Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wednesday Vignette: Hell's Kitchen

Our home remodel is no longer some generally imagined event set for an indefinite future date.  After nearly a year of myriad delays involving bureaucratic red tape, geological surveys, asbestos concerns, timing conflicts and other drama, it's become a reality.  Once my husband started construction of the temporary kitchen, the plan became all too real.  In the past week, the temporary kitchen, set up on the north end of the house, went from this:



To this:



Our master bathroom, which lies on the other side of that temporary kitchen, was once a light-filled space.  It's now dark as a cave.  The flash of pink you see inside the new space is a reflection of the Leptospermum I can no longer see reflected in the bathroom mirror.

Both shrubs are now in full bloom


I can still see a small portion of the garden, framed by the kitchen's walls, but that view will also disappear as soon as the door is installed.

I never really appreciated this planter backed by lavender until it was the only thing I can see from inside the house


The temporary kitchen will have a camp stove, a refrigerator and a small sink.  During construction the pantry will be in our bedroom.  Our dishes may end up in my husband's bureau.  My friends tell me that the whole experience will be worth it in the end but I have my doubts.  In addition to worrying about the stress on my cat, I'm wondering how much of my garden is going to get trampled.  I already know that I'm going to lose at least a few plants to new HVAC equipment.

Preparations are ramping up.  In addition to the current kitchen, which will be gutted, the living and dining rooms need to be packed up and cleared.  We have to move patio furniture to provide work space for the construction crew adjacent to the kitchen.  And there are purchases that still have to be made.  The compost tumbler near the garage has to be moved (I've forgotten why) and, as the unit has been steadily disintegrating since we moved in, we've decided to chuck it in the demolition bin, so I cleaned it out this week.

I sifted out the remaining contents of the tumbler so it's ready to go

The finished compost went into this raised planter, which I finally cleared of basil, oregano and chives to make room for some of the dahlias that sprouted since I planted the tubers in temporary pots


I piled the material that wasn't yet suitable for use as compost at the bottom of my back slope until I can set up new composting bins.  Who knows, I may spend a lot of time down at the bottom of the slope this summer, seeking peace from the construction process.  Maybe I'll finally get some of the ivy and honeysuckle cleared out down there.

It looks as though I'll have company.  I sighted a bunny hiding out there yesterday morning.


For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

25 comments:

  1. Aahh - let the remodeling adventure begin! Despite the inconveniences and disruptions, I think it's exciting, and actually admit to being a bit envious... We desperately need to update our kitchen, but that still remains a dream. Or perhaps I should say it has competing priorities... Hang in there - it's going to be great! And, come next year, you'll be able to enjoy your garden from a new, fabulous kitchen! It will definitely be worth it!

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    1. When we bought our former townhouse, there were elements I hated, including all the countertops in our kitchen and our bathrooms; however, we were both workaholics and never made a material change in the almost 20 years we lived there. I didn't envision a major remodel when we moved into our current house 8 years ago but, when the cabinets put in by a prior owner literally began falling apart on their own, the "to do" list took on a life of its own.

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  2. Immagini spettacolari come sempre! Complimenti :) Bella la modifica alla casa!!

    Buona primavera :)

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  3. Wow, a temporary kitchen! Most of the people I know who've endured a kitchen makeover have just washed dishes in the bathroom and relied on takeout and a microwave in the living room for meals. You have class (and a handy hubby)! The gardening season always seems to go by in a flash, so maybe this experience will too.

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    1. What I have is a husband with such extreme dietary restrictions it's impossible for us to eat out or bring in take-out. I can eat anything but he has to make almost everything he eats from scratch. He couldn't survive without a kitchen. I tired to get him to move into a pet-friendly efficiency apartment for the duration of the remodel but he wants to be on site to supervise.

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  4. That does look like a humongous project, but a new kitchen sounds fabulous! Wishing you guys a reasonably rapid and very successful job. All the best to Pipig too. I've been amazed at how well our dogs and even my sister's little parakeet adjusted with our recent upheavals. Admittedly I'm not as familiar with cats! ;-)

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    1. I expect I'll have to lock Pipig on her "catio" when the workers are here to ensure that she doesn't get out when someone leaves a door open - I don't want her to become a meal for one of our local coyotes. I've already consulted my vet on what I can do to help her stay calm.

