Kitchen Update

May 11, 2016

My kitchen is slowly coming along. Considering the temporary kitchen I started with when I retired in January 2015, its come a long way.

Temporary kitchen setup January 2015

Temporary kitchen setup January 2015

At first I had my island, a wonderfully large workspace, a small counter with a double sink (but no running water and draining into five gallon pails) and shelving to hold my kitchen stuff. It was wonderful to have a sink, fridge and stove all in the same room.

I was thrilled to get the sink drain hooked up and no more slop pails to empty. When we got the hot and cold running water hooked up I was over the moon.

Kitchen storage moved to living room

Kitchen storage moved to living room

Later the pantry was completed, our first completed room in the house. This spring, all the lights and the drywall were done. However, in order to do this, we had to dismantle my wall of shelving and move it to the living room. It was a temporary inconvenience, because after the drywall was complete, Ken began construction of the kitchen base cabinets. This is a project he had been looking forward to for years.

Kitchen Larder

Kitchen Larder

His first project was to install a pull out larder. It was a wonderful find on Kijiji, brand new but without instructions. However, it turned out to be relatively easy to install and provides lots of storage and everything is easily accessible.

Base cabinet carcasses on north wall

Base cabinet carcasses on north wall

 

 

 

Base cabinet carcasses complete on North and West walls

Base cabinet carcasses complete on North and West walls

 

 

 

 

 

Almost all of the base cabinets are drawers, with only three cabinets – one under the sink, a narrow cabinet beside the sink for baking sheets and the corner cabinet. After much discussion, we opted not to install a Lazy Susan in the corner cabinet. All of my pantry goods are stored either in the pantry or the pull out larder, so what I realty needed was a place to store appliances.

Using the wood stove to seal the iron on lathe stripping on the edge of the drawers.

Using the wood stove to seal the iron on lathe stripping on the edge of the drawers.

 

Drawer workshop

Drawer workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drawers are constructed with 5/8  inch Baltic birch plywood, so they are plenty strong to hold whatever I put in them.

Drawers all installed.

Drawers all installed and countertop ready for laminate.

Our friend Bob, a master carpenter, volunteered to come out and help install the laminate countertop. It was an enjoyable weekend with Bob and Fran, and as a bonus, my countertop is in.

Laminate countertop installed

Laminate countertop installed

We opted to install the backsplash tile before we put up the upper cabinets. Until we put the uppers in, we won’t know if this was a good idea or not. However, since this is a functioning kitchen, and I love having the backsplash in.

Backsplash

Backsplash

5 Drawer fronts completed

5 Drawer fronts completed

Ken has begun completing the drawer faces. So far, 5 drawers are completed. The faces are made from rough cut birch that he planes and works his magic with amazing results. I can’t wait to see the whole project finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Before - Woodbox with wood and a few kids playing sardines

Before – Woodbox with wood and a few kids playing sardines

After -Woodbox painted and converted to appliance storage

After -Woodbox painted and converted to appliance storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the summer months, I use a lot of electrical appliances since we have lots of power and no need to fire up the wood stove for heat. Since the wood box is not in use for storing wood, it has been painted and revamped with removable shelves to store electrical appliances. This allow me to leave the kitchen countertops free of clutter but still have the appliances handy. During the winter months, I will move the them to the basement again, remove the shelves and stock with firewood.

The cabinet uppers are on Ken’s radar to be started soon. The island cabinets are yet to be started but those can wait a while. With all the drawers I have now, 15 in total, I have enough storage for my essentials. The rest can sit in storage a while longer.

Living room ready for next project - laying out the new hearth for the kitchen woodstove

Living room ready for next project – laying out the new floor for the kitchen woodstove

The temporary shelving has been removed from the living room, leaving it ready for our next project – installing new flooring under the kitchen wood stove.

 

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About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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