Family · Home · Kitchen

Kitchen is FINISHED! Before and After

The Kitchen is FINISHED!

This was a long process, but well worth the wait. I LOVE the open space and the flow of the kitchen, inspiring me to cook even more (good thing with all of the CSA fruits and vegetables I get each week).

Initially I was worried that I would lose storage by removing the cabinets over the peninsula, but found that I have plenty of storage with more efficient, pull-out drawers in the lower cabinets and taller cabinets as a result of popping the ceiling.

I had the good fortune of working with a wonderful contractor and his team and absolutely love the results!


kitchen 2008

The photo above was taken in 2008 and shows how the cabinets over the peninsula blocked the view and light. You also have a peak into the formal dining room.


This photo was taken right before the kitchen demo began in May 2015. We had already removed the cabinets over the peninsula. which opened up the kitchen a great deal but not to the extent it would when we removed the wall into the dining room.


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The open view into the kitchen is a dramatic change, opening up the house more than I could ever imagine.

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The kitchen sink remained in the same place under the window to the sun room and the backyard.


This photo is taken from the peninsula toward the cooktop and the opening to the formal living room. Lala the Chihuahua took advantage of the photo op!

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The cooktop moved from the former wall between the kitchen and dining room to the wall along with the refrigerator. We closed the opening into the formal living room about 12 inches to accommodate the cooktop and the extra cabinets.  The change had no significant impact on the opening to the living room and provides for great flow in the kitchen.


This photo shows the sliding barn door that we installed into the sun room. I LOVE this door and admit it is open 90% of the time. The sliding barn door is far more efficient that the previous, traditional door.

Fork-Lore Kitchen Remodel Past Posts:

Family · Home · Home · Kitchen

Kitchen is on the Uphill Slide

The Kitchen Remodel has turned the corner. It’s beginning to look like like a real kitchen.  Or, as my brother says, ‘the taking out is over and now you’re putting things in.’  Good way to look at it.

So where are we?

  • Design Complete, Appliances Ordered, Cabinets Ordered: CHECK
  • Cabinets and appliances removed: CHECK
  • Asbestos Abatement: CHECK

Asbestos Work Begins

  • Fixtures and cabinet handles ordered: CHECK
  • Backsplash ordered: CHECK
  • Granite Ordered: CHECK


  • City Permit in Place: CHECK
  • Dumpster arrives (just in time to put all of the tree damage from the Mother’s Day snow storm): CHECK
  • Structural walls and ceiling removed:  CHECK

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  • Plumbing moves and changes completed: CHECK


  • Electrical moves and changes completed: CHECK


  • Cabinets delivered: CHECK
  • Drywall installed: CHECK
  • Tape, Mud and Texture completed: CHECK
  • Wood Floor Patches: CHECK


  • Downstairs Doors Installed: CHECK
  • Cabinets Installed (except for a couple of pieces to be replaced): CHECK


  • Counter top Template:  CHECK


  • Appliances Installed:
  • Lighting and Plumbing Installs Completed:
  • Final Wood Trim and Crown Molding Installed:
  • Countertop Installed:
  • Backsplash Installed:
  • Wood floor refinished:
  • Painting:
  • Dogs go into depression with all of their new friends gone:
  • Move furniture back into the house:
  • Glass of Wine and a big sigh of relief: CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH

Once all of the work is done, I will post the before and after shots.  Stay tuned!





Home · Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel, here we go…no…wait!

People have told me for years that a remodel project will always take longer than you expect because of unforeseen issues. Got that right!


I’m not big on snap decisions so I was torn on whether to take down the wall between the formal dining room (used once or twice a year) and the kitchen. Should I pop the dropped ceiling in the kitchen? Was it worth the time and investment?

I spent the bulk of the winter planning, working with a designer, visiting showroom after showroom until I felt confident in my choices.

By the end of April the appliances and cabinets were ordered. The contractor was scheduled and soon I finalized orders for hardware, doors, tile and other details. Now the waiting game begins.

Before the actual construction began, I solicited the support of my son-in-laws to help remove the cabinets to either donate or use in their own garages.  The process was easier than I thought…all systems go.

Next step was to remove the drywall on the ceiling and between the kitchen and dining room.  I signed up to do that myself (I know…not smart).  However, I did think to get an asbestos and lead test before I began this project.  The test revealed a small amount of asbestos in the wall and ceiling texture, more than allowed.  First budget and time set back.  Oh well, I’ll chalk it up to just one of those things.

Next, the permit was pulled and  the contractors crew came out to demo the structural pieces while the plumbing and electrical crew assessed needed changes.  Needless to say, we must have had a prior ‘do it yourselfer’, so the extent of the work was greater than expected.  Oh well, better to do it right than regret it later.

In the meantime, my house is quite a sight. Frig in the living room by the front door, new doors stacked throughout the 1st floor, furniture and old cabinets stuffed into the garage, and constant dust.  I’ve learned to embrace the dust and know that it doesn’t matter.


Cooking, other than microwave reheats, is down to zilch. Cheese and crackers, grapes and cherries, Rudi’s gluten free Cherry Almond Bars, popcorn, and hot dogs top the list.  Eating out and meals with the McKennas have been wonderful.  Soon, I hope to be able to cook REAL food and use the greens waiting in my garden.

