Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Like My Kitchen Again

We knew our kitchen floor needed work, but we put it off. We really couldn’t afford it--in a family of nine, the needs are many and the money is stretched thin. We didn’t think we had the skills to fix it ourselves. So we waited. And waited. (You know, new babies and dental bills and time to replace both vehicles and a squirrel chewed through our power line and…) Until we couldn’t wait any longer. We all know we’re eventually going to get to that point with whatever we’re putting off, right?

We got an estimate for $2700 to fix it…there was just no way we could squeeze that in. Surely we could do it ourselves for less money than that? Surely a floor isn’t that hard to fix?

We started on it ourselves, and tearing up two layers of floor was a formidable task.
Have I mentioned our house was built in 1929?

We called an old family friend, and he spent a day helping us get it all pulled up and then helped us get the new boards measured, cut, and nailed down.
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And after about ten days of working on it, between Greg’s work schedule, my work schedule, homeschooling, and caring for a house full of small children, we got it done. It cost us around $500 to replace the floor ourselves (including what we paid our friend for his help).
While we were replacing the floor, we pulled out the cabinets and drawers above and beside the refrigerator. Whoever had put them in must have had a very small refrigerator. Our refrigerators have never fit and have stuck out in front of the cabinets, creating a space behind that everything fell down into. I’ve wanted those cabinets gone forever, and now I’m glad to be rid of them.

Sometimes being poor is not as bad as it seems. If we had been able to afford paying someone else to fix our floor, we would have missed out on the experience of planning and collaborating together, working side-by-side, and sharing an adventure. We enjoyed the teamwork. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from taking on a project like this and completing it. We high-fived each other for being so awesome.

Now that it’s all done, I like my kitchen once again. I got rid of a lot of junk that I had accumulated over the years that wasn’t being used, which freed up space for things I enjoy…like pretty decorations. My ceilings are high, and there is a lot of space on top of my cabinets. I’m pulling out some of the vintage glass that I’ve collected (and will add to) and displaying it there. I’ve also always wanted to grow some herbs in my kitchen, so I’m making use of the freed up counter space for growing some of my favorite herbs. Being surrounded by order and loveliness, rather than the chaos that my kitchen had become over the years, makes me happier to spend time there. IMG_9279[1]IMG_9278[1]
Getting rid of those extra cabinets (which were only used to collect junk) opened up the kitchen a bit.

Some fall decorations, vintage canisters, the wine bottle that we used to toast at our wedding reception, and yes, that is the Tardis traveling through Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—I like living in an old house, even though it sometimes takes work to maintain it. There is charm and character there which I just can’t find in the new houses.
Having said that…the bathroom floors and the walls in the hall/library need to be fixed next. Sigh.

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