When we bought our house 9 months ago we knew it needed a ton of updating.

To this point we’ve done somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4’s of a ton worth of work.

One area that still needs more attention is the kitchen.  We’ve done a few cosmetic things, but ever since the day we saw the place Jen has wanted to change the feel and flow of that space to open it up.

My job as the budget watcher has been to remind her that we couldn’t afford to make radical changes- rerouting plumbing, moving windows, replacing cabinetry, etc.   Of course this challenge has only made Jen think harder about how she can pull it off despite the limitations.

Then one day we’re standing in the kitchen and Jen tells me that she’d stayed up until 3am that night and figured it out.  ALL we need to do is cut apart a few cabinets, rebuild and relocate them, patch the floor and VIOLA- we’re good.  I’m not sure what I said next, but the look on my face clearly communicated what was in my head- “Woman you must be crazy!”.  Eventually I had the good sense to tell her that I’d mull over her idea.

Enter my friend Jim.  Jim is a member of our church community who coincidentally used to be a master cabinet maker in a previous phase of his life.  You can guess what happened next when Jen discovered this.  Jim ends up standing in our kitchen taking in Jen’s plan.  After her pitch he said, “I think we can make that happen.”

We put two different dates on the books to have Jim start the project.  Both got canceled due to kid’s illnesses.  Then on Sunday Jim approached me and asked what I was doing today.  He works for a school system and was off for MLK day.  He told us that he wanted to use his day off to work on our kitchen.  Which was very welcome news.

So today I went to work and Jen and Jim launched their master plan for kitchen dominance.  I thought this would be a 3 day project.  Jim and Jen finished it today.  Take a peek:

The kitchen we used to have. An L-shape counter divided the space in half and the fridge was in an awkward spot.


The L-shaped counter has been cut off and repositioned where the fridge used to be. The flow is opened up, the room is more balanced and the space feels more natural.  (The dark spot on the floor shows you where the old counter was.)


Meet our friend Jim. He’s got carpentry skills for days.  An hour before I took this shot, the cabinet he’s working on was just a pile of wood in the driveway.


We had to turn a double cabinet into a single. Eventually we’ll add another cabinet over the fridge.


So short story- Jim and Jen 1- Kitchen 0.

Of course we’re far from done.  Now we need to paint and reface the cabinets, scrape newly exposed popcorn ceiling (uggghh), install new counters (wait until you hear Jen’s plan for that), replace the crown moulding, get new appliances, install flooring, paint, etc.

So, if you are feeling handy, let Jen know.

She’ll put you to work.