Before the guests showed up for the Sharktopus party, we painted — what? Shut up. Yes, Sharktopus. Careful where you raise that eyebrow, mister. I know you own a copy of The Prince of Tides — the kitchen. These are going to be some subpar photos, and for that I apologize, but the room is difficult to photograph.
The main room is the major reason we purchased the house. It’s enormous. Our previous home had a postage-stamp galley kitchen, and Brown wanted a kitchen and counter space enough to dig in and cook. In the new house, when you enter the main room, the massive brick fireplace dominates the far wall and the kitchen is opposite the fireplace. There are also windows throughout… the east wall has a cushioned window seat and the west wall is almost completely lost to a picture window that opens out on the covered porch, a garden, and a mature Japanese maple. It is a room better than anything we had imagined.
The kitchen, however, reeks of kludge. Remodeling it is way, way down on the Neverending List of Things to Do, as the cabinets are in great shape and we just replaced the kitchen sink (and are now flat f*^&ing broke). But oh my goodness, there is some funky stuff going on there. The column leading from the counter to the ceiling appears to be one of those temporary support jacks with some paneling slapped up around it. And take a look at the image while I try and describe this… for whatever reason, the contractors who remodeled the kitchen did not fit the left side of the counter or cabinets flush against the wall. Instead, they added … ah … it looks as though they stacked extra pieces of counter trim and cabinet molding together to give themselves an additional three inches.
I have no idea what they needed or wanted to do by stacking these materials, because the outcome makes no sense whatsoever. The previous owners said they remodeled the kitchen by removing a wall and moving the sink, stove, and everything else. Which means they had to move the gas and water lines. Which means they intentionally added an extra three inches of building material as a buffer to the left-hand side.
Whatever their reasons, they weren’t aesthetic. The cabinets on the right-hand side form the wall of a stairwell, but by stacking on the extra three inches to the left, the cabinets now stick out over the stairwell by precisely that much. There is a three-inch lip overhanging the staircase, like a shelf in reverse. I cannot explain this. All I know is that the stairs are now an efficient death trap for drunks. We’re seriously considering an iron gate to block the stairs off during parties because someone’s going to be minding their own drunk business and *bam!* one foot discovers the kitchen ended a while back while the other is still enjoying a tasty cocktail, and we then get to explore the wonderful world of lawsuits.
So, yes, remodeling the kitchen to clean up the kludge factor will happen someday, but not for a good many years. Between now and then, the kitchen needed some cleanup. Last weekend was the sink, and this weekend was the paintjob. The kitchen was red wood cabinets over wood paneling stained a different color, and the combination was extremely bland. The contractors had also left some of the trim completely unpainted, so there were three different types of woods in the same small space, and none of them looked as though they belonged together.
I scrubbed the wood paneling to remove any cooking oils, then found a very dark brown (color, not husband) enamel paint which had the same red color tone as the cabinets. I taped off the cabinets and removed the wood trim, and painted all of the paneling. The wood trim was treated to match either the cabinets or the trimwork against the windows, depending on whether it was against a cabinet or against a wall.
Brown got out the air compressor and nailed the trim back in place, and I scrubbed the room down. The kitchen looks more finished, although I will probably go back and repaint some of the white trim on the right-hand “support” column so it looks less like racing stripes. Future non-remodeling changes include (a) ripping out the paneling between the upper and lower cabinets and adding a tile backsplash; (b) ripping out the cracked laminate floor and replacing it with tile; (c) replacing the stove; and (d) installing lighting that doesn’t burn like the sun. Remodeling plans include (a) waiting 15 years; and (b) winning the lottery.