Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 79- Liv gets her s*** together and gives you the completed kitchen pics!

So I've been a little neglectful. And some would say rude. To string you along for months of posts whining about how long my remodel was taking, and then finishing it, and then quietly, selfishly hoarding all the finished pictures to myself while I cried sweet tears of relief in my new craft room. It is finally done. Completely and with no asterisks saying Chris still needs to do a few more things. Done done. The only thing still not done is our final invoice which hasn't come yet. We're not saying anything in case he forgets about it since we were a little job for them and we get our remodel at 50% off! Just kidding. I'd say something, Mama raised me a little better than that.

So I guess you want to see some pictures? I haven't finished styling everything yet, that takes time and consideration! And a trip to the flower mart for an awesome hanging fern for the range wall by the window and big fiddle leaf fig plant for the office. Then the pictures will truly be blog-worthy. But I'm getting some hate mail from you dear readers so I gotta give you some relief. Just a note though, these were taken with my phone and I'm not Bethany Nauert or anything so don't give me crap for the bad pictures. Here you go... We'll start with the craft room/office/playroom.

Yes, I hung my creepy French clown vintage needlepoint because I love it and it hasn't made Elsa cry yet. I was going to get it framed but I kind of love seeing the stitching fabric and that it's stretched out and askew. Adds to the vintage charm me thinkest. IT'S MY ROOM!

I'm pretty sure the smartest decision for this room was ditching the bookcase that bisected the room (it's in Jeff's studio now) and adding the high gloss white armoire with sliding doors to house our books and my craft crap. It's a Pax wardrobe from IKEA, was annoying to build, but it's perfect for this room.

My desk is flanked with stacked boxes of my fabric hoards. Incessant reminders that I need to bust out the sewing machine again and get making.

My Sew for Victory poster is at the framers right now and we still have more art to hang, but we're finding that we want to keep things a little more bare in the new spaces. The paint color (Swiss Coffee by Ben Moore) is the perfect warm white and we put it everywhere. Eggshell for the walls and doors, semi-gloss for the trim. Of course this is making me KILL to put it in the living room too now! It makes everything bright and big and happy.

The laundry closet is a tiiiight fit but it works, and the machines are fantastic. It's been so long since I've washed clothes in a nice machine with a bunch of settings! My aunt is going to gasp, but I even washed a load of my delicates (she works at Vicky's Secret) on the delicate cycle and then hung them to dry and they came out great. I HATE hand washing clothes so that alone made this whole remodel worth it.

We also had the painters paint the heater cover in white to make it less obtrusive (it was just a gray metal before).

Let's talk a minute too about these floors. THESE FLOORS! I love the cork. So much. Except the cat puke camouflages identically with the floors so I have to get down low and scan around every few days to make sure there aren't any hidden yaks. Luckily the boys don't puke as much as Lily Mae the Bulimic Siamese (God rest her soul) so it's not that big of an issue. It's lovely to walk on, always looks clean, and wine glasses just bounce right off of it without even a chip! Don't ask how we know that. It's great. It was a pain in Don's ass to install (the seams curled up when the adhesive dried so he had to sink about 3 million little brads into them to keep them down- totally invisible though) so I'm not sure how easily I'd recommend the BuildDirect product we purchased. I love the pattern of the cork though.

And our goth bathroom! So hard to photograph because it's tiny, but this is about it. Matte black chalkboard walls that nobody better chalk up (I like it just like this) and the gold accents and shiny white toilet/sink coordinate perfectly with the kitchen.

Ugh, I wish I was a better photographer so you could really see the greatness in here. You get the idea.

Elsa is slowly breaking down my resolve and I'm allowing the magnet letters to stay on the refrigerator. Just adds to the lived in charm of the kitchen I guess. I still want some art piece above the sink window, but something small and not too colorful.

My kitchen-warming present from Jodi! A sweet little spiky air plant in a gold geometric planter. Perfect for this corner.

