In the Living Years {Thoughts About my Dad Nine Years After His Death} and an Update… Scratch That… a First-Ever Post Documenting Our Kitchen Renovations

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{A zoomed-in view of part of our kitchen as it looked about a month and a half ago}
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I really hoped to get this post up first thing last Monday {August 31st}, as Monday was nine years to the day since my dad passed quietly in his sleep. Had I known it would take me so long to pull my post together, I’d have started it a week early so I could have published it when I hoped to four days ago.

Regardless, here it is now.

My dad was a carpenter/general contractor his entire adult life, so if I were asked to come up with a graphic or icon that would sum up who he was, one of the first images I’d suggest is that of a hammer {probably tied for first with an image of a trumpet}. That’s why my first two photos show the hammer {and other tools} I was using over the past month or so to remove the tile backsplash in our kitchen—something I have wanted to do for more than two and a half years… since we first moved in.

There’s a lot more to my thoughts about my dad in relation to tackling this project, but I’ll get to that a bit further down.

First, I’ll write more about our kitchen, which I’ve wanted to journal about here for a while. When we moved here, I wanted to be able to document the before/during/after process of all the plans and projects we had in mind for this house. But life got crazy and things just needed to get done… not blogged… so we went ahead and tackled many of the musts on our list before I was in a convenient place to blog about them. So far, the biggest project we tackled was tearing out carpet anywhere it existed {living room, dining room and hallway} and replacing it with faux wood laminate flooring.

Other than that monumental feat, most of the work has been more cosmetic in nature… a lot of painting {mostly white and a few areas of orange}, some light fixture replacements, and some removing of certain things… like outdated cabinet hardware.

That brings me to the kitchen, where most of that cabinet hardware once was. I don’t want to sound rude, but we found the existing hardware in our kitchen to be hideous when we first looked at the house. That said, we had a vision for that kitchen even though it had issues, and we could en-vision it looking much more period {1960s} and in keeping with its time and build date. Without even blinking, I knew immediately that if the closing on the house should go through without a hitch or hiccup and, more importantly, if the inspector found no deal-breaker problems with the house, upon being handed the keys, I would remove the kitchen hardware and light fixtures first thing… like, before the ink even dried on my dotted “i” when I signed my name one last time at the closing. Okay, so it wasn’t that soon. But I wanted it to be. In reality, moving ended up being a lot bigger of an ordeal than we’d expected, so in all honesty, replacing the hardware in the kitchen turned out to not be the very first thing we did. Actually, I think we were almost a month in before we even unpacked our kitchen. I remember Izzy was quite sick those first couple of weeks, and from there, everything got way off schedule, putting a lot of little {and big} things on the back burner… pun intended.

So… I guess before I go on, in an attempt to sort of {retrospectively} document the before/during/after changes we’ve made in our kitchen so far, I’ll post the most “before” photo I have of our tiny mid-century ranch kitchen… a shot taken before we became the proud owners {and one that actually makes our kitchen look quite a bit larger than it really is}…
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That is a lot of brown, right?… topped off with a very uninspiring shade of yellow {that looked more dingy-white than yellow in person}!

But wait… there’s more!
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Here is a close-up I later took of the kitchen hardware that came with our house. {This blurry photo taken right before we moved all our stuff in is all I have that shows the handles in detail}…
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And here are two close-up photos of the lantern-style ceiling lights I shot that same day. The larger light was in the center of the room and the smaller fixture was above the kitchenette/table area…
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{Original main center-of-kitchen ceiling light}
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{Original above-the-kitchen-table pendant light}
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It’s not visible {because I took the photos of these lights while they were turned on}, but that orange Autumn leaf motif was all over the glass on these fixtures… and just so not our taste. Neither was the Early American vibe the kitchen was giving off {which former owners must have been going for}. We couldn’t wait to remove these fixtures! We wanted something that would fit more with the era and simpler/cleaner styles of lighting that were part of the modern aesthetic happening when our house was built… in the 60s.

