The Work Continues


Not so long ago (like a few days ago), the kitchen workshop area looked like this:

A few months ago, it was even worse. It looked like this:

(See more “before” pictures here and here.)

Now it looks like this:

No more junk (OR chicks–they’ve gone to the chicken house). I’m coming down the block wall, paint stroke by paint stroke. I’m getting there! The fridge probably isn’t going to stay exactly where it is, that’s just temporary. I’ll have the fridge, a stove, and a sink, so it will probably be arranged galley-style in a row against that wall (with the window) and once they’re in, I’ll be able to measure and put in some freestanding cabinets to have some counter space. In front of that, in the center of the room, will be a table/counter for preparations and workshop space, probably with some stools around it. Again, I’ll have to wait until the rest of the kitchen is in place before measuring to see what will fit, so that won’t be coming in till later.

The floor could use a good mopping. The spills you see are actually liquid soap spills from where one of the cats knocked some bottles of homemade liquid soap all the way down the stairs one day.

I have large, wonderful freestanding shelving units on each side of the staircase for my equipment and supplies.

I’ll be doing all my canning, dehydrating, cheesemaking, soapmaking, candlemaking, and other crafts and preserving in my new CITR secret laboratory. It will be so nice to have it all in one place, readily accessible, separated from my regular kitchen–both for my own use and for workshops. I’ll also be able to handle my dairy down here and set the milk in this fridge, freeing up space in my regular fridge upstairs.

To the left in this photo (above) are my freezers. One is gold, but will turn white with appliance paint.

I brought a bookshelf down here and also my sewing machine and sewing cabinet.

I’ll sit down here making soap and cheese and canning stuff and sewing and and and! You may never get me out of here!


  1. Rose H says:

    You are certainly ‘cooking up’ the perfect workspace Suzanne. ๐Ÿ˜† And holy :cowsleep: what a difference…

  2. Granny Trace says:

    You go girl!
    Love how its turning out. Especially your sewing area.
    Granny Trace

  3. STracer says:

    That is starting to shape up nicely. I am sure you will get a lot of use out of it. We have a mobile home set up that was brought in for Grandma several years ago and now it is more like our Guest house. I have wanted to move all my operations of this sort over there. You might be inspiring me to do that this year. Besides, now my girls, four boer goats, are over there. I could sit on the porch and watch them while I listen to the canner jiggle. :happyflower:

  4. Miss Judy says:

    Are you going to have one of those long antique harvest tables.. or a stainless steel prep table… or a 1950’s formica topped table…or is 52 going to build you an island with stools all around? Can’t wait to see!
    Everything looks great. Your ideas sound exciting!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Miss Judy, I would love to have a 1950s formica table! I don’t know what will go there, though. I think a counter-height table might be better, with stools. I’m just not sure yet, though. I need to see the rest of the kitchen come together before I can figure out what will fit best then I’ll start looking. I’m already thinking a square-shaped work table will fit better than a long one. It will probably be the last thing to go in so I can see everything else first. Meanwhile, I’m planning to borrow a folding table just to have some space to work on until I figure it out.

  5. GA_in_GA says:

    Great progress! Could this be your “Cave” . . . definitely not a man-cave, but a creative woman’s lair! I can see your passion throughout your new CITR secret lab!

    I would love to carve out a niche similar to yours.

  6. doxie says:

    I’ve been dreaming of a 2nd kitchen myself, so I could have a cheese and soap making place, that was separate from my regular kitchen. That way the I could keep my soap making supplies handy in the kitchen, instead of having to put them elsewhere, and take them to the kitchen when I need them. *sigh* I don’t have a place for one though, so guess I’ll just try to be thankful I can do it in my one kitchen. LOL I think you are going to enjoy your 2nd kitchen though!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. CindyP says:

    It’s looking great!! You’ve been the busy woman! Can’t wait to see it in 8 weeks :snoopy:

  8. blossom says:

    Wow, it’s coming along really well.
    You have probably finished painting by now but if not,have you thought about using a spray painter to get those blocks covered ?maybe if you asked around someone would lend you one.
    Anyway, good luck with getting your fab creating zone finished, am i envious or what!! ๐Ÿ˜†

  9. Flowerpower says:

    I always wanted an outside kitchen to can and freeze. Never got one and now I dont put up much stuff if any. Suzanne why dont you paint your concrete floor? As talented as you are you could paint a rug or anything you wish. I have a plank floor in my kitchen made to look old and it gets repainted every few years. I did paint a rug on it once.Its not really hard but use latex paint with a poly sealer or it will take forever to dry. Painting it a lighter color will make it brighter in your new kitchen. :happyflower:

  10. ncastlen says:

    Looks great so far Suzanne! Just an FYI about that shelving unit: We found a similar one at Sam’s that has locking casters. It’s great on concrete because it can be moved around easily (like if something falls behind it and you don’t want to unload an entire shelf to reach the item… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). If you plan to buy any more, it might be worth a look.


  11. CarrieJ says:

    That is so awesome! I wish I had a dedicated area for my stuff. I did finally organize a spare bedroom with shelving to put my empty jars and canners on so all my pre-canning stuff is upstairs and the pantry downstairs is organized and ready to go for the “post canning” stuff, ie filled jars!!

  12. Zusiqu says:

    Costco has some sturdy folding tables. They may not be ‘old timey’ but they are easy to put up and to put away and they are very stable.

  13. Linda Goble says:

    It is certainly looking great. What a worker!!!!!!!!. I have a tip for your concrete floors. Have you thought of painting them. My friend had a country shop and she painted the floor and then sponge in different colors it was really looked like linoleum. That is what I want to do in my craft room down stairs.

  14. JeannieB says:

    I have a beautiful 50s formica table that I will give you if you can wait until the retreat.

  15. thistlewoodmanor says:

    I love it! Now I want one……….

  16. Runningtrails says:

    Sounds and looks wonderful! I would love a separate farm work and craft room!

  17. Liz Pike says:

    As cute as I know it could be, I wouldn’t paint the floor. Just mho, but with all you’ve got planned to do down there, cleaning plain concrete would be a breeze, especially during/after high-traffic times. Eventually a painted floor will need repainting.

    Have you considered setting it up for certification so that in the event you ever wanted to, you could use it to make food items to sell? (I see income potential here ๐Ÿ˜€ ) I know in VA & NC you can get home kitchens certified easily enough and without much expense, especially when the kitchen is built for certification from the get-go instead of retrofitting. just an idea..

  18. Window On The Prairie says:

    Keep up the hard work. Looks like you’re getting to the fun part: decorating!

  19. TinaBell says:

    Looks great, Suzanne! I am pretty envious, though! I’d LOVE to have a workroom/canning kitchen separate from the everyday living and kitchen areas; how handy that would be! Glad for you and proud of all your hard work. :happyflower:

  20. Sheila Z says:

    How wonderful to be able to have a creative place to work and then walk away and take a break without having the mess all over the house.

  21. Flowerpower says:

    Yes painted floors do have to be painted again eventually…but if you poly coat them with several coats it stays a lot longer and looks better than grey concrete but that choice is entirely up to you since it will be YOUR KITCHEN! :happyflower:

  22. Flowerpower says:

    Good idea!! :happyflower:

  23. Mountain Blessings says:

    :yes: Oh yeah, it’s looking really good! Your lucky to have so much space.

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