At first glance, you probably see what I saw for about 12 years. A wonderfully red kitchen, with the charm of the 1927 house it is, dolled up with some modern necessities. When we bought the house, the kitchen was in the process of renovation. It hadn’t even gone on the market. We knew we wanted to live in this neighborhood and would drive around, weekly, looking for a house. It was the first “suburb” of Ft. Worth, just across the river from downtown, had an old feel and lots of trees. It wasn’t unusual to meet people who where the original owners of the house in which they lived. Our neighbor’s house was built by her parents and they or she had been the only occupants. We literally had to wait for someone to die. And, as life usually goes, someone did. Grand dad had died the year before after having spent several years in a nursing home before that. The family was fixing it up to get ready to sell. We saw them working on it, stepped inside and asked if the reno was for them or to sell and bought it on the spot. It had been in the family for almost 50 years and you could tell some things hadn’t been changed in at least that long. The good part of that is it still had original hardwood floors and glass doorknobs, but it also had pink and brown tile in the bathroom (not the pretty, retro cute stuff) and these crazy crank louvered windows in the back. They had started on the kitchen because it needed the most help. This is a guess, but you can see yourself from some of the before pictures that there was avocado green formica and there were remnants of green carpet on the floor. I’d call it need for help in my book, but I’m a little judge-y like that. They had already picked out the granite tile (yuck) and the tumbled stone backsplash. It wasn’t a bad look, I just wasn’t my style. Since it was already going in, I felt like it was something I could deal with. The paint color hadn’t been chosen, so I went with the happiest red I could find. I have to say, more than one person said the red “was me”. Flattered? Scared? I’m not sure what it was supposed to mean, but I’m assuming they meant it in the nicest of ways. We got to pick the appliances and I put chalkboard paint on the door. (I know, cutting edge 12 years ago. Can I sniff out a coming trend or what?) I also got some Pottery Barn pulls and knobs. I was very happy with it, but knew it wasn’t my forever kitchen.
You can see the ugly light fixture in the top pic. I think they just went to Home Depot and picked out the cheapest thing they had for above the sink and stove. Then they wanted to get rid of this light above the table, which was original to the house. I put a stop to that, fast.
So let’s talk about how I fell out of love with my kitchen. First, I was never committed to the counter tops. I lusted after a solid surface. The tumbled stone was as boring as that guy at a party who wants to talk about computer programming. The floors were worn from sooooo many teenagers and dogs running back and forth. And my lovely red? It started to feel just a little bit like a 50 year old trying too hard. There was also that 70’s paneling on the wall that was painted, hoping to disguise its age. Add to that the granite tile started FALLING OFF because the folks that put it in glued it on the formica
instead of, I don’t know, maybe INSTALLING IT the right way! All the little problems that didn’t bother me in the beginning started grating on my nerves and I knew we needed an intervention.
The point of no return came January 30th. A couple of days before, I had been talking to a cousin as she tried to figure logistics of a family reunion for March 23rd. I offered the use of our house. It’s not big but it is party friendly and we love throwing them. I may have said something about sprucing up before and Kenny said, “Why don’t we renovate the kitchen?” I laughed. The next day I went to work and when I came home, my kitchen look like this.
The point of no return.
To be continued….