Saturday, November 6, 2010

...And Everything In Its Place

I forgot to give a shout-out yesterday to Gordon and Butch for coming over Wednesday morning to work on the refrigerator. The major wobble has been taken care of and the door now opens much more smoothly. They also finished hooking up our ventilation to the outside (now you can stand on our back porch and smell what's for dinner). So it's thanks to them that I was finally able to move all of our food from the old fridges to the new one. Yesterday the ancient laundry room refrigerator that we bought for $35 on Craig's List last year was picked up for recycling (through a program run by our electric company).  They will take any old (but working)  fridge, freezer, or AC unit and send you a rebate. For the fridge, it is $35, so we are essentially breaking even. I will have to keep track of our bills for the next few months to see how much of a difference the new appliances are actually making; hopefully we will see some change now that the energy hog is gone!

Now, on to part 2 of our tour around the kitchen:

Top peanut: waffle maker, bagel slicer, hand mixers, sifter, and grater

Bottom peanut: food processor and crockpot
Bank of three small drawers next to dishwasher:
Top drawer: can openers, garlic press, ice cream scoops, pizza cutter

Middle drawer: small graters, cake slicers, mashers, tenderizers, basters

Bottom drawer: mostly fruit and veg-related stuff---apple slicer, herb mincers, onion slicer, pineapple corer, peelers

Upper to left of sink: extra white dishes, bowls, nice china

Upper to right of sink: wine glasses, cocktail glasses, carafes, extra mugs (mostly kept for sentimental reasons--my first gallon of donated blood---awww!) 
Drawer bank next to trash pullout:

Top drawer: "entertaining" stuff--corkscrews, bottle openers, chopsticks, tiny spreaders for odd cheeses, wine stoppers

Middle drawer: dish towels

Bottom drawer: BBQ tools, skewers, corn holders, fondue forks

Top peanut: mugs (coffee maker is on counter right above)

Bottom peanut: panini maker, blender, coffee/spice grinder

Cookie sheet/cutting board/metal bakeware storage (I love this one)

French door freezer

French door fridge--it is shallower than we are used to, but you can see everything, and we do have our old side-by-side in the laundry room for items we don't use on a daily basis, like fish sauce and Thai red curry paste
So there you have it! Now we just need our window hardware, a few doors, some thresholds, and the exterior of the windows finished and WE ARE DONE! Phew.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Place for Everything....

For all my kvetching about putting everything back into the kitchen, and in a convenient and practical way that would maximize work flow, I did finally get 'er done. It took me the better part of two whole days, and some "D'oh!" moments where I filled a drawer only to realize something else should go there instead. In the end, however, we are pleased with our new layout; everything is nice and spread out, easy to find, and we even have some space left over to boot! It certainly helped that we did a purge of broken, useless, and otherwise unused items when we cleared the kitchen out before demo, so even with a few new purchases of bakeware, I think we moved less into the new kitchen than we moved out of the old.

Here are some pictures of how the filled drawers and cabinets look; I'll do half the kitchen today and half tomorrow so as not to completely bore you....I myself have never been too excited about seeing other peoples' fabulously organized closets or kitchens (they make me angry, really), so I completely understand if you find my "okay but not even close to Martha Stewart" skills uninteresting to the nth degree.

Also, please ignore any questionable food choices you may see herein; we are still easing out of temporary kitchen/convenience food mode!

Plastic container storage--every container has a lid for once!

Water bottles, cups, and plates for the kids--left over from the temporary kitchen. The comparable cabinet on the other side of the refrigerator drawers holds a trash can for the hole in the countertop.

Refrigerator drawer--the kids can even keep their own milk in here

The ice maker takes up a lot of room, but we can still fit waffles and snacks in here

Liked the look of these drawers in the middle of the pantry, but wondered what to do with them; they are perfect for all of our wraps and bags

Top of pantry with dry goods, teas, snacks and cereals

Bottom of pantry with rices and pastas on top pull-out, canned goods on lower pull-out

Under the double ovens; we also keep a large cast-iron griddle in here

Above double oven; serving platters, mixer, bread maker and fondue pots!

Left of hood--alcohol on a high shelf, liquid measuring cups, and oils/vinegars close by for cooking

Right of hood---vases, infrequently used spices in the middle, commonly used spices on the bottom shelf

Under the cooktop--oven mitts, spoons and spatulas, ladles and whisks (having the drawer right under the cooktop be usable space is awesome!)

Left drawer--metal mixing bowls, funnels, measuring cups, and measuring spoons in a flatware tray laid out by size (no more searching for the elusive 3/4 tsp!)  Right drawer--glass baking dishes

Left drawer--glass mixing bowls, more baking dishes, casseroles. Right drawer--pots and pans with lids
Bank of three drawers between cooktop and blind corner cabinet:

Top drawer--flatware. This drawer is in a convenient location to the dishwasher for putting clean utensils away.

Middle drawer---casual cups and glasses. I plan on putting some cushy shelf liner in this drawer to keep the glasses in their places and cut down on chipping.  I made this decision to put the glasses in a drawer because it is more convenient for the kids.

Bottom drawer---ditto the plates; much easier for the kids to help set the table, or get a bowl of cereal with the dishes in here.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. I'll post the rest of the kitchen later. Off to make my beloved granola for the first time in eight weeks---yum!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Whistle while you work

With most of the work completed, and the house empty of tools and shop vacs and spare pieces of trim and the like, I finally had an opportunity to CLEAN. I'm embarrassed to say that, aside from wiping down some toilets and sinks and attempting to dust and vacuum during a parental visit last month, I haven't really done much cleaning during this remodel. There hasn't been much point; I would wipe down a shelf, and literally 20 minutes later it would be covered in dust again. I felt like Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight, with a little Charles Boyer dumping tiny bags of dust on my bookshelves and kicking it around with evil glee.

Besides the sunroom/temporary kitchen, the worst hit room was the purple room where C and I like to hang out. Everything went through this room--appliances, workers, paint, pieces of lumber---and a lot of sawing was done on the porch right outside. This room looked like the Sahara, and I couldn't wait to get it clean; I just didn't think it would take me 6 hours to do it! Granted, I did a pretty thorough job, moving couches and tables and lifting up the edges of the rugs, cleaning all the knick knacks and picture frames and doors....but 6 hours of dust in one room? Crazy. Fortunately for me, the rest of the first floor went much faster; second floor is up later this week after everything is finished tomorrow.

Today Kevin was here doing some touch ups and door trimming, etc. Butch was also here working on the refrigerator (if this appliance does not put me, and possibly everyone involved in this process, into therapy, it will be a miracle). It looks great, but the freezer door is all wonky and wobbly and scrapes on one side. If G and B can't get this hunk of metal in line, I may have to call in the cavalry (otherwise known as "service guys from the store where I purchased it") to come take a look. I really want to move stuff into this fridge, especially since our old laundry room fridge (currently in service in the temp kitchen) is being picked up for recycling on Friday.

Both pocket doors now installed

Both doors up--microwave had to be elevated because the plug was in the way

Fridge with panels and cool handles

Another view of fridge

We moved our tables back in!

View from sink toward pantry--you can see my Grandmother's old sewing machine in the corner, now in use as a telephone table

Kevin will finish up tomorrow, and as soon as the vent cover arrives (hopefully tomorrow) Gordon and Butch will return to finish up all of their work and tackle the refrigerator. My next battle: organizing our kitchen gear into all these new drawers and cupboards. I don't even know where to begin!