It’s exciting, I suppose, or will be once it’s done.  The dogs aren’t complaining as this is the most excitement they’ve had in years!

I am lucky to have a wonderful contractor and crew to work with. Any way you slice it, it’s a long, involved process.  Be prepared, be patient, and look forward to the day you can cook your favorite foods once again.

Family · Family Favorites · Holidays · Home · Kitchen

Kitchen Memories

Kitchen Memories started to flood back to me as I looked at my kitchen for the last time before the cabinets were removed.  So many conversations took place in my kitchen with our girls from babyhood to teenage years to adult years.  Meals were prepared for many loved ones, some of which are now gone.

Kitchen 2015 after the cabinets over the island were removed.

When we first moved into our Smurf blue house in 1988, the kitchen had brown, patterned kitchen carpet, one of the worst ideas on the planet. The Cherry Cabinets were quite nice and the Columbine (Colorado’s State Flower) tile was fitting of the ‘country’ craze at the time.

This kitchen became the heart of our home. Weekday mornings were frantic as Karl and I prepared for work so the girls would often gather on the floor of the kitchen as I prepared breakfast and our lunches.

As I look at the kitchen for the last time, a stream of memorable movies play in my head, including:

  • Homework, Science experiments, crafting
  • Holiday meal preparations
  • Meal preparation while the kids often sat on the counter to chat and share
  • My mother, when visiting, making homemade egg noodles on my kitchen counter to freeze for later use
  • Making our Christmas favorite Kringla for the holidays
  • Birthday Celebrations
  • Christmas parties & Mother’s Day Coffee
  • Dying Easter Eggs

Sarah and Megan dye Easter Eggs 1991

  • Teaching the girls to bake

Megan and Sarah bake a cake 1991

  • Rescuing animals or playing with our own pets

Daddy has a bird

  • Running Circle through the house (Gamma Stout and Sarah)

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  • Preparing flowers for the Megan (top) and Sarah’s (second) weddings

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  • Evan’s 2nd birthday, the last event in the old kitchen.


So here we go…out with the old and in with the new! I’m soooo ready…

Family · Home

Kitchen Remodel…what led up to this decision?

Kitchen Remodel…something I’ve dreamed of for the past 15 years when my current kitchen began to literally fall apart. Doors and drawers would not close, cabinet doors were breaking off and I contributed to the kitchen’s demise through a series of mishaps.

A few years ago I got the bright idea to paint my refrigerator black instead of the dated almond color. We tried to disconnect the water to the ice maker but the water would not shut off.  Since I wasn’t ready to flood the 1st floor and basement, I decided it would be easier to paint the refrigerator indoors.  Easy, peasy…I would build a tent around the refrigerator and floor and use spray epoxy black paint.

It is clear to me now that I was missing a few brain cells when I made this decision. Not only was I setting myself up to be asphyxiated, but little did I know the extent of this bad decision.

I could only remove one door of the refrigerator to take outdoors and paint. The other was connected to the water line and, again, I was flood adverse.  I took the door outdoors and spread out the plastic against a garden wall to start the process.  The paint went on very nicely and I puffed out my chest that I had this great idea saving myself so much money.

Next, I moved indoors to build the tent and start the indoor process.  I used a mile of tape and plastic sheeting and was ready to go.  As I started painting, my daughter Sarah dropped by.  She stayed outside the ‘tent’ and watched as I started painting.

Suddenly, Sarah tells me to stop. Why? Well, the fine mist of the paint was leaching out of the ‘tent’ and was  all over my hardwood floors. OMG! Now what? Sarah and I immediately tried to wipe up the paint but it didn’t work.  My mind was in overdrive and had no idea what to do with this colossal mess.  We tried Murphy’s Oil soap…no luck.  Next, we tried Pledge Furniture Cleaner with Orange Oil and it started to release. We worked liked maniacs trying to somehow correct this disaster.  The majority of the paint was ultimately removed but left a dull residue over half of the downstairs hardwood floors.


But that wasn’t the end of it.  My refrigerator was only partially painted. Do I ditch this project and just get a new frig?  No, there has to be another way.  My answer to this question was to take a paint brush outside and spray with the paint and then RUN in the house and apply it; then repeat again and again. No joke…I did this until the refrigerator was black, not almond.

After allowing the paint to dry, I went outside to bring the one refrigerator door back in when I realized the plastic had blown over one side of the door and stuck to the door. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!  I gently pryed the plastic away from the door and admired the plastic adherence blemish on the door. Oh well, I’ll do the paint brush run, again, to try to fix the problem.  Is this beginning to sound like a rerun of the ‘I Love Lucy’ show?

I carried the door into the kitchen and placed it against the kitchen counter while I gather the tools and hardware to attach the door.  I turn and hear a terrible crash. The door slipped and fell hard against my lovely (ahem) laminate counters leaving a very large crack and chip to the counter.  Who ever said third time was a charm?


Finally, I put the refrigerator together and stared at the counter. A call to my handyman and a few dollars later he patched it back together. It was functional but darn ugly!

I lived with this disaster for 2 years before I replaced the refrigerator and 3 years before it was finally time to gut the kitchen and start over, the right way.

Since I won’t have a kitchen for many weeks, I’ll be sharing kitchen memories, remodeling experiences and hopefully a happy ending.  Needless to say, I’m not doing this myself!