Luckily, we didn’t have to go far. We simply took the very MCM-esque ceiling light {no photo available} from the nearby garage/basement entryway and hooked it up to the wiring where the larger lantern chandelier used to be. As for the smaller pendant lantern, it was replaced with a cool 70s {I’m fairly certain it’s from the 70s, anyway} pendant light that was salvaged from my dad’s garage. After he died nine years ago, the rest of the family had to clean out his very packed-to-the-brim garage… filled with what a lot of people might consider junk, but also some gems, too. The orange pendant light I found that day is one of those gems. Even though we were not living in this house at the time, we were in a house that had very retro bones and contained all of our 60s mid-century furniture, so we both agreed that it would be a great addition to our decor if we could find a place for it. The circumstances that allowed us to have our new light were sad, but the happy part in it all is the fact that I got to bring something of my dad’s with me to continually remind me of him… something that just said so much about him {especially how much he loved to take home unique objects from his contract jobs and save them from their pending dumpster doom}. Here is a picture of that lamp as it now hangs in our current home—in the kitchen above the table where we so often eat…
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DSC_0259{“New” kitchen-table pendant light}
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Much better than the previous light, no? So much more cheerful! Well, it might not be for everyone, but we do get a lot of comments about it when people visit. Most people love the light. I’m happy with it, too. I only need to replace the chain and ceiling plate {not shown} with something more modern, as the current chain/plate is more similar to the style of what used to be there. I wish I had a better photo that shows more of it. But this post is mostly about the backsplash, so that’s okay. I do love including this element of our kitchen too, though, because this post is also very much about my dad… so it’s fitting in more ways than one!

Some day, when I do an update post on our kitchen renovations, I’ll get better shots of the lights.

Let’s see… what else?

Well, first, I guess I’ll just post more of the “before” photos that I happened to take just prior to moving in. Then everything else I write about here will make more sense…
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Like I said… a lot of brown… and just far too many warm tones going on for my taste. I mean, warm tones are my thing. But I need some whites for contrast and perhaps some pops of green to break up all the browns and orangey tones.

There will be a close-up shot of the countertops further down. They are covered in that quintessential, still-popular-in-some-circles, atomic boomerang motif from the 60s that I don’t think I’ll ever get on board with {too whimsical for my taste} and seems so completely out of place in a kitchen in which someone seems to have been going for an Early American vibe. Perhaps the countertops came first, installed during the original build, and then the kitchen went through an Early American remodel in the 70s. Whatever the case, I was eager to see both motifs go and bring our kitchen back to a simpler, whimsy-free mid-century space with clean lines, which some existing elements in the room lent themselves to quite well already… like the cabinets {sans hardware} and the cabinet-encased oven a few feet down from the countertop stove {also pictured below}.

So, let’s see. I knew right off the bat that the following list of things had to go… those faux diamond-shaped window panes {DONE}; the yellowish walls {DONE – replaced with white and orange, depending on where you look}; the cabinet pulls {DONE – replaced with a chrome MCM-esque knob, but only on the drawers, as we’re leaving the doors knobless and filling the holes with wood putty}; the cabinet hinges {still TO DO}; the linoleum floor {TO DO} whose pattern, by the way, at least grew on me a little once we updated some of the other kitchen elements with a fresher look; the two ceiling lights {DONE}; and last, but not least, that even-if-these-were-the-last-tiles-on-earth-I-would-still-remove-them backsplash!!

But before I get further into that, here are more photos I’ve taken of {or in} the kitchen over the past couple of years… post-completion of all the other “DONE”s we did, but prior to starting the recent backsplash project.
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{Izzy circa 2.5 years old, when he finally figured out a way to turn the exhaust fan and stove light on and off… by sliding his chair over}


