Since I’m doing this whole “live happily in whatever I happen to feel” thing, I’ve been able to confront some sources of stress directly, which fits well with “the year of not losing my shit.”
I have Baby Lust.
Definition: I can imagine my own child and the idea makes me happy. My first reaction to the idea isn’t immediate denial. I’m ready to say things like, “when we have a baby,” “before we get pregnant” and “let’s talk about when we think we should have kids” without wanting to puke.
This doesn’t, however, mean I want us to get pregnant now. Sure, my hormones and biological clock sometimes want to take my husband up on his offer to “try right now” (is that a man thing?), but accepting who I am means we need to make my practical side comfortable so I don’t later lose my shit. I freaked out about never being able to afford remodeling the kitchen because we’d first have to replace the roof, which has to follow adding on a bathroom, which we can’t do until we fix the foundation, all of which means MORE FREAKING MONEY – ARGH.
Why do we have to remodel the kitchen to have a baby?
Because I know us, and I know me, and I know him. We can’t handle more than one cause of stress at a time. I can’t handle having a half-finished house while trying to entertain visitors and live a semi-clean existence; visitors are non-negotiable when you’re having your first child and your family lives across the country. He can’t work on more than one project at a time and finish any of them.
The kitchen remodel has become a symbol of our readiness, then, because we will have tackled yet another house project (proving we’ve learned how to work together… mostly) costing beau coup bucks (meaning we can save money) that is the culmination of all of the big house changes we have left (make basement habitable so we can move there while refinishing the hardwood floors on the main floor including ripping out and replacing the kitchen floor, a project that can only be completed after we’ve replaced the ceiling, and dealt with the cabinetry).
We made a budget that has us having the money to do all of the above by the end of the year (score!) while beefing up our emergency fund, paying for my Lasix surgery and giving Joey some fun money to blow (since I bought my lovely and totally unnecessary D90).
And now I have a good reason to get my proposed plans together for the basement, main-floor hardwood floors and kitchen!
Before (and, ahem, current):
Upper cabinets are the devil. (I’m five feet tall. Upper cabinets are unusable, embarrassingly out of reach, and cause things to topple onto my head.)
Keep everything that’s made better than we could buy. The cabinet structure is solid wood, and… okay, maybe that’s all we’d keep.
Spend money for indestructible and kid-/ pet-/ slobby Marisa- friendly materials. Slate floors, stainless steel counters with built-in drainboards, and dark lower cabinets are all good choices.
Happy beats elegant. We’re drawn to light, bright, pop-y spaces.
(source unknown but obviously super-awesome)
Storage, storage, storage. I want the empty wall to have built-in storage.
This color scheme and feeling, pretty please! It’s modern, bright, and blue. Of course, I don’t want wood counters or blue lower cabinets, never mind the overly-country-ness of the cabinets themselves and the inappropriateness of white floors with two messy people and seven animals, but I love the idea.
I want a stainless steel counter with built-in sink and drainboard exactly like this. And no upper cabinets. (Did I mention how much I detest upper-level cabinets?)
Okay, maybe I do like blue cabinets in practice even though the idea weirds me out. I love, love, love this kitchen. Did you notice the peek-a-boo windows? Fabulous. Replace the black counters with stainless and I’m in heaven.
(From Northwest Home, apparently)
I’d like the opposite (currently blank) wall to be like the picture below, though I’m not sure it fits with the two pictures above. What I like: open shelving, an extra work surface, the sleek lines, and contrast of the dark walls and light cabinets. I’d use chalkboard paint instead of flat black, though.
(from Apartment Therapy)
(also from Apartment Therapy)
Basically, this layout with a different color scheme but the same level of drama. And nothing overhead. (HA, I know.)
Now I need to figure out the layout. The old stove is too wide (it’s an old, inefficient behemoth) and the refrigerator opening is too narrow. We could switch them, move the cabinets, trim the cabinets on one side and add a few on the other, or redo the layout altogether. For reasons of cheapness (hi, have we met?) I’m leaning toward leaving the cabinets and layout as-is. I think.
What do you think? Anyone want to make recommendations and/ or suggest good (cheap!) software for playing with kitchen layouts?