our kitchen: Phase One

Tomorrow summer vacation is over for me and I am back to work! T is on a fishing trip in Idaho and Montana and our little kitchen phase one project is coming to a close. Remember when I was talking about it back in April? There are a few details I hope T will finish when he gets back, but it looks like this is the version of the kitchen we will be having for a while.
Just for reference, here is what the kitchen looked like before we started. Not seeing a big difference? No problem. I can point it out to you
See that thing where the original kitchen cabinets are attached. We had that taken out. It was quite the project. And when the wall was open, there were some things we decided we should probably do. Because it seemed smarter than opening up the wall again.

The original cabinets, I was going to repaint them and put them back up. When we got them down and got a good look at them, T convinced me it wasn't a good idea. Complete kitchen cabinets are pretty pricey, but base cabinets without doors are not. So we decided to go with base cabinets, and to buy doors when we have more cash. That is why we currently have the very open-shelves look above. And while I was planning on having that look for one section of shelves, I am now thinking of leaving more of them open.
So what was Kitchen: Phase One? It was removing the top cabinets. Removing the soffit the cabinets were attached too. Installing new, taller cabinets and maybe a few more details. I wanted it to be done by the end of June. It wasn't. But T ended up doing a lot of work on it and I am grateful because it looks AWESOME and I am very happy with it.

A few upgrades include a new Vent-a-hood, range hood. Our last one was awful and T and my sisters used to say I cooked by fire alarm because I set it off all the time.....

In the spot where I had a make-shift shelf and counter where the washer and dryer used to be, T built a permanent extension of the lower cabinets. He wanted to get a new (cheap) counter top to go across all our counter tops, but we didn't like any of the ones we found and decided we can live with it until Phase Two, when we do the lower section of the kitchen.
The new base cabinet needed to be painted, so I painted all the lower cabinets in the kitchen. The hinges had been painted over multiple times but I was able to save them by removing them from the cabinet doors, simmering them with baking soda like this video suggests, cleaning them and removing the paint, and painting them with Rustoleum Satin Nickel spray paint. I was pretty proud of that one.
I also painted the back door Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore relined all the base cabinets and drawers with cork and re-organized everything. My Use It or Lose It theme really paid off in the kitchen!
The kitchen project took much longer than I thought it would to complete (typical) but I had tried to set up a functional kitchen space in our back patio. It ended up working really well. We BBQed a lot and I got really creative with our little toaster oven. Ironically we ended up having lots of impromptu meals on our back patio with neighbors or my sisters. We basically lived out there for a few weeks. Here is a picture of our patio / kitchen. The dressers are going to Mammoth, but they were very handy for storing all our dishes.
At the end of the day you might ask us if it was worth it. We did all this to gain an extra foot of storage, and I will tell you it was worth it! T and I both hated that soffit and that extra foot is great. In Phase Two we want to raise the counter tops and in Phase One we were able to raise the top cabinets. I am very happy and hope the last few details get finished when T returns so I won't think about the kitchen again until it is time for Phase Two!
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go cook something fabulous in my newish kitchen!

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