The Kitchen Remodel Part I: Demolition Derby

I accidentally started my kitchen remodel this weekend. I meant to finish my bathroom, which needed a few touch ups and the register painted. I tend to get bored with one project before finishing it, so I’ve been working on that. It’s one of my “goals.”

Anyway, I was looking at something in my kitchen, and I wondered if something would work  so I tried it and the next thing I knew…I had started my kitchen remodel. Oops!

I have a love/hate relationship with my kitchen. I love one part of it and hate the rest. What I love is my 1956 GE built-in cooktop, oven, and metal cabinets.

imageimageEvery time I push a button on my cooktop and the GE light comes on, it makes me happy.

The rest of the kitchen…meh. There isn’t much counter space which I’ll fix someday by adding an island. But other than that, the kitchen bothers me in a way I haven’t been able to figure out. Today I finally figured it out…it’s discordant.

The kitchen doesn’t match the feel of the rest of the house (and my beloved cooktop and oven are not to blame). I didn’t notice all of the ways it was off until I started working on the kitchen.

Here’s a shot from my living room that illustrates the doorways, windows, and  baseboards that are pretty consistent thoughout the house:


Flat slab frames for doorway and windows with peaked top on windows; baseboards are flat slabs as well. Simple, consistent with 1800s house.

The kitchen, on the other hand, doesn’t follow this formula. Today, I envisioned the following conversation, probably sometime in the 1980s:

“Honey, we have to do something about this kitchen. It’s soooo dated!”

“Yes dear. What would you like?”

“”Something more country-style*, like my friend Linda’s kitchen.  Blue and yellow instead of these awful 50s colors.  Make it cute with trim and swirly things!”

“Yes dear, I’ll get right on it.”

So Honey dutifully added trim and swirly things everywhere. Instead of flat slabbed windows with a peak, Honey put shelves over the windows with swirly brackets. (The better to display country-style things.)


No simple door frames for Dear; Honey added trim to all of them.


Honey even added extra flair to the baseboards! Dear was so happy!


Hopefully Honey and Dear don’t stop by because I just pulled every piece of extra flair, swirl, and discordant wood from the kitchen. Here’s the pile:


That Honey, he was an interesting remodeler. I’m quite certain he thought the house was falling down, and he was going to shore it up with every piece of extra wood he added to the kitchen. What I’m saying is that he was a little nail happy. Actually, Honey didn’t like little nails at all. He liked long nails, especially for really little pieces of wood. The better to hold up the house.


The only time he didn’t use long nails was when he used cupcake frosting.


(just kidding, I know it’s spackle)

Every time I pried off unnecessary wood, I worried that it hid something terrible behind it. It rarely did–Craig, I do have a couple of questions for you in the few instances I discovered some problems. Basically, the swirls, twirls, and trim were to make Dear happy.

And it made me extraordinarily happy to rip it all off. The kitchen is starting to fit with the rest of the house.


*This post is not anti-country style; it is anti-doesn’t match the rest of my house style.

4 thoughts on “The Kitchen Remodel Part I: Demolition Derby

  1. Natalie – it’s a rule (just like popcorn at the movies) that you finish one project before beginning a new one! Okay, but now that you’ve taken off all the wood, do you have something to replace it with? Cute post.


    1. I did mean to finish the bathroom first! The next post will illustrate what happened. I’m kinda stuck needing to work on at least part of the kitchen right now. Then I’ll go back to the bathroom before proceeding with the kitchen. The cabinets are the big job and that I won’t do until the bathroom is done.

      No need to replace most of the wood–it was all extra. Wood on top of wood. Only a few places to replace if I want to match the rest of the house, like over the windows. All easy stuff.

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