Friday, September 19, 2008

Renovating the Kitchen Part II: Leveraging my love of Hello Kitty

To continue the kitchen renovation saga...

For Part I, go here....

When the custom countertop was finally cut, our contractor was able to come and install not only the countertop, but the shiny sink as well. We had been without a sink for 3 weeks or so. At first we would use real dishes and silverware and wash them in the bathroom sink. But we soon realized how much difference there is between bathroom sinks and kitchen sinks. It was nearly impossible to slide a plate or glass fully into the bathroom sink to be able to wash it properly. We ended up just using a lot of plasticware, paper plates, and solo cups.

Notice that the sink is actually in sideways. This was because we wanted drawer space. To be able to place those drawers in, we could only have a sink 18 inches wide. We realized at Home Depot (while in the kitchen department picking out faucets) that this was way too small, so FI made a frantic call to our contractor to see if we could make the sink bigger. He couldn't, if we wanted drawers, but ingeniously he installed the sink sideways and put the faucet at an angle so it would all fit.

It actually works really well! The sink is really deep and we can stack lots of dishes and wash big pans. Plus the new faucet has an extendable spout and we can change the settings to spray.

After the counter top and sink were in, we just needed the stove and some final cabinet doors, so we started on our part of the renovation - painting and organizing.

We covered everything in newspaper and FI lined the cabinets with painter's tape. He then did the ceiling with white ceiling paint. When I asked what was special about ceiling paint (does it not drip so it doesn't drip on people's heads?), he didn't really know, but just knew that's what you paint on the ceiling.

For the walls of the kitchen, we decided to go with a sunny yellow. We wanted a light color to make the kitchen seem bigger and both thought yellow would be a nice choice. (It also was influenced by our wedding colors - lavendar and lemon yellow.)
We split up the work area and I got to start with the roller brush to do the large areas. Then we went over the edges with a smaller paintbrush.We were debating between 2 shades of yellow and decided to go with the lighter one. I voted for lighter because we wouldn't have known how bright the color would be over the entire space and it ended up being perfect - nice and bright but not overwhelming.

We painted all Saturday night and spent Sunday organizing and unpacking all of our kitchen stuff (which for the last month had been sitting in our studio). My mom had already lined the cabinets with paper and padding. So I started on the drawers...

For the paper liners, I used these cute Sanrio book cover papers that I have had with me since college (I think I got them on a trip to Taiwan) and have never used up.

I measured one piece first in the drawer, marked it off to cut, and then cut a 2nd piece so there would be overlap in the drawer.
Then I taped the 2 pieces together and fitted them into the drawer. If the sides didn't stay up, I stuck some tape behind the paper to stick it to the drawer.

I did all 3 drawers (2 with Hello Kitty, 1 with Pochacco) and then I added a grip liner (so things won't slide around). I was pretty good about using all the scrap pieces of liner we had.

And then we unpacked! We organized utensils into the 3 drawers - silverware, cooking, and cutting/prep. It was great! We went from jars filled with utensils to actually categorizing them in drawers.

We put flatware and glasses away after unwrapping them and giving them a quick wash. We put all of our dry foods, sauces, condiments, and teas into the awesome lazy susan cabinet. Even with all the stuff, the wheel spun pretty well. We moved the fridge back into the kitchen and even managed to keep stuff off the top of it. We put the microwave on its own special shelf and the toaster oven in a corner on the counter.

We were unpacked! But still no cooking...

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