Dear Friends:

My column today is the first, in a three-part series, regarding our kitchen re-design. It is not feasible to cover this project in one column. My goal is: To inspire and give you ideas for your own kitchens, and provide you with names of local professionals/craftsmen who can be of valuable assistance, should a kitchen renovation be in your plans. Also, I hope after following along with me, you may choose to “Pause and Think Before You Toss it in The Bin.” Know I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and always welcome your comments.

We have lived in our wonderful old home (built in 1939) for ten years. Certain areas of our kitchen have been somewhat difficult for us, considering my husband and I both enjoy cooking. Specifically, drawer space. There were only two, deep drawers and one small flatware drawer. The two deep drawers were an absolute nightmare. One was on a “seek and find mission” anytime something was needed from one of these drawers. Also, the kitchen is small, roughly 10×15, and the cabinets are stained blue. However, the basic lay-out of the kitchen is good. The solid oak cabinets are in excellent condition, and the blue stain is not an issue. All this being said, we were in a dilemma as to what to do. Did we want to tear it out and start over, or were there solutions to the problems? Time to call the professionals.

Enter, Jim Walls from Hartland Planing Mill. Jim has had years of experience with home remodeling/building. He sees solutions to problem areas the homeowner may not see, and he is extremely thoughtful regarding his suggestions. After talking with Jim, we made the decision to improve what we had. Because, if we tore it out, a 10×15 kitchen still remained. Therefore, the first order of business, those dreadful drawers located under the wall oven. My very smart husband had the idea to move the oven up creating space for another drawer. My question: How in the world would anyone ever match the blue? Jim told us he knew someone who could make additional drawers and felt certain he could also match the color. I had my doubts on this one, but I did not know Jim Marsh.

READ:  Pause and Think Before You Toss it in The Bin - Part II: Countertop Selection

Next up, Jim Marsh. Jim’s initial visit to our kitchen was in the fall of 2015. We talked about many things and what we sought to accomplish. After much thought and a great deal of precise measuring, Jim agreed by moving the oven up, he could create three additional and functional drawers under the oven. He would leave in place one deep drawer at the bottom, cut down the second-deep drawer and make not one, but two additional drawers. Major problem solved. However, one problem remained: an open space, originally designed not to have doors. Indeed, my pet peeve! Simply a catch-all for everything and certainly not attractive. After considerable thought, I solved the problem. I asked Jim to make two doors for this space with a shelf on the inside for additional storage. A beautiful solution, for an unattractive space. Additionally, Jim built pull out drawers under the sink, added trim to the bottom of the cabinets, and made new trim, completely matching the old trim, for a doorway leading out of the kitchen. Last, and most definitely not least, after endless hours of work, and numerous trips to our home, Jim perfectly matched the blue stain for the cabinets. THANK YOU, Jim Marsh!

Stay with me. February 25 – Part II, Tile work and countertops.