Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kitchen Makeover

The only useful countertop
Cookbooks, tea and coffee
I've dreamed of a large kitchen with multiple work surfaces, plentiful storage, a Viking range, perhaps a wood-fired bread oven, and an attached greenhouse for herbs and plants. But I have a kid in college, so no chance of that happening in the next four years, if ever. Still, something had to be done. My small kitchen was so inefficient. I had only one counter that could be used for a work area because the other countertops were filled with jars and canisters and small appliances that wouldn't fit in the cabinets or pantry. If I wanted to knead bread, or use the food processor, I had to relocate things from the counters to the dining room table, then move it back later. Plus, it was just plain cluttered and ugly. And the lighting was bad.

Cluttered countertop, no room to work
Bad recessed lighting

I've hated my kitchen for a very long time, and that's too bad, because I love to cook and spend huge quantities of time in it.

Recently, an opportunity presented itself in the form of a talented and affordable contractor who had a few days to spare and was conveniently located in the neighborhood. I had some ideas of a couple of minor improvements that would make my kitchen work better for me, primarily moving out the cookbook case and putting in some adjustable shelves for the more attractive of the countertop items. The kitchen also badly needed painting, and we could do something about the bad lighting. I suggested track lights, and Ken said that would work but he'd need to take out the soffits above the cabinets. That was more construction than I had in mind, but it wasn't a budget buster. So for a very reasonable investment, in six days I got this:

New bread-making area

Cookbook shelves have been relocated to dining room, replaced with these adjustable shelves
Track lighting makes the kitchen much brighter, and room for storage above cabinets

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