A New Bouchon-ing Place

Well, this summer I gave my ugly ’87 kitchen a micro-mini (read…cheap) makeover.  She was SO yellow-brown.  All over.  And I couldn’t let her feel ashamed a moment longer.  And let’s be honest, I’m a homeschooler.  Which means, for those of you who don’t, that summer is THE only time for me to accomplish anything that doesn’t have to do with shaping young minds.

IMG_4772This is where it all started.  Well, obviously about three hours before this I also had cabinet doors.  Being the astute ex-photojournalist I am, I forgot to take that picture.  So, we begin here.  You get the idea.  See how dark and dungeon-y my kitchen was? So sad and unacceptable for a Tree House.  Months before this, I had tried more-than-I-care-to-mention gray color samples on my cabinet doors in order to reach the right decision.  For those months, my cabinets looked like this:


My husband was very patient.

So, first things first, early summer vacation in Maui, which was magic all it’s own.


And then I (we) got down to business:


It was (is), by the way, summer here in dear old Cali.  And a scorcher at that.  So I found me some nice shady work spots.


You know how everyone likes to jovially say, “humans plan and God laughs”?  Well, let’s just say that while I don’t exactly think that God was “laughing”, this knife, which accidentally got inserted into my leg, surely put a jarring halt on the whole kitchen remodel process.   Enough about that. Let’s move on.


There were a few other distractions:


Fruit trees bursting with abundance. This was ONE of many harvests….


There was also squash coming out of our ears.  Which led, necessarily, to this:


Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the abundance.

And, sometimes you also have to stop and enjoy a Summer Super Moon and some awesome sunsets:



And while all this summer super-awesomeness was happening, so was the kitchen.  Therefore, this is what happened:


I just want you, dear reader, to fully understand what it means to DIY your kitchen remodel.  Keepin it real friends.

So, the yellow doors were removed and the entire contents of my kitchen were relocated for a duration TBD.  And yellow doors were cleaned and sanded.  And sanded.  And sanded.  And then there were the cabinet frames to undergo the same process. Some of which became casualties along the way.  Because they blocked views – views which make the Tree House, the Tree House.  And some because they just made me feel closed in.  So off they went.  And it was magic.  Not butter and flour magic, mind you, but that will soon follow.


This was the first to go.  Because, look.  It was right when you walked in the door and it blocked a magical view.  So my cabinet fairies removed it.  Look what was underneath the nasty plywood!


The continuation of the beautimous wood beam that runs across the kitchen.  Why would anyone cover that up!!


And because I have an awesome carpenter-dad, he did his carpenter-y thing and made a chalkboard out of the bare end of the cabinet.  Ta-da!

I was making progress, happily having begun the priming on my frames, when the second cabinet casualty became necessary.  See that one in the corner? Yeah, so invasive.


Not to fear. I had a great demo crew.  Did I mention how awesome my hubby was through all of this?  Another cabinet gone?  Sure, honey.

IMG_4835But seriously?  Can I get an “amen”?? Lovely spot for some future open shelving. And while we’re on the subject of how much creative license my amazing husband gave me with this kitchen, look at this:

IMG_4854A darling curtain under the sink to add a little color and a lot of character.  Let’s just pause a minute to talk about some logistics.  When you remove all your drawer fronts to paint them, means will necessitate you to still be able to open your drawers without (hopefully) severing your fingers.  So we had what I like to call “Red Neck” drawer pulls during the remodel.  Another name might be: screws.

IMG_4776So much ugly on the way to pretty. *sigh

So let’s see, what was next?  Well, here are some “during” shots:

IMG_4794I love this shot.  What really matters?  Can we find the tortilla chips?  Yes?  And the margarita mix? Ok, all is well.

IMG_4873Closing in on the final stretch.  Wall paint complete.  Frame paint complete.  Hideous poly-coated butcher block counter tops sanded, sanded and sanded again to a fine, smooth finish by yours truly.  Oh, I didn’t mention that?  Yeah, it happened.  This pic does no justice, so use your imagination.


And while you’re using your imagination, consider this: imagine you move into your dream house.  Only, the oven looks like this:

IMG_4825AND…you’re a baker.  And you try not to cry because this is your dream house and darn it, you’re going to suck it up and bake in this thing until it dies.  And then imagine that by some gift, your contentment pays off, and the thing dies while you are humbly and cheaply remodeling your dream house kitchen.  Imagine yourself jumping up and down one night (not too crazily, by the way, you do have a stab wound) because you realize 30 minutes after turning old Bessy on, that she is COLD.  Oh delight!  Oh joy!  What gift is this?  The oven has died of it’s own free will, of old age and not your vanity!  And then imagine while you patiently wait and search for open box specials, that your truly incredible husband comes home with this:

IMG_4951A high-end GE convection oven found at a local Re-Store for…..$95.00.  No.Joke.  You dance again.  This time, less painfully.

Also, how about that open cabinet for my cook books?  Nice, yes?

IMG_4844Way back when, my afore-mentioned fantastic hubby created this fire ladder pot rack for me.  It works so well here, I love it!

Also, if I can just take a second to say: I’m a genius.  Fed up with nasty self-adhesive shelf paper, I came up with this alternative:

IMG_4849OILCLOTH.  STAPLE GUN.  Do it.  It’s so pretty and happy.  And durable.

IMG_4852Whew.  This was a long one.

Many distractions and injuries later, not only did my kitchen find it’s way back home, but so did my dining room:


It really is my happy place.  I’m really glad we started the updating process here, because I truly spend SO much time in this room.IMG_4908


My new Bouchon-ing place is so happy, colorful, warm, bright, hand-made, cozy.  SO ME!!  I feel like this kitchen is mine now.  So even though there was a lot of this:


and, admittedly, some of this:

IMG_4785It was all so worth it.  For probably less than $500, including paint, supplies, oven, curtain, spray paint for the hardware and pulls, and lots (TONS) of elbow grease, I got a new kitchen.  I smile every single time I walk in.  Except. When I see that knife.  Then I cringe.


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