Monday, November 5, 2012

Kitchen Matters

I am finally out of the closet  entrance hall!  I'm happy to report that my temporary kitchen is GONE and the new space is 95% complete.  We still have a lot of tweaking to do, such as cabinet doors that aren't right and a floor that needs refinishing, but we are just about there.

I won't miss the temporary kitchen, but it did get me through the construction.
As the plumber said, "this is the nicest temporary kitchen I've ever seen!"

For the first time, I have a kitchen that is well-designed and functional.  And gorgeous!  I'll tell you, I feel like a kid in a candy shop.  (Actually, that's not a bad description since I will soon be blogging about Matt Lewis' and Renato Poliafito's - those genius boys from Baked - Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars which is in their new book, Baked Elements).  More about that in another post.

For now, I want to thank all of you for sticking with me and for your supportive comments along the way.  These past four months have been extraordinarily trying - a house in complete chaos, the loss of my beloved dogs Lucy and Roxy, a back yard full of red Georgia mud, constant people in and out of my house, inevitable construction delays and a husband with a pinched nerve who had a steroid injection exactly when the meningitis scare happened (fortunately he's okay).  It's been a wild ride and I am rejoicing in our new normal.

You can look forward to a recipe post from me in the next few days.  In the meantime, I'd like to leave you with some before and after pictures.  My kitchen makeover!

Out with the old!

And in with the new......

 Yep, I have a prep station and a clean-up station, each with a dishwasher, sink, garbage disposal and trash pullout.  Henry thinks it's ridiculous.  I think it's brilliant.

Hmmm - can I have a personal makeover next?

This was my first foray into the world of home renovation.  As you know, not only did we completely gut and rebuild our kitchen, but we also added a lovely screened porch and grilling deck to the back of our house.  In case you are considering a renovation yourself, here are a few things I learned:

*  Hire the "A" team.  I had the best architect and general contractor ever.  (If you live in Atlanta and want their contact info, I will be happy to give it to you).  In turn, that produced very skilled and wonderful people who actually made this job happen.  They were all artisans in their respective ways.

*  Think through what you want and what's important to you.  When looking at ovens, I knew I wanted very strong oven racks that wouldn't bow when I load something heavy on them, like those mason jar cakes I bake every month and send to our troops in Afghanistan.  Think about how you use a kitchen and what specifically you need to make it work for you.

*  Speaking of appliances, not everything has to match, nor does it need to be top-of-the-line.  I had a big Wolf dual-fuel range once (in the old remodeled, not renovated kitchen in our old house) and I learned that I really prefer double wall ovens, which are much more practical for me.  Sub-Zero refrigerator?  Didn't need it.  The GE Monogram made much more sense for what I needed and we could still put cabinet fronts on it so it looks built-in.  Don't be afraid to cherry-pick stuff - a little GE here, a little Kitchen-Aid there, it doesn't all have to be the same.

*  Use this as an opportunity to stop being a hoarder and get rid of tons of stuff.  I was appalled by the number of plates, wineglasses and ramekins in my possession ... and I didn't even realize how many I had.  Someone please shoot me if I ever darken the door of Bed, Bath and Beyond again.

*  Have patience.  It doesn't happen overnight and it takes forever to see real progress.  Even now, we are still not finished.  I think it's like childbirth, though.  It ain't fun when you're going through it, but at the end of the day you forget the bad stuff.

*  And finally, if you live with someone during all of this insanity, know that if you make it through this, you can probably make it through anything.  Just ask Henry!

Speaking of Henry, the only reason he agreed to embark upon this insanity was because he landed a screened porch at the end of it. Here it is.  He's a happy camper!

 Henry's favorite spot

And there is my grilling deck beyond.  Now I just have to figure out how to use the new grill.  For now, I am terrified of it!


  1. Please tell me your architect!

    I am in the ATL area minjenah at gmail dot com.

  2. It all looks amazing, Liz! Enjoy! xoxo

  3. Looks beautiful! Congratulations and happy cooking.

  4. Liz, as I would expect it is a great new kitchen. Not only is it functional but it is pretty. I can't wait to see it in person. Congratulations on surviving the make over.