May 23, 2011

Kitchen Reboot - 1, In the Beginning was Smurf Blue

Over the mountains and to the kitchen we go.  Time to regurgitate the rebuild that's spewed black slate dust for eight weeks now.

I like to eat.  A lot.  To the point that my cholesterol is 220.  Food is on the Top 5 list of things that make life great.  Although you wouldn't know this looking at Pigtails' 43 pound wire frame and me with the same build as a gangly 11-year-old girl.  I grilled this up tonight, a Jack's frozen pizza chicken breast spitting fire with jalapenos and sharp cheddar.  With a side of fries and garlic butter mushrooms:

I also enjoy the simple satisfaction in making old things new again.  Leaning with elbow grease on something that sags to make it sing.  I've been picking at the house for 12 years now, scraping off the barnacles to coax out the warm character hidden beneath.  I've flicked back the living room carpet like a matador's cape to let the red-oak floor beneath live again.  And planked the basement with laminate and carpet to transform it from a laundry room/spider factory to a cozy cave to collapse in as the plasma spews Redbox.

Mix my cooking crush with a desire to make the old new again, add a shake of my hatred of the horrific Smurf blue walls, and it's high time to sledge the kitchen. 

The project started off a year ago as a few hundred dollar quick-fix.  I'd replace the countertops and sink and call it good.  Once I dragged the new counters and sink into the house, it only took me a couple minutes to realize the 50 year old cabinets would look even more dated squatting beneath newness.  And the 20-year-old fridge would be an antique next to new cabinets.  It snowballed from there.  I put the quick-hit project on hold and did a deep dive to figure out what I wanted.  Here's the list:
  • More counter space, fewer cabinets.
  • Kill all vinyl, plastic and cheapness.  Queue the tile, wood and steel. 
  • Cook with gas.
  • Hide the appliances, build 'em in.  Cooktop slots into the counter, oven and microwave into the wall.  Tuck dishwasher behind cabinet panel, fridge flush with counters.  Move dishwasher over by the sink rather than the random corner it sits in now.
  • Summon the big ass farm sink.  High pressure faucet to fill that mother up fast.  I cook often with cast iron, so hand wash and need lots of room and water.
  • Nuke the ceiling fan, add can lights on dimmer, one large, simple light over the table.
  • Determine why dishwasher rinse aid is $12 for 2 ounces.
  • Figure out how to best use the dinky area for an eat-in table.  Tight 6' by 3' space...were there a bunch of midgets roaming the Earth when these 1950's houses were built?  Very little space to eat.  I'll keep the solution a surprise for now.  Hint:  100 year-old barn.
  • Kill the Smurf blue.
  • Be different than everyone else.
A couple photos below of old blue before the hammers drop.  Next week, we'll poke around in the digital design of the kitchen reboot.

Smurfette would feel at home


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