Our old kitchen, in our house on Taft Avenue, was a good "starter."
With its circa 1970 mini-bar countertop and its ancient linoleum,
Alissa cooked up loads of lovely cuisine and tasty treats for her
family (and I helped!). She never really liked the design, though. I
couldn't understand why. It had a total of nine spacious plywood
cabinets, a picturesque zee-brick wall housing the microwave, and
a cute one-square-foot counterette between the refrigerator and the
admittedly worn-out electric stove. She said it all had to go.
It was around the first of June that we sprang into action. Pensively.
Pulling out the cabinets was surprisingly easy, thanks to my crowbar.
Using our bathroom for a kitchen was a little tight, which made tearing
out the zee-brick wall seem easy. The crowbar made that downright fun.
We replaced the wall with sheet rock, and that's when I learned how
to mud seams, and about the inconvenience of vigorous sanding.
We picked out some nice honey oak cabinets - 22 of them - and a
new glass-top electric stove. I think we bought a new dishwasher too.
We hung the wall cabinets first, just me and Alissa, she being seven
months pregnant. Once, I was holding up a heavy double cabinet, and she
put in a single screw, stood back admiring her work, telling me that
was the first time she'd driven in a screw using a drill. My muscles were
starting to tremble with over-exertion as I congratulated her, begging her
to drive in another one, which she did. Finally. The base cabinets were
no trouble at all, for us anyway. They weren't very even on top, but I was
counting on the countertop expert to deal with that precision solution.
When to countertop/floor specialist showed up, he complained that the
base cabinets weren't level. I answered that this was the reason we'd
bidded out the job to him. He was painstakingly accurate with his work.
Following Alissa's instruction, he applied the backsplash to the entire walls
above the counters. He also did a great job coving the linoleum. It took him
longer to finish the job than it'd taken us to tear out the old cabinets & install
the new ones. Frequently, he phoned a consultant from our land line for
advice and support during that long week. Additionally, I had a plumber stop
in to rearrange my horrible attempt at installing the sink and water works.