These last few weeks have found us in the land of ‘little projects’. You know, those projects that take just a couple of hours to tackle and aren’t that exciting, but make a difference just the same? Truth be told, the kitchen reno has halted a bit while we use spare weekends to tear apart the future nursery and to finish other minor updates.
But we did make a bit of progress that I’m anxious to share with you – and the goal is to have a working kitchen in just a few short days! We initially went into the makeover with the hopes of completing it – start to finish – in 30 days. Not 30 straight days – but 30 days of dedicated work. Here’s a quick post line up of days 1-6, 7-12, 13-19, 20-28, plus the inspiration board and ‘before’ pictures.
And now for days 29 & 30:
Day 29 was devoted to the light fixtures and a working hood over the range. Because the kitchen was built out of an old bedroom, we needed to cut new vents and airways for additions like a hood range (and pretty much build the rest from scratch). When it came to tracking down hanging pendants that we both loved, we found the perfect set at Lowe’s (for a great price) despite much online searching. They have that Spanish feel without feeling too rustic and we love how they look with the other dark metals in the room.
By Day 30, Kevin was ready to install the molding around the doors. He placed special orders for the same stain as our cabinets from the manufacturer (Kraftsman) and the same wood (pine) as the doors and windows. Then he painted, planed and installed the flat molding around the edges – we have plans to do the same for the floor boards and cabinets.
That brought us to 30 days of labor (over the course of three months) and so sadly we won’t be hitting that dreamy deadline… but hopefully it won’t be much more than a few extra days until we cross the finish line! Our list of little projects is growing, but the determination to get everything wrapped up is hugely motivating.
A few of those little projects include: installing appliances (as well as connecting to gas, water, etc), adding finishing cabinet touches (such as molding, uplighting and cabinet can lights) and modifying our current Craigslist barstools to fit the new counters (a couple of inches off of each leg and new cushions ought to do the trick).
We’ll keep plugging along over here and hopefully after the Thanksgiving weekend we’ll be able to show off a brand new space!
Tags: Construction, DIY, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 4 Comments »
This might be the OCD in me but before the big transfer of kitchen supplies from our old kitchen to our new kitchen, I’ve been drawing out little diagrams on how to fit and cajole our entire pantry, bins of baking supplies and cabinets of pots and pans into the new space.
Our current kitchen is teeny and up until recently I’ve been storing the rarely-used tools in the garage. Even so, our countertops now are often over crowded with every gadget that we actually do use on a regular basis, such as the blender, crock pot, toaster oven and coffee maker (those 1930′s cabinets are so shallow even storing a blender in them was out of the question).
And then of course there’s the magic ‘kitchen triangle’ that every kitchen planner recommends for creating a conducive cooking space – your most frequently used kitchen areas (aka the fridge, sink and stove) should fit the points of a triangle with as close to equal sides as possible.
That’s an early rending (before we changed the counters a bit) above showing our new kitchen layout.
Maybe it’s because I’m over-the-moon excited to move into the new space (even though we have the backsplash to grout, the appliances to install, etc) but the anxiety of filling each and every cabinet and drawer with the right tool in the right location leaves me with this layout:
One day we hope to add a pantry to the opposite wall (past the windows), but until then we’ll be skimming down our bags of flour, cans of soup and bottles of olive oil so that all can fit easily on two cabinet shelves and in two roll-out drawers.
And for island storage:
So that’s the plan that I’m sitting on now. Meanwhile my dishwasher is working non-stop as I rewash every utensil and cup before it finds a home in it’s new location.
But I’m curious to know – do you have any more tips for me? Do you line your cabinets with contact paper or rubber mats? Do you swear by any sort of drawer inserts for organization? And where do you keep your forks in relation to everything else?
Tags: Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 12 Comments »
Back with another kitchen update! Progress has slowed a bit around these parts as Kevin goes back to school (he’s currently studying architecture full time) and daily dedicated renovating hours drops to a third of the time we used to be able to fit in. But nevertheless it continues!
