interiors & styling

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement)

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com I’ve been getting lots of sympathetic messages & comments about living through my second kitchen renovation in one year (see number one & number two here), BUT this time around is nothing like the last. Trust me when I say I’m more than surviving! About six months ago, when Emmett and I started having the conversation about selling, buying, and renovating again- I told him I wasn’t sure if I had another live-in renovation in me. It’s emotionally and physically draining to live amongst a messy construction zone, and I wanted to be honest with myself. One of the biggest reasons we bought our current home was because we knew it would be easier to live here while renovating because of the excess space. Gone are the days of remodeling the one & only bath, running to Starbucks to pee, then heading to a friend’s house to shower. Don’t get me wrong- we did that for 7(!) years and it’s definitely doable, but this time it’s a totally different ballgame for us. Click through to read all about it and see our temporary kitchen setup in the basement that is making life SO much easier while we renovate the kitchen.

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com The size of this house was a big selling point for us. We don’t have kids or a crazy need for this much space (although it’s wonderful for house guests), but we knew we needed a garage for our tools, equipment, and square footage that would make our renovating life less stressful. It’s something Emmett and I honestly talk about at least once a week… how happy we are with how this renovation is unfolding and how much easier it seems having adequate amenities even when one room is under construction. Am I suggesting buy a bigger house if you’re planning to renovate? No, no, no! I will be totally honest though- after renovating two smaller homes, the logistics are certainly easier with more square footage. It just means you have to plan in a different way.

On that note, if you’re tackling a kitchen in a smaller house, this post is for you… my tips for surviving a live-in kitchen reno! LIVE-IN being the key words. For those of you who have additional space or can squeeze a makeshift kitchen into another room (like the laundry room, basement kitchenette, etc), my current post might feel more relatable.

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com This is our basement. Is it dated? Yes, but I’m so ecstatic to have a functional kitchenette like this one! It’s also full of potential and possibilities. Emmett and I have been able to resume a bit of normality during our big reno upstairs because of this area.

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com We have an apartment-sized fridge, a working sink (complete with a garage disposal), a place to sit down and eat our meals, plenty of cabinet space for our regular dishes, and a countertop for food prep. We did buy this electric cooktop (pictured below) before beginning the renovation, so the only thing we’re missing is an oven. I suppose I could buy a countertop toaster oven, but we’re honestly doing fine without. This is a vastly different experience than our previous kitchen renovation earlier in the year. We were washing dishes in the bathtub and living solely off of carry out & fast food. I really don’t feel deprived at all.

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com  The dogs even have a little watering station down here since we’ve been spending so much time in the basement. It’s one of their favorite areas in our house! The love snuggling up on the sofa, watching TV, and now begging (ha!) while we eat dinner in this space. I should’ve shot the other half of the room which houses our “family room”… basically our sofa, coffee table, TV, dog toys, side tables, etc. Just imagine our old living room furniture in a new space- really nothing has changed except we upgraded our 10-year-old TV.

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com See? Zero reasons to complain over here! I have nothing but excitement and love for this house. Eventually we’ll make our way to the basement and renovate the lowest level of our home, but for right now- we’re just enjoying it as is. It might be a couple years before we make it down here, but I’m perfectly content and appreciative.

Our Temporary Kitchen (In the Basement) - roomfortuesday.com How many of you have survived a live-in kitchen renovation? It’s no joke!! Hopefully most of you had a temporary setup that made it easier. This time around, I’m counting my blessings for sure. Ha!

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  • Reply
    Sally
    May 8, 2019 at 3:45 am

    I am officially envious! – to be honest, the main thing that puts me off re-doing our kitchen is the chaos and messy upheaval that ensues. I KNOW that it would be a classic case of ‘worth it in the end’, but it definitely is stopping me pulling the trigger (maybe the time to finally move is here 🤔?).

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 8, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      It really is an upheaval. You’re right though- it will 100% be worth it, but it’s definitely a struggle to suffer through it!

