I lived without a working kitchen for over seven months. It wasn’t easy, and it’s not the norm for a kitchen remodel, but, at least I can relate to my customers when they complain about the inconvenience of being without a kitchen for a bit.
Back in January of 2015, I bought a little old house, my first. I could see the potential in the Norristown place. This poor little house along the Schuylkill River trail had clearly seen many owners over its 104 years. It’s previous owner, a single young guy unfortunately fancied himself a handyman, a rehabber, and his mistakes were glaring, and still are. Of course there was only money for some upgrades. I wish I could wave my wand and make it all happen at once. But, I had to pick and choose.
First there were the necessary things: the burner, the chimney liner, the roof, the electrical upgrade, the windows, the sewer pipe, the sidewalk and many more things I’ve chosen to forget. Then there was the water main break in my basement. That led to a new water heater, new washer and dryer, new furnace and several new pipes and radiators. The floors are still a hideous disaster of epic proportion, but we can walk on them – so they’ll have to do for now. The kitchen – a hodgepodge of strange paper thin cabinets, not enough outlets to pass inspection, not enough electric to house a dishwasher or microwave. Not to mention there was no oven. Yes, you read that right. This “rehabber” didn’t own an oven. I was willing to live with all of that temporarily until we were told that the kitchen “addition” was caving in. This was a mixed blessing. Of course it meant taking out a home improvement loan. The entire kitchen had to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch. The blessing – I was able to build the kitchen of my dreams – well, mostly, and also I am better equipped to help my customers through their remodel because I’ve been there.
My kitchen is long and narrow so an island was out of the question, but, I decided on the perfect little breakfast nook under the windows. I created a little nook for people to gather, gossip, laugh, eat, color and watch me cook.
Of course I used our own solid wood, all-plywood construction cabinets! I LOVE the glass door in the corner, the wine rack, the pull out trash bin, the crown molding and the soft-close drawers. The only things I would have done differently are maybe add more drawers, a wider pantry closet and probably more pull-out shelves, other than that, I’m in heaven with my kitchen!
I cook and entertain a lot, and all my guests go crazy over the kitchen. My kitchen is my little piece of heaven in this crazy sometimes stressful world. And, even though a kitchen renovation can be quite trying, it’s really worth the wait and struggle.
I love that I can help my customers create a beautiful important space in their homes. I am really proud to show off my kitchen, and I hope they all feel the same way!
– Jessica Heisen
Plymouth Meeting, PA Showroom