Brie’s Kitchen tour, part 1

We have been in the process of remodeling our kitchen since early July.

Before:

My mom and I putting up a wallpaper border in 2004

dark, dank and dirty!

blue paint was my attempt to make it less 80s. It just made it more dark.

The cabinets were covered in yellow laminate like apartments remodeled in the 90s.  The laminate also had this weird space above the doors– hence our attempt to cover it with wallpaper border.  The counter tops were dark brown faux-wood laminate that went up the wall and sucked all of the light out of the room.  The appliances were almond color and of a likely late 80s/early 90s vintage as well.    The refrigerator was the WORST designed fridge I have ever had, including fridges in all 10 apartments I have lived in due to a strange raised shelf above the crisper drawers where things got lost and rotted.  It also beeped when the door was left open for more than a couple minutes, making cleaning it or even putting away groceries obnoxious.

Phase one of this remodel was Mr. Brie painstakingly peeling off the laminate (only possible because it was so old it was coming off on it’s own and because there was real wood cabinets below– new laminate does not come off particle board which is usually what is under there).  He sanded them all down and painted them a shiny bright white.  Initially Mr. Brie was going to make the cabinet doors, but instead found a place near Portland that will make them for not too much money and then he will just paint them.   This is the last step, as we will pick up the doors when we are in Oregon next.

Inside cabinets- before. Dark and dingy!

Inside cabinets- after. Bright and white!

Next we installed butcher block maple countertops, finished with seven coats of Tung oil which created a lovely glossy finish, but which we discovered is slightly sticky and we have to avoid putting plastic bags that have words on them (like grocery bags) as the words come off on the counters.

A white tile backsplash finished the look (Mr. Brie is finishing up the grouting today).

counters and backsplash (also bamboo cutting board in foreground)

And finally, after being back ordered for FIVE WEEKS my beloved new appliances arrived on Friday!

Shiny, lovely fridge

shiny new fridge!

I was bummed to discover I could not have the huge 36 cubic food fridge of my dreams because it would not fit in our kitchen without seriously cutting into cabinets or walls.   The new fridge is no bigger than my old one, but it is  at least easier to find things in, since the freezer is on the bottom and the fridge on the top.

love at first sight!

But my true love here is the new oven.  Once I saw these double ovens I was determined to have one– so often I will be cooking and have one thing getting cold while I make the next (such as when you bake potatoes and then want to broil meat).  Now I can do both at once, or three dozen cookies at once!  In order to have this beloved appliance I had to have a glass top stove, which I felt was a compromise.  My last oven was also glass top and I just am not a fan.  I would have loved a gas stove, but our house does not have a gas line.  It is rare to find a stainless steel oven with those regular raised burners anymore, and none of them have double ovens.  It seems induction cooktops are all the rage and I’m not sure why.  For one thing, they scratch easily and they are hard to clean.  I already have some cooked on sauce from last night I can’t get off.    That being said, this one is pretty awesome– the main burner has the option of single, double or triple heat, meaning you can use almost any size pan and then pick how wide you want the heat to go.  The other big burner has a fast boil option which is cool but I haven’t quite figured out how to control it yet– last night when I was making turkey stock I kept adjusting it from no simmer, to almost boiling.

no more hand washing dishes!

The dishwasher has revolutionized my life already, as I have been without one since at least August.  Hand washing is not fun, especially when you have wood counter tops that should not have water standing on them– no dish rack!

The other thing I am going to have to get used to is the microwave was taken down from above the stove for a couple months and I got used to unfettered access to the stove top.  Now there is a microwave above the stove again, AND it sticks out farther than the old one.  I scraped my hand on the corner grabbing for a spatula last night.  OUCH.

I’m so excited about my happy, shiny kitchen.  I’ll give another update once the doors are in.

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