Our Geek Home

Creating our geeky home together

Last Summer’s Kitchen Project

Our current big project isn’t even in our own house.  My Mother-In-Law has a horribly dysfunctional kitchen built in the 1930’s and we are tackling it for her.  The choices she wants to make are not exactly our taste, but hey, she’s the designer, not us!

But last summer we embarked on a rather large partial project.  Partial as in, it’s not done yet!

We owned two houses for a while.  One we live in, and one that we have not lived in for 4 years now.  But before we moved out of the old house we remodeled the kitchen.

The old kitchen's workspace


That was the entirety of the workspace of the old kitchen.  There was one metal cabinet hanging above it and a refrigerator across the room.  And that was the kitchen.  Hooray for 1940’s military housing!

newkitchenIt wasn’t the best remodel, but for the space we were working with and the budget we had, I think we did a pretty good job with it!

But fast forwarding to last summer…

That house, and all the houses in the neighborhood, had the value plummet.  A lot.  It’s last known value was sitting at around $15,000.  No joke. The house was worth less than the kitchen. So we made the decision to carefully remove the cabinets and counter tops from that kitchen and move it into our new house!

Orangey tiled floor


house 017

A year later and there is still a lot to do, but those are things that need to wait for the funds to do them.  The two big items on the still to be done list are buying two pantry cabinets for the gaps that now exist at the end of the counters.  Hey, it’s not like the kitchens were laid out the same way.  And the other is to shorten a window so a counter section can actually be attached to the wall. One more thing we need to do is put up a backsplash, but that will not happen until the other items are competed.

And now for a reveal of the partially finished kitchen switcharoo!  I wish I had been blogging more around then so I could go into more detail, but I’ll go into quite a bit of detail for the kitchen we are working on now.


Don’t mind the dishes.  Ha!



I am definitely looking forward to the day that those gaps are filled up and the cabinet is flush with the wall, but for now I am honestly thrilled with how it turned out.  And even though it is not finished yet, it is so much better than it used to be.

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Things are a bit hectic lately….

No recipes or gluten free restaurant recaps or vacation pictures or DIY stuff to be seen here today!

But I figured since I haven’t done a post in a while I would let you all know some stuff in the works.

We have completely gutted the old kitchen and moved it all over to the current house.  The house is a disaster from kitchen stuff scattered on every flat surface near the kitchen that isn’t floor.  We’ve been eating our meals either standing or on the couch for the last week.  We’ve been chipping away at the kitchen slowly, whenever there is a free moment.  Lots to share on that front when all is said and done!  Expect a few posts on the subject soonish.

We are currently without a stove, so my creatively has been flowing for gluten-free crock pot dishes.  I’ll share those as well once things calm down.  The trick is figuring out crock pot meals that don’t require the stove initially.  So far it has been going well.

On more home improvement projects, we have spent the days we have available when we are a bit burnt out on the kitchen harvesting bamboo.  It’s a rough process, but we are building a patio set out of it!  I’m very excited to share that once the harvesting is over and the building begins.

I have finally taken a house tour video.  Of course I took it while the house is a disaster from the kitchen, but that just means an after video will be so much better.  I’ll get that video up by next week!

So, that’s what has been going on.   Once things are calmer be prepared for quite a bit of posts!

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Kitchens and Cluelessness

Okay, so when we were house hunting we specifically wanted to get a house in need of a new kitchen.  In our price range that was pretty easy.  Almost every house we looked at needed a new kitchen.  In our old home we turned a 1940’s military housing kitchen into something that was actually usable.  While far from our dream kitchen, it was a good kitchen and we learned a lot from that redo.


This was the extent of our counter space.  Not even joking.  There was a tiny little metal cabinet above the sink and that was the extent of the cabinet space.  We usually ended up using a cutting board on half of the stove for a counter top since the other half of the sink area was used for a drainer.  We tore everything out.

I think, though, that we turned it into something nice.

kitchenremodel4 kitchenremodel5 kitchenmodel6 kitchenremodel7 kitchenremodel8Though we never actually finished the project.  Sad.

But I do think we did well with the limited amount of space that we had.  And I loved those counter tops with the molded in sink.  Oh so very nice.  We eventually were going to open up the window into a in the future dining room addition.  Sadly, that never happened either.

Moving on!

So here we are, a year and a half into our “new” home.  It has it’s own kitchen problems.  The size is fantastic, but the layout is extremely awkward.  And, we are on a strict budget.

Here is my very crude, totally not to scale, took a picture of it with my phone because my scanner is broken, layout.

Kitchen Floor Plan

The fridge and pantry side lead to the dining room.  The other side just leads to the big open spaced room at the top of the stairs.  Knocking down a wall, totally not an option.  The whole area is actually surprisingly open and perhaps once I clean to my satisfaction I’ll finally get to the video tour.  That requires every room being clean at the same time, so I guess that will have to be right before a party or something!

The counter is awful. Awful Awful Awful.  We hate the cabinets too and that fact that there aren’t many.  There are cabinets over the sink as well, but it’s still a pathetic amount of storage for such a large space.

And, we don’t have any idea what to do with it.  We’re clueless!

The windows are long, so if cabinets were placed there the windows would have to be shortened.

One great thing, though, is the amount of light that comes in.  That’s pretty awesome.

