My Big Fat Kitchen Remodel–Getting Ready

We returned from a wonderful trip to Greece at the beginning of May, and our kitchen remodel was scheduled to start in a month.  My husband and I are both mad about Greek food, and were attempting to reproduce many of the wonderful things we sampled on our trip (spanakopita, moussaka, tzatsiki) in our tiny, non-functional, two-fanny kitchen.    Just after move-in in 2005, we had done a minimal “space-lift,” which involved changing out the flooring, painting the walls and cabinets, and adding lighting.  Those changes improved the look but not the function of the kitchen, so this full-scale remodel was LONG overdue.

Husband Jim’s first caveat:  must have alternative kitchen area for duration of remodel prior to starting construction. I was in complete agreement.  We both knew we didn’t want to eat in restaurants every night for 2+ months.  If you entertain frequently and are thinking about a kitchen remodel, you probably already have an auxiliary refrigerator in your garage or basement.  We had one in our basement laundry room, which was the space we decided to use for our interim kitchen.  There already was a concrete laundry sink, circa 1939, with running water, so it was easy to envision that area as a dishwashing station.  For a minimal amount of money, we purchased an inexpensive kitchen sink base, stainless sink, and new faucet,  and had our contractor and plumber re-route the plumbing and switch out the old for the new.  Then we brought in a folding table as our “prep” area, took the doors off the old cabinets in this space and filled them with the things we thought we’d need on a daily basis, set up our card table to hold the microwave, and put a two-burner hot plate on a table that came from the kitchen nook.  Our barbecue was on our back terrace, just outside the door to this room, so we were in great shape.   It wasn’t pretty, but it was definitely workable.

Auxiliary Kitchen

Jim and Kathia's basement interim kitchen.

We were fortunate to have refrigeration and running water in one space, but if you aren’t so lucky, it would be worthwhile to save your old fridge and microwave, put them into your dining or family room,  and use disposable plates, cups, and flatware during the construction.  We purposely timed the remodel for summer so that we could use the barbecue for most cooking, so all we lacked was an oven.  When our toaster died three weeks into the remodel, we replaced it with a toaster oven, so now we can prepare just about anything.

Food prep in auxiliary kitchen

Food prep in auxiliary kitchen

Prior to purchasing the toaster oven, anything that needed to be  baked was done on our barbecue, which was quite an interesting experiment.  Below is a photo I took of some Mediterranean chicken quesadillas ready to be popped onto the grill–yum!

Chicken quesadillas ready to bake

Mediterranean chicken quesadillas ready for baking

Even though my husband and I experienced some trepidation about launching into a kitchen remodel, we have not felt deprived during this process because we have clearly defined places for food storage, food prep, and clean up.  In fact, we are turning out meals that are almost as good as what we were doing in our old kitchen!  What a luxury it will be to have the new kitchen up and running, and on the same floor as the dining room.

There are 8 Comments to "My Big Fat Kitchen Remodel–Getting Ready"

  • Wendy Cogan says:

    I love your ingenuity and always enjoy your photos. Your interim kitchen reminds of the kitchens I endured in college apartments. I hope all goes well with your remodel. – Wendy

  • Mary Bailey says:

    I think you are turning out fantastic dishes, better than I in my finished kitchen. Can’t wait to see your beatiful new kitchen.

  • Rosalind says:

    I f you’ll forgive the expression, your “Chatty Kathy” way of blogging is almost as satisfying as having lunch w/ you. Am sure the new kitchen will be beautiful and maybe hold more fannies. Love, Ros

  • I second all the comments above. Always enjoy your posts, and the informative way that you give your readers/clients ideas for their next project. Everyone dreads the idea of a remodel and the stress it can induce, but your ideas here are great for launching into much-needed remodels – for which you’d be the great interior designer to undertake on their behalf. Brava!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    I want the recipe for the quesadillas! As they say, “attitude is almost everything.” If you want to have fun while the walls are crumbling about you, you will. Another “Brava” to you and JIm.

  • Corliss & Ron Rogers says:

    We hope this is going to be a “to be continued” posting – we’d love to experience the whole remodel with you, step by step. Wonderfully written – and yes, how about that recipe!

  • This post will help the internet viewers for creating new
    blog or even a blog from start to end.

    My website: home remodeling service

  • Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple
    tweeks would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your
    theme. With thanks

Write a Comment

houzz interior design ideas