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It all started with the dishwasher

It happened one evening while I was cleaning up in the kitchen. 
I loaded the dishwasher, pressed start and walked away. 
But a few minutes later, when I walked by I wondered why it wasn't running. 
Didn't I press start?
I started it again and I waited until I heard the motor kick on
and it started to fill with water and then walked away again.

(photo credit: Mark Lohman)

But a few minutes later... it was quiet again.
  I sighed and shook my head
aggravated thinking about how my plans for the next day included
taking that dishwasher out again to try to fix it.

This dishwasher was a problem since we purchased it. 
The motor was replaced within the first 6 months, and the pump has been taken apart several times
 to check a seal or clean it. 
The repair guy said to keep an eye on it- because there seemed to have been a lot of these with issues. 
 So, when it has a problem- I know it means I will be taking the dishwasher out and taking it apart
 It's been done often enough that Cullan and I don't even have to watch the You Tube video
 on how to take everything apart any more.

So out the dishwasher came.
 I cleaned everything
I reconnected everything
and started it up and stood there waiting...
 It started... it ran
 I almost let out a bit YES that it worked
and then it really ran.
 Like a loud semi truck engine starting up in a car
it whirred and buzzed and then...

The motor was kaput.

 It is a $100 part to replace- but after all the issues we have already had with it
it would have been throwing good money after bad
So that led to a shiny new pretty dishwasher coming home with us...
that is a good thing!
 But that's not all it led to.
As you might already know- our kitchen is old and original.
Built in 1940- the very first thing I loved about this house was the kitchen.
Those old cupboards with all their charm
wearing original paint
made completely out of solid real wood with no veneers, particle board or anything else.
I love it all. I love how it is now since we remodeled it.
 But from a functionality standpoint... those cupboards are not so perfect.

 They are small- not standard size by far- they actually measure about 6" less deep than
a standard cupboard and they are shorter by a couple inches as well.
Putting modern day appliances and the sink in and getting them to fit
is like putting together puzzle pieces.
But not in a fun way.
It is difficult to get an appliance that is built for todays sized cupboards
to fit in a kitchen that was built over 70 years ago.
To help with some of that we have a wood trim that runs along the front of our cupboards
 instead of a tile or granite edging.
Because in order to get a dishwasher into these short cupboards- you have to kind of tilt it and then shove it and wiggle it-  so that front trim needs to come off to give that extra 1" of wiggle room to do it.
It has also really limited our choices on which dishwasher we have been able to put in
because they are not all built to the same specifications so we tend to stick with smaller & short
as they come versions

When I pulled the trim off to remove the dishwasher-
 I noticed an area of dry rot starting along the edge of the front of the sink.
Because of the lack of depth of the counters the sink comes almost all the way out to the edge
and apparently there has been an area that has been absorbing moisture.
 For awhile. 
Oh joy. 
Honestly, the sink area has been one of those areas that has been one of the largest problems in the kitchen
 and just try to get your hand back there to change or work on
 the faucet when there is all of 1" in which to work.
It is NOT a fun job.

So the bad news? 
We need to remove part of the sink area to get rid of the dry rot
which involves taking off granite
Oh yes, it's a messy job.
 A lot of heavy lifting 
A lot of sawdust & mortar.

The good news?
Mini-remodel in the kitchen
Oh yeah- you know there are some things that I have been wanting to redo for awhile
We are trying to decide between more simple re-do's that would be easily accomplished
without major disruption (yeah right- it's a kitchen re-do ;))
 or biting off a bit more to tackle some other things
Not sure what direction we are going in just yet but either way but I have ideas for both.
We also know that the stove and refrigerator are not far behind dishwasher with being replaced
so we will be keeping this remodel on a DIY budget
because we know that we will be needing to replace those pieces as well soon.

We are planning the details and design right now
and on top of that- we have a graduation party here for my middle guy in a few weeks
which will hold off any huge  changes until later in the Summer.

 So until we start swinging the hammer and breaking out the sawzall
I am planning to share inspirations and ideas for mixing the new with the old and
 keeping as much of that original charm that I adore
in spite of the inconveniences with modern day living

If you would like to see just how far the kitchen has already come in
the Before and After  you can find that 

See you tomorrow for Feathered Nest Friday!


  1. Your kitchen is stunning!
    Dishwashers are so high maintenance aren't they?

  2. Oh. My. Gosh! I've had projects like's like the "kitchen version" of the book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". Good luck...I know that it'll be amazing! xo

  3. Well as sorry as I am that you have been having appliance issues - sounds like a silver lining down the road for you.

    I wish you well in the graduation party of your middle child - and best of luck with a fast, easy (yeah, right, is there such a thing?) semi-remodel.

    I will be checking back and seeing the progress once it starts, rooting you both on!


  4. As you say: Oh, joy. My favorite saying!! We had to repair or replace or original contractor's dishwasher 2 years ago. Hubs said replace it! I was in heaven when he said that! A man truly loves you when HE suggests a new dishwasher!!! Yep, he sure does...

  5. Hmmm sounds like your dishwasher is related to mine. :-)
    Good luck on the reno. Kitchen and bath renos are so time consuming and can be pricey, but to me they are the most rewarding.
    Awaiting the during and after pictures.
    Hugs, Gee

  6. The title of this post caught my eye because it all "started with our dishwasher" last November. Our home was custom built in the 70's and we had the same issue with finding a dishwasher small enough to fit after ours died. We ended up having to replace the countertop and sink too (not a bad thing!). Best of luck on all the fun! How exciting!

