I haven't had lots of projects to share on this blog for some time mostly because we've been floating around the idea of the BIG project. Back when we were looking to move, we had a list of requirements for our next house but had a very hard time finding them. With one young child and another on the way, we needed three bedrooms on the main floor. So many houses these days have a master bedroom on one floor and the rest of the bedrooms on the other. Coming from a house with a large kitchen, we also wanted our next house to have a large kitchen. We also had a budget. Those three criteria were pretty much all we had but turned out to be impossible to find. We ended up settling on this house which had three bedrooms on the same floor and met our budget but had a small kitchen.
The kitchen is reasonable unless you live in a family where both people like to cook and make things from scratch. The space isn't too bad but by the time we have all the gadgets we use weekly distributed on the counters, there isn't enough counter space to actually do preparations. Our kitchen is also weird that the entrance by the main door is blocked whenever someone has the refrigerator door open and the other entrance closer to the garage is blocked every time the oven door is open. So if you have two people cooking, there is a good chance that one is waiting on the other to either get through with the oven or the refrigerator before you can enter or exit the kitchen. We also have a breakfast nook right next to our kitchen that never gets used other than as a mudroom when you come in through the garage area.
We've talked about fixing these deficiencies but several things have always held us up. When we bought this house, it was right at the bottom of the last recession and the housing market in our area has been on life support. Finally after nearly a decade, it is has gotten off life support and has been moved from intensive care into a private suite. Maybe in a few years it might get sent home but seeing that we live in rural Iowa where the population has been in constant decline for the last century, I'm not holding my breath.
We've always had other things to fix which we have felt were a bigger priority than the kitchen. We've fixed up the exterior of our house turning it from the worst looking house on the street to one of the best, albeit still the smallest. This included new siding, new concrete driveway, new sidewalk, new paint and lots of landscaping. Inside, I have gone through all the bedrooms, basement and communal living spaces and remodeled them with the exception of the kitchen, the hall bathroom and the flooring. The hall bathroom although a bit dated is still functional and with two kids that use that as their main bathroom, will probably wait until they are older or perhaps gone from the house. The floors I'm waiting on doing all at once since we want to do hardwood flooring throughout the house. That leaves the kitchen.
I used to have access to some of the most sophisticated software for drawing up floorplans through my last job. But as time has gone by, software has changed and I no longer "work" for a living, I don't have any working software to use. So last year I bought some cheap software for home design online and played around with it for while laying out my ideas. The problem I ran into is that I found in order to make a kitchen that is functional for our lives, it would involve some major structural issues that I don't think I'm qualified to solve. I will go more into that at a future time but for now, we decided we needed someone more qualified to help us solve those issues so we hired an architect.
We met with the architect a few weeks ago and kicked off the project. He will be designing things and giving us a set of plans which I can then use to hire out some of the work and do the rest myself. I doubt we will be able to get started this year but our hope is to have enough of the work done that we can perhaps start early next year. I'm excited, scared and sometimes not even sure I believe yet that the time has come for this last BIG project. Only the future will tell.