K – Kitchen – It was Awful

We live in a 1970s rancher in the Central Valley of California.  It is a very typical house for this area, stucco on the outside, tiled floors on the inside and lots of windows.  We bought the house because it had a huge lot, relatively speaking for this area, and it has solar panels, and a swimming pool – which is a must in an area where the summer temperatures peak over 100 degrees for months on end.

I guess when we looked at the house, we were so fed up with looking at houses we really didn’t take notice of the kitchen.  It looked pretty good at a glance, but in actuality  was  badly designed.  We have suffered for about 10 years with 35 year old cabinets, lined with thick linoleum (whoever thought this was a good idea).  The drawers would kind of drop out when you pulled on them, the dishwasher was poorly placed, and if there was ever more than 2 people in the kitchen, it became aggravatingly congested in certain spots – where the only available counter space was situated. And whoever did the half-assed kitchen renovation previously, decided to use granite floor tiles on the counter top.  The grout between the tiles was impossible to clean, and harbored who knows what kind of microbes and bacteria.

About a year ago, my husband and I became really annoyed with the cabinets.  It was about the time of the Spring Garbage pick-up, where homeowners were allowed to put any and all types of garbage on the curb, and the city would come by and pick it up.  In a  moment of total disgust, we pulled all the drawers out, and the cabinet doors off and put them on the curb.  Talk about an open concept in the kitchen.  And it stayed that way, until we couldn’t tolerate it anymore.

At first we thought maybe we could do the renovation ourselves.  But who were we kidding?  After we started adding up the costs of the cabinets and sink, and lighting, it didn’t make that much sense.  To avoid the aggravation of trying to right our kitchen by ourselves we hired a construction company to come in and do all the work.  For almost 4 weeks we lived with dust, the sound of jackhammers, contractors showing up at 0730 and a kitchen without running water or a place to cook.  I tried to prepare meals out of an Instant Pot, and off an electric griddle, but it was too annoying and frustrating, and we finally had Uber Eats bring us all of our food.

Our kitchen is finally done, and what a joy it is to have a functional kitchen, laid out correctly.  Now more than one person can be preparing food at the same time.  It’s clean and tidy, and despite not having upper cabinets, everything has a storage place. And no more linoleum, with corners curling up, inside the cabinets.



There is a place for everything!




The island – obviously




Open shelving – much nicer for tall people, and makes putting dishes away so much easier.




The kitchen looking out onto family room.


The dishwasher is in the island.



And look – a drawer that most of my regularly used spices fit in. No more scrabbling around in a cabinet, looking for that certain spice.




Photo credit: pinterest.com

13 replies »

  1. That must be so much better for you. I can’t stand a dysfunctional kitchen. How long did it take to get the work done? Next year, we hope to update our counters (not cabinets) and make a bigger opening for a refrigerator. The fridge spot now is small, so the fridge is small too. Other than that, I like the functionality of our kitchen, just needs updated counters.

    Congratulations. Must feel like a new home.

    • It took about 4 weeks to get everything perfect. The construction company we went with were just wonderful, and so attentive. So it wasn’t too awful. We went with quartz counters, because the patterns in the granite is almost migraine inducing. I do love my kitchen! It is a joy to cook in!!!

      • I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who isn’t a fan of granite. People think I’m nuts not to like it, but to me, it’s too loud of a pattern and is a temporary (ugly) trend. I’m glad you like the quartz. When it’s my turn, I’m going with the same. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Amazing transformation. My parents house had yellow tile counters and the oven and fridge placed strategically at the choke points just to make life extra difficult. They finally got around to having it renovated a few years ago and the difference is AMAZING.

    • Thank-you so much!! A nice kitchen really does change the look and feel of the whole house. And, I don’t mind cooking anymore, but I still hate doing dishes!!!

  3. Love your new kitchen! We did ours a while back. I wrote about it. We lived on microwave dinners and take aways for two months. It was supposed to take 4 weeks but the suppliers forgot to order the range! Muppets! A good, well laid out kitchen is a joy to cook in, drink and socialise with the rest of the family.

    • I read your post on your kitchen. It is wonderful having a nice new kitchen that you can actually use. I keep on thinking of stuff to cook just so I can hang out in my kitchen!!! Still don’t like doing dishes, though!!! But when the kitchen is clean, it really looks clean and tidy. I like that!!!

  4. Thank-you, I love my spice drawer. Everything has a place, and others that use the spice are now able to return the spice to the same spot. It’s brilliant I tell you. No more searching and searching. And it looks really cool!

  5. Holy crap, your kitchen is PERFECT, I love it!

    I feel your pain on the in-home construction. A small 2-hour DIY project in the bathroom revealed rot and almost the entire bathroom (beautiful stone shower, tiles, etc.) had to be ripped out. Took almost two months. It ended up being a downgrade from the original magazine perfect bathroom because costs got so out of hand!

    • Thank you!! And yes, I cannot believe how expensive things are. When we got the bill for the cabinets (no upper cabinets – mind you) I was horrified. I asked my husband if to get the wood to make the cabinets, had they traversed some piranha riddled waters deep in the Amazonian rainforest to obtain the wood, because why else would they be so expensive.

  6. Hey, my dearly departed dad was a great believer in lining every built in drawer and shelf with linoleum. I personally asked him to install this fabulous material in every home I owned, while he was still alive, and his handiwork is still utilitarian, if not pristine, in the house where I grew up, from 6th grade on anyway, and in which Mom still lives. Maybe he was just so good, or the material he used was resistant, but our linoleum lines very seldom curled and those that are still in use are also still flat as a pancake.
    We remodeled the kitchen of the last house we owned in So Cal, paying for a good part of it, or at least the best part, a stained glass overhead light that had a fan in the middle, with the payout from Dad’s life insurance policy after his too early (only 74, not young but not nearly long enough on this earth for me) death. I never lined those new shelves and drawers, knowing I could never do as good or as loving a job of it as Dad did, And, for the rest of the time we lived there, I felt better in believing that my beautiful new light was Dad’s last gift to me, and knowing that he would love it, too.

    • I would certainly cherish the linoleum lining my kitchen drawers if my Dad had installed it. But of course, if he had installed it, it wouldn’t have been such a mess. I hope I didn’t offend you, by disparaging my linoleum lined drawers. I am very sorry if I did.

Leave a Reply