3 Reasons to Remodel a Kitchen

1aKitchen North
3 Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen -- A Pinch of Joy

Below are pictures I used to show designers of the old kitchen and the problems I needed to solve.  Using pictures made it easy to compare the designs and to keep the focus on what needed to be done.  Improving storage is the number one reason given for remodeling a kitchen.  It certainly topped my list!  Improving functionality is a second major reason.  Our kitchen was built in the Seventies before microwaves became common in every home!  That’s just one change in lifestyle that has taken place since the neighborhood was built!   An improvement in appearance is a third major reason for remodeling a kitchen. 

1.  Improve storage. 
 

Storage3

The Kitchen Aid mixer took up fully half of the storage space available in the peninsula!

Storage2
Some of the storage wasn’t even in the kitchen!  Cookie sheets, baking pans, crockpot and more were stored in the garage. 

2Corner cabinet
Some of the available storage was not accessible, like this blind corner next the kitchen range. 

2)  Improve functionality

9West

Behind the door with the writing is the Kitchen Aid mixer, pots and pans are jumbled on the other side.  The second shelf was only half the width of the cabinet and you could find a pan only by standing on your head while peering into the black hole. 

1aKitchen North

The upper cabinets especially did not make the best use of the space available.   The soffit did indeed contain plumbing — and heating and electrical.  It was stuffed full of utilities which meant it had to stay! The same was true of the soffit above the stove.  This limited  upper cabinet space to the existing height.  Sure, these pictures were taken in early February. Don’t you have the fall pumpkin hand soap setting next to the sink and a Merry Christmas plate on the cake stand in February? 

7bSouth wall

The cabinet above the refrigerator literally had an old coffee cup and two vases that were never used — nothing else.  It was such a pain to get to it.  The soffit had a four inch heat duct that cut diagonally across one end.  Straighten it out and the whole area was free.  We took out the entire soffit, which gave us lots of space and lots of options! 

3) Improve appearance 

3aBase Corner

When we moved in these cabinets were a DARK brown and the grooves were on the outside of the door.  We flipped the panels around so the smooth side showed and painted the cupboards white.  HUGE improvement, but that was also a long time ago and doors were literally starting to fall apart.  (See that top shelf that uses only half the depth — not a good use of space!) 

10aLazy susan

The lazy susan  was functional.  It was one thing that I actually liked about the kitchen.  Except when it was closed there was a good half inch gap all the way around the doors.  Note the dated hardware.  That was changed.  The  white dishwasher we kept — for now anyway. 

8aSouth
I wanted this wall to look like everything was built in from floor to ceiling, including the refrigerator and microwave. We came up with a different microwave solution.  Sometimes the criteria changes mid project — what can I say.  We also were keeping the Pergo floor that had been laid around the cabinets.  That meant the cabinets had to fill in the original footprint.  Keeping the floor was an easy decision because it was cost effective, the floor is relatively new, easy to take care of and we like it.  Keeping the same footprint was a struggle, because we had hoped to make some changes — for appearance, functionality and more storage.  The more we discussed,debated, drew and worked at things, the more apparent it became that  changes in the existing footprint were just not feasible.  We decided to stuff as much improvement as we could into the same space. 

5aPantry
This corner was a major eyesore with functionality issues.  We discussed all sorts of changes here — again with no real solution for improving functionality without creating more problems elsewhere.  Improving appearance was a different story.

Next — how we solved some of these problems! 

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Dirty Bones

Dirty Bones - Halloween treat from A Pinch of Joy
Dirty Bones - Halloween treat from A Pinch of Joy

Meringues are really very easy to make. You just need to be aware of a few facts before starting. No big deal, because everything in life is easier when you know a few facts ahead of time.

  • Room temperature eggs are easier to separate and will whip faster than cold eggs. If you don’t have time to let them set – or if like me, you forget to set them out – you can set them in a bowl of warm water to speed up the process.  
  • Separate eggs very carefully one at a time over small bowl. When separation is successful, place yolks in one bowl to set aside for another use. Put egg whites one at a time into larger bowl for whipping. If there is the slightest bit of yolk in a separated white, do not add it to the larger bowl. THROW IT OUT. Or better yet, put it aside for another use. Even the slightest trace of yolk will keep the whole batch from forming peaks.
  • Soft peaks mean that you can see the tracks of the beater in the beaten egg whites. Egg whites are no longer yellowish and foamy but turn white and more on the fluffy side. If you lift the beater and it makes a little lift that “droops” you have a soft peak. A stiff peak will stand in sharp points when the beater is lifted. Another way to determine stiff peak is to draw the flat of a knife or the handle of a wooden spoon through the beaten egg whites. If they stay separated, stiff peaks. If they run back together, keep beating.
  • Add sugar slowly, but continuously. It helps the sugar to dissolve for crispy meringues. You can also run the sugar through the food processor to make smaller granules to help it dissolve more thoroughly. It will seem like you are taking forever to get all the sugar in, but the time also counts toward making stiff peaks. Oh yeah, mind games will get you through :-)
  • Slip cookies into oven preheated to 225 degrees, bake thirty minutes, turn off oven and go to bed. Do not open oven door from the time you put the cookies in until you get up the next morning. If you must do something, you can check by turning oven light on and peering through the door about 20-25 minutes into baking time to see if meringues are turning brown. If they are, turn the oven off.