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{Close-up shot of the MCM-esque knobs we purchased for the drawers… and an example of one of those holes we still need to fill with wood putty}
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{One of my favorite spots in our kitchen because of all the pinned-up photos of my favorite people and my favorite cooking books atop the fridge}
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{More Izzy pics… taken during that first year when Izzy was still only 1.5 years old, just one month after we moved in}
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{I love this one, and looking at it closely as I now type below it, I see it was taken when we still had our old butcher-block kitchen table.}
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{A few pics with the new table… and chairs… taken shortly after Izzy turned 4.
I loved when we finally got our new table and chairs, as they went so well with the look we’ve been going for in our kitchen.}
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{Not to mention… Izzy just looks so cute sitting in these chairs.}
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Oh… I almost forgot {and these next two shots really should have been inserted earlier in the post, as they show one of the first changes we made to our kitchen}… this is what the cabinets looked like shortly after we moved in and tore out all the contact paper that lined them. They were a mess!
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After removing each of the many layers of different 60s, 70s and 80s patterned shelf-liner {or contact paper}, we painted all the cabinet interiors white to freshen and clean them up. Short of tearing all the cabinets out {which we were in no position to do}, painting them was the next best thing.
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But don’t get me wrong… I’d love to start from scratch with new cabinets in this space! I’ve been saying it since we moved here… if we ever are in a position to totally gut our kitchen and install new cabinets, I would still pick something similar in style to the current cabinetry, but with a slightly prettier grain and, of course, with more state-of-the-art innards… all the fancy bells and whistles one would find in cabinetry today. But as for the overall look and layout, I would go with something almost identical to what we have now… that’s how content I am with the style of our 60s cabinets!

As it stands, I still have to fill in all those holes {where all the old handles were screwed in} with some putty, and I’d like to eventually remove the current bronze hinges that match the already-removed old handles, because they do not at all go with the new chrome knobs. I’m hoping those European-style hidden hinges will work. Also, some of the doors are ever-so-slightly off-plumb, so not everything looks perfectly flush. That’s something probably only I would notice, I’m sure, but still one of the drawbacks to keeping the original cabinetry. Even so, these cabinets totally work for us as is. And after I streamlined {or junked a lot of the kitchen items we never used} for a more minimal lifestyle, we’ve discovered we have more than enough cabinet space.

Okay, so now back to that tile. I have been itchin’ to rip it out for a long while now. And per my usual spontaneous ways when it comes to working on this house {I tend to tackle these things on a complete whim at the weirdest and least convenient times}, I just jumped right in one Tuesday morning. I scoured the basement for whatever tools I thought might get me started, and just dove in, using trial-n-error methods to come up with a good removal system, making a significant mess all along the way.

Over the course of two weeks {about half the tile one day that first weekend and the remaining half a week or two later}, I removed each and every one of these terrible tiles. I say terrible, because they’re just too dark, and besides that, they always appeared to be dirty no matter how thoroughly I cleaned them. That bumpy texture certainly didn’t help. But it’s the brownish coloring of the tiles that was culprit more than anything else.

In fact, when I converted a photo of the kitchen to black & white, as opposed to the color…er, overwhelmingly-brown version, the tile almost seemed tolerable.
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But in real life {or in a color photo}, there’s just too much brown… on brown… on brown… and no contrast to break things up. So a desire to remove the tile was very much gnawing at me… for years! Mr. B. actually liked our tile and would have lived with it. But I couldn’t do it any longer. I might even like the tiles if they were in a kitchen with white cabinets. Then, perhaps they might have seemed sort of rustic-Tuscan or something like that. But this way, next to the dark brown tones in the cabinets, they just came off looking like dirty, never-cleaned, covered-in-grease old tiles.

I have a funny pic to include at this point. There was a time when I actually considered painting the tile white instead of tearing it out and replacing it. It can be done… they make special paints for such things now. But I was having a hard time picturing what our tile would look like as white next to our existing cabinets. So I opened that same before-we-owned-the-house photo of the kitchen in Photoshop and gave our tiles a healthy coat of virtual white paint…
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I must have created this rendering before we decided to paint our soffits orange, because my Photoshop edits turned those white as well. The look is bit boring now that I see it all these months later, but it’s still brighter and better than when the tiles were brown and the soffits were yellow. That’s a fake ceiling light in the rendering, too… and, though ever-so-slightly similar, different from the light that now hangs there. I also added a fake roman bamboo shade and fake orange linoleum to my rendering. But we now have faux wood blinds, the window trim has been painted white, and we still have the original floor. So basically, this room rendering looks nothing like our current kitchen.

