When you get to be 40licious and start bringing in a regular paycheck, you get to do grown-up things. Like buy property. And do mostly whatever you want to that property. Which is why I one day decided to TAKE OFF MY KITCHEN DOORS AND RE-HANG THEM. Which is really only a job professionals should do. And then, to repair the doors that wouldn’t close, I took out my Makita and sanded those suckers down. And sanded. And you know what? They still sucked. And then I decided to paint. A charming pink, white and black theme, perhaps something a French prostitute might feel comfortable in as she whips up a post-coital omelet.


I’ve since toned down the pink and tried to keep the 1947 character of my home. It ended up like this.
But for the last two years, those doors just dogged me. I decided, finally, to change them. Which involved a lot of conversations telling people I don’t like thermafoil, I want wood, I want to keep the cabinets, I want to do this all in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

After Home Depot tried to extort a colossal amount of money for some cheap-ass refacing with strips of veneer ($22,000! I could built a cabin for that in the woods. In fact, I think I want to move back to the woods right now, especially after my amazing camping trip), I found Arthur. He’s well into his 70s, I’d guess, and kitchens aren’t really his specialty, but he’s certainly lovely, understands the wood issue, and will paint and do everything I want. And of course, it turns out I need a new countertop and blah blah blah. So it’s a full-on remodel.

This is my kitchen now, and for the foreseeable future.

It is its own unique agony. However, there are many lessons learned so far, including:

1. It’s good to take EVERYTHING out of your cupboards at least once a year. That Thai noodle soup mix that looked so good two years ago but languished in the back of the cabinet may make a welcome comeback.
2. It’s better to have a plan than to just “go with it” and call around for the plumber when it’s time to replace the sink.
3. It’s easier to find pantry items and dishes if you organize them in a scheme similar to the way you had them in the cupboards.
4. You may think that having an excuse to eat out every meal is liberating. It is not. Keep your stove working if at all possible. Or you will become cheese and crackers, because that is all you will eat. Especially when your friends get sick of you asking if you can take THEIR leftovers home, too.
5. The neighbors might not be thrilled with workmen parked in the driveway. Bring flowers and OVER-apologize and you will assuage your guilt. Say to your other neighbors, “Well, if Diane was having work done in her place I wouldn’t mind a workman in the driveway. We all need to be flexible.” This is your campaign message.

Vanessa McGradyDemolition

Comments 2

  1. I Speak Film

    You’re very brave to re-do your kitchen. It’ll probably take exactly twice the number of weeks you expect, but it’ll be so awesome and worth it when it’s done.

    Wanna come over to dinner at our house this week? I’d be happy to feed you whatever comfort food you want.


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