Our Kitchen Renovation Story
Our website hasn’t had much update since last November. Although we made a lot of progress in the backend work of our app (spoiler alert – app coming in early Summer!), we haven’t made any new recipes because we were out of our kitchen. If you’ve missed us – well, we are back, and with a brand spanking new kitchen!
Kitchen is my favorite part of a home. Cooking is my type of meditation and the kitchen is my spiritual temple. When Alex and I started dating, we hung out in the kitchen of my downtown apartment a lot. It was tiny but had everything I needed. I would whip up a cake, sous vide a pear, hand torch a crème brûlée – what did a wise woman once say: the path to a man’s heart is through his stomach. One day, after another lip-smacking and finger-licking meal, Alex looked at me with stars in his eyes, and said, “One day I will build you a kitchen as big as an airport, and you will need a golf cart, to travel from your fridge to your sink.” That moment he had just landed in my heart as well.
After we got married we moved to an old house in an old neighborhood. The kitchen was far from being an airport. It was uninspiring, outdated, and not very functional. The overhead cabinets squat in the middle of the ceiling and separate the room into two confused and enclosed pockets. The dishwasher and the oven are facing each other in the tight alley and either door can jam up the traffic. There was also not enough storage for pots and pans, let alone my three different types of blenders. Counterspace was a precious real estate that sometimes I found myself shovel bowls on top of one other during cooking. Lastly, lighting. I mean, it doesn’t have to be lit up like a stadium, but a functional kitchen should be well lit, especially over the workspace. A good speaker helps too, by the way. All that being said, this kitchen had the potential though. It has a good size footprint. It has two huge picture windows looking right into the backyard, where my lovely chickens roam. When we bought the house, I saw a raw gem awaiting to be discovered – I meant, an airport, to be discovered.
We started planning a reno by the end of 2019, and you know what happened next in 2020. We waited and waited, until a time we felt safe enough to have the reno crew start working. In a hindsight, the waiting process allowed us to refine our thoughts and reshape the design. And trust me, once you’ve gone through a renovation, you would understand how most people underestimate the amount of work a home owner had to put up with. A good design should streamline the work flow, optimize the storage and should take into consideration the stuff you’ve already owned, not to mention the endless job to select appliances, cabinets, countertop, sink, fixture, lightings, furniture, floor, tiles, color, trim, stain, grain… I, who had earned her interior design degree from Pinterest, soon found herself mired in indecisiveness. The ambitious husband who had once wanted to build an airport, realized a kitchen reno is a more formidable beast.
a tour of the ongoing process
stripping and sanding the paint
our shelves were made from dried wood cut from our tree. We took it to a local woodworking shop and at a very reasonable cost they were able to cut them to size, run them through a joiner
Eventually we took off. The reno started in late 2020 and lasted well into the February of the new year. Finally, here we are: an open floor kitchen, flooded with light, an island connecting the main cooking stations and the pantry suite with a recessed fridge, mid-century barstools inviting guests to take a seat and enjoy the food. The golf cart to travel from my fridge to my sink? Well, we haven’t got one because the fridge and the sink were deliberately designed to be just across a walking aisle from each other, 44 inches apart, to be exact. I guess for now, I am okay without one.
As our story, as well as the story of Mealvana, unfolds in the kitchen, we invite you to come along with us, cook and meal plan with us. Welcome to our new kitchen!