In the end, I decided that ripping out the old tile was a better idea than painting it white. The only caveat that comes with my decision is this… I’ll have to replace the tile with something new. Easy-peasy for me… I’ve already picked one out that has a very mid-century modern look to it. But I can’t get Mr. B. to agree on my find. So we’re stuck… or, rather, on hold until we can agree on a tile we both like. The other problem with my decision in remove vs. paint is that I had no idea about the amount of work I was in for, nor that I would inflict about seven or eight injuries on myself doing it.

No matter, because it was a very cathartic experience, and somewhat empowering, too. I felt so proud that I tackled it on my own… and finished on my own.

But the coolest part of the entire process was when drywall compound came into the picture… and how much it made me remember my dad. I’ll explain {finally, right!?}…

So, I distinctly remember many days back in the 70s and 80s when I, as a young girl, used to sit {or stand} mesmerized as I watched my dad put up drywall… specifically the part of the process that entailed adding mud or compound with trowels/knives to the wall. {Yup… while most girls were playing with Barbie dolls, I was fascinated by my dad’s livelihood and with watching him work.} Surprisingly, I had many opportunities to watch this process. He was always remodeling at least one room in each of our homes, so there were all those chances. And then I specifically remember going with him to job sites, which now seems slightly strange… I guess my parents couldn’t find babysitters those days. Not that I minded. Again, I just found what my dad did to be so interesting. I was enthralled with the amount of detail involved in his work and how it took much more of a level of artistry than most people realize. And since I grew up to be an artist myself, I can’t help but feel his influence as a carpenter dad was part of what influenced me in becoming the artist I am.

Anyway, I specifically remember watching him carefully and artfully apply that drywall compound. I would find myself applying it with him in my mind’s eye, always pleased when he fixed a bump or dip that I’d already noticed and wanted to fix. I was never left disappointed with the finished product, sometimes feeling pride in it just for having watched, but also proud that my dad did the work so well. Wow… I’m really revealing the perfectionist {OCD tendencies?} in me right now, aren’t I?

Well, all I know is that all those years of watching my dad long ago came in handy very recently, and I found myself channeling my dad’s handy-man skills to work on my kitchen… which I hope he’d be proud of because of the fact that I DIY-ed it instead of hiring someone to do it for us.

I guess I should explain the reason I had to use drywall compound for my tile removal project…
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While ripping off certain sections of the tile {especially near the stove-top, where heat and moisture likely caused a stronger bond between tile and wall}, there were spots where the top layer of drywall came off, too, as the wall paint in those areas was not strong enough to stay attached to the drywall and was too tightly bonded to the glue between it and the tiles. I think there may have been two layers of paint below those tiles, so there was a significant difference in height between the exposed drywall areas and the parts where the glue stayed on the wall after tiles were removed. This was an unexpected, unwanted result of my work.

I needed to fill in those dips to even my walls out. So, I set out to research ways to do that.

First, I discovered that I needed to seal the exposed drywall paper areas with an oil-based primer. Otherwise, anything I might have done to those areas would have caused the paper to bubble and come off layer after layer {something we experienced in a small area of our office when we were painting it last year}. Then, I had to fill in those areas with the drywall compound, so as to even out the wall and make it all level {or flat}. Otherwise, installing new tile down the road could prove to be quite difficult with noticeably uneven results. Before the compound was applied, I did my best to sand down the glue and mesh areas left over from the tile adhesion.

These photos merely show the in-between-sections-of-tile stage of the removal, but I included them to show what the walls were looking like underneath that tile. It was not a pretty sight…
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…especially prior to cleaning broken tiles and wall dust off the counters {which I did periodically as I worked}…
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This process was like that old Eastwood flick, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The “bad” or difficult was removing the tile. The “ugly” was how my kitchen looked afterward and the clean-up. The “good” was the part where I got to work with drywall compound and tools I’d watched my dad use all those years.

