Cafe Zah
Demolition Derby

And So It Begins

So after finally unpacking (most of) the boxes and fully settling into the new digs, we decided it was high time to re-pack everything in the kitchen and blow some shit to smithereens.

The kitchen was...obviously not a big selling point/major attraction for Yellow House. Everything is original and builders' grade, the floor tile is cracked, and there's just a lot of wear and tear on the cabinets and countertop. Sagging shelves, warped hinges, chips and scrapes. We knew going in that we needed to factor a kitchen remodel into our offer and budget. 



(Also could never figure out who, exactly, that SUPER LOW desk was intended for, as no chair or stool we own is the appropriate height. It's a desk for ants!)

We also knew we were NOT going to do that thing where we waited and waited to do anything, only to invest in improvements right before we needed to move. We keep doing that. Stop doing that!



Old Kitchen of Bland Blahness is getting demo'd to hell today. New Kitchen of...well, probably still Bland Blahness but at least more of a this century variety, with less floor cracks/Haunted Tiles and a countertop that's dark enough to not show every. single. spill. and. crumb. OMG children.

We're not going too overboard or fancy...kind of amazing how what you THINK is a pretty generous budget gets you...not a whole heap of a lot, especially if you aren't a huge DIYer. (Raises hand, arm gets tired, outsources handraising to someone else on Angie's List.)

But after spending time cooking in the space we decided the current layout is actually pretty great and roomy and has plenty of storage, so there was no need to reinvent the floorplan or knock down walls and shit. We're losing the desk and raising that to counter height, extending the counter for seating, and adding proper corner cabinets/lazy susans so I don't have to send Ezra into dark blind cabinets to retrieve the salad spinner.

The small pantry has to stay because of a wall full of plumbing, and the soffit has to stay because $$$$$ and also I am already too damn short to reach the existing top shelves, what in the world would I put up even higher? A bajillion mason jars, probably, gathering dust and getting suspiciously sticky. The appliances will be replaced on an As They Die basis (DIE FRIDGE PLEASE DIE), and Jason and I will install our own backsplash at some point, both for budget reasons and also because if I had to make one more design/color/pattern decision my brain was going to leak out my ears and slither out in front of traffic. 


I'm in the basement office today, listening to all sorts of bangs and smashes, occasionally smiling helplessly because no, I have no idea where what appliance is hooked up to what pipe or circuit board, I can point out where all the access panels to anything wire-y or plumbing-y looking are, but you're gonna have to take it from there because Yellow House is a giant maze full of secrets. Dishes and pots and pans are scattered all around in various storage nooks, there's a slow cooker and a toaster in the family room and everything else that I JUST UNPACKED is repacked in boxes and bins in the living room. 


We were told two to three weeks which means probably four which means hopefully sometime in mid 2016. In the meantime, come on over! Grab a glass from the buffet in the family room and some booze from the basement and if you need ice the fridge is in the dining room and then duck under the plastic sheeting to get out to the grill on the deck. Oops, forgot to tell you to grab a paper Star Wars plate and some Elegant Flatware while you were back in the dining room. 





Those decoration thingies outside of the kitchen have me intrigued. I don't even know what to call them. Metal decor holder doodads? Either way, I have a decorative plate that's been around for years and I've never seen anything like the perfect doodads that you have to put it up. Please to tell me where you found them? Also, can't wait to see the destruction and the hopefully lovely kitchen that rises up out of the ashes. 😄


This: "A bajillion mason jars, probably, gathering dust and getting suspiciously sticky" is SO TRUE!! That is EXACTLY what I have in my high shelves right this very minute ...


I am jealous! Although I would totally stick with light colored counters. We added beautiful cream quartz counters to our last house (right before we moved, naturally) and I LOVED them! They showed everything! Which meant I could actually clean them. Our house now has these hideous brown/green granite counters that hide everything which means I can think they are totally clean and then I touch them and they are sticky or full of crumbs that I can't see. If I could figure out a way to hide the crumbs everywhere else in my house that would be awesome, but I want to actually know my kitchen counters are not nasty. And of course they are granite and it's not worth the price just to get prettier stone counters, so they are staying. But I hate them.


Kitchen renovation - so hellish to live through, but so, so worth it in the end!

Sue W.

Can't wait to see the completed project!


That layout does look awfully nice. And how much nicer without the weird desk. Go you guys!


Renos are such a pain, but so worth it in the end! We just had the carpet in our bedrooms ripped up and tile installed. I camped on an air mattress for a week, but I love being rid of that disgusting carpet now!!!

Deanna Piercy

OMG. I still get a case of the vapors when I recall our kitchen remodeling project and it's been something like 15 years ago. We *are* the DIY type (we = my husband) so what he projected would take a month and I doubled in my head (my dad built every house I grew up in) took more like 6 months. And that is why we still have an orange bathtub in the guest bathroom. I'm just not up for another project. Best of luck!


I agree on the poster above's comments on counters--we have a corian type counter in gray with white, black and tan speckles and I DETEST it. You can never tell when it's clean. It hides everything so you end up with honey on your arm. It sucks.


Are you getting a gas stove? That is one thing I have promised myself that in my next house I will have gas (have had gas and LOVE IT...don't ever want electric again). I hate those kitchen desks anyway. Had one in two houses that we owned and they NEVER got used as a desk...simply a clutter collector. Would much rather have more cabinets/butler's pantry/anything else.

Jennifer B

With your kitchen demolished you'll need to go somewhere else to eat. Cafe Zah, perhaps? (Cutest thing ever, BTW.)


We started demo on our kitchen remodel Tuesday. Ours is projected to take 10 weeks, but we are doing all that crazy stuff like tearing down walls, moving crazy plumbing, re-configuring the footprint, etc. I'm jealous that you'll be done sooner than we will. We are also getting a dark counter top because our current one was brown and we could never see any crumbs. Can't wait to see the finished project!


Can't wait to see photos. We gutted ours a year ago. It got old fast--especially with 2 hungry boys in the house, but we have recovered enough to start on a bathroom next week. All the best and hoping for a timely and on budget project!


I sort of want you to live blog the choices you make for countertops, tile, etc., a la every irritating couple (that I can't stop watching) on House Hunters. IT'S NOT GRANITE. OMG WHAT WERE THE PREVIOUS OWNERS THINKING I CAN'T GET PAST THIS WHY ARE YOU SHOWING US SPLIT LEVELS THIS HOUSE'S ADDRESS ENDS IN 3 AND ODD NUMBERS ARE MY WIFE'S NEMESIS.


We are living identical lives right now!

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