Friday, February 22, 2013

Dysfunction in the kitchen

No, people, I'm not talking about my cooking skills.

I'm talking about the kitchen layout. To begin with, it has four doors, three of which open up into one another. And that's just the beginning. But we have made some progress, and I'm quite proud of the change in appearance even though the functionality is still awful.

Observe...This pic is of the "dining area" (which is waaay small) when we first got the place, in June 2011.

Notice little Brody there? We were still in the midst of a crazy adoption, and there were tons of questions floating around about our future with him. Makes my heart hurt a little to remember that time, but also makes it leap for joy at the amazing story God was orchestrating.

And here it is now. Still too small, but much more happy.

And here's the main part of the kitchen. Notice that it's not exactly big, either. But also notice how dark and depressing it looked. And that florescent light fixture (which we JUST changed out)!

And now...with new floors, paint, fridge, light fixture, and hardware. Much more happy in my opinion.

Notice that table? My dad made it from old barnwood. It is amazing (and so is my dad!).

And I have to throw in a picture of the happiest part of the kitchen. (How long can one continue to post pictures of sons in underwear? He's just so cute!)

So, to sum up the kitchen in one word, I would call it dysfunctional. Cuter than before--in my opinion--but still really hard to love.

Consider this corner. To get to stored items, I have to dig all the way back to the deepest part of the corner (I have found several bags of chocolate back there, probably because I push it back there to hide it from myself and then all of a sudden it's 6 months later and it's too late to eat it!) Also, the shelves inside are really short, which means I can't store boxes of cereal, rice, or anything else remotely tall in there unless I tip it to its side, which usually leaves me with a mess. Plus, since it's between the fridge and the oven, it's a bit hard to get to this area without overcrowding the area.

Then we've got this area. That door leads to the back deck, but there's a door about 10 feet away that also leads to the back deck, and there's another in the garage (right out that blue door to the right) that leads to the back). Overkill on the back doors, people!

As I mentioned, the blue door leads to the garage, and the door across from the exterior door leads to the basement.

Soo, three doors within a 3x3 area. Again, overkill on the door situation. What to do about this? We NEVER use this back door, so we are thinking of closing up the hole and adding shallow storage in its place. I even have a cool old door I might be able to have someone (who is cooler with more talent than myself) make into a cupboard. But what about the trash can (details, details) and the ability to open the door leading to the garage all the way. Is that even important here?

Notice all of the window treatments? My mom made those, because she's amazing, too.
Note to self: MUST learn how to use a sewing machine and try to erase the
memory of failure last time I tried.

Other kitchen problems:

Lots of awkward corner cabinet storage.

Countertops are laminate made to look like wood. They actually aren't awful, but I'd love some stained concrete countertops. 

Bad oven range, which is now missing the pans that go beneath the burners. I got tired of them one day, and I am secretly hoping to get a new oven ASAP.

And of course I'd like to change out the dishwasher to stainless steel.

The peninsula area sticks has plenty of counter space, but also sticks out into the dining area quite a bit. I had stools there at one point, but they looked weird and were often in the way.'s very dark in the kitchen, as the lights don't give off enough to reach into all of the corners. I'd like to add some track lighting AND/OR add a row of cabinets to the top of the existing cabinets in order to make the kitchen more seamless ad to eliminate deep, dark corners. If I am being truly honest here, I'd take an entirely new kitchen with all new cabinets, but I'm keeping in mind the future adoptions we'd like to pursue (I've still got Kevin on my mind). Way more important than a kitchen.

 Since I'm dreaming, I'd also take a white farmhouse sink. ooh-lala.

Oh, and have I mentioned I'd like to bust out this wall? See how much more open it would make our kitchen and living room?

This is the backside of that wall in the kitchen. There's not much going on there, anyway, so it wouldn't hurt to lose it from this end, in my opinion.

And I'd like to add bench seating, or a church pew, to this wall by the kitchen table. See how we didn't even finish the trim there? That's because I was going to have someone build us seating along the wall with built-in storage pieces beneath and flanking the seating. But I couldn't pull the trigger on an idea. Sometimes I am paralyzed by indecision, and it drives me nuts!!

Soon I'll have it looking like this, I'm sure (Why can't Sarah Richardson just come help me!?):

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