I thought about not posting about our new kitchen. In fact, it was all done in early January and here it is almost mid-March. I was thinking
1. Who really cares?
2. It's almost the same, same layout, same color, is there really anything to say?
But then I've since thought about why I blog. One of the reasons to get my thoughts, feelings, and pictures in a place that I can remember. Someday this 'new kitchen' won't be new and I'll have since forgotten about the prep work that went into it, the work that Scott did, the decisions made together.
Maybe it won't be a post that the girls all grown will go back and read. It'll be one that they skip right over. That's okay, but just in case I want to remember; here goes, our new kitchen.
So we moved into this house in the summer of 2001. The kitchen was the first room we walked into. Ohhhhh I loved it. To me it was HUGE! (it's not) And the house tour could have stoped right there. I loved the layout, the color of the cabinets (cream), the hard wood floors, ALL THAT BRASS, and the built in china (original to the house, 1952) cabinet right there in the 'breakfast nook'.
It was as if someone in 1952 came and asked me what I would want my family kitchen to be like and planned it around what I said.
This kitchen is cozy and warm. It has wonderful windows on both ends of the house. Above my kitchen sink the windows look out to the back yard. Our 'birthday tree', picnics, girls playing on swing set, I can see it all from my kitchen window.
And the other window in the 'breakfast nook' looks out to the driveway and across the street. Perfect to seeing "daddys home!!!" or special friends that just pulled up.
There's just enough room for a table for four. And when my girls were babies we had the most beautiful antique high chair in that corner, opposite the china cabinet.
A place for special mugs and teacups, lots of loose tea and teapots... yes, this kitchen might have been planned, designed, and built in 1952 but it has my fingerprints all over it, so to speak.
I honestly feel that no one in the whole wide world loves their kitchen more. (of course that it NOT true... Bille Jo loves her kitchen... I do too. My mom loves her kitchen... I do too. And my mother in law loves her kitchen too) I'm so romantic about all things home. It's true. And this kitchen in no exception.
So here's how it all started.
Our sink. It all started with our sink. It was rusting and unfixable. So Scott decided to drop a new one in. Yup, just like that he said, "I'll just pick one up and put a new one in this weekend. This one is so bad."
But then like the book, If You Give a Moose a Muffin he'll want a glass of milk to go with it.
So we started looking at counters. Because although we liked the color of our counters, they were laminate and not the best quality. They really didn't bother me at all though. And I was still fine with 'dropping a new sink in' and leaving it at that.
But as time went on and the more we thought about it, we reasoned, why would be drop a new sink in to laminate counters? Isn't it time our counters grew up?
So we looked at counter selections for over a year. (yes, we're slow on things like that) Although it wasn't hard. I had white and I wanted white, still. White is like blank canvas to this seasonal decorator. Pink hearts for Valentines day look good on white counters, orange pumpkins, green shamrocks, and of course all that red and green holly at Christmas.
Once we picked the counters and the sink it was back to If You Give a Moose A Muffin, because we thought why would we have a new sink and new counters and not update our faucet?
So we did. And that took the longest. Because I like all things romantic it had to be brass. Brass isn't sold anywhere anymore in the US!!!! Like at all!!! So we had to ship from England. (home of all things romantic) We reasoned an English faucet with the fact that we were keeping the cabinets.
And why on Earth would we not put in a new stove when the counters would be built around/sized for the older stove? So we looked into new stoves. That is a loooooong story. One that I'll tell you as the pictures go along.
So this is how the kitchen looked all dressed up at Christmas (pre new~ness). It's my 'before'.
Arent' you supposed to HATE your before? I still love my before. Ha!
And then in December after these were taken the new stove arrived.
And there is of course a story about this stove. I was BY FAR the hardest part of choosing things for the new kitchen.
When we first decided that it would be kind of dumb to build new counters around an old stove we thought long and hard about what kind of stove to get. And I get kind of edgy about stoves. Because I cook. I'm not an elegant or over the top cook, all gourmet. But I COOK! Every single day. I hate eating out and so I'm on that stove all the time. Family meals, family favorites, baking...
And I was heart set on this 1959 Merritt and O'Keeffe stove that I fell in love with. I've seen it featured on Susan Branch's blog and it's "the one" I wanted. (for this you need some music)
I could see myself with those wonderful dish towel holders, and the old burners and that shelf to decorate. Okay, that shelf to decorate; it might have been in my dreams a few times. Oh I've wanted that stove forever it felt like.
Here's the problem. We weren't 'gutting' our kitchen, and that stove, the Merritt and O'Keeffe can't be installed open. It's an "up against a wall" stove. Like in many many many houses. Most stoves are up against a wall.
We thought about knocking out the cabinets at that point (talk about 'If You Give a Moose A Muffin') and changing the layout. Moving the stove so that it could be up against a wall. It has a back and needs a wall.
Well, one night we were having grilled cheese and soup for dinner. And I was cooking one at a time grilled cheese (allergies) and chatting with my family that were all sitting around the table starting into their soup. And I thought, "If you move the placement of my stove to face the wall over there, I wouldn't be a part of the conversation as I dished out seconds of dinner or finished up cooking. I'd have my back to my family. No good"
So with that settled we dove in to learn as much as we could about stoves.
I said to Scott something like, "if I can't have that old, romantic one you've got to find me a white stove, not stainless steel."
Easier said than done.
We looked aggressively for months and months. And finally came across the Capital stoves in New England Stove Store. The good people at New England Stove store talked me off the ledge of my Merritt and O'Keefe. And they gave me a million reasons why I didn't want a Viking. That could be a whole different post.
And I watched a few videos on the performance.
Like nothing I'd ever seen. It was one of the only 'come in white' high end stoves we could find and it almost looked a bit old fashioned. Almost. And so one cold, very cold December Saturday, in our house it came.
Just in time for the counters to be measured.
~to be continued~