As I globbed on the compound and smoothed it over with a trowel/knife to make the surface flat, with all the precision and intention I could muster, there was barely a moment that I didn’t think about my dad, and it almost felt like I was watching him again as I watched my own arm and hand work that knife and compound. It made me quite happy to think of him. It made me happy to know he taught me something useful, even though neither of us realized it at the time. It made me happy that I took the time to observe him and that it ended up helping me much later in life… years after he left us.

I would love if he was here to see what we’ve been doing in our house… and here to lend his expertise! He helped us a lot with our first house. But this one has become even more of a labor of love for us… plus, one of our favorite people inhabits this home, and that someone is someone I wish my dad could have met more than anything.

Well, I can now say that the backsplash removal stage is done, and we’ve put any future changes we have in mind for the kitchen on hold for the time being. But I couldn’t very well leave the walls bare with only drywall compound on them. So I bought some Kilz paint and covered the walls with a couple of coats of white… just a temporary solution until we can save up for new tile. It’s rather a bright white, too… almost too bright. But it also works out quite nicely, as it reflects light and has really brightened up my kitchen for tasks significantly. I look forward to having tile on the walls with a somewhat glossy surface that will serve to do the same!

Here is what the kitchen is looking like these days…
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The new temporary wall surface is unintentionally rustic {it reminds me of adobe homes} and looks a bit uneven, but is still definitely better and more suitable for new tile than the condition it was in before compound and paint were applied.
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I threw in this close-up shot because I wanted to show off the cooking utensil holder that Izzy and I made at Color Me Mine back when he turned four. I love how it turned out, and so does Izzy, which he makes a point to tell me each time he sees it.
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A couple more close-ups of the holder… and that awful boomerang counter surface I can’t wait to cover or replace!
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It’s all very unfinished-looking at this point, but still worlds improved upon compared to what it was, I think. I’d rather see unfinished and bright than finished and dark/dingy. New counter tops and tile will make all the difference, and I still have some patience and vision left to get me through to that stage, so I wait.
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There’s something else I meant to mention above… another of the new features/additions to our kitchen that occurred over the past year. We installed bracket-system shelves {seen in the above photo to the right of the oven}. While I have a lot of storage space in my cabinets, I felt the kitchen lacked any kind of display space. And since I didn’t want to clutter the counter tops, I decided to install shelves for that purpose. They aren’t quite done, styling-wise. But they’re up, and that is what matters most! My goal is to utilize this very quintessential mid-century style of shelving all throughout the house… similar shelves are hanging in Izzy’s room and a wider, white version was recently installed in the office.

Anyway, speaking of our kitchen, there was only one small window on Monday {the anniversary of my dad’s death} that I spent any significant amount of time in the kitchen {as I prepared a hearty salad-with-chicken dinner for three}. The only occasion for which we turn on our favorite new radio station at home is when we’re relaxing with drinks and snacks in the living room {usually on the weekends} or preparing dinner in the kitchen. So, Monday night, as per the norm, the radio was on while I made dinner… which couldn’t have taken me more than a half hour.

This radio station plays every oldies song imaginable {including the “oldies” from the 80s}… even obscure songs that were never mega-hits or songs we’ve never heard prior to listening to this station. It’s one of the things that makes this station great… the variety of old and new, known and obscure, keeping it fresh! And because they play such a wide variety, it’s not uncommon to hear a song played on this station, even songs we and most people know well, that we’ve never heard them play up until that point.

Well, Monday night, during that small half-hour window that I happened to be in the kitchen… on that ninth anniversary of my dad’s death… they played one such song. It’s one of my favorites, and while not musically one of Mr. B’s favorites, one that he likes for the words/message and because he knows what it means to me.

It was The Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics. First time I ever heard that station play it… and it happened to be that day, during that half hour. For real!

I really love this song. I’ve always loved it for its musicality… even before my dad died. But now I love it for the words. My dad and I did not quarrel, so most of the words don’t really resonate with me… the beginning verses. But the part that always gets me {bringing me to tears like it did just now as I listened when I found a video to link to on YouTube} is the last verse, as well as the final singing of the chorus that follows…

I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I’m sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

It’s nothing about that last line. But all those others… like the person who wrote this song, I wasn’t there that morning when my father passed away. And because no one expected that we’d lose him when we all went to bed the night before, I also didn’t get to tell him all the things I had to say.

