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Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Shelves!

Do we have news for you! We’ve finally put the shelves up in the kitchen. Leon, our trusty electrician-turned-apprentice carpenter, used his laser level and mad skillz to get our shelving up perfectly straight and even. (I can’t find our camera memory card so had to take yet another iPhone photo–apologies.) I was a little dubious when I first saw the photos that Nick sent to me at work, but in person the shelves really look good. No more walking around the corner to the pantry for a bowl or a plate! I’m happy to report, too, that our dishes are pretty nice looking, and I’m not embarrassed at all to have them out on display.

Of course, we still need to paint the kitchen, a task that just got more difficult now that we don’t have empty walls to work with, but we never seem to find the time to paint, and can’t keep putting off the other things we need to do until that magical day when we’re able to block off a whole day for painting.

In other news, I made the executive decision last week to hire a cleaning person to really give our house the good, post-reno cleaning it needed, particularly of the floors. Our new wooden floors had been subject to workmen boots for weeks, and though I’ve vacuumed plenty, I kept waiting for the reno work to really be done before I got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor. A good scrubbing is what it needed, too–no mop was going to do the job.

Unfortunately, the cleaning team I hired, a mother-daughter duo on the recommendation of another cleaning service that was too booked to offer us a one-time clean, didn’t quite get the job done. The house was clean when I got home–vacuumed, tidied, and the stove, sinks, and bathtub were all sparkling–but the floors were no better than when I left them this morning. Apparently, I didn’t specify that I was looking for elbow grease, not a wet mop. I’m a little bummed out because the whole reason I hired someone was to do the hard labor of scrubbing floors. Argh.

But the house looks good, nice enough that it motivated Nick and I just a little bit more to clean and organize. I guess for that reason alone, the cleaning team was worth the cost.

Okay, not quite. I really wanted those floors clean.

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Brightening the Corners

It’s amazing what a little light can do for a room. This night-time iPhone photo doesn’t really do it justice, but in the dining area of the kitchen we just placed some small Ikea lamps on either end of the long bench running along the windowed wall, and what a difference. Having some light in the corners makes the room look bigger, warmer, and more “done.” Next up: curtains, our large wood-framed mirror, and some artwork.

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Blue Kitchen

We’ve started paining the house white–Atrium White, by Benjamin Moore–and we’re pleased with the way the color looks in the living room and on the hallway walls (pictuers tk). But this weekend we decided our kitchen needed some color. A pale, bluish-gray, to be exact. I found this color, Silver Gray, today, via Remodelista:

Benjamin Moore Silver Gray

Described as “… a beautiful pale gray just tingeing on blue,” the original posting is at House Beautiful, here.

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Another task completed: Reid installed our glass blocks to make a window for the half-bath. The little space is completely dark, with no windows at all, so now it will get some light from the kitchen, which will save us from having to turn the light on every time we go in there.

In other news, we decided today to bite the bullet and have Ben’s crew finish all the trim. I thought we could potentially save some money by doing it ourseleves. But I’m beginning to realize that will probably never happen. Plus, we want the trim to look good, not like some hack job (which it probably would if we were wielding the table saw). It will take about two weeks and will really be the last thing the house needs before we get to the fun part of decorating.

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I’m not sure if we mentioned this yet, but we sort of used up our budget on things like new plumbing, walls, and insulation. Which didn’t really leave anything for kitchen cabinets. But we’ve got plans.

We bought a 9-foot long stainless steel work table with integrated sink from a restaurant supply surplus store in Sanford. We have our wooden butcher block island (also purchased from that same surplus store, come to think of it).  And as of today we have our new refrigerator, delivered by Best Buy, and our Craigslist find stainless-steel Dacor range, taken out of Ben’s storage space.

The stainless steel work table will serve as the counter under which we’ll “install” the dishwasher. We plan on mounting floating shelving on the walls flanking the new kitchen window. And though this all sounds rather eclectic, what we’re hoping we’ll end up with is something of a European rustic flair, sort of like these kitchens I saw over on Remodelista.

alainpotignonkitchen

richard-birch-kitchen

rusticlondonkitchen

You can see more kitchens like this over on Remodelista. Which reminds me: Remodelista is also the site of my favorite kitchen ever, this one:

emmas-designblogg-kitchen-3

I love the simplicity and rustic but comfortable feel of this Swedish kitchen.

Which is just one more reason to be careful what you wish for. Our kitchen is going to be pretty spare for a while. But if someone comments on how austere, or bare, or primitive it is, I’ll just say, “Oh, no. It’s European.”

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I’ve had to go back in time to give you a sneak peek of the pine floors that will be covering the kitchen/dining area. Nick’s Dad, Luke, flew out from Minnesota two weekends ago on a special mission to help Nick lay down the locally-milled pine flooring we procured on our previous adventure.

This flooring is covering what you may recall was just dirt several weeks ago! No sooner were we admiring the newly laid floors than we had to cover them up with heavy-duty paper so that the drywallers wouldn’t scuff them up while doing their work. We haven’t seen our beautiful floors since these photos were taken.

New pine floors in the former porch!

New pine floors in the former porch!

Looking back towards the kitchen area.

Kitchen floors, almost complete

Kitchen floors, almost complete

Luke, at the beginning of the project, as the realization of what he’s gotten himself into sinks in.

Luke

Luke

Luke flew out here from Minnesota on his own dime, and put in two straight 14-hour days of labor. He’s also helped us out a lot on this project in other ways. In addition, we’ve received other, unexpected help from other relatives near and far, and we can’t thank you enough!

Oh, also, I added a new Page to the blog layout. Check out Progress, Room by Room in the tabs. So far I’ve only added kitchen photos, but I plan on doing something similar for each room in the house so you can really see how the renovation has progressed. But it’s late now, and considering that this is going to be a really stressful week, I think I’m going to do some relaxing yoga poses and then get ready for bed. We move on Saturday!

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We’ve gotten so caught up in our stories lately that we’ve forgotten to give you the cold, hard, photographic proof of the progress on the renovation. I was just going through our iPhoto library and discovered dozens of photos we haven’t been keeping you up to date on. Three major phases are complete, and the next three posts will show them all: framing, insulation, and drywall.

First, the framing. According to the date stamp on these photos, this phase was complete as of September 30.

Kitchen with pantry and half bath

Kitchen with pantry and half bath

The framed out kitchen, with the pantry in the foreground and the half-bath behind it.

Stairs and wall

Stairs and wall

The living room, with new stairs and new framing for wall.

Living/dining/kitchen

Living/dining/kitchen

View from bottom of stairs into office and kitchen.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Future site of our full upstairs bathroom.

Our bedroom

Our bedroom

This is the master bedroom. The framing for the wall only goes up to the height of where the ceiling used to be to give the finished room a loft-like, open and airy feel.

Walk-in closet

Walk-in closet

Our bedroom closet will go here, a nice walk-in sized closet where the house’s only, tiny bathroom used to be.

Sleep loft

Sleep loft

Framing for the sleep loft that will be above the bathroom, where the attic used to be.

Found!

Found!

Some old sheet music we found in the basement. When we move the piano in,  I’ll learn how to play it!

Floor grate in hall

Floor grate in hall

Our pretty, original floor grate in the upstairs hall.

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