  7. Oh goodness. We've been going through the same thing! leaky water heater hose led to new floors, which of course leads to new base boards, and new paint, and happily and new powder room.. Sorry to hear about your dishwasher woes...but so happy for all the new choices you get to make! Have fun!

  8. When it rains it pours, right Courtney? When ever something goes wrong I am always waiting to see what is going to follow. It sounds like you know exactly what needs to be done, though, which makes you ahead of the game. It will be nice that you'll get to make some changes that you've wanted, too.

  9. what a pain...but, I know!!! you will make it even!!! more beautiful than it is now!

  10. You have the PRETTIEST kitchen, despite the troubles!

  11. I think your kitchen is worth the hassles. I just love it!

  12. Hello! I'm visiting for the first time and love what I have seen. Your kitchen it is beautiful. I love white cabinetry. Dishwashers. Do not get me started. But like you said: mini-remodel!

  13. Love your kitchen and I am sure it will be stunning when your finished. Can hardly wait to see the results.
    Have a great week.

  14. I'm sitting here waiting for the dishwasher repairman so couldn't help but enjoy your post! Unfortunately, our Kitchen Aid dishwasher is only 2 1/2 years old and this is the 4th time I'll be seeing the repairman. Like yours, it's been a problem from the start. So much for buying high end appliances. If I have to replace it, I will be buying a Sears Kenmore Elite. We bought one for our last house and it was perfect. (I am not paid to say this for Sears, it really is the truth)

  15. It's gonna be fun to follow along and see what you do now! I love your kitchen - especially those chandis!

  16. Oh Courtney...I am sorry that you are experiencing those problems in your kitchen; however, you seem to always look on the bright side and look at this as an opportunity to do another renovation...and I cannot imagine how fantastic it will be!!!

  17. While I certainly don't envy you, I love a good kitchen remodel! If you can swing it I would do all appliances at one time, I know it's a lots to bite off but if you have any scratch and dent places around they have great deals on banged up pieces and you'll never see the damage if it's in the right place! Have fun, breathe deep enjoy!

  18. Hi,
    Just read the dishwasher issue. I am married to a repairman, he says the only one to buy is Whirlpool!! We have had our 32 years and counting! Minor things replace like the inside racks! Good luck with the new one!!

  19. So sorry about the dishwasher! I hear you with the appliance troubles though. I understand what a toss up it is about how deep into things you want to get before you end up tearing the whole thing apart when looking into renovation/repairs. I'm sure whatever you guys come up with, it'll look fantastic!! Your kitchen is so, so charming, but I understand the old house, puzzle piece, nothing is square... oh wait. That is my house. hehe ;)

  20.! I love love love your cabinets. If you must build new make them look just like the old ones. I can't imagine your kitchen being any prettier but then I know you have mad skills and it will turn out even better.

  21. Oh no Courtney! Ugh sorry about your dishwasher!Sounds like allot of work but with your talent and eye I know your kitchen will still look amazing!

  22. I can't even imagine you making your kitchen look even prettier, Courtney! lol But it's going to be fun to watch you wave your magic wand and make it happen! :)

    xoxo laurie

  23. Your kitchen is beautiful and any ideas you have I know will be just fantastic!

  24. It's always something. I am sure you will come up with something fabulous and still keep the charm.

  25. Sorry to hear about the dishwasher! Love your kitchen and I know the changes will all work out beautiful.

  26. Your kitchen is beautiful. Without washing certainly have a problem, so it happens - always something!
    Sunny greetings from Polish***

  27. Your kitchen is beautiful! It is always something, isn't it? The story of my life! :)

  28. Hi Courtney! I find that things like youro dishwasher breaking always come at the wrong time and with other problems, like your dry rot issue. It is a good thing, however, that you found it before it spread too far (insert silver lining here). Your kitchen is so gorgeous that the thought of tearing anyh of it apart is such a shame. I was wondering, however, with the problems you have with the sink and dishwasher fitting the counter width and cabinet depth, have you ever considered moving those items to an island? I know that you have that wonderful black island now and don't know the footprint of your entire kitchen, but it was a thought that popped into my head (this is not always a good thing LOL) Some plumbing would have to be rerouted but after that, it may solve your problems. I think I feel your husband glaring at me right now - oops! Just a little suggestion if you're going to get into a bigger renovation later on this summer. Hope that whatever you decide, it will go smoothly and can't wait to hear the details and see the photos! Hugs, Leena

  29. Its absolutely gorgeous ...!!!! :)

  30. I am sure your pretty kitchen will look even better when your done. Can't wait to see! Thank you for hosting and for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  31. I LOOVE this kitchen, i want to live there... Went back to see the before and after again, and it's just amazing that you could hold that vision of the current kitchen with what you had to work with. Sounds like you had an awful dishwasher, good riddance!


  32. I hear you on the dishwasher. I bought a townhome that had been redone and it came with a new Frigidaire Gallery Dishwasher. The dishwasher broke after two weeks of use! Because the seller put it in one year ago, it's out of warranty even though it was never used!. I checked the online reviews and people gave it one star. It was a beautiful dishwasher and very quiet but nearly everyone complained of the fan breaking, water leaking on the floor, steam issues, etc.

    Love your kitchen though. I am sure you will figure something out. Check out the, "A Country Farmhouse" blog; she has a kitchen I think you'd like that is budget friendly.