H A P P Y   H A U N T I N G

Dirty Bones

Yield: 24 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Dirty Bones

A crunchy, chewy, creepy Halloween treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 2 chocolate cookies, such as Oreos with middles removed, crushed

Instructions

  1. Let eggs set for 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
  2. Separate white from yolk and set yolks aside for another purpose.
  3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Continue beating at high speed and begin adding sugar very slowly, two or three tablespoons at a time. This may take three minutes or more.
  5. Continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks are formed. This may take 15-20 minutes. Meringue should be shiny and smooth.
  6. While egg whites are beating, preheat oven to 225 degrees and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Prepare pastry bag with #10 or #12 plain tip. (OR zipper bag with corner cut off to make half inch opening.)
  7. When meringue reaches stiff peaks, add extract and beat just until blended.
  8. Fill pastry bag. Pipe a figure eight or s-shape and move tip to form straight line of meringue about 2-3 inches long and finish by moving tip to pipe a second figure eight or s-shape at the bottom. Lift piping bag with swirling motion to break flow at end while keeping meringue fluffy. Repeat until both cookie sheets are filled.
  9. Crush chocolate cookies and sprinkle over “bones” to give illusion of dirt clinging to bones.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR. Leave cookies in oven overnight.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/10/dirty-bones/

Need more Halloween ideas?  Check these links:  Preschool Party Snacks and Games      How to Make Pom Pom Spider   How to Make a Halloween Wreath  Elegant Halloween    Fun Foods for Kids Halloween Party    Grasshopper Guts     Smashed Frogs    Zombie Brains   Candy Corn Fudge 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Linking up to these awesome parties here and, ,Nifty Thrifty Sunday  /   Share Your Creativity  /    Sunday Showcase  / Let’s Get SocialBewitch Me and Titi  /  Monday Funday / Sunday Pinterest /  . . . / Inspiration MondayMotivate Me Block Party   / /  Marvelous Mondays / CraftoManiac Monday / Sew Darn Crafty / Metamorphosis Monday  / Sweet Sharing Monday / Melt in Your Mouth MondayMore The Merrier /Made By You Monday / PincentiveTime to Sparkle / Give Me the Goods / The DIY’ers / Manic Monday  / Tuesday at Our Home  / . .Twirl and Take a Bow Tuesdays Treasures  / Show Me What Ya Got Create Link Inspire  / Tutorials and Tips  / You’re Gonna Love It / Mommy club Linky / /  Titus 2 Tuesday  / Totally Tasty Tuesday  /  Tuesday Talent Show, / Wake Up Wednesday / Wow Me Wednesday/   . . . Hit Me with Your Best Shot  / Homework Wednesday / The Inspiration Exchange /   / /   /  Wow Me Wednesday   /Wine’d Down Wednesday  /Wednesday Project Stash /  Wonderful Wednesdays  It’s A Party  DIY / Wildly Original   /Project Pin It /  . .  . Full Plate Thursday  / Showcase Your Talent / Krafty Inspiriation Throwback Thursday / Crafty Blog Stalker/ Fantastic Thursday /   Tasty Thursday  /      / Catch a Glimpse ,   Grace at Home,  Kitchen Fun,   Thrifty Thursday. .  Feathered Nest Friday  /  I’m Lovin’ ItFlaunt It Friday /  What’s ShakinLink Party Palooza  / Foodie Friday / Anything Goes./ Freedom Friday / Remodelaholic AnonymousSimple and Sweet Fridays  / Craft Frenzy Friday  / Be Inspired Friday / Friday Link Party  / Best of the Weekend / Weekend Winddown  /  . . . .   /A Bouquet of Talent   / Party Junk Saturday Dishes / Saturday Show and Tell / Strut Your Stuff Saturday /  Favorite Things Saturday /   Serenity Saturday, / Pin It SaturdaySaturday SpotlightSaturday Showilicious     / Show Stopper Saturday /   Saturday Night Fever  /

Busy Monday 135

Eclipse October 8 2014 -- A Pinch of Joy
Eclipse October 8 2014 -- A Pinch of Joy
Wheels and I made a date to watch the lunar eclipse last week.  It was hard getting up at 5:30 am but being able to see it from our own front yard made it so easy we couldn’t pass it up.  Awesome!  
And you are awesome for coming by each week to link your recipes, ideas and projects!

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Featured from last week:  So Much to Make — Sugar and Spice Snack Mix    In Good Flavor — Caramelized Apple Bread with Cinnamon Sugar   Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom — Blinged Out Raglan Tee with free pattern   Annie’s Noms — Honey Spice Streusel Muffins    The Heathered Nest — Fabric Flower Lamp Shade  Walking on Sunshine — Easy French Onion Soup    3 Boys and a Dog — Preschool Halloween books   More than a Mom of Three — Pumpkin Pie Fudge   Family Home and Life – Twinning: Weaving a Rag Rug      Feel free to grab a Featured Button from the Button Box!  Tab is above my photo upper right.

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All features are pinned to my Pinterest Boards  (Woohoo! Reached 5000 followers last week! Thank you!)   from your website.   Check out Featured RecipesFeatured How-tos,   Featured Kids and Family ,  and Featured on Busy Monday.   I add seasonal features to specific boards, like Halloween, because I think they will get more exposure that way.   Other Busy Monday links that catch my eye are pinned to other boards.   I also share features on facebook.




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