After finishing up my Kitchen Project last weekend, I took a little break and a trip down memory road. The Retro Ranch is not my first house or my first kitchen remodel. Back before I met my adorable husband Jim, I decided to buy my own little house and fix it up.
Luckily it wasn’t long until I had my adorable boyfriend Jim around to help me with some of the big projects. One such project was a complete gut remodel of the tiny kitchen.
When I bought the place, the kitchen looked like this (except I painted the walls yellow right away):
Of course I didn’t have my awesome camera back then, and I didn’t blog about my house so I only have a few so-so pictures to share, please bear with me...
There were a lot of things wrong with this kitchen. It had pretty much no counter space, not much cabinet space (lower cabinets were rotten so they weren’t very useful), the press and stick vinyl tile floor was all ripped up, and there were only three outlets in the whole kitchen (the wiring was so bad that if you had the lights on, the microwave on and put some toast down, the whole house breaker blew) the countertops were chipped and one was not even connected to the base cabinet. It wasn’t a very useful kitchen.
Being my bold self, I decided to gut it. Luckily I talked my adorable boyfriend Jim and a friend of mine into helping with the demo. It took about eight hours for us to demo all the drywall, plaster and lathe off all four walls of the kitchen and the ceiling, shovel it into contractor bags and stick it out back. It was the single most exhausting day I have ever had.
Shortly after this photo was taken, I started to panic. What had I gotten myself into??? There was nothing else to do other than start putting it back together…slowly…
We closed in the large original window (that looked into the back porch) and made a smaller one so that we could have more wall cabinet space. I also took this opportunity to have the wiring upgraded (which was very $$$ but worth it) so that I could make toast with the lights on.
My handy Dad came for a visit and brought his wet saw so that he could help me install our checkerboard ceramic tile floor. We hired out the drywall (which turned out to be a nightmare) but it eventually got done.
Next came the installation of IKEA cabinets. Now, let me tell you, I loved the cabinets once they were in, but purchasing, assembling and installing the cabinets was a serious test on my then two year relationship with Jim. Once you survive a kitchen remodel with your significant other, you can probably make it through anything…
Then our new Silestone countertops went in. (Even back then, Leo couldn’t stay out of my pictures!)
I installed a red mosaic glass tile backsplash all around the cabinets without having to cut any tiles! (I made a cardboard template first and laid out the tiles carefully to avoid cuts!)
Sadly, I don’t have any completely finished pictures of the kitchen. These were pretty close to the end of the remodel, but I hadn’t trimmed out the windows, gotten my new fridge delivered or recovered the stools in the red glitter vinyl yet…
Did you recognize some of the “accessories” from my last kitchen have found a new home at my Retro Ranch?
The whole gut remodel of my first kitchen took about six months. It was hard work. It makes my new kitchen remodel look like a piece of cake. I am glad that I tackled my first kitchen remodel because it made the kitchen so much more user friendly, but I am hesitant to do another gut remodel kitchen with IKEA cabinets any time in the near future. I really lucked out to get nice cabinets and a good kitchen layout in my Retro Ranch. With just a little paint, wood putty and elbow grease my new kitchen was so much easier to rework!