First, I want to thank you for sticking around. You, my dear readers, mean the world to me and I love that you are being patient. The recipes have been slow coming out of my kitchen lately. But you see, there’s a reason…
We’re remodeling. Not just a minor facelift, it’s a full out, crazy mess kind of remodeling of the kitchen. And it’s taking about three times longer than we planned.
Oh, did we plan. I made freezer meals for the times when I knew we wouldn’t have a fully functioning kitchen. Those meals are long gone, yet I still have no kitchen sink. I held a secret stash of recipes to share with you during the remodel…and you’ve already seen those recipes. Some of you have even made them several times now! But I am holding out hope that soon, very soon, I will have a kitchen where meals can be prepared and enjoyed…and recipes can be shared.
In the meantime, wanna see what’s going on in my kitchen?
Here’s what I started with: 1970s cabinets original to our house and sunshine yellow walls. It’s not always obvious on my blog, but we live in a beach house. Yes, a beach house in the midwest. We’ve long had a beach and cocktail theme in our kitchen but had to say goodbye to the tiki drink wallpaper border. It was time. I am confident the Pam Hobbs cocktail artwork is coming back though.
Our first step in remodeling was to have a contractor remove a big chunk of a load-bearing wall between the kitchen and living room. This was scary. And dusty. Oh my goodness, drywall dust goes EVERYWHERE. Tip: no matter how well you seal off the area, the dust will be in places you never imagined. Buy lots of furnace filters. Put in a fresh one at the start and change them frequently. It helps!
After the wall was removed, the popcorn ceiling also went away. Thank goodness! Not a fan. My favorite fella took the icky stuff down, but we had a pro refinish the ceiling for us, which involved lots of patching and also relocating light fixtures. We also removed the paneling/chair rail mess and patched the walls even more. In the midst of all of that came some relocating of ductwork and electrical wiring. It’s really not as easy as it looks on HGTV.
Then came a trip to Minneapolis to pick up cabinets at IKEA. They take winter seriously in Minnesota. Even with good planning, watching for a two-day weather window, we ended up making the drive in a blizzard warning. The forecast was for one inch of snow, which doesn’t sound like a blizzard to me, so off we went! It WAS a blizzard and I’ve never had such a nerve-wracking drive. A six hour drive was closer to nine hours.
Shopping at IKEA always seems to take half of a day, regardless of what I’m shopping for. Surprisingly, it didn’t take that long to order our entire kitchen, pay for it and get it loaded. My favorite fella spent months designing and re-designing our kitchen using IKEA’s on-line 3-D home planner. Once in the store, we met with an associate who looked over everything he had designed on-line, suggested a couple of tweaks, approved the design and then sent it to another associate for a second approval. Super simple. We were there for less than 3 hours.
Here’s what an entire kitchen looks like in the back of a van. I’m pretty certain we could have fit all new appliances in there, too, but for now, cabinets will do.
While in Minneapolis, we had an amazing meal at French Meadow. A quick sleep at a lovely hotel snagged for a bargain thru PriceLine, a gorgeous snowy sunrise and then a drive back to KC with our new cabinets.
Lots of beautiful snowdrifts on the drive back, a sun dog sighting (a first for both of us) and wind turbines for miles.
On our way back to KC, we stopped in Des Moines, Iowa and had a lovely lunch at New World Cafe. I stopped into fun, eclectic artists boutique, Domestica, to browse and was excited to hear the owner also has an IKEA kitchen. It’s nice to hear from folks who have experience with the cabinetry and can reassure us we made a good decision. Because we don’t have an IKEA yet in Kansas City (but will by fall), we couldn’t locate a lot of folks locally who had experience installing the cabinets, and perhaps more importantly, lived with them. We found lots of blogs about other folks installing IKEA kitchens, but it was good to talk to someone in person. Plus shopping at Domestica is a treat. So much color, so many wonderful letterpress prints and notecards.
That’s the update for now. I’m going to share a couple other posts with updates and photos so you can see the progress. And soon, SOON, I will be back in the kitchen creating new recipes. My recipe notebook is full of ideas that have come to me while I have limited kitchen access so I will more than make up for the absence of new recipes. Thanks for sticking around. I’m grateful!