In honor of the fact that Kara took pictures of the kitchen last night, I thought I would post them, even though it is still a work in progress. It will continue to be a work in progress for a while, as most of the work still left to be done is cosmetic and therefore bumped in line behind some more essential tasks (like blogging).
First, a look at the "before" kitchen. Really, not too bad, except for that hideous wallpaper. But the cabinets and counters are nice, and the pantry was functional. But for our needs, it had problems.
The counter tops were laminate on pressboard, which doesn't work. The shelves in the pantry and trim were pine, to which Kara is very allergic. The oven was nice, but the stove top had open coils, which emit an odor when they run. And although we worked very hard to find a house with solid wood cabinets, and spent hour upon hour sealing them with a safe sealant, they just didn't work. So now they are in the garage.
Bear in mind that the changes we made were done for health reasons, and not aesthetics. However, I've tried my best to make things look as nice as I can.
The new kitchen features a green paint that wasn't quite the color we thought it would be, but it's going to be a while before we are able to repaint, if that's what we decide to do. The cabinets have been replaced with wire racks and shelving from the Container Store. They are working out much better than I had originally thought, at least so far.
The new counter tops are solid-surface DuPont Simplicity (like Corian). Strangely enough, this acrylic material is very inert once it is formed, because it is baked at such high temperatures. We also looked at concrete and granite, but we weren't sure about the concrete sealers they would use, and granite all contains some amounts of uranium, so that idea got vetoed.
In the end, I'm glad we went with the solid surface, as it was originally installed on the cabinets, and it was hard enough to take off and move to the racks. I'm sure the other materials would have been much more difficult.
The new stove is a Frigidaire glass top range. I ran it through several dozen self-clean cycles before Kara moved in, and it's working out great. This is the same range we had in Lehi, so I knew we would like it.
Of course, I have to wonder what kind of people we are, with an oven made by Frigidaire and a refrigerator made by Hotpoint. (Just a little appliance humor there...)
Still to be done - tile on the walls behind the lower racks, put the bar in place (it's laying upside down in the living room, where Alyssa uses it as a track for her trains), install the microwave/vent hood, and touch up the paint here and there.
And figure out how to keep Pawelu in his place.