  • Reply
    Kim B.
    May 8, 2019 at 3:51 am

    So glad you have some breathing room and a pretty darned functional kitchen this time around!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      It is basically a dream come true!! It doesn’t even feel like we’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation. I’m really so thankful!

  • Reply
    Peggi
    May 8, 2019 at 4:07 am

    I’m pretty sure your makeshift kitchen has more cupboard space than my real one.😉 (And my friend totally chose those counters when she built her house back in the 90s!) We did our kitchen in little chunks-paint, floors, counters and a small refrigerator recess/rework. Writing that makes it seem like we really strung out the misery, but that’s what summers are for if you’re a teacher. My priority was making certain we had coffee every morning! I do remember getting very tired of our limited take-out options. How lovely that you have space to relax and recharge regardless of what’s going on upstairs! Look forward to a kitchen (and balcony!) update. Happy Wednesday!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 8, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      Haha!! It is a pretty great space and the basement has windows, so we even get a little natural light downstairs, too! I love that your friend selected those counters. So funny! So smart of you to tackle your kitchen in sections. PS- HAPPY TEACHER’S APPRECIATION WEEK :)

      • Reply
        Peggi
        May 9, 2019 at 3:52 am

        Awww. Thank you! You’re the sweetest.💖

  • Reply
    Michelle | Birds of Berwick
    May 8, 2019 at 7:27 am

    We did our kitchen last year and had a temporary setup in our dining room. We timed it to start last April so we could use the grill and bought a smaller hot plate as you have. We also kept out our crock pot which was great to throw pork into or even chicken and have some home cooked food. I didn’t keep dishes out, though, besides a few necessities. Instead, I spent the money on disposable stuff but bought the heavier duty plates that didn’t feel so cheap or have silly designs on them. I wanted to feel like I was eating off my white dishes! We ordered everything in bulk off of Amazon and “invested” in all biodegradable cutlery, etc so we didn’t feel so guilty about the daily waste. I think it was about 4 months before we got to cook our first meal in the kitchen, which was amazing! With so much DIY it took us about 8 months to complete the space in full. We also lived through a bathroom renovation and had to shower at the gym and I’d have to say, I’d do a kitchen reno any day over an only-bathroom reno!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 8, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      So smart about timing your renovation with grilling season! We’ve definitely been using our grill lately and it has been so nice. Isn’t the first meal in a newly renovated kitchen the best? I remember the first time we cooked in each of our previous home- such a special moment and a great feeling :)

  • Reply
    Melanie Post
    May 8, 2019 at 11:24 am

    We’re still working on our kitchen (gutted/removed a wall/changed the layout all by ourselves) BUT we’re finally able to cook and live in the space again. We have a small 1,200 sq ft house but we so lucky and able to set up a temporary kitchen in the basement. My husband was able to drop the 220 oven outlet through the floor of the kitchen, into the basement so we could use our old oven/stovetop during the entire process! The biggest downside was how COLD it got down there during the winter! I’d race to cook a meal just so I could get out of the basement. The thing I didn’t quite expect, was how renovating the kitchen would literally spill into EVERY. ROOM. I like to keep things neat, and that was probably the biggest challenge for me, just accepting how our house was and trying to remain calm lol. If I were to do it again, and could afford it, I would renovate the kitchen before moving in – that being said, we lived with it for 2 years before renovating and it taught me what I wanted to change and how I could improve it.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      Great job Melanie! It’s so amazing you were able to set up the oven in your basement- even if it was cold. Great point about the kitchen spilling into EVERY room…. I couldn’t agree more. That always happens. I have the same personality and it was tough to keep my sanity during the mess.

  • Reply
    Ashley - The Gold Hive
    May 11, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Even a garbage disposal?! Girl, that’s luxury!!! Double kitchen genius.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 13, 2019 at 11:34 am

      It has really made this renovation so easy!!

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