When my husband Mark and I were shopping for our home we quickly discovered that most places in our price range had an Achilles heel: the kitchen. Because I love old houses, I had narrowed our search to pre-1960 properties and virtually every one we looked at had a kitchen that seemed to have received its last update around 1985. The kitchen we ended up with sports its original 1930s cabinetry topped with Reagan-era forest green laminate countertops with maple edging that remind me of the wood-paneled minivan my friend’s dad used to drive.
Before we moved in, we stripped two layers of linoleum off the kitchen floors, revealing fir boards on one side of the room and oak on the other. We also removed wallpaper decorated with labeled illustrations of herbs, painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Wythe Blue to downplay the laminate, and swapped the cabinets’ natural wood knobs for brushed nickel hardware.
And we planned to address the room’s dated finishes, lack of cupboard and counter space, dysfunctional layout, and dim lighting. But we had one of these:
Then another one:
And we lost this sweet girl unexpectedly.
So we put our plans on the back burner. (Where, incidentally, we also put our colicky firstborn, who liked the deafening whir of the range hood fan.)
Now we have a six-year-old, a three–year–old, two full-time jobs, and a puppy.
And somehow we feel ready — or crazy enough — to tackle this project. Next week I’ll share how we got started.