We're trying to keep the window ledge somewhat clear so the boys can sit up here and bask. Jeff sealed the butcher block counters with a matte polyurethane that was *almost* dry when the first cat jumped up there. We have really faint kitty toe prints in the finish but I kind of love them.

My favorite things about the new kitchen are the Delta Trinsic champagne bronze faucet and matching sink flange, the Ikea Domsjo sink, the soft-close cabinets drawers and doors, and the beveled tile with black grout. That's a lot of favorites.

I'm not sold on the LED light bulbs we put in the overhead lights, they make it feel a little strange in there somehow, like you're in a school auditorium or something, but they last like 86,000 hours so that kind of makes them worth it. We have our coffee station set up on the buffet, with coffee cups and all the accessories needed in the cabinet below, which is just one example of how functional the space is for us. There is just enough room for everything (no room for anything more though so no more kitchen towels Sue!) and everything is in perfect reach of where it should be. Working in this kitchen is a pure pleasure now.

And the cats seem to enjoy it too.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 53- PAINT.

We're getting close. Sooooo close. We were close last week before we left for Paso Robles and the contractor taunted us with promises of completion while we were away. It did not happen. Shocker. And it basically took another week to get a small list of nit-picky things done (replace the sink flange with the new one to match the faucet, baseboards in the utility closets, fix a weird gap in the new window sill, and fix the laundry closet light that wasn't working). Chris knocked all of them out yesterday, but it was a week of "I'll be there tomorrow"'s and then not showing up before he finally did and took care of business.

So the VERY last things still on the list before we can stick a fork in this sucker:

  • Robert the cabinet guy returns tomorrow to finish the filler pieces on three cabinets (between cabinet and wall), and the toe kick on the pantry. This is a weird IKEA thing- they sell 6" legs for the cabinets if you want your counters higher or need to boost up a cabinet to sit in line with an upper cabinet (as in our pantry case) but they don't sell 6" plinth for the toe kicks, only 4". So you need to MacGuyver it. Dumb Swedes.
  • PAINT EVERYTHING. The guys arrived early this morning and covered everything in plastic and I *think* will be painting everything today. They are supposed to come back tomorrow when Robert is here to do touch-ups, but I think that means everything will get at least two coats today. I WAY underestimated the paint we'd need, because I guessed based on what Jeff and I used rolling the other rooms. These guys are using sprayers though which I think uses more paint. Ah well. Add it to the contingency budget I guess.
  • Transitions from cork to wood floors. We were hoping to get the floors entirely flush throughout the house but it just didn't work out. Barely. So we needed to buy some matching reducer pieces in the same cork which Don will come back to install when they arrive sometime next week. At the same time, he's going to rip up the crappy tile job in our main bathroom and replace it with the leftover cork we have. That tile job is a whole 'nuther post. Don convinced us we got screwed from the flooring company that did it and we should file a complaint with the contractor's licensing board to get a full refund. So we did, and we're waiting to see where that goes, if anywhere. 
And then of course styling!! I can't wait to hang new curtains, put up the art, set up my desk, put everything away in the new wardrobe cabinet Lynne and I are going to build tonight (did I forget to mention that in my dinner invite Lynne? I'll still make you the fried egg risotto. Jodi dodged another IKEA building bullet.) and bring in some plants. I want to trick Jeff into thinking all that stuff is fun and his Father's Day present but haven't figured out how exactly to do that. 

So a lot of words, and no pictures because we are SO close to pretty and complete pictures that I would SO much rather show you. Please stay tuned. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 37- The cork saga continues

Tyr and Thor have been banished to the bedroom for the past two days during Don's work hours because of the super glue adhesive spread all over the floors for the cork, so they night they make up for it and test out all the kitchen surfaces suitable for napping.

