Three Kitchens that inspired my design choices.

Maybe you have decided to take the plunge as I did and  you really can’t get a sense of what it is that you really want by way of a new kitchen outlay.  Words really don’t help to get things hat are visual in nature decided.   What I did find  that helped immensely is seeing designs and thought I would share three kitchens  that greatly influenced my own choices. For space layout this kitchen really spoke to me.

Lots of room to maneuver along with lots of table top space and a big enough island to be multi-functional.  For finish however this was my main inspiration –

Finally for the window treatment and lighting this one really caught my fancy.

 

Mission Accomplished. The project that turned my life upside down

While I purchased my home at a great price, I was painfully aware from the first time I saw it that the kitchen was outdated and boring. Not only did it have boring white walls, but it also had white cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances. For someone who loves color, this was not going to work. After living with my plain kitchen for a couple of weeks and realizing that the kitchen’s layout was far from functional, I knew that I would not be happy until it had been remodeled. However, my home refurbishment  project would be limited to a 3,000 pounds

Since I do have some experience with refurbishment as well as having several friends who work in the construction industry and agreed to help me, I opted not to hire a contractor. We started on a Saturday. After discussing what I wanted to have done (essentially everything), I was quickly brought back down to reality. My budget would not stretch far enough to completely redo the entire room, so I would have to choose the most important parts to remodel.

After careful thought, I decided to have the cabinets refinished to save money. However, I was going to purchase new appliances, fixtures, and a countertop. Depending on what kind of deal I could get on these items, I might or might not be able to replace the floor. My goal was to complete the project as quickly as possible, so we started immediately. As several friends took out the countertops, I worked on removing the face of the cabinets. When this was complete, I headed to my local home improvement store to make my purchases and determine whether or not I could put down a new floor. Thankfully, a friend offered to go with me to offer his expertise.

I opted for a bold maroon for the walls. I quickly picked out a set of stainless steel appliances, including a fridge, stove, microwave, and dishwasher. Two were on the “scratch and dent” aisle so I got them at a slight discount. We, then, moved on to countertops. I definitely could not afford anything highend, but I did find some laminate countertops that had the look of stone and were available for a good price. After deciding on the countertops, we discussed what to do with the cabinets. I opted to sand them down to the original wood, before staining them to a cherry finish. After gathering everything we would need for this project, my money was very limited. There would be no money for a new floor, but I did get a new faucet for the sink.

I made arrangements for the appliances to be delivered at the end of the next week. On the way home, I made arrangements for the local Goodwill to come pick up my old appliances on Thursday. I would have to go for a day or two without any, but I doubted this would present much of a problem. We started painting as soon as I arrived home, though it took a while to tape everything off so that we could begin. We ended up spending a good five hours painting because it ended up requiring three coats before it looked right. We were all exhausted, but everyone agreed to return in the morning.

The next day, we started working on the cabinets. Sanding them down took several hours and was very tedious work. Finally, we were able to stain them and they actually turned out better than I expected. This had taken most of the day, so we agreed to meet back the following Saturday. The week went quickly. The Goodwill came to pick up my appliances and I sent a good bit of cold food with them because I had absolutely nothing to store them in.

Suddenly, it was Saturday. While the guys put down the new countertop and swapped out the faucet, I worked on figuring out which cabinet door went where. (Always label them! I would’ve saved a lot of time if I had.) We had finally got started putting them back up when the appliances arrived. Fortunately, they were installed without any problems and we continued with the cabinets.

Just like that, we were finished and it looked great, though I still want new floors in the future. I would never have been able to do it without my friends, who I now owe huge favors. Gone are the white walls, counters, cabinets, and appliances. In its place I have lovely maroon walls with the cherry cabinets, countertops that resembled stone, and amazing stainless steel appliances. And, what’s the best part? I got everything done for less than 3500 pounds.

When I am away from my kitchen lol

I realized I haven’t  talked about what I do so in this post I figured I would take that break from the kitchen stuff and  briefly share an experience about it.  My job as a counselor isn’t easy, and it is often a challenge. I work long hours and it can be hard to leave the work behind when I go home. Still, I love what I do and try my best to offer solutions that can help. There are times when I feel like my efforts are like banging my head against a brick wall!

Anyway last week, I got a very sweet thank you card in the mail. It couldn’t have arrived at a better time! My case load was at the max and I had some very difficult clients at the time. This thank you note was from a lady that I had worked with a few years ago. She explained to me that she really did feel her counseling made a difference. She felt like I listened to her, offered direction, and held her accountable.She let me know she is doing far better in her life than she was at that point. She says she still works hard to move forward and to leave the past behind her. Yet she feels stronger and feels that she has the resources in place to get through anything that comes her way. She thanked me for helping her to see that she could be more than she was. It made me realize I really do make a difference.

Her letter inspired me to get through the difficult times in my job and focus on the long term goal of helping people to have a better quality of life. I will keep this letter in my desk for times when I need a reminder of why I do what I do.