May 18, 2022
Out With The Old Cupboards & Flooring; In With An Aesthetics Team!
Old Kitchen Cabinets Off To Their Final Resting Place
The auction of kitchen stuff during the FFFFF added $590.00 to the renovation project fund! Thanks to everyone who made purchases. Sadly, no one bid on the old kitchen cupboards. Following removal, they were brittle and unstable. Once again our stalwart project volunteer Ron Heideman stepped up along with Sherwin Back (Dash) to move them outside for demolition. They then loaded the debris and hauled it to the East Polk Landfill for final burial. Regretfully, they were the only mourners at the gravesite.
Removal of Kitchen Flooring Happened This Week
Because of the asbestos in the flooring, a special removal team was contracted to tear out the old tiles. They made quick work and were finished in one day. Special ventilation had to be used to insure the safety of those in the church and also to prevent contaminated dust being left behind. Project Chair Ann Mowery captured the air containment process (lots of plastic covering kitchen door and counter opening with a plastic tube exiting out a Griffin Hall window). She also sent photos of the now bare floor showing multiple cracks.
Meet Our Team Creating the Kitchen’s New Look
Karen Kraemer, Aesthetics Chair
When Ann Mowry called me to ask if I’d chair the Aesthetics committee for the church kitchen project, I had recently retired from my part-time audiology job and was happy to be considered to serve in this capacity. I’ve remodeled kitchens and bathrooms in both of my own houses and experienced the joy and satisfaction of making them both more functional and aesthetically pleasing. I love taking a space and reinventing it. Given the opportunity to work together with an enthusiastic, talented committee to create a “new-and-improved”, timeless mid-century modern kitchen at First Unitarian that will last for years to come is a challenge I’m excited to take on!
I was never that interested in aesthetics until Meredith Corporation, where I worked for 21 years, started to transform its building. The original was very outdated. The original building had 1940’s green tiles and old decrepit office furniture, dirty carpets and mismatched everything. Over several years this beast of a building turned into a beauty-an innovative architectural showpiece that featured natural light for every employee, comfortable furniture, interesting artwork (like 6′ tall metal flowers), unusual paint treatments and new equipment. Suddenly it was a delight to go to work and a pleasure to have guests from New York who were expecting a backward town and company. Since then, I’ve realized the importance of our surroundings and the difference it makes in so many aspects of our lives.
I am excited to be working with the committee which gets to shape the look and feel of our new kitchen. I love mid-century architecture and design and finding ways to reflect that aesthetic while creating space that is warm, timeless, and functional has been a fun challenge. I have done two home kitchen remodels and was on the planning committee for a kitchen renovation at another UU church. Since I moved before that project came to fruition, being on our kitchen aesthetics subcommittee is giving me a kind of closure experience!
I joined the kitchen aesthetics committee because I was inspired by the focused efforts of the initial committee, and I want to have a role in this reinvigoration of our church community. My goals are to create a warm & timeless environment where church members and friends can come together and feel at home. I appreciate Scandinavian simplicity and practicality, clean lines, natural wood and an overall sense of ‘hygge’ – coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of well-being.
I have been a member of the church for the past 9 years and always enjoyed being part of a hospitality team. In our home the kitchen is a central place to be together as a family. My focus for the church kitchen remodel was its functionality. I want it to be a useful thoughtful space we can all enjoy for many years to come. My husband and I have been involved in remodeling our kitchen and many other home remodeling projects. I bring my knowledge and years of patience to this project to help us create a functional and welcoming space.