When my husband and I were looking for houses, our main criteria were that the house had to be close to his family’s farm, have a barn, and some land. Turns out that was hard to find. Actually, our now-home had come up for sale by owner shortly after my husband and I started dating. We both lived with our parents at the time, but my husband was considering buying a place of his own. Even though it was pretty early on, he asked if I wanted to come see the house. I fell in love instantly. It had so much character and you really can’t go wrong with an two-story brick farmhouse. But it didn’t make sense for my husband at the time. He didn’t need a big house and 7 acres with an old barn. And living with his parents for a little longer didn’t sound too bad. So it was fun, but it wasn’t the right place right now.
Overall I forgot about the house, but I didn’t forget about the kitchen. It was weird. I didn’t understand it.
Now fast forward about a year and my husband and I started a search together. We were getting married later that year and needed a place to live. We were struggling to find something, and our best option so far was renting from a family friend. I cringed. I was a big baby about it. What about my horses? Can I bring my dog? How long will we end up being there?
Then we heard the big brick farmhouse was still for sale. The owners weren’t able to sell it the first time around and found renters for the time being. My husband talked to them and they said the renters had been promised a chance to buy, and they were waiting to get finances around. So we waited. And waited. It seemed like forever. And then we finally got word it wasn’t going to work out and if we wanted it, we could start the buying process.
I was so excited as we got ready for our walk-through, and then I saw the kitchen. I loved the entire house though, so I thought, well the kitchen will just have to do. For now. I think we are unlike a lot of buyers our age nowadays– we don’t look for perfection. We look for functionality, and we make it work for us. Not like the all too common Ooh we just bought a new house and the kitchen is so outdated…it’s got to go. And then cue a complete renovation.
Over the past three and a half years I’ve made comments about the kitchen and how we should re-do it. And wouldn’t it be so easy to just move this here and that there? (The answer was no. It would not be.) My idea of renovating it was to move the sink and other cabinets against the wall, and then paint and do little updates. Nothing too crazy. I was raised in a family where things were kept simple and maintained, and money wasn’t thrown around for constant upgrades and brand new things. Now don’t get me wrong– my parents’ home is absolutely beautiful and I can only hope our home becomes as nice. But my parents did everything themselves and took care of everything they worked so hard for. In fact, the joke right now in my family is you have to be married 30 years before you can re-do your kitchen. Until last year my parents’ kitchen had pretty much been the same since they bought the house in 1984, gutted it because it was in disrepair (not even full indoor plumbing for showers!), and basically built themselves a brand new house. And my aunt and uncle also did a kitchen renovation after 30 or so years.
Somehow I finally convinced my husband and made him see the light through my eyes. We’re not tearing down walls, ripping out and buying new cabinets, or buying brand new appliances. We’re using what we have and working with it. I’m painting the cabinets, and my husband is going to build some additional ones for us. We’re doing all the work ourselves–unless I’ve got a half-built cabinet when planting starts. Then I might have to make some calls!
It’s going to take a while, and the house is going to be a mess– (I’m currently writing this at my kitchen table….in my living room) –but it will be so worth it in the end.
What projects have you taken on in your home? I’d love to hear about your experiences!