This weekend, I made just two things in my kitchen: a lasagna that will hopefully feed us for the next several days and a giant pile of sawdust. And by that last item, I do literally mean a pile of sawdust, not a cake gone awry.
Back in November 2008 I wrote a blog entry called “One can always dream…” about the changes I would love to make to my kitchen. Attached was a photo of my kitchen as it looked until recently, when we started destroying it. We spent this weekend sanding the old, 50+ -year-old varnish off our knotty pine cabinets so we can restain them and get new hardware before hiring somebody to replace the ratty, old butcher block counter and that hideous faux brick back splash that I sponge-painted green.
I now have a sore throat, a pair of dust-filled lungs (even with a mask, yes) and a blank canvas. I couldn’t be happier to have finished what I think will be the hardest part of our low-budget kitchen remodel. Staining will not be fun, I know. Neither will trying to find 3.5-inch handles for our doors when 3.5-inch handles are no longer the standard size for kitchen cabinets. But neither task could compare to crouching on my kitchen counter all weekend, at times with my neck craned upside down, trying to coax the stain off intricate little areas with a mouse sander. I never want to see a mouse sander again.
When the kitchen is finished, it will be more aesthetically pleasing, with cherry-colored cabinets, a natural stone-colored back splash and a greenish-gray laminate counter. I also hope it will be better organized.
Yesterday, as I filled random boxes and tubs and laundry baskets with all of my dishes and pantry items, I realized just how disorganized my kitchen cabinets really are. I mean, I found utensils and spices that I forgot I even owned. I realized I’d gone out and bought a new bud vase when I have a perfectly fine bud vase stowed way up in the unreachable top of a corner cabinet. I may have to fashion a larger pantry area in the basement for items I don’t use on a weekly basis, but I’d also like some ideas for cabinet reorganization.
IKEA sells several organizational tools for the kitchen, such as shelves to add a layer of storage and baskets that affix to the back of cabinet doors to hold cleaning supplies and the like. I still haven’t found a solution for all of my spices, though. I’ve got spices out the wazoo. If anyone has advice as I proceed with remodeling and reorganizing my kitchen, particularly in the area of spice storage, I’d love to hear it.
Have any of you recently started or completed a budget-friendly kitchen redo?