The cork is looking awesome. I love how it looks and feels, and goes with the other finishes. Don says he's having a love/hate relationship with this cork, and it's a little bit of a struggle. He also loves the look, that it's eco-friendly and all that jazz, but putting it down is a little bit of a bitch. They're pretty thin (3/8") and when you put the adhesive on them (you roll it on the back of the tile and on the floor, let both dry for 15-20 minutes to get hella tacky, and then put it down) the edges turn up ever so slightly. So when it's down on the floor, the seams kind of come up a tad. Don has a special little tool that rolls over the seams and pushes them down, but it's time consuming. He thinks that as we walk on the floor too, that will just press them down even more and over time it will become seamless. I don't mind how it looks now, the seams are barely noticeable, but he's a perfectionist so it's taking longer than we thought.

But the floors in the kitchen are done, and he's working on the hallway, bathroom, and laundry room today because the plumbers are coming tomorrow morning to install all the appliances, toilet, and faucets! Hallelujah.  

And yesterday Don finished up the last section of tile and all the grout! I really love that black grout.

You can catch some glimpses of the brass outlet plates and pendant lamps that were installed, but I'll take better pictures of them today in the daylight, and once the range hood installation is done. The window casings are also supposed to go up today so more finishing touches getting us closer to the end!

The painters come on Monday to do everything, but Jeff and I may have to paint the laundry room and bathroom ourselves tonight while they're empty. I don't think Jeff knows about that yet. At least they're small rooms...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 35- It's a-grout time.

I got that terrible pun from Ruben.

Don was such a super star today! He finished tiling the backsplash on the sink wall, grouted the tile on the range wall, arranged for the dry wallers to come over to fix the doorway they thought was going to have casings (which was our contractor's job but that would mean waiting until like Friday to have them come), and ground down the subfloor to prep it for cork tomorrow! 

That tile makes me giddy. I love it so much.

And the black grout looks great! I kind of thought it'd be a higher contrast, and more noticeable, but I actually think it's kind of subtle. Not as graphic as I had in my mind but I love it.

Here's the doorway they had to bump out a bit (our original cabinets weren't the modern-day standard depth of 24" so the counters stuck out past the doorway) and now it's smooth and matches the other doorway in the hall leading to the sewing room/playroom/office. I'm so glad we caught them in time and stopped them from putting casings on this doorway. It wouldn't have matched the other one and would have looked strange. Don is going to tile that little section of the wall tomorrow too so it wraps around.

And the floors look all gnarly like that because they are now perfectly smooth, level and ready to accept some cork!

So cork tomorrow in the kitchen, then toe kicks and baseboards and appliances in the kitchen, and cork in the rest of the reno space on Thursday I think? Then if dreams do come true, the plumber will hook up the bathroom, faucets and laundry machines on Friday and paint will go up! How's that for ambitious? If we can get appliances installed this week though, I will be over the moon.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

ONE MONTH. But we got tile!

Today was an exciting day, coming home to finished cabinets and one wall of tile!

I am so tickled pink about my gold hardware! It looks so good against the black cabinets and the butcher block keeps it from looking too fancy. Cause y'all know we ain't fancy folk.

The three slabs of butcher block were the perfect amount, and I'm so glad we used the rest of the slab from the buffet on the window ledge above the sink. The tile will go on this wall too, also up 18" wrapping around on the right to the doorway and up to the fridge on the left.

The buffet is going to hold our serving dishes, and dinner party goodies. It'll de-clutter the dining room... or give me more room to buy more stuff! Don't tell Jeff.

By the way, we're obviously having toe kicks so you don't see those ugly plastic legs. The cork will run up to the legs and then the toe kicks will run down onto it.

Look how pretty our beveled subway tile is!! We used white Schluter trim (really thin metal that wraps the edge of the tile) and I'm happy we did that instead of the 2x6" bullnose surface trim tile. It just seems sharper this way. And cheaper! I'm so frugal. Black grout comes next week and it's going to bring it all together. I can't wait to see that with the black range hood and shiny white range installed!

Such texture! Don did an amazing job, and my inner Rainman is so happy the middle section is exactly five tiles wide. 177 tiles total, 177.

