The weekend of “things that will make Rachel happy”

Rachel loves our kitchen.

Kitchen is in!

We got almost all of it finished before we moved in, and that’s one of the first pieces of advice we give (to the insane) people also embarking on the same journey of massive home remodeling.

Kitchen west

Though we think a finished kitchen is the room that makes the biggest difference since you might use it 10 times a day, just having a room or two that’s completely finished where you can get away from the mess is our biggest tip to others who ask. And probably lots of folks who don’t ask, but I digress.

We never liked the super trendy look of Every Single Renovated House or Condo in DC of five years ago that had some shade of brown cabinets, darker granite counters, and ALWAYS stainless steel appliances, so we opted for the much more timeless look of white cabinets, a grey darker granite, and white appliances.

"That pocket door is money," she says.

I know part of Rachel’s plan was to have a neutral palette where she could splash red here and there as accents. Red teapot. Red clock. Red utensils in a basket. Sliiiight red visible in our sugar container next to the coffee pot.

Dining room & kitchen southeast

Because of the wet wall that runs through the kitchen, we have this one super shallow cabinet to the right of the microwave that’s about deep enough for two wine glasses.

Kitchen - After

The cabinet feels different than the others because of that depth, and I think Rachel was the one who first had the idea one day (years ago now) to paint the inside of it red. I was on board but it never made it up the priority list past, “boy, that sure would look nice one day.”

One other thing that Rachel has always wanted to do is to get rid of the way we plug in our coffee maker. We ended up with the perfect little nook for it to the right of the wet wall, but there’s no plug back in that nook, so we’ve always had this unsightly white extension cord running along the counter to the next outlet closer to the range.

I realized that because of the fact that the cabinet above the coffee maker isn’t actually mounted on the wall because of the deep space there — it’s mounted to the cabinets on either side of it, actually — I could find a way to run a cord down behind it.

Though we have an outlet up on top of the cabinets to power some lighting up there (a string of Christmas lights, actually), it’s set to a switch, so it wouldn’t work to power the coffee maker unless we wanted to turn the lights on every time we needed t make coffee. But there’s also an outlet in the cabinet above the microwave to power the microwave.

So last Saturday while Rachel was at the farmers’ market, I pulled everything out of the cabinet and started drilling 1″ holes in the sides of the cabinets with a forstner bit so I could run a cord from the microwave, into and through the shallow cabinet, into the cabinet above the coffeemaker, and then out the BACK of it and into the space behind it down to the coffee maker.

And while everything was out, it seemed a good time to go ahead and paint everything, because the majority of the hassle was always going to be unloading that entire cabinet and piling it all up on the table or whatever for a day. I got it primed in a hurry, and had just enough of our (exterior!) red paint from our perfectly red front and back doors to paint the inside after giving the primer a quick sand to smooth it out.

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To say that Rachel was excited about it all would be a gross understatement.

2014-09-06 14.22.22

But I think it had its intended effect: it bought me enough goodwill to spend almost every night since last Saturday in the backyard working on building the Murphy Bed until late each night, missing dinner and bathtime and all other general parenting tasks.

The Murphy Bed? Yep. Coming soon.

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