Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New TCV Kitchen Update #1

On July 3, we stepped down hard on a tile in the kitchen, and water came up to the surface. It has been rather interesting around here since we found out about that stealthy dishwasher leak in our midst. You can probably tell from the lack of new posts here that we haven't been cooking -- really cooking -- much. But we sure have been microwaving a lot! We might have even mastered that at this point. More about that soon maybe...

So we were overjoyed that our friends Walker and George at Uhlhorn Bros. Construction Company here in Memphis didn't hesitate to jump in right when we needed them this summer; they're helping us figure out the new space even though they're already crazy-busy doing gorgeous new builds all over Memphis these days. (Seriously, look at their Instagram. Check out their site -- we helped them create it and handled the photos. These two are just so talented. We'll keep our own future dreams involving their creativity under wraps, but you can probably guess.)

This is how our kitchen used to look for the past year or so. Overall, we really can't complain about the situation now, not one bit; it's all going to be okay pretty soon. However, we never would have remodeled our just-right-for-us old kitchen if we'd had a choice. So here's what has been happening at our house (and a glimpse of where we are today toward the end of the post).

The first step after seeing that water damage happened over the July 4th holiday weekend: we had to have industrial fans and a dehumidifier around on full deafening blast for days to try to salvage some stuff. That wasn't too successful, even though we could still cook a little bit if we wore earplugs and didn't feel moved to converse outside of exaggerated expressions and miming key things.

Very soon after our fruitless holiday weekend of attempted drying, we had to give in to the inevitable and have layers of tile, linoleum, and even subfloor removed. We decided to take out the old cabinets and the walls and ceiling as well. Why not? It was already a mess, and we wanted to tile under everything so this water-trapped-under-layers thing wouldn't happen again, to us or whoever might live here next.

We found some crazy things on the walls (and in them) during the demo stage!

We had to get the washer and dryer out of the kitchen for more space and made a closet into a laundry room. We cleaned out every other closet because everything had to shift to another place during the first stages of construction. For two people who purport to travel light in this world, we sure have a lot of stuff we never use.

We've been microwaving or grilling most of our meals for a while now. We know a lot about surprisingly good convenience foods (like some really good microwaveable Indian food in a pouch) and have tried a slew of new snacks and chips.

Everything was removed from the kitchen and the dining room to make way for the new floor. The wall between the kitchen and dining room is no longer there since now there will be an island with a sink, dishwasher, and a few low bar stools. Now folks can talk to us while we cook. 

Figuring out whether to do wood floors or tile like we had before was a tough choice, but we love what we decided on (basically through text message!) thanks to the the gracious help from Amanda at Acme Brick and Tile in Memphis. The floor just got finished last Friday, and it's charcoal gray wood-look ceramic tile, LEED-certified, and at a reasonable price by the foot. We got it grouted with the darkest shade and put down in a herringbone design for a little interest.

This week, we got a ceiling, which is very exciting. It was made with random-length 1" x 4" wood planks, which might soon be painted haint blue or pickled. Josh Wyatt, the trim carpenter who made Sweet Grass and Next Door look so good, did the finishes.

Something like this happening right in the middle of other unexpected family crises popping up really does put things into perspective. We all can have a lot changed or taken away in a short amount of time, and the only things to do are pray, stay positive, and hope that it'll all turn out all right. This unexpected project might have cured us of a bit of perfectionist tendencies as well.

One of the best moments during all of this was when our niece Amelia was visiting. The only decent place to sit was outside in the backyard, and she was tired of that and wanted to hang out inside. "It's so gross and junked in there!" we told her. "We don't want to look at it!" She said, "Look this way, and you won't see it. It's not that bad if you do that." Ten-year-olds are often the smartest ones in the room.

The next couple weeks' progress just might include cabinets, a wrapped beam, new plumbing, and oiled butcher block countertops. We'll keep you posted as we move closer to the finish line by October. Can't wait to cook again because we've missed that comforting and entertaining part of life a whole lot. So what shall we make first?

1 comment:

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

It will be worth all the disruption once you new kitchen is finished; it looks like you have made the best of a bad situation (the dishwasher leak) and turned it around into something good 😊 it's strange, what life throws at you and when! Our kitchen is used almost as much as a commercial one, and our cabinets and splash backs just can't stand up to the wear and it looks really shabby now, so we're getting stainless steel free standing units and a nice deep sink with integral splashbacks when we re-do it. Our hall stairs and landing have been stripped to the brick and in various stages reconstruction for weeks now and I've got used to all the mess and tools although I can't wait til it's done and we feel like we can open our doors to visitors again. I bet the first thing you cook is some kind of lunch for friends and family when they come over to see your new room. Look forward to reading your posts about it 😊