I came home on the later side today so the lighting wasn't great, but I'll post some more later with pictures of the cabinet insides. Our custom cabinet installer was super impressed with the quality of the Ikea cabinets and hardware, and said Lynne and I (and 5% Jodi) did an awesome job building them. YEAH!

Flooring early next week (after the holiday dang it, the only time I've ever been annoyed at a Monday holiday!) and then appliance install right after so we can have a functioning kitchen and laundry room while they finish up the last bits. Can't wait to see that cork down!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 26- Cabinets!

The cabinet boxes were installed yesterday! And the butcher block halfway cut and placed! And my sink put in!

I love that sink so much, even the cabinet guy said it was the perfect sink. Ikea is batshit crazy for discontinuing it. At least I think they did. It's still not in stock in any Ikeas and there are rumors they had problems with the manufacturer so they just cut it from their line. Who knows. I'm so thankful that we bought the kitchen early though and I snagged one of the last ones!

The cabinet boxes all come in white or "birch effect" but they have black finishing panels that will cover the exposed white on the outside, and the cabinet doors all completely cover the white in the front so when these are finished, you won't see any white until you open the cabinet and see the inside.

I'm not sure why the old faucet is still there, hopefully they can pull that out tomorrow. The beveled subway tile will go over that area because our new faucet will be mounted in the sink. The window box ledge will be the butcher block too. Can't wait to see that in against the tile.

The tall cabinet on the left will be our pantry. It has 5 pull out drawers, plenty of space for our dry goods. The cabinet above the fridge will hold our new microwave. We have a pretty range hood for over the stove so the microwave needed to be a countertop model. We didn't want to ugly up our gorgeous new wood countertops with a big microwave though, so this was the only other place to locate it. It'll be a little awkward having it over the fridge, Jeff can reach it easily but I'll have to use a step stool. No biggie.

That right section of the counters still needs to be cut, that little section coming off will make a nice cutting board though!

And our cute little buffet! The slab of butcher block was ripped already into two pieces but needs to be trimmed on the end. One of those pieces will go over the sink on the window ledge, and the extra chunks cut off will become cute little cheese serving boards.

I spent Friday night and Saturday morning opening the 87 packages to assemble all the cabinet drawers. I think Robert the cabinet guy will put these in tomorrow before the doors go on.

So cabinets and counters and hardware tomorrow, then tile and flooring start on Tuesday!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 25

The drywall is finally done, textured and primed. The guys were here early this morning painting, pulling up the rest of the laminate in the back room, and cleaning the spaces up. It feels a lot better in there now, and in the backyard where most of the crap pile went into Bagster #2. I wish they scheduled the pick up for it today to get it off our driveway, but the crane will be here on Monday to haul it away.

Tomorrow the cabinet guy will be here at noon and will work late hanging the cabinets and hopefully cutting and installing the butcher block countertops. Jeff and I will build the cabinet drawers on Sunday, and maybe even install the doors! We'll see. Then lovely Don arrives bright and early Monday morning to start the tile and flooring and the end will be in sight.

I seriously cannot wait. I barely had the patience to wait until April to start this thing, but a month of construction without a kitchen and laundry room, with a two year old!? It's been rough. Mostly on Jeff since he's here with Elsa during the day dealing with it, but coming home from a full day of work and a sucky commute due to never-ending 405 construction traffic to a torn apart and dusty house is no picnic. Plus our Dyson vacuum broke, we had a main line sewer clog, and it was in the hundred's all this week. Awesommmmmmeeee... It's still stupid hot, but the vacuum was under warranty and fixed in 15 minutes at the surprisingly great repair shop, and our regular plumbers fixed the clog less expensively than we were dreading, so I'm not yet ready to take a hot bath and open up a few veins. Check in on me again next week though.

I wonder what that grid on the subfloor is all about. They had carpet in here when we moved in, but maybe it was tile before that?

Still no doors or door frames yet...

Hopefully toilet and vanity install next Wednesday?

Once the cabinets are in, things will be looking a heck of a lot better in here. Let's hope for some good pictures on Sunday...