We’re technically at day 28 of work, though it’s taken roughly 8 weeks to get us that far. (If you need a quick catch up, here is the first week (including great ‘before’ photos), second week, and third week – as well as our inspiration board.)
Let’s jump right into week four:
As soon as we had word that the fabrication of our quartz countertops was complete, prep work began on getting the cabinets ready to support those big heavy loads. Plywood and even metal rods (embedded into the plywood on the island where there’s an overhang) will help to keep the weight of the countertops evenly dispersed.
And then suddenly fall hit – as did big white clouds threatening rain and drizzle on the exposed house. Day 22 was dedicated to weatherproofing our raw walls to keep the elements out.
With our new heat-resistant, scratch-proof countertops in place, the kitchen was beginning to look, well, more kitchen like. This project, in addition to the major electrical work, were the only two projects where we pulled in outside help. Quartz combines natural quartz (one of nature’s hardest materials), with polymer resin and pigment to produce a durable surface that will last and last. We left the fabrication, measuring and installation to the pros. (Just in case you’re interested, we chose HanStone in Tiffany Grey).
With those big, beautiful slabs installed, we were able to begin playing with color and materials for the walls and backsplash. To be sure the paint color complimented the room at all times of day, and blended well with both the wood and backsplash, I lined up strips of randomly selected greens to observe for several days and slowly began plucking them down as they were crossed off the list.
We found the perfect rubbed bronze faucet in the 50% off clearance section of Home Depot – and matching pulls for the cabinets at our favorite local cabinetry shop.
Look at all of this wonderful counter space! Very excited to use it for cooking prep and projects. And below that, here’s the stainless steal under-mount (a must) sink we scored on Craigslist for a measly $75 bucks. The retail value is 3-5 times that amount and we were thrilled with the find.
Mixing finishes (aka the stainless sink with the rubbed bronze fixtures) wasn’t an issue for us. The dark faucet was very Spanish, while the stainless steel matched our appliances and provided that pop of modern.
Then came the big backsplash decisions – how to incorporate a modern design that fit an historic Spanish-style home seamlessly? After testing out a variety of materials (see a few collages up) we settled on subway-shaped tile in glass. (Ohhh there are so many choices… keep an inspiration board/photo and edit as your tastes change). And the winning backsplash design?
A solid subway motif for behind the counters! That’s my photoshop rendering above to test out the look. If you checked in to Monday’s post, you noticed that we were debating between four similar looks, three of which included small 1″ square tiles in the same color to create a pattern behind the stove. And after much consideration, the subway prevailed in all of it’s simple glory!
But before we could install we had to wait for our chosen tile to ship to our local shop… (Arizona Tile, Kiwi Glass Subway by Skylights)
So while we waited, the electrician popped in to add a few outlets to the island and finish up a bit of wiring, and Kev applied a ‘floor board’ of tile along the cabinet edges. We liked this modern look and we’ve heard it does wonders for cleaning the kitchen while preserving the all wood cabinets (mopping, etc).
Since the kitchen has already received a layer of primer, the new “Buzz Brown” (by Velspar) color was added while I was away on a business trip (yeah for no icky fumes for the babe!). The olive color was the perfect match for the maple wood, dark counters and kiwi tiles.
Once the paint was dry, up went the custom hood and vent system that Kevin designed and installed from scratch (the room had been previously used as a bedroom & den, after all).
Finally it was time to install the backsplash – I had long awaited this moment as it had become a pivotal milestone in my mind for kitchen progress (cue the angels singing) and the nearing of construction in this part of the house.
And how beautiful it looks! I was thrilled with the final layout and the clean design. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures with better lighting to post soon – these are all a bit ‘cooler’ in tone than the actual soft look of the kitchen.
This is where the kitchen stands today.
Our goal was 30 days of total work and the projects remaining include: grout floor and backsplash, install molding, haul in appliances (which now sit in the garage) and hook all up to electrical, water & gas. Sooo we might go over the 30-days-of-work pledge that we had originally set, but not by much!
Tags: Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »