It’s 10 am on a Friday and I’m trapped upstairs in a spare bedroom in my own home.
I huddle in a patch of February sun, my only source of heat on this bright -1 degree, Minnesota day. Meanwhile, downstairs, a varying number of men shout to each other between floor joists and disconnected heat ducts. They tromp heavily in and out the front door, and operate loud grinding machinery. They are loudly and vigorously at work doing something, the details of which are lost in the hubbub. All I know at the time, as I smile, and try to blow heat through my frozen fingers, is that this must be what progress sounds like.
That was 6 months ago, at the end of the first week of a six-week kitchen demolition/remodel. Downtown Dad and I have remodeled kitchens twice before, so we’re not new to this rodeo – but this is the first time we’ve actually handed the reins over to someone else. Once, we gutted and rebuilt the kitchen in our 100 year old house totally by ourselves (OK, with DD’s brother who made the cabinets). And once, we project-managed the kitchen renovation using several subcontractors. In both cases, we spent significantly less money (and made questionable choices), but also in both cases, we sold the house soon after finishing the remodel, so we never got to enjoy those sparkling new kitchens. This one, oh, this one is going to be different!
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. I suppose that is meant more as a spiritual metaphor. But, taken literally, in the case of our house, that phrase would be anatomically correct. Our kitchen sits between one arm of the house that stretches into a living room, and the other arm which is Downtown Dad’s library/office. The hallways, and stairways, like arteries, all lead to or from the dilapidated and failing heart of our “before” kitchen.
That antiquated kitchen – with its woefully inadequate and faulty, outdated appliances; its sagging and stained, warped counter-tops; its cupboards that let in more dust and varmints than they kept out – the heart of our home was in urgent need of a transplant back in the mid 2000s when we first moved in – at this point it was becoming a catastrophe
Flash forward five months, it’s 10 pm on a Tuesday and I’m comfortably typing away at my new quartz countertop. A patch of moonlight gleams off of the smooth surfaces as I listen to the quiet hum of the dishwasher. My only frustration – sifting through the 14 million pictures taken before during and after this amazing makeover, to come up with these four.