The Kitchen Diaries, part 1

First_drawingDear Mike.  Well.  I am finally going to do it…renovate my kitchen.  It’s a very material desire, full of selfishness in a sense, putting lots and lots and lots of money into something that is just one room in a house.  But  I spend much time in my kitchen, it’s part of who I am and what I do.  And as I think about who I am and what I do, I start looking back. Five years ago yesterday, I moved into what I thought  was going to be my dream house on a dream property in the Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  It wasn’t quite a dream…almost turned into a nightmare, as a matter of fact.   I moved here with my then-fiancee.  We were going to get married on the property a year later, but it all fell apart at the last minute, and I gave serious consideration to giving up the house and moving back to Vancouver.  But then I met the wonderful Ramona, and when she saw the place she loved it, and so we are still here, at least part of the time.

Img_6670 This is what the old kitchen looks like now.  I will have to dig out some of the original photos from 5 years ago to show you.  I have been tearing out little pieces here and there over the years to make the kitchen work better for us.  When I bought the house I knew the kitchen was a real sore point.  For someone who cooks as much as I do and likes to entertain there has always been a plan to renovate.  I even had a contractor come in not long after moving here to have a look and give me a preliminary estimate.  Needless to say, in 5 years the estimate has gone up a bit!

Img_6671 Mike, this kitchen still most of the original outfitting from its creation in the early 70’s….which means it is ugly and dysfunctional. The couple I bought the house from did a wonderful job in building an extension to the house which gave us a large ‘great room’ with a lovely view out to the huge cedar trees ringing the property.  But they must not have cared too much about cooking, or maybe ran out of money, since the kitchen just doesn’t match the nice finish of the expansion.

So why didn’t I get this done before?  Lots of reasons.  Being broke after the engagement broke off was one reason.  Getting married to Ramona and all that entailed was another.  Oh yeah, and I took off to Italy for the better part of a year as well.  Came back from that sojourn broke again, but with some creative mortgage refinancing (and major help from Ramona) allows us to go ahead with this now.


Our designer/general contractor is David Coulson of David Coulson Design.  I met David not long after moving to the Cowichan Valley and after seeing some of his commercial work and visiting a home that he did the kitchen in, we were convinced he was the right guy for the job.  That being said, he is also a busy guy.  We let him know last October that we wanted to go ahead with this.  Last week he came over with his original drawings for the concept.  We went over them in some detail, at which point I found out it will take at least 8 weeks to have the cabinets made and the countertops cut. 

Mike, in your parlance, this is a total gut.  Not just of the kitchen but in the master bathroom right next to the kitchen as well, which also exists in all its glorious ’70’s splendor. It’s really best to get both down at the same time.  More detail about what we plan in the next entry.

Wish us luck….


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2 Responses to The Kitchen Diaries, part 1

  1. judy says:

    I wish you luck!!!

  2. Your loving wife says:

    Getting married to Ramona and all that entailed was another.

    You mean all the –delightful–things that entailed was another.

    Right, hon?

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