The following is a reprint of a previous post. Enjoy.
I spent the better part of today immersing myself in a rare bout of deep cleaning. I swept out the fireplace and set a new fire, spiffed up the living room, scrubbed down the single bathroom in my five bedroom house, and gave the kitchen a thorough cleaning that would make an army drill sergeant weep.
Because yes, it involved getting on my hand and knees, toothbrush in hand.
I did all this while listening to the audio book of “The Worst Hard Times: The Untold Story Of Those Who Survived The Great American Dust Bowl.” A book I’m enjoying so much, I wrote about it before I’d even finished it!
Cleaning the kitchen took the longest. I also made dinner, (home-made calzones with a nice big salad.) and then cleaned up from dinner. So I spent at least three hours in the company of my kitchen today.
Let me paint a picture for you. My cupboards are plywood painted a butter yellow, the counters are dark red formica, the floors are scuffed-up fir and the appliances are white. And when the dishwasher door is open, it completely blocks entrance into the kitchen.
Not my dream kitchen — but it’s okay to not go into debt for a dream kitchen.
You know what?
I like it anyway!
We had very little money when we bought our fixer-upper house in 1996. So any improvements made were necessary and minimal. For the kitchen, we replaced the foul looking countertops, painted the cabinets, scraped up the ancient, filthy linoleum and put in windows along a back wall. (There was oddly only one small window in the entire kitchen.)
The total cost was maybe $500, because my husband did all the work.
I recently read that the average price of a kitchen remodel is $40,000! And that’s just the average, as many people spend much, much more.
That’s just messed up!
My parents bought their house for $20,000, and it was a really nice house.
My kitchen produces wonderful food. Dinners, baked goods and all kinds of delicious treats. And is somehow able to perform this feat without the presence of stainless steel or granite, and I am content with the kitchen the way it is.
The environmental consequences of ripping out a kitchen are significant. Dumpsters get filled with landfill bound cabinets and debris. New cabinets are constructed from virgin materials and then shipped to your house. And those granite countertops? Mountains are irreversibly getting carved up and destroyed so we can have the perfect kitchen.
So if you come to my house expecting yet another freshly remodeled kitchen, you’re going to be disappointed. Because I don’t crave an all brand new kitchen, (that will look dated in a few years.) The only thing I crave is a vintage O’Keefe and Merritt stove, because they cook like nobody’s business, and it’ll never look dated.
Have you done a recent kitchen remodel? Did you make green choices, or maybe wish you had? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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