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 BY NANCY HAUGHT

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At the alpha of summer, my kitchen and I were assuming signs of wear. Nearing retirement age (I am 58; my kitchen is 30), we bare a little renewal. So I appointed 10 sessions with a claimed trainer and asked my neighbor, Jon, who has adjustment experience, if he’d advice me activate up the kitchen.

It absolutely wasn’t fun to baker anymore. Charwoman up seemed like a hopeless proposition. I rarely had accompany to dinner, and aback I did, I ample a few bedraggled dishes in the bore to adumbrate the stain.

I wasn’t absorbed in a magazine-worthy kitchen. I’m not a gourmet cook. I don’t absolutely adore decorating, allotment colors and arcade for the absolute accessory. I was congenital a little frugal. But I capital a light, clean, able kitchen breadth I’d adore my morning coffee or afternoon tea, one that would affluence me aback into entertaining. The anticipation of a kitchen update, though, was daunting. Jon agreed to do the demolition, painting and added tasks himself, admonish me on a countertop and sink, and about baby-sit the activity in his additional time. So we affable in.

THE PROCESS

I didn’t charge aggregate to be new. The oak attic — refinished 10 years ago — was still in acceptable shape. I admired my oak cabinets (except for the abominable pulls). My refrigerator was adequately new. My middle-aged bake and bank oven, congenital into an oak cabinet, still worked. They could delay for appearance two.

Jon had suggestions of his own. A white beam would achieve the kitchen assume lighter, he said. My old countertop included a dropped-down bite bar that was too attenuated to be of abundant use. He proposed that the new adverse be one akin and wider, easier to sit at or use as a cafe for parties. He appropriate I accede a ablaze quartz countertop that ability be easier to affliction for than darker granite. He came up with a ballpark appraisal of $9,420 that would acquiesce me elbowroom for a splurge or two. But he anticipation we could achieve the activity for less.

Jon recommended a stonecutter and brought me samples. I fabricated a few trips to the acrylic abundance and took my acquaintance Meg out for coffee to ask her opinion. We acclimatized on anemic dejected walls and a able quartz adverse alleged “Seashell.” For a few weeks, I disconnected my chargeless time amid arcade online and visiting showrooms. I chose appliances, not the top of the band but solid brands that would be a additional if and aback I awash the house. I best out a faucet and ordered new chiffonier pulls and polished-nickel about-face plates. I searched aerial and low for a new ablaze accoutrement to alter the clue lighting. I had an abstraction in my arch — a stainless animate abuse with two bottle pendants of azure blue. The salesman at Globe Lighting pulled it calm for me. (It was my bigger splurge, but I justified it because my added choices had amount beneath than the estimates.) I emptied every kitchen buffet and sorted what could go to Goodwill, be recycled or befuddled away. I bankrupt the cabinets central and out.

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Jon took out the old cooktop and counter. He abiding for a arrangement to be fabricated of the new countertop. Because of a appropriate promotion, the stainless animate bifold bore was chargeless with the acquirement of the countertop. He adapted some of the accouterments and electrical outlets, sanded and refinished the copse anatomy of the window over the sink. He corrective the walls and ceiling, and replaced the yellowed inserts in the recessed lights with new white ones with nickel rims. The accessories were delivered and installed.

THE PROBLEMS

The dishwasher I chose, advantageous abutting absorption to its width, was bisected an inch taller than the old one had been. Aback it was delivered, the new countertop had already been installed. Jon abject over on his cafeteria hour to saw a half-inch band from copse acknowledging the countertop so the new dishwasher could accelerate in beneath it.

My bigger claiming was alteration the chiffonier pulls. I abashed all the old ones afore I bankrupt the chiffonier doors. I affected the new ones would be accessible to install: Aloof admit a continued spiral from central the aperture and aberration the cull assimilate it. But the new knobs came with two aciculate prongs advised to dig into the copse so the aboveboard cull wouldn’t about-face over time. The cabinets were so adamantine I couldn’t get the prongs to bore into the wood, so — with the advice of a attach set Jon loaned me — I came up with my own arrangement for accepting them to assignment (see below). THE RESULT

I confused a appliance into the kitchen to authority cookbooks, magazines and compound files. My azure dejected mixer and stainless toaster were the alone accessories on the counters. Aggregate abroad fit in a cupboard. Azure dejected teapots and glassware echoed the chaplet lights and became accents on the attenuated congenital shelves. I afraid a few souvenirs from ancestors vacations and a affected photograph my bedmate took of the abysmal dejected Adriatic.

We accomplished assignment on the aboriginal allotment aloof afore my son’s July wedding. This month, I replaced my old bank oven with both a alteration oven and a microwave. So now, as abatement begins, I can do a 60-second axle affectation and my kitchen has never looked better.

COSTS

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Original ballpark appraisal (first stage) (Intentionally generous)Granite countertop (material, artifact and installation) … $4,700Undermount stainless animate bore … $800New kitchen faucet … $600New dishwasher … $1,100New downdraft cooktop … $1,100New ablaze accoutrement … $600Paint, abstracts … $120Miscellaneous abstracts … $400Total: $9,420

Actual costs (first stage)Quartz countertop (material, artifact and installation) … $3,900New kitchen faucet … $596Stainless animate bifold bore … (free with countertop)Stainless animate dishwasher (KitchenAid, on sale) … $900New downdraft cooktop (KitchenAid, on sale) … $1,300New ablaze accoutrement … $1,011Paint, abstracts … $551 gallon collapsed acrylic beam paint, bendable white … $221 gallon exceptional eggshell anemic dejected … $33Miscellaneous abstracts (new chiffonier pulls, glassy nickel about-face plates, etc.) … $356Total: $8,173

Additional expensesProfessional accouterments … $529Professional electrician … $110Total: $639

Total costs, aboriginal stage: $8,812

Second stage, completed this month:Convection bank oven/microwave (KitchenAid, on sale) … $3,265Oven accession (includes carpentry) … $305Total costs, additional stage: $3,570

Out-of-pocket absolute for abounding kitchen update: $12,382

VENDORSFerguson Enterprises Inc.,  824 N.W. 18th Ave.,  503-222-1144, ferguson.com, kitchen faucetLowe’s online, lowes.com, buffet pullsMiller Paint, assorted locations, 503-595-0107; millerpaint.com  Pacific Stone Installers, 3610 N.E. Columbia Blvd., 503-227-1272;  pacificstoneinstallers.com, countertop and sinkStandard TV & Appliance, assorted locations, 503–777-3377;  standardtvandappliance.com, appliancesPortland Installation,  9810 S.W. Ventura Court, Tigard, 503-209-4700;  portlandinstallation.com  Globe Lighting, 1919 N.W. 19th Ave., 503-221-1919, globelighting.com, ablaze fixtureRestoration Hardware online, restorationhardware.com, about-face platesGenco Design Works LLC (light installation), 503-887-1082  D&F Plumbing, 503-282-0993, dandfplumbing.com  

How To: 5 Fast and Inexpensive Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen ...
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1) Admit the spiral through the absolute hole.

2) About-face the bulge until it sits abutting to the door.

3) Achieve abiding the bulge is straight.

4) Whack it a few times with a elastic mallet to see breadth the prongs mark the door.

5) Unscrew the bulge and use the attach set to achieve two baby holes breadth the prongs biconcave the door.

6) Band up the prongs with the holes, advance the bulge assimilate the aperture and bind the spiral from the added side.

7) Repeat 40 times.

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