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  5. This remodel sounds like hell to me. What a disruption of your life. I hope you sing its praises when finished.

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    1. While many of my friends have gone through renovations large and small, I never have. We'll be living in less than half our house for the duration and even that area is going to be crowded with excess furniture and the like. My husband has reminded me that we've lived in much smaller spaces but that was long, long ago...

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  6. Our kitchen chaos was brief enough for a few days of make do pizza delivery.
    Hope Pipig copes well with the intruders and their noise (are they gone yet?)

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    1. Pipig doesn't even like the visits by contractors to discuss plans for the remodel - she curls up in a tiny ball on the top corner shelf of her "catio" and remains there for hours after they leave. Hopefully, she'll get used to spending most of her daytime hours in that space for the next several months.

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  7. I had a very minor remodel in my kitchen several years ago-it was bathroon sink and mircowave all the way ! And the BBQ of course. I hope you'll give us a tour when it's done.

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    1. In all probability you'll at least see the new kitchen when I'm able to get into that space to put together my Monday vases again, Kathy. I expect to use our tiny laundry room for flower arranging for the next several months. With few spaces to put flowers, there will probably be fewer vases to begin with.

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  8. Oh, you have my sympathies, Kris. I've lived through both a kitchen renovation and for one whole summer, a second floor put on the house with two young kids to handle and keep out of the workers hair. I doubt I could deal with another. I'd be opting for a world tour, lol! Deep breaths, meditation and yoga daily might work in a pinch, too. "This, too, shall pass" can be your mantra! xo

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    1. While my husband has often had small-scale improvement projects going on, this is the first time we've embarked on a real remodel so I haven't known what to expect. As our start date gets closer, I'm getting a better idea of the impact on our lives. Maybe I need to give up on retirement and take a job so I have someplace to escape to on a daily basis!

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  9. Oy, much worse than my disruption. I wish you a speedy and entirely successful process.

    The pups were confused at first but quickly got used to people tromping in and out all day long. They adjusted better than I did.

    Really enjoying the new bathroom, though! As Eliza said, keep repeating "This too shall pass". It helped me.

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    1. Somehow I managed to have tunnel vision about exactly how much impact this remodel would have on our day-to-day life, HB. What I envisioned was bad enough but my husband's concept of what we need to do to be construction-ready is larger in scope than I'd imagined. Yesterday, he advised me that we'll need to clear everything off the back patio too. The back slope looks better every day!

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  10. It's so exciting to see real progress, and it sounds like the end result will be worth it for a few trade-offs with the bedroom and bathroom views. I'll look forward to future posts as the project progresses!

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    1. I'm solely looking forward to the project's completion!

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  11. I have got the impression that you have been dreading this for ages. At least you will have a temporary kitchen, although it will feel like camping out. But it will be wonderful when it is done and in the meantime you have your garden. Your leptospermum looks fabulous.

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    1. I have indeed been dreading this, Chloris. I tried to talk my husband into moving into temporary housing elsewhere but lost that argument, at least for now - the cat and I may decide otherwise a month or so in. Camping out 4 to 6 months has limited appeal.

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  12. Now that the project has really started after all the holdups, I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing real progress at last, and we’ll enjoy reading about it. It’s never easy being without a kitchen and I well remember, many years ago, managing with a table, an electric frying pan and a bucket! (Along with the usual crockery and cutlery, of course) The garden will almost always survive the trampling workers- I’m amazed at how plants bounce back given time. Your Leptospermum looks wonderful btw.

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    1. While I can eat almost anything, including take-out food, my husband has very specific (and restrictive) dietary restrictions so he has to make almost everything he eats from scratch. Hence his focus on the construction of the temporary kitchen. It's going to be interesting!

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  13. It's so exciting that your kitchen will soon (hopefully!) become a reality - but now you have to live through the construction "hell" period of the process. I don't envy you now, but I'm sure I will once it's all done :)

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