Monday, March 4, 2013

Prepping for our Kitchen Renovation

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Will and I are starting a kitchen renovation - more on that here. I was debating on back splash with so many options and creative ideas out there. We've decided on that along with what felt like a million other little decisions, but it's finally time to start the renovation. It's something we've had our eye on ever since we looked at this house, so we're just a little bit giddy right now.

When we moved in, the kitchen was wallpapered in an over sized floral print. We had that removed and chose this fun orange shade of paint to replace it. It certainly isn't everyone's taste and was a little risky, but we love it. We also changed out hardware on the cabinets but that's all we've done as far as the kitchen goes.
 
We are keeping our cabinets and our floors, but that's about it. In preparation, we had to remove everything from our lower cabinets...and everything is a LOT of stuff when you think about it. Ever packed a kitchen in preparation to move? That is the room that always takes the longest, right? We loaded it all into boxes and moved it into it's temporary home, our nearby dining room. The bright side is it gave us a really good opportunity to clean out and get rid of some items we never use and some we didn't even realize we had.
 
Here are a few shots of our kitchen before everything started:
Kitchen before renovation 
Kitchen before renovation
And I have to show you a close-up shot of the ever-so-lovely fixture in our eat-in kitchen:
Pre-renovation light fixture
It's a real beauty, right? I can't explain how excited we are to get rid of this thing! It's an eye sore and barely lights the area...it casts more shadows than anything. There's a major improvement coming, I promise!
 
We'll have almost a month of no appliances, other than the refrigerator which will have a temporary home in our eat-in kitchen area (I am so thankful for that!). I'll be mastering the art of microwave, toaster oven and gas grill cooking. In preparation, I had a busy few hours of cooking so we'd have some healthy and tasty options. The dishes I chose to make are all either freezer or refrigerator (for the first week), and microwave friendly dishes. I've actually shared 2 of them here. The first is jambalaya; see it here.
Jambalaya recipe
The second is Chicken Tortilla Soup; see it here.
Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe
And the last is a double batch of chili - I haven't shared it yet, but I will sometime soon. All three are simple one-pot wonders (you know I love those by now thanks to those posts as well as this one).
 
To make the renovation period a little easier, I've also invested in microwavable paper plates and bowls, plastic cups (they're recyclable!) and plastic silverware (also recyclable) since washing dishes in the bathroom doesn't sound especially fun. I was surprised at how much of each of those things mentioned above I actually already had when we emptied out our lower cabinets in preparation. I guess all those parties, dinners, and other miscellaneous get togethers over the years meant we ended up with a lot of mismatched "party ware" so there wasn't too much to even buy. Nice surprise.
 
I think we're ready for the renovation now...wish us luck! I can't wait to share pictures of the progress and the finished product. Stay tuned - updates to come soon!

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