Grandpa’s Todo List
My parents were visiting this summer to get out of the Florida summer heat. My father isn’t very good at sitting still. He’s much happier if you give him a list of things to do. So before they came, we put together a long todo list to make sure he didn’t get bored. Well, he whipped through that, thought up several other projects on his own (including pouring concrete), and then painted everything that wasn’t moving. It’s really nice to have company like that, isn’t it?
One of Chris’ favorite projects is this one:
Our 1950 cape has a tiny kitchen without much counter space, so we’re always looking for ways to make it a little more efficient. The stove was set into a little alcove. Earlier this year we started a project to open up the alcove and install a cupboard with a microwave mounted beneath. Unfortunately there are some structural beams involved which made it a bigger project than I wanted to get into, so we had to figure out how to live with it. I did manage to figure out getting the microwave installed over the range to free up some room where the old microwave was.
The stove was one of those big old aircraft carrier jobs that filled the entire alcove, but didn’t use the space very efficiently, and there was no counter space next to it. We nursed it along for several years, but when a second burner stopped working (one never worked) along with the second oven it was time for a replacement. Since we didn’t want to get into a kitchen remodel, we stuck with a range, but Chris still wanted one with two ovens. That thing that looks like a drawer on the bottom is actually a small oven. It’s big enough for things like potatoes and deserts, and it heats up very quickly. The new stove also left a 16 inch gap in the alcove that we temporarily filled with some wire shelves.
Things had improved, but we had left things a bit of a mess: partially stripped wallpaper, cracks that needed filling etc. Then my father installed a GFI outlet, finished trimming the alcove up, painting the walls (a very bright yellow), and installing a cabinet with a butcher block top. We also added this grid system for hanging things on the wall. I tried to convince Chris that she needed pegboard just like Julia had, but she thought this system looked better.
The result looks great and Chris is much happier having all of her tools close at hand when she’s using the stove, and is thrilled to have a place to set things next to the stove.