Our first kitchen tear-up/redo started some years ago with the demise of the self-cleaning cycle on our 1970s avocado green GE electric range. Considering the cost and practicality to repair an appliance that came with the house, we decided to get a new stove instead. A middle-of-the-line Jenn-Air I expected to last a lifetime, my way of justifying the outrageous cost of the appliance and installation which included a downdraft vent. And since we were replacing the range, it made sense to replace the matching mini-oven mounted over the range with a new microwave that also required special installation costs. Our hardly-used counter-top microwave found a new home with Hubby D’s mom, who mentioned she’d been thinking about getting one.
While awaiting our special-order Jen-Air to be shipped, we decided to have the ‘70s avocado inlaid linoleum floor replaced with ceramic tile—white to lighten up the kitchen. And since we were changing the floor, we decided to replace the ‘70s avocado fridge with a white one that dispensed ice and chilled water. No need to replace the dishwasher—we’d already done that a few years before. Soon after the appliance upgrades, white countertops replaced the ‘70s avocado countertops, at which point, replacing the stainless steel double sink with one much deeper seemed like the right thing to do.
Naturally, making the kitchen brighter made the adjoining family room appear dark and dreary. So, we had two skylights installed and replaced the existing wall of ‘70s avocado bookshelves and cabinetry with reconfigured white-washed oak to better accommodate our lifestyle. After changing the wall-to-wall carpet for a lighter color and eventually replacing the dishwasher again and the fridge again, we considered ourselves set for many years to come.
That year has now come, sooner than anticipated. The family room carpeting had taken an unexpected beating, considering D and I were the only people occupying it on a daily basis. Having spent some weeks this past summer in Italy where ceramic floors are common throughout an entire house, we decided to replace our white kitchen tile floor and beige family room carpet with a porcelain tile designed to resemble weathered wood planks. And since I’d been thinking about the challenge of cooking with gas instead of my comfort-level electricity, we decided to make the switch now since our kitchen would be torn up for a good six days. That decision necessitated hiring our can-do-anything friend to tie into our existing line and to connect our new gas range, one that did not cost as much as the Jenn-Air which was supposed to last my lifetime. And would have, had I been willing to purchase replacement parts that would eventually equal or exceed the cost of a new appliance.
On the plus side, my Jenn-Air has already found a new home, at a church-sponsored food pantry headed by the grateful pastor, who happens to be our next-door neighbor, a surprise gift which makes him happy and me even happier knowing my Jenn-Air will be put to good use. What’s more, after two days of comparison shopping we have acquired a five-burner Frigidaire gas range with a self-cleaning true convection oven plus a warming oven drawer, all of which should keep me happy for many years to come. Forgot to mention the gas range finish—stainless steel with a black enamel cook top. Naturally, it doesn’t match our two-year-old overhead microwave oven. Or the three-year-old fridge. Or the five-year-old dishwasher.
And so the cycle of redoing and recycling will begin again. But not this year. Or the next year … well, maybe next year.