So, I had this insane idea that we had to get most of the kitchen reno done by the time that Clara went to school, because under no circumstances was I going to deal with not having a kitchen during her first weeks of school. All while having the garage doors replaced, going to Maine for a weekend trip, getting Clara ready for starting school, you know, and the rest of my life. HA!
We went back to the contractor that tore out the wall between the kitchen and dining room - even though I had completely embarrassed myself by freaking out about dust. I was really happy with how things turned out in the end, so no reason not to use them again. We had hoped to have them tear out the existing cabinets, the terrible tile, rip up the linoleum on the floor and refinish the hardwoods underneath (even though I really hate these floors - they are pine and dent if I look at them funny) While the walls were torn out, I wanted them to beef up my outlets... add extra sockets and you know, make sure they wouldn't catch on fire, and move the power for the dishwasher because we were moving it to the other side of the sink. Then they were going to make the walls all plastered and pretty, and give me a nice new window frame for the window over the sink. The rest I would do - install the cabinets, re-plumb the sink, install the dishwasher, countertops, new lights, etc.
I spent a load of time working on the ikea website to find a design that I hoped worked - I still panicked several times. I'm just not a design person naturally and, seriously, this is a room I spend 90% of my waking hours in. What if I messed it up and ended up with a terrible kitchen? It's not like I was going to get another chance at it.
When we got our estimate I freaked out a bit and started cutting things off of our list. A few things from the Ikea list - like the pantry next to the fridge, and a few things off of the contractor list - like the floor refinishing. The pantry we may do later, but we have some other ideas for finishing around the fridge which may suit our needs better, and the floor refinishing I would manage to do as well.
Once we got the budget down to something we could afford I went to Ikea with the girls and bought the whole shebang and scheduled the contractors to come. We had this lovely idea that I would spend the time during the construction in Maine and Josh would stay home to manage the project. But that ended up not working out. We did take a whirlwind trip to Maine because my brother was visiting, because why not? (I am so obviously insane.)
I did completely overdo myself trying to get the house spotless for the construction and ended up giving myself a migraine for my trip to Maine (see above insanity)
The first day of work took our kitchen from here: (photos we took before we bought the house... I never took before photos of the kitchen because I hated it *so* much)
Even blurry, you get the idea....