BEFORE & AFTER
One thing you should know if you embark on fixing up a house that has not been cared for by a prior owner… there will be surprises and there are things that you think you will be able to deal with not having for a while BUT those things may bump up in priority much earlier than your initial plan calls for. As a case in point, recessed in the wall of our kitchen was a black double hung oven/microwave set. The oven was ridiculously small inside and neither it nor the microwave worked very well. It took 10 minutes to pop a bag of popcorn and that only yielded half a bag of edible popcorn, the rest was scorched or kernels. After several attempts to make brownies in the oven portion I gave up baking until we could replace it. They would burn on the outside and still be raw in the middle. You would think this would bump this project quickly to the forefront, but the truth is we were so busy elsewhere in the house that it just kind of sat there. The stove top in the island worked fine and we had a small spare counter top microwave we could use for a while. So we cooked only what could be done using those appliances.
By late October I was over it, 5 months of other projects had continuously relegated this to the back burner, pun intended 😉 And I wanted brownies!!
All this work and my favorite comfort dessert was not available. I shake my head to think how I went without. 🙂 After a very tense afternoon of discussions at our house we moved it to the front of the list. My husband, once he came around to the idea of halting some projects to work on this first, convinced me to first look online at the oven and speed oven combos. With a real full size oven and a second speed oven we would have new options in our kitchen. (A speed oven is a microwave that converts with the press of a button into a convection oven). Sounded good and after many measurements we quickly realized that no oven would fit the tiny opening of the current oven/microwave set. With that we decided we were free to buy whatever size we wanted, as a tear out of drywall and studs supporting the smaller oven was inevitable.
Here is a pic on move in day….the pantry is so gross. You can also see the old refrigerator.
Side story —Melanie helped me try to clean that fridge but when we moved it away from wall we discovered that the wire had been hit many years before by a butcher knife (which was laying on the ground behind the fridge) and the cord had been partially severed and there was a small amount of fire damage from the spark. No telling how long they lived with this fire hazard or if it happened when they were moving out. Didn’t matter to us, freaked out we unplugged the fridge and called Keith in to assess. A new outlet and a new fridge happened that week. An unexpected expense, but I am not unhappy as I love my new fridge.
The grody pantry shelves fully explain why I am bleaching the cabinet interiors, below…
That is my son in the background there being super helpful by responding to messages on his instagram (haha) poor kid, we worked him really hard during move in.
We purchased the speed oven /regular oven combo (above) and began the tear out, which also included tearing out the shelves in the grimy pantry. You may not be able to tell but the new opening is wider and higher than the prior opening. If I had better pictures of the opening during tear out you might, but this was pre-blogging days so…..
With the reconstruct of the oven support , pantry shelving, drywall repair and paint we were able to put in the new oven/speed oven and it ended up looking like this…
It was finished the Saturday before Thanksgiving and I painted the rest of the wall on Sunday, just in time for company. With the top oven being a microwave and a convection oven in one I used it quite a bit for Thanksgiving preparation. Super easy to use, just punch in time and start and it is in microwave mode. Push the convection button and it prompts you for the oven temperature and now you are baking. The bottom oven is a regular oven that also with a punch of button become a convection oven as well.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this oven combo. The oven space is HUGE. Maybe one day I will clean the interior, take and post a new picture, and give poor Bosch a proper representation of what their clean oven looks like, maybe…one day…right now I have warm brownies!