Ughhh… that’s why that part of the song cuts.right.through.me.

I hope he knew how grateful I am that I had a dad like him. I hope he knew how grateful I was for all he’d taught me, even when he didn’t even realize he was teaching me. I hope he knew how much I looked up to him… how much I loved him. I mean, I’m sure I told him at least some of those truths and least once. But I wish I could have said them all one more time.

It took about ten seconds before I realized the synchronicity in that particular song being played during that particular time. Before it hit me, I was singing/humming along because my brain told me one of my favorites had just come on. But then Mr. B. said, “Your favorite song.” I know that he’s fully aware that it is not my favorite song, but I also know that he knows what it means to me and how it’s one of my favorites from a sentimental standpoint, so as soon as he said that, it dawned on me what a happy {and somewhat sad} coincidence it was. I’m almost positive that my husband had forgotten what day Monday was the anniversary of. He’s my own father, and even I almost forget as the years pass whenever August 31st rolls around.

I had not mentioned anything to my husband about the significance of this particular Monday earlier in the day. So I am pretty sure he didn’t even realize it was the ninth anniversary. But he still remembered what I feel when I hear that song, so he made a point to make a point. And that is when it all hit me… and I even felt a bit of a chill… like the good kind of chill you get when something special and meaningful happens.

Ironically, I was cutting onions at the time… no joke. So, I’m not even sure if I teared up over the song, because tears were already there. But whether I did or not, I’m certain that the feelings that make tears form were there. I missed my father so much in that moment.

How lovely that it all happened right there in that kitchen where I had been “channeling” him and his expertise to work on my walls just a few weeks earlier.

I would be remiss if I didn’t, at this point, share a little anecdote {or conversation that took place between Mr. B. and myself months ago} that relates.

Back when we were laboriously installing the laminate flooring in our living room more than a year ago, Mr. B’s dad {who lives in Florida} said to him over the phone, “I wish I could be there to help you out with the flooring. But I wouldn’t be the best one to help with that anyway… not like Georgia’s dad could have. You should send up prayers to ask him for help from above.” Mr. B replied, “Well, first of all, I don’t pray to people. And if I am going to pray and ask for help from a carpenter, I’m goin’ to the top… all the way to the BIG carpenter.” I loved that and it still makes me smile today. ❤

Anyway, I’m sure this is the longest post I’ve ever composed, and if not, definitely the longest kitchen- or father-related post I’ve ever published. But that’s okay, because I know I’ll look back on this journal entry very fondly, so it’s worth the time it took to put it together. Still, I’ll try to wrap it up.

But before I do, I sort of wanted to express what it is about our kitchen that I’m content with… what makes me happy… even brings me joy. I don’t want to give the impression that it was 100% awful with nothing to value or be grateful for prior to our changes… because there were/are things about it for which I am grateful, and they are things that would be true of our kitchen whether we chose to renovate it or not.

First, I love the size of our kitchen. It’s very small, but very efficient. They say that a lot of floor space in a kitchen is not efficient for tasks. If so, then ours is one of the most efficient there is. And it fits us three quite well. Add anyone else, and we’re feeling a little tight in there {which I found out when I hosted Easter dinner and while hosting friends for dinner}.

Another plus to having a small kitchen is that renovations cost less… as is the case throughout the rest of our house, as well.

Also, as I stated above, I am fond of the cabinets in our kitchen. We could have inherited a kitchen with 80s cabinets or something more traditional that does not look at all period to the home’s build-date. So, if I had to inherit outdated cabinets, these are the ones I’d want to inherit. Their overall style is actually back in, so we lucked out. And even if it wasn’t a currently-sought-after style, we’d still want something like these… that looks like the decade the house was built in.

