Okay, so this is not my kitchen. You will see my kitchen down below (you’ll notice the difference.) This kitchen, designed by Studio McGee, is part of the inspiration for our very own kitchen transformation.
Every Story Has a Beginning. This is Mine!
Every morning starts with a routine. For me, it is the same almost every day. Get up, use the bathroom, get in the shower, shave, get dressed, and walk to the kitchen. I like to think that this is pretty similar to most others normal start to the day.
However, here is where my story changes. When I walk to the kitchen, I immediately think to myself and sometimes even mutter out loud, “This Kitchen Sucks.” Every day for the past 12 years, I am very aware of this fact. And yet, I have done nothing to change it.
About the Project…
Here’s some background information to give you a little better insight. My wife and I moved to this new home in the fall of 2005. We brought with us three great children (9, 7, and 3 years old). We loved the home for its location and the yard that we knew would be perfect for our growing kids. A California style ranch, it was the talk of the town when it was built back in 1950. In 2005 though, not so much. It showed its age and needed many improvements. As an architect, I saw the potential. With a few changes, I thought we could make this home our modern cottage and a place to raise our growing family. My wife and I were eager to take on those challenges.
Throughout the years, we have updated the home. First, we added a master bedroom, bath and closet. Next, we reconfigured the existing space from a two-bedroom home to a four-bedroom home, adding value for sure. We also renovated the living area, creating a vaulted ceiling and added some better windows and insulation. All of this work enhanced the function of the home for our family and our unique circumstances. In fact, every project we have taken on has made the home more enjoyable for our family. All the while, the kitchen and mudroom remained pristine to the 1951 original home. Why have I been hesitant to tackle this project – the room that we live in the most?
A view of my central “work zone” – this has got to change!
I have come to realize that it all boils down to fear. I have been afraid to start this project because it is complex. Intrusive. Disruptive. Dirty and messy. And, it will cost a lot of money. So, if I, a trained and practicing residential architect who has been designing homes for 35 years, gets freaked out by a project and all of the daunting tasks associated with it, then so must almost everyone else. Many of us live in homes that we know have more potential, but we fail to transform those spaces into the homes we have always dreamed about because of fear of the unknown.
“We Create Barriers That Keep Us From Reaching Our Dreams”
So, partly from fear, and partly from knowing the pain of renovation, our kitchen has sat idle. It has become our own personal museum of kitchens of the past – a constant reminder of how to not design for today. Oh, and by the way, the more we push this project down the road, the worse the kitchen becomes. For instance, we haven’t replaced a broken dishwasher because we know a project is coming. So, that dishwasher has sat as a glorified drying rack for 5 years now. Every morning I am reminded of how much my kitchen sucks.
Through the years, I have helped hundreds of people design the homes and kitchens of their dreams. I think that my design practice, Point One Architects, does a great job guiding people through this complex process. It’s not always easy, but it has always been fun. Now, it’s time to test that theory by inserting myself (and my very understanding family) into the picture. It’s time for us to change the narrative, stop complaining and take action.
A detail shot of the clutter and outdated counter material.
Please Join Me!
I invite you to join us on this journey of a kitchen remodel. I do not know how this story ends, but we will find out together. However, I will share the lessons I learn along the way – good and bad! It will be fun. It will be frustrating. But most importantly, it will be an education.