Mar 27, 2011

Kitchen reboot - minimalism with maximum utilization

I'm happy to announce my upcoming weekly off-topic subject...a kitchen reboot!

Once the mountain trip has expired (several weeks remain, will resume next week), I'll blog about the slashing and sledgin' that will soon commence with a complete kitchen rip down and rebuild.  

My sturdy brick home was stacked up 50 years ago.  I've lived here 12 years and have been wanting to destroy and remake the kitchen for a decade.  My separation and divorce kind of put a hold on the remodel plans for, oh, 7 years or so.  I'm finally at a point where I can make this happen now.  Pretty pumped about this one.  

There are many good home renovation blogs out there, is a fine example.  However, my writing style is a bit different than most, and I plan to approach it from the problem/solution angle.  Many of the reno' blogs I read make me roll the eyes just a little, paragraphs of clouds with heavy use of these words:  delightful, wonderful, sleek, fantastic, gorgeous, cuddling kittens, blah.  

Bah humbug, fluff, all of it!!  

While blogging 101 says to keep all your posts positive and upbeat, I seek to tell the truth.  Tell it how it is, even if you ruffle feathers.  I've bled through enough home projects to realize they are often expensive, messy, time consuming, ripe with unexpected problems, hidden asbestos and delays.  The finished product will hopefully include some of those furry words, but I'll not forsake scribing the pitfalls and dirt that accumulates before sleekness descends. 

My kitchen is the shape of a bowling lane and small.  135 square feet, 15' by 9'.  I don't have the option (or desire) to knock out walls or expand.  So I must make the best use of and fill the room I have.  Minimalism with maximum utilization is my motto.  Less is better, but don't waste space.  Throughout the project, I'll ask:  Do I really need this?  If not, give it the axe.  Is there space here that I could use in a better way?  If so, how?  Is there a way to add more without cluttering things up?  Do it.


Do I really need a double-wide stainless sink that takes up 33"?  
No.  A large single hole porcelain farm sink with a small plastic rinse basin will do the trick while freeing up 6" of counter space.  

Do I need a 30" wide electric range?  
No, plus cooking with gas is superior.  So I'll go with a small 24" wide built-in gas cooktop that gives me back another 6" of counter.  

Is there a way to use that empty space up there above the cabinets near the ceiling?  
Yep.  Install the new cabinets high up closer to the ceiling, which frees up space in the backsplash area to install metal shelves or a rail to hang crap from, like this:

Do I want to spend $3,000 on granite countertops?  
Nah.  My entire budget is $10K, and hard oak butcher block will only cost $150 for a stout slab (and I prefer the warm look of tree).

Do I want or need all that window trim in the kitchen?  
No.  Painting it is time consuming and sucks.  Rip the trim, subway tile it white with clean edges around the windows, like this:

My plastic wrap drawer is a mess:

 Is there a better way to organize this disaster?  For sure:

You get the idea.  

I'm picking through everything from the floor to ceiling to rid clutter, be smart with space and rebuild in a way that enables easier cleanup and more efficient cooking. 

I'll continue this kitchen thread in a few weeks after completing the mountain trip.  Prepare to get dirty before that kitchen shines!



  1. I came over from YHL... and I love your writing style! Congrats on your kitchen remodel. I love how you approached it and how it turned out.

  2. Are the plastic wrap dispensers from ikea?

  3. Are the plastic wrap dispensers from ikea?


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