So, it took some time but we are in! The new kitchen is fully functional now and little by the little we are making it our own.
All in all we went seven days without a kitchen. We set up a “lovely” makeshift one in our laundry room. There was one evening of microwave meals that in all honesty were not so bad but the kids rejected them totally so I was pretty much the only one who was surprised at what a microwave and frozen pasta can do…As for the rest of the week, we made it, owing our survival to a lot of friends, the grill on the back porch and peanut butter and jelly.
Kitchen installation took two full days. (On the second day the guys were here until about 9pm.) At that point the new floor was not yet installed. Now that it is, we are waiting on the the guys to come back and put the trim on underneath the cabinets. (Things like blueberries, avocado seeds and LEGOS keep rolling underneath so I’m looking forward to things being closed up.)
The transformation is pretty great so I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.
We are still moving things around a lot but here is a run down on what we already love and what we already don’t:
The breakfast bar– Actually I’m sitting there right now and plan to work from this spot tomorrow. This is a big win for me because the kitchen designer and Thorsten were not convinced about the idea in our design meetings. I’m excited to report that it’s already everyone’s fave spot and where we eat a big majority of the time even though we have a large dining table in the other room.
Induction stove top from Siemens Studio line is totally cool. It’s touch operated and has variable zones instead of exact burners. Since we didn’t have induction at our old apartment we spent a few days without any functional pots, even after the kitchen was installed. I finally got a frying pan that worked with induction and used it for cooking all manner of things until we got the rest of the regular pots.
The oven is also from Siemens studio line, has a child lock and really works like a dream. Case and point: Thorsten, my sweet husband, has NEVER cooked for me since we’ve known each other. Don’t get me wrong he can grill an insanely good steak but cooking is not usually something he does. On Mother’s Day though he cooked Schäuferla, the most famous and delicious Franconian specialty. He pulled out all the stops too–he wasn’t cooking just for me– my parents were visiting so he cooked for them and for his mom, Jola. (I feel bad admitting that I had pizza on hand in case things went south but I didn’t need it. His meal was delicious.) The money we paid for this oven was definitely worth it.
The sink is from Blanco and I must say I love it. Initially I wanted a double sink. But that required an extra large cabinet underneath to house it. It is a relatively small kitchen and so a large sink with a drying area was more do-able. I was also worried that it would show a lot of dirt because it’s such a dark color. It doesn’t! It’s wide enough to easily clean the oven sheets and has a cutting board that slides across it or sits on top of the drying area.
That brings us to the dishwasher (also from Siemens Studio Line) It has so many functions that I have yet see what it can really do but what I already know is that I don’t need to hand wash hardly anything. It’s also fully integrated and looks really polished because it’s impossible to even know it’s the dishwasher. Below are photos of the dishwasher and sink for reference.
A surprising love is the wood backsplash. The countertops are a faux butcher block and I really thought the additional wood on the backsplash would be just too much. The designer tried to convince me that it was warm and inviting. But all I envisioned was 70’s wood panelling in my new kitchen. I’m so happy to report that it really does look warm and inviting. Happy to be wrong this time.
So far we are also happy with the floor. It’s a type of click vinyl. It’s pretty warm and quiet which is nice. If I wanted to spent more cash or if we had purchased this house I still would’ve gone with a new stone tile. But this looks nice, is easy to clean and was affordable.
Not so much…
- As reported in the first kitchen blog, we did not have lighting inset underneath the cabinets–that is something I still kind of regret. We were able to get under the cabinet lighting and even have the kitchen builders install it for us. It does have its benefits but it just isn’t as nice as lighting that’s built in.
- The fridge. If you know me, this will not shock you. Obviously the fact that it has no ice maker was going to throw this appliance onto the “Not so much” list. But in all honestly even if this particular refrigerator-freezer combination had an ice maker it still wouldn’t be great or even close to the quality of the other appliances. So far for me this is the biggest regret/problem. I’m kicking myself mostly. We could’ve settled on a much nicer appliance, one with a 0 degree drawer for vegetables and something for cheese and meat that still would’ve been more reasonable than the Liebherr Kuhlgefrier combi that I wanted.
- The corner cabinet with counter space–Although this corner was intended to catch all the junk that somehow finds its way into the kitchen (mail, calendar, family photos, cards, cell phone charging, etc.) we keep trying to keep it junk free. We have been successful so far but as a result kind of have no place for these items. There are also some weird design things about the cabinets themselves that I don’t love–this is the only place in the kitchen where we have this push function to open and close the cabinets above and below. I like the look of it but I would prefer that this corner matched the function of all the other cabinets in the kitchen.
I know that I didn’t really touch on the inner parts of the kitchen, I mean the way it’s organized. But we could save that for another home make-over blog post.
I have to admit even with all the compromising we all seem to love the kitchen. On top of that cooking and cleaning in a new kitchen are so much more enjoyable.
We learned (read “are still learning”…)some really important lessons through this process. I think it’s kind of an expensive way to learn a lesson but then I just think about what my college education cost and it doesn’t really seem that bad.
So that’s the initial run down. This week before the rain started, we were able to work some in the garden. Working outside, cutting back overgrown shrubs and having my hands in the dirt was really a balm to my soul. Please stayed tuned for lots more to come about that in the next blog post.