Category: Around The House

Our Kitchen Renovation is Complete!

We bought our house seven years ago this month, and since the first time I laid eyes on it I knew one thing- that the kitchen had to GO. Like all first time, starry-eyed homebuyers, we thought the kitchen would or could be redone with saving for two years, max. We were so wrong. For years I tried to save and failed and tried again. Well, in 2015 I got serious about it and saved all of my freelance checks, so I had a little cushion to start. Then I started looking into how much it would cost to get the actual work done, the one totally unknown number. So I interviewed a couple of contractors. Then the numbers seemed pretty doable, actually. I still didn’t have enough saved up or a big enough line of credit on my card, so through the magic of putting myself into some debt with a home equity line of credit and a new travel rewards credit card, I suddenly had enough and started the wheels in motion. This is the first photo of the kitchen when we looked at it in March 2009.  With Jim and Andrew Heath of DadNDad Remodeling lined up to come in late December, and my Ikea kitchen plan in place, I started on the demolition, which I did all myself to keep costs down. I started about two weeks before...

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Kitchen Part 2 – The Shiny Stuff

Finally, let’s talk about the jewelry of the space, so to speak, the shiny things that your eye is drawn to. Initially we were going to keep our jumbo 42″ wide porcelain sink that was original to the house but did I mention my measuring technique? I didn’t factor the sink into the design. The 36″ wide Ikea base cabinet wasn’t gonna be holding that big sink. We let go of the dream and I bought a single basin stainless steel from Lowe’s. This one came with extras though to make it a two basin sink if needed. A colander and cutting board that fit in round out the package for a really cool sink. And right above that sink is a gorgeous pendant light.   (The window still needs one more piece of casing, and the drywall patches need a sand down and paint but that’s coming soon!) In Columbia, everyone knows One Eared Cow, a glassblowing company that makes incredible pieces. I didn’t think I’d be able to have one of their pieces for my very own, much less a custom piece, but as a friend told me, “What’s three to four hundred bucks in the grand scheme of the kitchen costs if it’s what you want?” I agreed, because I did want to infuse my big box kitchen with lots of local artists in an accessible...

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What You’ll Eat During A Kitchen Renovation

Like most people in these times, I turn to Google with questions. Medical ones, common sense but I forgot the answer ones, and ones I shouldn’t call people about at that time of day questions. So it only made sense that I asked Google what to eat during a kitchen renovation. What I found is that Google is an optimist. It didn’t tell me “LOL takeout, canned soup and microwaveables, sucker” but that turned out to be the case for most of the first two weeks of not having a complete kitchen, and also having everything that was once in said kitchen scattered throughout our house, stuffed in boxes in various nooks in every other room. Our home turned into a funhouse, where getting from the bedroom to the front door involved squeezing through narrow passageways and twisting to avoid knocking over a precarious stack of cabinetry. Before everything was ripped out of the kitchen and the stove shoved into the hallway, I did try to plan ahead and bought several frozen microwaveable and toaster oven meals from Trader Joe’s. But did you know those things leave you feeling hungry when you’ve been flexing your muscles destroying your home? True story. There goes convenience dishwashing… Another inconvenience of not having a kitchen is not having a sink or dishwasher. So we stacked coffee cups, spoons, and knives in the...

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2016 – Year of the Kitchen

This is what my kitchen looked like right after Christmas so as you might imagine, I haven’t cooked beyond heating things up in the microwave or toaster oven for a few weeks now. I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to get my kitchen remodel rocking and rolling. When we bought our house almost seven years ago I didn’t think it would take us this long to get it going but in a way I’m glad we waited. My tastes and sensibility has evolved a lot since then and when committing thousands of pounds of materials to a project, you want to get it right the first time. Food blogger and writer that I am though, I chose colors, materials, and lighting elements that would work best for photographing food and that we’ll be able to live with til the end of time. I’m already plotting on a huge post full of pictures and resources when it’s complete (hopefully!!) towards the end of January. For now, here’s a shot of my work of art, aka...

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It may be slightly obvious that I’ve been half in, half out here on this blog, but I haven’t stopped writing. I’ve used this, my social media presence, and these tools to basically create something out of nothing. I started blogging to find a writing voice that I hadn’t used in a while and I was desperate at the time to find a public relations or writing job. At the least, I just wanted to get some freelance writing work. A few years later, I’ve achieved both of those goals and so much more. I now (finally) have an awesome public relations job, multiple streams of freelance for fantastic publications, and a story to tell those who think that there isn’t any way to get out of the job or life that they can’t believe they are stuck in. Don’t worry, this sounds like a farewell post, but no way! I might post here less, but I do want to keep doing this because it’s mine, it’s where I started and its a good creative outlet. But it IS so easy to think, “Ehh, I could write this, or take on another paying project.” I’m using this to recommit to posting at least once a week, about life, my projects around the house and in the kitchen, and just keeping this as a way to remember the moments of...

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About April Blake

April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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