Wooooo hoo, we finally started (and finished) phase II of our kitchen renovation! I was beginning to feel like it would never happen, since it's been a year and a half since phase I was done.
The lower cabinets around the perimiter of the kitchen came in Phase I, and it was the rest of the upppers and the hood that came in Phase II.
Here's a crappy cell phone picture of everything we ripped out. Including that extraordinarily well built soffit. Holy cow, that thing was strong. Gives me some confidence about the overall strength and quality of my home, if I have to work really hard to destroy something.
Most of the new functionality of the kitchen was added in Phase I, with the gas cooktop, double ovens, and new sink. But in this phase, I got a real vent for the first time ever! No more awful over-the oven microwave/re-circulating vent that only makes noise and doesn't do anything useful! This thing actually works. Fancy that! It was part of my amazing craigslist Thermador appliance score, in which I bought the cooktop, double ovens, and hood all for $700. It's just been sitting in our garage for the past year and a half, and I am so delighted it finally has a place in our kitchen! Maybe after Phase III I'll even be able to park in the garage. I know, I know, don't get crazy now, Nikki.
We used cabinets from Cabinets to Go, and I just love them. They're about the same price as going with Ikea cabinets, but they're all hardwood, with gorgeous premium features like full extension drawers with dovetail joints, and soft close mechanisms.
The Cabinets to Go products are what's called RTA, or Ready to Assemble. So there's a little bit of work involved in taking them out of the flat-packed boxes and putting them together. But not much, really. They were incredibly easy to assemble, and I easily fit all the cabinets in my trusty Kia Sedona minivan.
I freakin love my minivan. Not only can I haul around kids and friends for the stereotypical mommy-minivan duties, but I can haul anything in this thing. Who needs a truck? I can fold down the chairs and fit just about anything in the back, and not have to worry about tying things down so they won't fly away.
Update: My Kia Sedona minivan had plenty of capacity (I loved the space), but it died a horrible, complete death 2,000 miles after it was out of warrantee. Two months after it had been at the dealer for regular maintenence and an inspection. Have not had a response back from Kia.
All the supplies for the wood-fired oven I built in my backyard? While pregnant with my second daughter (really)? No trucks involved. Buying furniture and appliances off Craigslist from all parts of the Phoenix metro area? Enough bamboo hardwood and wood subfloor to replace all the nasty carpet downstairs? No trucks needed. All the supplies I need to a party or photo shoot at a site other than my house? Do you even need to ask? One load in my minivan. I guess I might actually want to use a truck if I wanted to haul manure, but since I'm a pretty pathetic gardener, that's never been an issue.
For Phase III (tentatively scheduled for this August--YAY, not more than a year away!), we'll be replacing the kitchen island. Making it bigger and more useful, and it will house the Sharp drawer microwave (another Craigslit buy waiting out in our garage for its turn). And with granite, too. I cannot wait for Operation Gingerbread this year! I have to say, I'll miss the turquoise blue in the kitchen. I'm so glad I decided to have fun and paint my cabinets a wacky color while I was waiting to get on with Phase II of the kitchen remodel.
I still need to put all of my cake stands back, re-attach the under cabinet lighting, and add the crown molding. But it is so nice to have finished up this stage of the project. I love DIY!
My Kia Sedona minivan had plenty of capacity (I loved the space), but it died a horrible, complete death 2,000 miles after it was out of warrantee. Two months after it had been at the dealer for regular maintenence and an inspection. Have not had a response back from Kia.