Home Kitchen Remodel – Part 1

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There are piles of kitchen paraphernalia stacked and perched precariously on every surface of the lower level of my house. I could author several stories right now, mimicking the circular story style of Laura Numeroff’s delightful children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  The Snowball Effect is in full force in my life, and it’s really a great thing.

This past August for my birthday, my husband and dad decided to surprise me by changing out the old, ugly, barely functioning 2-burner electric cooktop in the kitchen island (that came with the house) with a beautiful 5-burner gas cooktop. We’ve been in this house for over 10 years now. From the day I saw the house, I’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen, but other things have taken financial priority.

Old Electric Cooktop

Old Electric Cooktop with Downdraft


New Gas Cooktop

New Gas Cooktop

It was a wonderful, thoughtful gift. The hole in the island permitted the purchase of this 5-burner cooktop. I was thrilled! It takes time for coils to heat and cool on electric cooktops, making temperature difficult to control when cooking. Gas is an immediate “on” and “off.” Out they went with the electric, in came the gas, and out went the “sucky” downdraft ventilation. It “sucks” because it doesn’t “suck.” (Reminds me of when my oldest son was about 5 and yelled out from the bathroom, “Mom! The toilet won’t swallow.”) At this point the blog could take an entire detour on the pros/cons of gas/electric/induction, choosing appliances, and choosing appliances as gifts, but I will attempt to stay focused.

The gas line was run through where the downdraft used to live. I was left without ventilation in the kitchen. Over the past 6 months, I’ve set off the smoke detector in my house a couple times a week, and not because I don’t know how to cook! If you are going to cook, especially with gas, you need proper ventilation.

My husband, dad and myself got together for a “ventilation problem-solving session” and began discussing options. We had a large 80s light box (ugly and inefficient) above the kitchen island. We thought it might be possible to remove that light box and install a hood above the island. WELL….the beams that run in that area made that impossible.

Lighting above Island and Cooktop

Finally, my dad suggested that we call in a contractor to receive professional input. The week of Thanksgiving I called a contractor I had worked with on a kitchen consultation & remodel for one of my clients. 


After going back and forth on many options, we finally made decisions and put things in writing. What started over 6 months ago as SIMPLY replacing the electric cooktop with a gas cooktop, launched into a full-blown kitchen remodel this past Monday. 

“Old” kitchen with birthday gift gas cooktop

2015-03-06 17.33.12

Goobye Island Cooktop

2015-03-05 15.28.24

Goodbye Window

New location for new cooktop and vent

New location for new cooktop and vent

"New Kitchen" Inspiration Board

New Kitchen Inspiration Board

The workers took the weekend off, but promised to be here bright and early tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the kitchen remodel continues to go smoothly and that work will wrap-up quickly.

I’ll be back to report on the progress! In the meantime, I’m heading to the grocery store to pick up ingredients that can go in the crockpot for dinner. I cannot stomach the thought of eating out one more meal. This kitchen remodel process has reminded me of how much I enjoy cooking at home and eating home-cooking.