Kitchen restoration diary


So I’ve already admitted that we are most likely heading into a kitchen renovation. I prefer the term restoration.

It sounds less expensive doesn’t it? Just a nip and polish of the things we already have. That’s nothing really right?

We have a white kitchen. I have always had a white kitchen. In my childhood home. In my beloved great-grandmother’s home. In this one. I like white.

As we plan our kitchen changes, I feel like it’s kind of farmhouse-style trendy, but it actually is a farmhouse, so I think it’s justified.

Apparently, I was ahead of the “White all the things and leave them shabby” trend! I actually do have the old rusted general store” signs that I picked up at auction 20 plus years ago.

I was channeling Joanna Gaines and her Fixer Upper style ages ago. We didn’t call it farmhouse though. We called it broke.


The more things change, the more they stay the same. As we begin to peruse the choices for change, it has come up that I apparently resist change.

Mr. Wonderful: “We need a new faucet.”

Me: “I love that faucet.”

Mr. Wonderful: “New knobs?”

Me: “I just replaced those knobs.”

I’m further reusing my sink. I got that sink for $15 at a church rummage sale and had national magazine coverage due to it. It would be disloyal to jettison it now.

Finally, the sample of replacement flooring is nearly identical to the current (cracked) tile floor. So much so that when I lay the sample against the existing floor, I can no longer find the sample. Oops.

I also horrify kitchen planners. One only need utter three little words in any kitchen design center to be met with aghast horror. Those three little words are “I like Formica.”

It’s affordable. It’s sturdy. It wears well. To kitchen designers it is kryptonite.

I have marble in other areas of my home. There is nothing about it that goes with coffee, pasta sauce and wine in my book.

I can barely keep the toothpaste off it upstairs.


Meanwhile, I am super excited over the possibility of a microwave vent hood combination over the stove top. We are just now discovering the things everyone else has known of for decades.

Those are probably so 1980s, but since our house is so 1900 we still consider it wildly progressive. Here, if the food smokes, you are doing it wrong and should open a window.

Meanwhile I text my fancy, tasteful friends questions like, “Where are we on track lighting?”

Viable option or tool of the devil?

I don’t hate what I’ve seen, but I gag a bit on the word. Like a hairball.

What if track lighting is a gateway drug to macrame plant hangers and shag carpets? Clearly it’s all a first world blessing.

There are wide swaths of the world still cooking over open fires and living in huts. I can’t possibly consider it a hardship to be getting quality cabinetry and puzzling over backsplash. (Subway tile? Fresh and clean or public restroom?)

In truth, perhaps renovating as your youngest child nears adulthood is not wise? I will forever see my crawling infant pleased with himself to sit in our bottom drawer, promptly breaking it.

He also to this day will plop himself down to sit on the corner of the kitchen counter. Just hanging out there chatting and eating.

His feet hit that cabinet door a lot lower than they used to.

GirlWonder learned to bake in this old kitchen. Here is where we had the great coconut meets tile disaster. We have since replaced that counter but the memory does live on.

As we approach this restoration with equal parts anticipation and reservation, I hope to have a sturdy and pleasant place to make meals and memories for years to come.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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