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Kitchen Work

April 20, 2011

The Midwestern Gentleman and I just bought our first house, so the next month or so will be a bit hectic as we pack up, move, and get settled into our new digs — a well-maintained, 1920s bungalow with loads of historic charm.  Even though the kitchen is a bit dated, the space gave me such a warm feeling when I walked in that I knew I would be happy cooking there.

My first order of business, before moving in and unpacking, will be to paint the kitchen cabinets.  So much oak feels oppressive in a small space, so I am going to paint the cabinets a creamy white to brighten up the space and make it feel bigger.

We’ll also be ripping out the kitschy tile at some point, but my main concern before move-in is the cabinets.  I’ll give you fair warning now that I’ll be slipping the occasional DIY post in among the culinary ones as we set about making the house our home.

We’ll be saving up for new appliances, but until then, I will also be posting about my adventures with our Amana “Radarange Plus,” a combination microwave and range in a single unit (the controls for the range are actually on the microwave panel).  We’re pretty sure that our model dates back to the late 1970s/early 1980s.  I get a kick out of the faux wood paneling on the oven handle — it reminds me of the wood-panelled station wagons that were so popular in the 1970s.

Our first meal in our new house was a lunch of Subway take-out, which we ate picnic-style on the hardwood floor of the living room.  Humble, to be sure, but we anticipate many wonderful, home-cooked meals to come — once I get those cabinets painted.

  1. Jody permalink
    April 20, 2011 8:53 am

    Painting the kitchen cabinets was one of my first projects too! I had to wait for the weather to warm up enough so I could open the windows and do my sanding outside, though — that was a long four or five months. Good luck!

  2. April 20, 2011 9:06 am

    Thanks, Jody! This bout of winter-like cold, rain, and snow has been tormenting me. I’m working on the cabinet boxes right now, but fingers are crossed for a sunny day above 50 degrees so I can sand all the doors and drawers out in the garage.

  3. April 20, 2011 6:16 pm

    Congratulations! When I bought this house, my first, I had a long list of things I wanted to do. Economics and inertia has dwindled that list. It’s amazing what you can actually live with. My advice: first choose the projects that in the rooms that you live in most. Then, if you run out of energy or need to save for more work, you can at least have a couple rooms that make you feel good.

    For me it was the kitchen. I didn’t have a lot to spend, but it is amazing how fancy knobs on the kitchen cabinets and a new self-installed-self-stick vinyl floor can brighten things up.

  4. April 21, 2011 8:39 pm

    Thanks, Beth – I appreciate the advice, and am starting to see the wisdom in it! Like you & Jody, I am making the kitchen my priority. Gloomy Iowa winters will be a lot more manageable with a bright, cheery kitchen to spend time in.

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