice through the paneling with a box cutter (a suggestion from our cabinet installer, that); the raw edge will butt up against cabinets, the countertop, and backsplash tile, so it'll be covered.
The new kitchen cabinets will be white KraftMaid in the simple Shaker style we like.
We're also taking out the linoleum in the kitchen, dining area, utility room, and both bathrooms, and replacing it with the cork you see in the photo above. The other hardwood pictured there--Woven Bamboo Tigerstrip from HD--will go down in place of the crappy carpet. Yep, all over the house. Yep, this project is actually touching every flippin' room in the place. Here's another pic of the bamboo from HD, showing more stripes.
The walls around all these new goodies will be repainted Behr Mountain Haze, much lighter and less in-your-face than our current color.
Our "honey-do" man is lined up to start Monday, fixing up the garage and moving cabinets around. The new cabinets are ordered and should arrive Sept. 6. The flooring will be ordered Monday, now that the measurements are done and back to HD; that will start going in after the cabinets are in. The new stove (just a plain white gas stove, no bells & whistles, but it will match our fridge) will arrive Aug. 30 and sit in the garage until we have the cabinets & kitchen floor in and the gas line moved to the stove's new location. Then the honey-do man will come back and paint for us, because Sister A's head doesn't like the smell of paint anymore.
We're also going to spraypaint the four bookshelves in the den "espresso" so they'll go with the other furniture better. New bookshelves are too expensive.
And speaking of money--no, we haven't won the lottery. All this will be accomplished with a home improvement loan from our credit union, and we'll be living very frugally until it's all paid off. But the results will be totally worth it.
And when it's all finished...the house will be DONE, and we'll never have to pack another damn box full of books or dishes for the rest of our lives!