I’m going to let you look at this pretty picture before I show you the actual BEFORE pix. Because it bothers me that someone would visit this blog and be greeted by a bathtub full of bat poo. I want my blog to look pretty……not shitty.
But in this episode, we will focus on the kitchen only because that is where this renovation begins. We’ve already discussed the unidentified living thing that took up residence under the sink that woke up when I opened the cabinet door. And how I closed that door and ran away so I could go to my happy place. We’ve already discussed the drawer front that came off in my hand when I went to open the drawer for the first time. Here’s the scene of that crime:
I think the sink island/scene of the crime was added later in the cabin’s history, I’m guessing in the late 70’s, and sat awkwardly in the middle of the room, perhaps to serve as a divider between the kitchen and an undersized dining area, something they might call “partial view” on Ticketmaster. This divider made the dining area so small that you couldn’t seat 4 people around a small table. Which is why we just have one child (I’m sorry, honey, but one is my limit; the table only seats three).
At first, we considered just replacing this bank of awkward cabinets; easy, quick, cheap. But then we would still be left with the Standing Room Only dining area. And that would be awkward for guests. “Nope, just stand right there. That’s good. Do you want me to hold your drink? Bon appetit!” And then we would still be left with the Leaning Counter of Pisa and The Corner Cabinet/Mouse Townhouse. The Mouse Townhouse is hidden by the refrigerator door. It’s like the Barbie townhouse of food storage; a corner cupboard with louvered doors and several floors, I mean shelves, intended to store food but would look great with little plastic couches. The combo of food plus comfort makes it seem to me like George and Wheezie Mouse would be highly motivated to move on up.
I just have a lot of trouble with anything that has ever been lived in, occupied by or worn by an unknown living thing (I also can’t do used furniture with fabric surfaces – solid surfaces are ok. And I don’t know if you noticed this, Mom, but I never wore those dresses you bought me for ten cents at a garage sale. I didn’t have any idea who wore those dresses! No ten cent dresses! Wow…..I digress). So Mike and I talk each other into ripping all of it out and starting fresh. Rationalization #1: It’s so teeny! How much could it possibly cost? Rationalization #2: Mike likes to cook. It’s his creative outlet. When we are relaxing at our cabin, shouldn’t he be able to comfortably pursue his only creative outlet? (That’s a good one!) Rationalization #3: There is no cleanser that could adequately cleanse the Mouse Townhouse of it’s supposed mouse-ness. Best to demolish. So…..
I meet with a cabin-jack-of-all-trades who seems like a good guy to know because he does EVERYTHING. Construction, carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical, landscaping, pest control – if it’s something that a cabin needs, he can take care of it. He’s a tall, blond Viking with a funky Finnish name that feels like rocks in my mouth, like most of the people who live here full time. I refer to him as the Finnish Carpenter, not knowing that there is such a thing as a “finish carpenter.” Which gets really confusing for Mike who doesn’t know the guy’s actual name and because I assume a “finish carpenter” has something to do with finishing, and we haven’t even begun the project yet. He’s like “Why are we talking to a finish carpenter? Does that seem appropriate?” And I’m all “Xenophobe!”
So anyway, the Finnish Carpenter really wants me to stretch the new kitchen along the entire length of the cabin, leaving it open to the whole living area. But I say ei, ei, ei (Finnish for no). That feels like something you would find in a new house and this cabin will never be new. I don’t want it to be new. Just clean. And functional. And comfortable. And beautiful.
And even though a U-shaped kitchen is still open to the living area, I want some division of spaces and I want the ability to hide some of the clutter and visual noise that comes with a kitchen. Can you imagine what your open kitchen would look like duringThanksgiving dinner? Why bother with a nice centerpiece when you have to stare at the detritus of Hurricane Priscilla? Or Hurricane Squanto if you want to be historically equitable.
I sit down and design and sketch a whole new kitchen in two hours. Plans done! Let’s start sourcing!