|How I love that view! Ahhhh...|
|So. much. dust.|
|The Death Trap That We Didn't Know About (aka I was cooking for 2.5 years under a giant cabinet held up by 4 nails)|
|Finally the blank slate! October 2015|
In planning the kitchen remodel, we had lived with the old setup for over 2 years, so we had a good idea of what we hoped to change to make the space work better for us. Number one was making sure that we would have lots more counter space, by adding another wall of cabinets. We also weren't crazy about the upper cabinets, and figured out that we could get just as much storage usefulness (or more!) out of some well planned lower drawers and a small open shelving area.
We also noticed that when we had people over, or just on a normal night when it was just the two of us, no one spent much time in the living room. We tend to gravitate to the kitchen or to the dining room, and there was no line of sight from either of those places into the living room. So! Knock down a wall like they do on Fixer Upper! We decided that a completely open floorplan didn't mesh with the layout or era of the house, so we went halfway by opening up a passthrough with a cute little arch to match the doorways to the dining room and to the bedrooms. Already it makes such a difference in helping the living room-kitchen connection!
|You can't tell by his face, but he was so happy to have half the kitchen finally functioning. Especially because we were hosting his birthday part the next day :)|
|The real before, when we had just bought the casa and were getting ready for floor refinishing. What did we see in this place!?!?|
|The kitch, circa August 2015|
|The inside wall, circa August 2015|
|Other part of the inside wall, with the remnant of the doorway to the old hallway that became part of the bathroom.|
|So many butts!|
Ruben found this great piece of old wood at a reclaimed lumber kind of place, and with the help of our neighbor, cut it to fit the passthrough opening. In its previous life, it used to be a bleacher in a school somewhere around. And all the gum that was stuck underneath it is confirmation! Just imagine all the butts that have sat upon this countertop, and where they are now! Could they be grandparents? Great-grandparents? We'll never know.
And the tile! Oh, the tile! We decided to look around for some when we were in Mexico in the fall, because I had been having so much trouble finding anything I like that didn't cost a fortune. We came across this tile after wandering around Tonolá, Guadalajara for a lot of hours, after stopping by a handful of banks and realizing that somehow our debit card had been blocked (a long saga that followed us through parking ticket payments and all the way to Puerto Vallarta!) I thought to myself how fun it would be to have something in our kitchen that would remind of us this fun vacation! Well,it would have saved a lot of hassle if I would have just bought a painting or a flower pot. We bought many more tiles than we actually needed, and then lugged them around with us for the next week, managed to pack them to fly home with us, bought them their own tickets because they were so heavy, and handed them off to the friendly airport staff who put "Fragile" stickers on them and then threw them onto the conveyor belt.
Obviously the end of the story is that half the tiles got broken on the journey (good thing we got so many!), and now we are so tied to these tiles because of our mutual journey and sacrifices that we will love them forever. But the moral is: if at all possible, just buy a painting! Or, if you must have the Talavera tiles, buy yourself a cute little trivet that you can look at lovingly as you put it under your enchiladas!
The back wall of the kitchen has not yet reached its "full potential", but we are still calling the kitchen done-zo. Because waiting for a decision to be made an implemented would be AGONY. But, we are fully open to suggestions! What should we do with that big blank wall, whether functional or purely aesthetic?
|After a 4 month break, we finally got the tiles up! Hallelujah!|
|So much lighter and brighter than it started!|