renovations: the kitchen, part 2

So, just a quick update of my last kitchen post (renovations: the kitchen).

  • The upper cabinets … are mostly up! Of the two cabinets, one was ready to go – doors were on and shelves installed. I got the “all clear” to fill the cabinet. This was an interesting process. I’ve never really had a separate pantry before, so I’m trying to figure out how to use it the my best advantage. In my last apartment, I had a closet where I kept some overflow products, but it really wasn’t a true pantry. I think I’ve figured it out and the upper cabinet is full (and the pantry is no longer overflowing). The other upper cabinet is up but the doors are not on and the shelves are not set. So, progress made but not quite there yet. This cabinet will hold everyday dishes and ….
  • The lower cabinets … are now covered with a beautiful granite countertop. I have a functioning sink and faucet – water … it’s a beautiful thing! The bottom cabinets were ready to be filled, so I worked on that over the weekend. One cabinet is under the sink, so it houses dish soap, etc. The other is a small set of drawers and it took a bit to figure out what would fit: random utensils in the top drawer, lids for pots and pans in the middle drawer, and food storage containers in the bottom drawer. Perfect.
  • The other stuff in the kitchen … is getting sorted out. The space is very small and has building components in inconvenient places – for example, the corner near the stove juts out about 9″ x 20″. All of this means that there is a need for creativity in making the most of the space. I found a metal linen cabinet that is perfect for the space near the stove and a shelving unit that works well in another corner. There is one piece that I will need to replace – I bought a fairly cheap kitchen cart with shelves for pots, pans and bakeware and a drawer for silverware. The problem is that it is cumbersome and doesn’t roll easily. The good news is that I was able to get all the smaller baking pans, etc. in the lower part of the “linen” cabinet and the smaller pots and pans in the upper section. A couple of larger baking pans will go in the stove drawer and the larger pans will go on the open shelf above the stove. So now I need to figure out where the silverware will live but I think I’ve found a little cabinet that is the perfect size to hold the silverware, provide a small bit of “countertop” and even hold some of the cat food. These separate pieces of furniture are all coming together and will help to provide a unique look to the kitchen.

I think I will really come to love this kitchen. It will be unique. I’ve never cared whether my space looked ready for a magazine spread or would work for other people. My goal has always been to create something that I like and that works for me. Just as I’ll write in future posts about renovating the other rooms in the apartment, I plan to live in this apartment for at least the next 15 years, so it’s home. I’m not focused on resale values or what might appeal to someone else. My mother’s memory loss and dementia makes it difficult for her to help in the decision-making process, so it’s just me. It’s very freeing to be able to just consider what I want and what I like.

We just passed the one-year anniversary of buying this unit and selling my old one. One of the guys at the front desk asked whether I miss the old place and I said “yes and no”. I think I’ll always miss it to some extent – it was the first place I bought and put down roots. I oversaw all the renovations and it was beautiful. I loved it. This new place is also lovely, though, and is becoming more “mine” as the renovations continue. It offers a little more space (about 150 square feet more than my previous unit) and is quite comfortable. The new place feels like home now and in some ways works much better, but you never really forget your first love.

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