Small Changes, Big Difference

So one of the sore spots for me in my condo was the kitchen. I love to cook!  But this was not a cooks kitchen. The appliances were from the 70s and all electric.  Not only is electric not ideal if you are a big cook but I had never cooked with electric. The fridge had been left unopened for a year… this is one of those big no nos. You should never let a fridge sit like that empty or not.  The little box of arm & hammer is not a miracle worker. So needless to say it smelled rank, as in something once died in here rank. But over all the kitchen had some good qualities.  It was rather narrow, really only room for one person to walk around the island, and the sink was a bit too shallow. There was no built in space for a microwave, but you couldn’t ask for more counter space or cabinet space. It was open plan.  There were a ton of electrical outlets, which is really good in a kitchen because you have room for all of your small appliances but also can set up distinct working stations, a bonus in a tight space and a surprise in a kitchen of it’s age.

The kitchen was a hard limit, it was disgusting and needed to be fixed up before I could move in, so that became project numeral uno.

Now I did not have money for a remodel. I did not have money to reface the cabinet or replace the tile counter tops, even though I prefer a sold counter top.

Good news was the tile wasn’t so bad. It was surprisingly clean, and had hardly any chips or cracks common in old tile counter tops.  The appliances had to go–all of them. This was difficult. It is a tight kitchen. But eventually we got them all out. They then went to a recycling place. The fridge had possibly never been moved, if it had it hadn’t been moved in a good decade. It was bad under there… But the second thing I planned on doing was redoing the floors throughout the main living area which included the kitchen.  So goodbye dated linoleum and tired carpet.

There were many blasts from the past in the kitchen. An electric can opener and compactor (we had both of these in the house I grew up in that was built in the 80s). Cabinet liner that looked original to the house. (Here is a tip: if your liner paper starts to come up-REPLACE IT! Do not glue it back down or nail it back down. It is not meant to last forever.) There were also some interesting finds in the cabinets and drawers.  Oranges look really scary when they’ve been rotting in the back of a drawer for more than a year.

Found this. It didn’t have an expiration date, so I decided not to push my luck

I wore gloves while removing this

My parents working on the garbage disposal

We peeled off all of the paper, scrubbed the cabinets inside and out, then let them air out.  We discovered the helpful painters who had been hired to spray the entire place white before it went on the market (the entire place literally they got paint EVERYWHERE)  had left a little present in the garbage disposal, not only had they poured paint down it they had also put a plastic bad down it–just in case you are wondering neither of those should go down a garbage disposal. (Update: While we got it all out and working, recently I had to replace the whole thing when one of the blades just broke off for no reason- not sure if this contributed to it or if it was because it had sat so long, but something corroded the bolt)

After the new flooring went in, we went over the entire kitchen with liquid gold.  Those cabinets where dry.  I plan on painting them eventually but that wasn’t a top priority. At this point we were still just trying to make it liveable. I was able to get all new appliances, finally got my stainless steal I had always wanted. The stove is still electric but there was no getting around it, no gas in the entire complex. Mom and I papered inside the drawers and cabinets with a really cool cork liners I bought.  My dad painted the walls and though the lighting isn’t grand, we did make it somewhat more eye pleasing by painting the molding around it and replacing the lenses. We had removed the old trash compactor which provided a perfect place under the island to hide a trash can.

So nothing major aside from some elbow grease and new appliances. Small changes to make it presentable and functional for the time being.

Like I said I do plan on painting the cabinets eventually, I am thinking black to avoid the kitchen from becoming too white. Also for the time being my router is in here with all sorts of messy cords but this is only temporary till my office areas gets furniture. Someday if I am here long enough I might look into the granite they can put over tile–but this is someday in the not so near future. What I would really like to do next is replace the faucet with something higher as the sink is rather shallow and washing large items is tough–there is no sprayer which is a big hardship. Also there is a fan with a light over the dining table. This is the only ceiling fan in the place and while I wouldn’t normally want a fan in my dining room, it really does a good job keeping the air circulating and keeping it cool without having to turn on the air conditioner. It is ugly though, so replacing that is also a top priority I hope to tackle soon. But for now this kitchen is off my radar as we tackle more pressing projects.

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