I also LOVE that our kitchen has a window… and a good-sized one at that. I don’t think I could enjoy my kitchen nearly as much if there was no window above the sink. My last kitchen had no window, so this is such a plus… or rather, a blessing!

Lastly, I am really happy that our kitchen has a small kitchenette area for a table. None of the other homes I’ve lived in as an adult had that, so I’ve always had to use a separate dining room for eating meals {which is so not a complaint, because some don’t even have that}. I see the kitchenette as a bonus, since I like the idea of eating breakfast and lunch in the kitchen, and now I can. In fact, we often ate dinner in the kitchen as well, until recently, that is. With the backsplash endeavor I took on, things were a bit chaotic in the kitchen, and all my usual countertop items were taking up all kitchen table real estate. So we began eating our meals in the adjacent dining room for a change… a nice change that allowed me to get sweet photos like these.

Anyway, with new flooring, new {or modified} countertops and a new backsplash installation still yet to be done, it feels like we have such a long way to go. But it also feels like we’ve come so far.

Like I did with my my post on making over Izzy’s room, I am going to add my list of changes for the kitchen here, crossing off the changes we’ve made so far. Then I can continue to use this list and update it if/when I post about further updates in the kitchen.

The Kitchen ToDo List

Remove linoleum flooring and install new flooring {material TBD}
Install new hardware {drawer pulls}
Fill cabinet door holes with wood putty
Paint yellow walls white and soffit orange

Clean and paint cabinet interiors
Paint window trim
Remove faux diamond panes in window

Hang curtains {short-term}
New window blinds {long-term}
Replace main light fixtures
Purchase and install a light similar to this one {someday}
Replace light above sink
Find/purchase new or used sink fixtures that are more MCM-esque
Purchase Mid-Century Modern table
Purchase MCM-esque chairs

Hang bracket system shelving
Replace all light switch and socket covers
Install new electrical socket behind refrigerator
Purchase the white version of this refrigerator {someday}
Replace dishwasher door panel with a white one of these {someday}
Build a recycling trap door into wall with a shoot that leads to a bin in the garage
Refurbish the vintage stove and oven or replace if refurbishing is too expensive
Purchase a kitchen-friendly area rug {maybe wait until Izzy is older}
Find and purchase an MCM-esque clock like this, this, this or this
Replace floor and wall vent covers
Replace or resurface countertops
Build a countertop compost bin
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Partially Done

Remove old bronzy hardware
Replace backsplash tiles
Find and hang artwork {ongoing revolving TO DO}
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I think that’s it! Not too insurmountable a list… though perhaps filled with a lot of projects that aren’t realistic in the near future. But I’m patient… most days. I can wait.

Our kitchen is one of, if not the most important room in the house to me. From day one, it’s been our happy place. Even when there were still boxes everywhere and the 80s lights hung above our heads, we still had our trusty radio plugged in and enough floor space to deem it the dance floor. It’s Isaac’s spinning zone {he LOVES to spin there} and my favorite place to twirl him in my arms or hold him upside down and gobble his belly. It’s where we talk about things and what things mean. It’s where we see the sweet face of our sweet daughter and sister, kiss her and tell her how much we love and miss her. It’s where sit as we pray over meals or learn about God from His word.

I’ve labored many hours there. Mr. B has cooked many meals there. Lots of dancing has taken place there on that old floor… and even a breakdown or two {ehem… I’m referring to me, and not Izzy as one might assume}, not to mention the many meltdowns from Izzy there, like today when he asked to drink right out of the juice bottle while standing at the fridge, to which I said “nope” and was met with the funniest response… “You just made my happy come to an ending… all because of YOU!… I thought we were best friends.”

I’m quite fond of our kitchen, and I’m not even what most would consider good at cooking! Of course, given the news I found out yesterday about McDonald’s breakfast {woohoo!}, I can’t see a reason or need to start now!

::winks, only partially in jest::

Some of my best memories have been formed in that room, including this one with Izzy {I can’t believe how small he looks} captured shortly after we moved in and were unpacking playing with pots and pans…
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Whew! There it is. Four days later, I’m finally done putting all this together.

Kitchen accomplished. =)
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