Monday, March 4, 2019

Kitchen Remodeling

White on white with white accents!
In the course of our marriage, Mrs. Poynor and I have shared a total of eight homes with various banks. They have run the gamut from an old 12-foot by 50-foot trailer house, to a new 2,600 square foot, three-story house. Although disparate in size and quality, all eight homes have had one thing in common: we remodeled them in some fashion. The second home we bought was in such rough shape we ultimately nick-named it the “Sow’s Ear” because it is absolutely true that turning a pig’s ear into a silk purse is an impossibility. Believe me, we tried.

There are no surviving pictures of that house because we threw them out. Seriously. It was too painful to even look at them. That house was a standing do-it-yourself academy. I earned a PhD in DIY with that SOB.

Honest this really was the wallpaper

Our current home came with three items in need of change. The most critical, and first to be tackled, was the downstairs family room. The previous owners were so proud of the wallpaper downstairs, it was a point they brought up in the listing: “imported, custom wallpaper.” I am going to hazard a guess that it had to be imported because no U.S. company would produce something like that. Even the movers were taken aback. The first guy that went downstairs couldn’t keep from yelling, “You guys won’t believe what’s on the walls down here.” And, in fact, upon witnessing the atrocity for themselves they could not.

I must admit, however, it was an excellent quality wallpaper and beautifully installed, making it possible to paint directly over it; although it did require three coats of top-notch paint to stifle the screaming colors.

A walk on the wild side

The second item that we initially figured we would change was the carpet on the stairs. (DISCLAIMER: No endangered animals were harmed in the production of our stairway carpet.) Initially, we discussed whether to simply replace the carpet, or tear it out and put in oak treads. However, we have found leopard pattern carpet is sort of an acquired taste and are now giving thought to keeping it strictly for its value as a conversation piece. It’s comparable to having a dried bull’s penis walking stick: serviceable while eliciting numerous comments.

The third “gotta change” item was best summed up by the missus, “We’re buying this house in spite of the kitchen.” The term “outdated” didn’t do justice to the appliances. Seriously, when is the last time you saw “Quasar” on a microwave oven, or any other electronics for that matter? Antiquated appliances aside, the cabinets and counters were ALL white. It was like trying to cook in a snow cave.

We’ve had to modify kitchens ourselves in the past – a new countertop here, new sink there, the occasional dishwasher replacement – but not since the Sow’s Ear have we done a complete kitchen remodel. With that total gut job, I even built the cabinets we put in. Gone are the days where we are willing to take on a job of that magnitude, so this remodel is being done professionally. 

Not a bad idea, but we use a microwave
Even though we aren’t doing the work ourselves, this remodel is not without its difficulties. No sink, no stove and no water represent a real inconvenience. So is the total absence of cabinets, or even shelves. Everything normally found in the cabinets is lined up along the walls in the living room and master bedroom. No matter. Without counters there is no place for any sort of food prep, and without a stove there is no way to cook anything. Without a dishwasher or sink, there isn’t a way to wash dishes anyhow. Although there is a work-around on the dirty dishes thing. I’m sure the dogs would be happy to help out if pressed into service. 

On day four without a kitchen we discovered eating out all the time is not something we enjoy. Fortunately, we still have the refrigerator (because warm beer is way too much of a hardship), so we have a place to store frozen TV dinners that can be heated up in a small microwave. We’re eating like gourmets. 

With the cabinets removed we discovered the folks we bought from were not the only previous owners who had a proclivity toward ugly wallpaper. There were other little surprises as well, such as pink paint. I’ve had to do battle with pink before, and I am infinitely grateful the new cabinets will cover up the misdeeds of previous owners. 

My eyes! Oh my eyes!
The absence of a functional kitchen is bad enough, but the remodel has also effectively robbed us of the living room. The new cabinets must be “acclimated” to the house so are stacked up through the living room. Between all the stuff stacked along the walls and the new cabinets stacked up throughout the living room, there isn’t a place to sit comfortably. All I can say is thank goodness we painted downstairs! 

New cabinets chilling out and acclimating


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