By now, there should be nothing left to report — we’re done, it’s all over, hurray! Not so fast….. We’re now officially in OT. It’s Week 2 of the new school year, I’m back to a 6-day-a-week store-open schedule, and I’ve got a renovation hangover. Ugh! But wait a minute — after 20 years of observing clients’ renovations, we knew this was a possibility. And we ARE 90% finished.
Bye, Bye, Basement! We have completely moved out of our temporary basement kitchen, and we’re back upstairs for cooking and eating.
So if we’ve moved into our new kitchen, how come I’m still cooking on a hotplate?? (Albeit with a better view!)
With kitchens more than any other renovation zone (except possibly for bathrooms), one little detail gone awry can mess up everything. In our case, it’s our vent hood that’s causing us to be unable to actually cook in our new kitchen.
That green tape at the bottom is where the bottom of the hood should be. The tape at the top is the point above which the power connection should be. Hmmm….. that white thing is the power outlet, and it’s not where it needs to be.
Through some misinterpretation of the installation specs (or missing information is said specs!), the power outlet has been placed too low. Hubby was game to pull the electrical cable up the wall, but there wasn’t enough slack to do that. Splicing and dicing electrical wiring is outside his comfort (and safety) zone, so were were stuck. This became clear on (of course!) the holiday Monday of a long weekend. Nothing to do but wait for our contractor to return from vacation and send in the electrician. This meant we could do limited cooking, but nothing too steamy or smelly.
The electrician showed up on Tuesday to do his part. Unfortunately, the contractor couldn’t do the same. That left us with a beautiful vent hood sitting on top of our cooktop. We were again without our stove!
Meanwhile, we were able to finish loading our stuff into the new cupboards, including 2 bins of food that my husband forgot to bring out of the storeroom. Our first attempt at organizing hit a few snags, (like this door that won’t close) but we ultimately tweaked everything and were able to pack it away with room to spare.
I love having all my cookbooks within easy reach. My son would like me to retire the slow cooker books and get back to ‘real’ cooking.
After washing dishes by hand for the past 7 months, our tea towels are shot. I’ve decided to use my mother-in-law’s vintage tea towels, instead. Most are from the ’70’s, as you can see from the colours. The ‘Presidents of the United States’ towel ends at Gerald Ford! These are way more fun than checks and stripes! Plus, it frees up space in my closet, where they’ve been stashed for the past 5 years.
It took 2 tries, but we’ve settled on this cupboard for our breakfast prep area. Since we use the same items every single morning, I wanted a spot to keep them together. This is near the coffee maker and toaster.
After discovering the forgotten food bins, and dozens more spice bottles, we had to rethink our spice storage. I had managed to get all the bottles of oils, vinegars, and spices into our pullout next to the stove, but the additional spices demanded a rethink. We decided to put the smaller bottles into one side of the knife drawer, directly across from the stove. It meant a purge of unused and duplicate spices, but it was worth it.
Another favourite item is the colander that we purchased to fit into the smaller side of our 60/40 sink. It’s incredibly multifunctional, as a place to rinse fruits and veggies, as well as piling wet pots and pans to drain after washing. It’s also a great spot to gather smaller dishes between dishwasher cycles. Try doing all that with your typical round strainer!
While this may look like a jumbled mess to some, to me it’s nirvana. All my baking supplies are in one area, including my 10 kg and 20 kg bags of flour. Some day, I may go all OCD and put everything in neatly labelled plastic buckets, but for now, I’m content to have it all together.
By Friday, our contractor was able to come and install our vent hood. While we love the hood (Thank you, Tasco!) we are not pleased to see our worst fears realized — the cover does not hide the hole in our ceiling soffit. (A few posts ago, I showed you the centered vent pipe vs. the off-centre hole in the soffit.) It may not be perfect (yet!), but it’s functional — finally.
Time to get back in touch with my inner chef. Saturday brings a cooking and baking frenzy.
We are thrilled to (re)discover that we have a lower oven drawer. We couldn’t remember if we ended up with that or just a warming drawer. This will definitely be handy at the turkey holidays.
We are also pleased to have a warming zone, for heating up the dinner plates. We had one on the last stove, and we dislike eating hot food off of cold plates.
Bring on the sun! After spending the summer camped out in the basement, it’s nice to see the light of day. However, the sun really dazzles on those new white countertops, so our mesh blinds are a must.
Speaking of windows, our wayward exterior shutters were finally installed, bringing to a close the exterior portion of our reno. We will be happy to say the same about our interior renovations.
There are still a few outstanding ‘renovation’ issues, but mostly we need to get on with the decorating portion of the project, to really feel at home. More on that, coming soon.