We do have the option of gutting our old kitchen and reusing some stuff since that kitchen isn’t being used by anyone at the moment, but we aren’t sure how everything would fit at this point.

So, asking for help and ideas to anyone reading.  Help, we’re clueless!!



I just found a few pictures of the kitchen from our inspection.  The table is different and is a counter height table that I use for prep a lot and the fridge and dishwasher were changed out for newer ones.  The stove is the same however.  The wall with recycling against it is a half wall overlooking the stairs and foyer.

house 017house 019 house 020

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I don’t follow decorating trends…

I like color.  Lots of it.  Colorful walls.  Colorful artwork.  Colorful blankets and pillows.  Color!!  But…practically my entire upstairs is an orangey beige color.  Ugly color.  But it was here when we moved in.  We painted quite a bit when we moved here.  All of downstairs and bedrooms.  But this space, it’s overwhelming.  Our solution for the space at least for now is to cover it with as much art as we can!

So, I don’t like neutral tones in my home.  It’s not us in any sense. I also decorate with toys.  Lego’s adorn my walls.  I’m serious.  Above our front door are shelves that house Lego pirate ships.  I’ll share that picture in the tour that is coming soon..

I don’t want a house that someone would say belongs in a magazine.  It’s my home, it’s much more than a house.  I want a house that makes people know who we are as soon as they walk in.  A home with personality.

I also want a home that is comfortable, which is how I ended up writing this post in the first place.

It seems in many decorating and renovating blogs I have visited that ceiling fans are a huge decorating no-no.

I have read a few that one of the first things the owner does upon moving into their new home is replace those fans with light fixtures, no fans!  Ok, I get that.  It’s a cleaner look.

You know what I want in my home?  More ceiling fans.  I have two.  We moved into a house with hardly any light fixtures period.  The basement room luckily has lighting, not that it’s attractive.  Right now that, the kitchen, the foyer, and the dining room are the only rooms with overhead lighting.  The dining room and the foyer are where the ceiling fans are.  And I am thankful to them so much on a day like today.  April 9th and 90 degrees!

I want more, though, especially in the kitchen and bedrooms.  In other houses that I have lived in, ceiling fans always reduced my energy costs.  I would be content with the windows open and the fans running in the heat of the summer most of the time.

So, that’s a priority before it gets to the sweltering heat of summer.  Ceiling fans everywhere!

That is all.

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Rough Weekends and Unproductiveness

I accomplished one thing this weekend.  I vaguely organized the pantry.  Not even organized it well.  Just organized it enough so it doesn’t look like this anymore…


Ugh…that’s awful.  Now it looks like the slightly more reasonable this…


How many cans of tomato sauce does a person need, really?  You see, the last time we went to our gigantic super warehouse store to get gigantic super warehouse store stuff, one box of sauce was hiding in the back of the pantry already.  We didn’t see it.  Gee, I can’t imagine why not.

This is nowhere near at the organization level that I would like.  But, it makes me slightly less crazy.  By the way, I don’t like our pantry. At all.  Am I glad we have one?  Yes, especially considering our last residence did not have a pantry at all and very limited cabinet space.  And the place we lived before that we used a non built in cabinet that tilted in a scary way.  Be careful when you open it, things might come tumbling out!  Oh, but when we redo this kitchen, the pantry will be better and so very organized.

Anyhow, it was a rough weekend.  I had lots of things on my agenda and the sad and not very impressive pantry cleanup was the only thing I accomplished.

Saturday brought anxiety.  Why?  I’m not really sure.  I wasn’t feeling well for most of the morning.  While I was out and about I encountered some rude people.  Very rude people.  From there on I started feeling anxious.  Anxiety turned into neck tenseness, and the neck tenseness turned into a very severe headache.  I spent the rest of the day in bed just trying to relax it away.  Sunday I still felt jittery, no idea why.  I had a skipped heartbeat episode in the middle of the day,and that’s all she wrote.  I have been shaky ever since then, hence my lack of accomplishment.

I am hoping this week will bring many things checked off the to-do list.  I do have a bunch of posts lined up in my brain, ready to write, so look forward to that this week!


752Guess where we were two weeks ago?  If you guessed The Bahamas you’d be correct!  Oh look at that water.  So very pretty.  That’s Gold Rock Beach

Okay, so I started over…again.

That’s right, the minimal posts that were actually here are gone..again!

I just feel that my focus needed to change, and the last time I updated we were living in an apartment.  We aren’t anymore.  Homeowners!  Woo!

Alright, rewind time.  September of 2011 we finally moved into our house.  4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, split foyer entry house.  I know, split foyer!  Eeek!  But, it’s not that bad.  This house gives us a lot of living space for the footprint of the house.  Downstairs is essentially the recreation room and “fun” areas while upstairs has the kitchen, dining, formal living room and bedrooms.  It works very well for us and we love it.  More on that in later posts, including a handy picture of the house layout.  Other posts to look forward to?  Before and during pictures of things we have accomplished so far as well as a list of things we would like to fix and accomplish in the house posts are coming.  We have a lot of plans for this house.  We’ll also talk about food, how exciting!  The first food post is going to be tomorrow. And I’m thinking I’ll even do a post vacation write up by this time next week.  That will be a quite long post, can you handle it?

So, many things heading your way!

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