Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Craigslist Kitchen

This is the story of a happy couple who moved from a home with a kitchen they had redone themselves--and loved--into a house with a kitchen that was a little past its prime. 1960s cabinets may be sturdy, but they do have a lifespan and they are not as space-efficient as modern-day cabinets. And Linoleum also has a lifespan. As do peach-painted-over-wallpaper-that-was-half-taken-off-leaving-rough-spots walls. In a word, the kitchen made me feel tired. So tired, in fact that this is the only picture we have of the kitchen in its original state.

But a redo was not in the budget. Still, I took my sister-in-law's advice and shopped around on Craigslist to see if I could find a pre-used kitchen that we could affordably re-purpose. A few days later I found one. For $1,900 we could get a kitchen with granite countertops and almost enough cabinets, albeit in a different layout than our kitchen, with most appliances included. Sold.

A few weeks later we had moved those heavy slabs of granite into our garage, stowed the cabinets in every possible corner of house and garage, and the kitchen looked like this. It turned out the walls needed to be completely replaced because of that old paint-over-wallpaper trick, so the project turned slightly larger than anticipated. Although it was easier to move plumbing and electrical with the walls completely gone, so there was that.
One fun aspect of the remodel was the fact that the refrigerator moved places nearly every day. It added a little excitement to my day to hunt for it each morning.
In the meantime I had a little makeshift kitchen in the back hall (what will someday be the mudroom). It was very functional, but did feel cramped after a bit.
Four months of rewiring, re-plumbing, floor installation, and granite fabrication

. . . countless trips to all the local hardware stores . . . and several thousand dollars later (all work done by my talented husband, with a little help from his handy parents . . . I just "supervised" and tried to keep our home life intact), we present to you the Craigslist kitchen.

Note the second sink. My handy hubby cut that sink hole and polished it himself! He was sure we needed one, I thought it was an unnecessary hassle to add plumbing, etc. He was right on this one, for sure. Cleanup after our Christmas dinner for 23 was a snap.

The backsplash was not originally intended to have those white tiles interspersed, but they gave us two boxes of grey tiles and one of white, and rather than drive all the way back to Bollingbrook to replace them, we just made it work. I think I actually prefer it with the white in there.
Hopefully before too long there will be cute little shelves in that space between the cabinets. When you buy a galley-style kitchen and put it in a square one, you have to get a little creative.

(Yes, Taylor family, that is the table and benches that have always lived at grandma and grandpa's house. They have been lovingly preserved in their approximate original location.)


  1. it's beautiful. Your makeshift kitchen looks about like my real kitchen:( I'm not jealous... not a bit. (lol!)

  2. This is so fun to see the progression and to see the beauty of the new space and picture the Taylor family continuing to love and live in that space where we all have such fond memories. Love that you still have the table and benches! Great job on all the work, Jeremy and Mark and Carol! And great job on all the important decision-making and purchasing, Nancy! That can be an equally large job :)