Wednesday, March 09, 2011

AiS: Constructioneering the kitchen

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to explaining the name of my blog in this post. Over the five years or so that I've been blogging here, I've written many posts that exemplify this concept of self-reliance. Hence forth, all posts of this nature will bear the abbreviation AiS before the title and in the label. (Yes, I know, I'm an anal retentive freak who can't stop categorizing everything in my life. Be nice to me, it's all I've got people ... I live with three small tornadoes. I need order somewhere.)

My husband is incapable of sitting still. He also cannot look at any square inch of our house without wanting to improve it somehow. And his canvass--our house--is constantly being reworked in a process we've dubbed constructioneering. Luckily, he's very competent in this area. He's like Norm Abrams, Picasso and Tim the Toolman all in one--skilled, creative and a little scary sometimes. I once asked him if he was hyperactive as a child. He replied, "I'm not hyperactive. I'm hyperproductive."


(I'm starting to understand my eldest son a little better.)

His restlessness has its advantages. For instance, our kitchen has been a work in progress for several years now. Most women I know just want kitchen renovations done and over with in one fell swoop.

For us, renovating the kitchen slowly has allowed us to tailor the space to evolving needs. Because when you have three small children, your needs in one of the most used rooms in the house change constantly.

The other most-used room in the house is the kids' bathroom, of course. And my husband added a beautiful and very clever closet there. Clever because it uses the space between the vanity and the wall that used to be a second entry way. However, instead of closing up the entry way from Fiona's room to the bathroom (which would have made the project much more complicated), he used a bifold door from the old kitchen pantry to provide access to the closet from her bedroom. It has come in so very handy. I can reach the diaper pail and hamper and grab diapers, lotion, towels, medicine or whatever else I need. I can also spy through the crack in the bifold door during nap time to see whether she is sleeping or smearing poop on the walls. That's really the best feature. With her, it's never a good idea to barge in to check on her when she's being quiet. It's just best to not know what she's up to until you hear or smell her.

This creative and ongoing renovation is the reason that I tolerate paint-stained coffee mugs and work around drill chargers on the kitchen countertop and a husband who sometimes tries to tweak things while I'm fixing dinner. In the past seven years, he has painted the kitchen cabinets white, replaced and added drawer pulls and renovated three different spaces, adding attractive storage spaces and opening up a very poorly designed pantry. Only the floors and counter tops are left to be done.

The most recent addition is a set of benches built into the bay window which provides yet more storage space. We've been eying the area for years. Most recently, we had a set of three cushioned bench seats with drawers in the space. Hauling all of them out to clean was getting to be a pain and the drawers were not convenient in the least. We had to move the table to open the drawers.

So here it is ... It was completed over the Christmas holidays. And, bad wife that I am, I'm just now getting around to bragging about it. (Hey, our anniversary is coming up, so I thought I'd score some wife points.)

new kitchen bench

Of course, the kids love these benches and now eat all their meals like this:

Best view in the house, if you ask me.

The neatest thing about our projects around here is that when we take apart one area, we often save items like doors, framing, molding, shelving and cabinets and use them for other projects. We rarely spend a lot of money on projects, yet our renovations look like we did.


Jennifer said...

And you are going to send him my way please? My husband lacks those skills poor guy! It looks great and I hope you got those points(for the big A!!)

Monica said...

You are lucky and renovations look great! My hubby - as much as I love him - cannot hang a picture to save his life. :o(