Welcome to my kitchen! After 3 1/2 month’s of demo, patience and a lot of hard work we finally have the kitchen we dreamed of. I have to give my husband Joe so much credit, he took my ideas and made it a reality. When we moved from Kansas back to New Mexico we both had our own visions of what we wanted in a home. He wanted a space to store his tools and an area for woodworking projects and I wanted an open kitchen. And we both wanted a view of the mountains. Well we got two out of three. My kitchen was big enough but wasn’t open by any means. The kitchen in Kansas was small but was organized and designed to be functional. Everything was in reach and it was easy to prepare and cook in my tiny kitchen. The kitchen in Albuquerque was not functional at all, at least not for me. I rearranged things time after time and couldn’t find a way to make it flow. So we decided to take 6 month’s to find out what worked and what didn’t work in order to design a work area with ample storage space. We started just before Memorial day and finished up on Labor day. After a few days spent moving back in and organizing things, I’m ready to get back in the kitchen!
First part of demo was to remove the cabinets. Joe took half of them and set up in his garage space to store his woodworking tools. The other half I am using to store extra dishes, cooking utensils and small appliances.
Our back splash above the sink was hand painted with a petroglyph scene. Petroglyhs are cool but I’m not sure they belong in the kitchen.
Magic was curious but cautious when it came to all the noise and banging that went on during the day. When the noise would cease and he felt it was safe to come out, he would creep out real slow to check out the progress. The dust was always a problem and Magic looked like an old man when he rubbed up against a wall and leave gray streaks on his face.
I gave up the pantry in the kitchen for more cabinet space. Joe created a space in the laundry room and built a cabinet with pull out drawers, enough for all my pantry needs. It’s located next to the kitchen so I only have to take a couple extra steps to the new pantry.
Every drawer pulls out for easy access. He did a great job!
We have 14 foot ceilings with vigas. Not an easy task to prep and paint that high up. We struck a deal, Joe would paint the high wall and I would take the low part. We worked well together and it was done over a weekend.
We wanted to match the color of the existing beams, posts and corbels. We felt extremely lucky that the stain we chose matched very well. The wood itself was a different wood and didn’t have the same characteristics but we are happy with the results. After the stain was set, I applied linseed oil to all the beams which really brought them back to life.
Next step, Joe and I installed the cabinets along the back wall. We went with a knotty alder wood with a suede finish which softened the color. We anticipated it would be hard to install the cabinets, just the two of us, but the back wall went up easy. We felt a bit cocky after that . . .
The island was a different story. Joe built a shelving unit behind the cabinets in the island to give me a few extra inches of counter space depth. Connecting all the pieces and keeping them straight was frustrating. There were also some complications with installation of the electrical outlets and a mistaken cut to a side panel that is still on back order. After all the trials of the painting, installing the floor and back cabinets, the island proved to be the frustration that just kept on giving.
About a month later we finally got our counter tops and sink installed. I went with a quartz top and granite composite 70/30 sink. The sink is so deep and enables me to wash almost any size of pot or pan. Going without a sink for 3 1/2 month’s was the hardest sacrifice of the entire remodel. We had other ways to cook meals but cleanup in the bathtub was hard. The demo and construction dust consumed everything and all dishes that weren’t covered or stored away had to be washed daily.
Joe made some pendant lights out of these green globes from World Market. They are intended to be used as candle holders with stands but we envisioned them hanging over the island. Joe cut holes in the bottom and ordered lighting kits to put them together. They really complete the look we were looking for.
We also added a white subway tile back splash along with a decorative tile above the stove. I wanted a hood vent over the stove rather than the huge microwave. To maximize our counter space we opted for a microwave shelf and picked out a small microwave that suits me fine.
Thanks for taking a tour of my new kitchen. I can’t wait to start cooking and sharing new recipes with you all soon.
A special shout out to Tekton Builders for all the hard work to make my open kitchen concept a reality. Thank you Jason and every member of your crew who worked with Joe and I to make this happen. To our neighbor Bill, Thanks for the recommendations and helping us get started on this project. And to my love Joe who worked tirelessly to make my dream kitchen come true.