Kitchen renovation: The “why”

First, let me address my severe lack of posting during most of 2016 for my loyal readers (here’s looking at you, mom and grandma). We’ve been busy. Ok, enough said.

After living here for over 5 years and dreaming of the day we might be able to redo our kitchen, that day (or really, months of work) has finally arrived!! We’ve actually already done most of the demo, and the checkered floors are no more!


I know what you’re probably thinking, around the holidays? Are you nuts? Yes. But in all fairness, we didn’t plan to start in December. We started getting quotes in late August. August, y’all. Let that sink in. That’s over 3 full months of planning, looking at samples of everything under the sun, going to every kitchen and bath showroom and granite fabricator in Northwest Arkansas, and getting quotes. We needed a plumber for the first part of this project (moving a gas water heater) and it took over a month to get quotes for it, and then a few weeks to get on the schedule (and yet we already had a major snafu with that, but we’ll get to that later.) So here we are, beginning of December, starting a MAJOR renovation.

Now on to the “why.” We’ve had a lot of people over the years ask us if we planned to completely gut the kitchen or just work with existing cabinets, layout, etc. We also had a lot of people ask if we installed these floors. No joke. Granted, we have made a few changes over the years, so maybe people get confused. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:


Since then we took out the bulkhead/pendant lights over the peninsula, scraped the ceilings and repainted the walls, replaced the faucet, light fixtures, and appliances, replaced the sliding door, etc.


And many of those things will still aid in our remodel. We’re keeping the lights (we think) and appliances, the ceilings are already scraped and there’s less bulkhead to remove, and we plan to repaint the walls that need repainting the same color.

I could probably give about 1000 reasons why we’re gutting EVERYTHING, but I’ll try to sum it up with 15. So without further ado:

#1. (Main reason, and most boring.) We want to stay in this house because it’s so dang cheap to live here. Our 15 year mortgage is cheaper than rent and we have no PMI (you can read about our house purchase and refinance). Moving would cost so much more than redoing the kitchen if you consider the down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, higher mortgage/utilities/taxes/insurance, furnishings, and let’s face it, we’re picky, so probably a few renovations. Plus, it’s more to clean and maintain. So we want to make this house something we enjoy and want to stay in for a while. Not to mention we haven’t seen any houses we want. And I’m a Realtor, so I see ALL the houses. 😉

#2. THIS. Needs no explanation.


But I’ll give you some anyway. That picture above is the best it’s ever looked (after sweeping, mopping with ammonia, and applying a liquid gloss coating.) We’ve had to super glue multiple broken pieces of this floor back down because it’s so brittle and cracking. And normally it looks like this:


#3. This drawer doesn’t open all the way because it hits the fridge. Super annoying.


#4. And these drawers hit the handles. Doh.



#5. This. Again, no explanation needed.


#6. I want my dishwasher next to my sink, not behind it. Too much to ask?


#7. Our trash can is just, ugh. I can’t even. There is nowhere for it to go, except slightly outside of the kitchen. Really inconvenient, and also unsightly.


#8. Our floor is super squishy. You can’t see that in pictures, but it is.

#9. Our cabinets…well, they just suck. Look how crooked the shelves are.


And warped.


And…panel-y? Literally, the bottom of that drawer is wood paneling. Can’t make this stuff up.


#10. I’m like a cat – emotionally affected by my surroundings. And this kitchen makes me sad.

#11. These counters. They have these weird glue stains? And the gloss finish is gone (if there ever was one) so any time we spill anything, they stain immediately. I keep a bottle of bleach/water solution to spray on stains.


#12. The world’s shallowest pantry. Like you couldn’t even put a ruler in there depth-wise. Now, I’m not ungrateful to have had a pantry, but a deeper one would be nice.


#13. This backsplash. Not terrible, but not at all my style.


#14. Terrible overall flow. While we like the counter space of the peninsula, it totally cuts off the kitchen, and, if we’re honest, mostly serves as a place to collect mail. If the pantry door is open, it’s hard to get in the kitchen at all. It’s hard to get into the fridge/freezer when someone is at the stove. When emptying the dishwasher, pretty much all of our dishes go in the corner left of the sink, so if someone is trying to use the stove and sink to cook, you’re completely in each others’ way. And yet I always tried to empty it while Andrew was cooking. Guess I never learned.


#15. Because even if we did a minor remodel, it would still cost us thousands of dollars, so we figured we’d spend a little more and [hopefully] get something we love!

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There you have it. Maybe part of us just likes gutting rooms, too. I’ll post more updates as soon as I get the chance detailing the plans for the new kitchen and selections we’ve made thus far (which is most of them). In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this.


We just really hate this kitchen.

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2 Responses to Kitchen renovation: The “why”

  1. Cjay December 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    OMG. These could be my sentiments. Cabinets are the same. Can’t open one without pushing on the refrigerator. My house note is cheap too so I’m staying, plus can’t find what I’m looking for in another house. But, you have some admirable things: I have no pantry and long for one. You have a kitchen window; I wish I had one. Like the white cabinets. Mine are still 1970s brown. Yes, it is small, but has so much potential. I could see a couple bar stools on the island end of the cabinet. You’ve done a good job with what you have. Can’t want to see what else you do.

  2. Michael December 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    So fun to read! I’ll miss the “character” of that kitchen… But I’m super excited to see what you guys do the space!