On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
Time for the big reveal! And apologies for taking so long to organize this; I was so stressed about the election that I couldn’t think, much less try to write coherently. It’s not that big a space—but I was also having trouble fitting things into the frame (not least because I’m not a good photographer). Of course, that will make the tour easier.
Things I would have done a little differently: I might have replaced the butcher block with new butcher block and with a little more of an overhang. The cabinet handles stick out a bit, and I occasionally snag a hipbone on them. The light over the sink shines directly in my eyes—I should have had that light under the cabinets. The microwave kinda sucks—the light over the stove is too dim AND it gets very hot (it might be halogen, which would be stupid); I had no idea that that was something I needed to even think about. The fridge is only adequate—there’s no light in the freezer and no cheese drawer in the fridge—but it was really the best I could find that wasn’t French doors or freezer on the bottom. It is SUPER quiet, though, so I now realize just how close to dead the old one was.
Things I like even more than I thought I would: all of the storage space! The stacked cabinets were totally the way to go. The stone counter—it is so nice to not have to watch my countertop rot. Three racks in the oven—awesome. The floor is wonderful, and the light color means I end up cleaning it WAY more often, so there’s that. And the tile—I love having some color in the kitchen. May I point out that the tiles are all the fault of John G. Cole: after his last trip to the Fiesta factory outlet, I was noodling around on their site and discovered that I could get tiles in licensed Fiesta colors, from a factory in Pittsburgh. I have Fiesta dinnerware, in multiple colors, so spending the extra on that tile was a no-brainer.
And now that I’ve been using it for a couple of months, I realize just how many workarounds I had in place. I’ve added a curtain to the window (I MacGyvered a roman shade that looks . . . okay, but I will make a new one when I get the sewing machine fixed), which, in the two days it’s been up has already improved the temperature in there. All in all, the whole thing is such an awesome upgrade—definitely a thing for which I am grateful this year.
First up: This is looking from the doorway into the kitchen; the fridge is out of frame on the left, as is the long counter. Here you can see that there’s now a stone countertop where there was once rotting butcher block, and you can see there’s an undermount sink, as well as a faucet that doesn’t leak. (There’s also no garbage disposal, because it turns out the sink is too deep and there was no room; I don’t really care.) You can also see the floor, and the new storm door.
This is the same side of the kitchen, but from the outside in. There’s a small space above the sink that doesn’t have tile—we ran out, but I don’t actually hate it with the gap. If I change my mind, I’ll order a little more tile.
Here’s another view from the dining room doorway into the kitchen—this gives a better idea of the stacked cabinets, and how it looks without the cabinets next to the window.
Here’s the opposite view of the butcher block counter—and the tile.
This is the end of that counter nearest the window. The little space at the end of the counter is just big enough for a garbage can—and if I order more tile, I’ll put it on this wall, too. I just splurged on some carbon steel pans—a 12-inch sauté pan AND a paella pan—and I may hang one or both of those here as well when I get them.
Finally, here’s a panorama view. (No, the counter is NOT jagged at the end.)