I wake up every morning thinking I’m at the dentist having a cavity drilled on.

The kitchen remodel has begun.

There’s lots of action going on in the kitchen this week so I’ve decided to give you a glimpse of that while I am waiting for the master bathroom tile grout to dry. Just a couple more weeks and they will move from the kitchen to the basement.

Lets start at the beginning…before:


The contemporary cabinets are flat, outdated, and give a mid-century modern feel. They are a laminate and not easy to update so they are moving down to the basement. If you look closely you will notice that the back splash is created out of mirror tiles. Great idea in a dark kitchen. It can help bring task light to the countertops. It’s also fabulous in a Hollywood glam kitchen. Just wasn’t feeling it here. Those had to go. The last thing I want to do is see myself as I move about the kitchen, although I did hold my stomach in more. This room served it’s purpose over the years but it was never the crown jewel of the house.

*Notice the Darth Vader microwave to the left of the picture. It has been temporarily re-purposed. More about that later.

I sketched out my idea for the kitchen and took it to Shutler Cabinets, Inc. in Moundsville, West Virginia. They create custom wood cabinets in their own facilities for residential and commercial customers. They will work with architects and interior designers and they offer installation. Laminate counter tops are manufactured on site and granite, quartz, and Corian are provided as well. Quality control on product output is high and there is a wide variety to choose from. With an interesting back story, started in 1985 in a home garage, this grass roots company has come up through the ranks with skill, integrity, strong work ethics, and high quality.

Here’s the kitchen, gutted:


You can get a glimpse of the new floors here too. I chose red oak and I chose pre-finished to keep the dust and toxins lower.

While we’re on the subject of dust and toxins, use this tip to keep your ducts clean while remodeling:


Temporary filters on all returns.

Cabinets delivered and waiting for install :



Installation underway:


The cabinets, like their predecessor, are contemporary but with clean lines and a matte finish giving them a timeless look.

I’m moving the counter out further to create a space to eat. A wall in the living area was opened up allowing us to see the t.v. from the counter.


The kitchen would be to the left in this photo, just on the other side of the blue ladder. The space to the left, along the hallway, is where I opened it up. The bigger opening, to the left on the other side of the hallway, is the dining room.

Kitchen sink:


Blanco kitchen sink with right side drain. This keeps the garbage disposal to one side giving you more room in the cabinet underneath.

Behind the Curtain

You may have been able to tell by some of the pictures in this post that my entire first floor is under construction. Everything. I manage it and parts of my life from what used to be the den. This has become my “command central” and an integral part of my sanity.

When you take on a large project, like a whole-house remodel or even just your main floor, you’ll need to find an area from which you can “live” and scream.

Preferably this room would have door so you can take phone calls and minimize dust. A construction zone is often noisy and dusty, so make sure you have quiet and clean zone to work from. A room with a desk is great–that surface may serve multiple purposes–it may all at once be your food prep area, your eating area and your work surface. You might even want to pop up a collapsable table to temporarily function as the kitchen counter. Relocating that handy microwave in there is a must. I’m sure you’re all about eating freshly prepared food, but without a stove and oven, it’s a challenge. Get ready for some takeout and make friends with that microwave. The refrigerator is often temporarily relocated to the garage. Finally a television and a few comfy chairs are welcome bonuses when you just need to checkout for a few minutes.

Yes, remodeling is overwhelming, but The Cob Collection can help.

We can act as your project manager, coordinating the construction, vendors, and ordering. It’s our thing, and we are good at it. Don’t lose your mind if you don’t have to. Let us help, so you can get back to your microwave dinner and Netflix!

Remember the microwave from the old kitchen? Here it is, in command central. Yes, I actually use it to cook dinner. A toaster oven is a must too!


Still sane. Still smiling. No need to release the flying monkeys.


“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh.

Need help? Just ask! We’d love to hear from you!