Kitchen Remodel – Weeks Seven and Eight: Painting, Fireplace and Floors

You guys. I don’t even know what week we’re in on the remodel (okay now I do, I just looked. Week nine!). I’ve been going nuts with Christmas approaching (family arrives in three days!) and have been behind on the blog. I spaced taking photos of some things (like the three different stains we chose from for the floors), but at least I have some documentation of weeks seven and eight.

IMG_9160 (768x1024)The painters started doing their thing at the beginning of week seven, so our access to our new kitchen was short-lived. More sanding (aka more dust) and priming.

IMG_9161 (768x1024)And doors were taken off to be sprayed at the warehouse.

IMG_9065 (784x1024)The fireplace was set up.

IMG_9168 (768x1024)And the floors were sanded…

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Heavy-duty vac.

Heavy-duty vac.

And stained.

IMG_9170 (768x1024)I prefer light wood floors and my husband prefers dark. For some reason, though, I didn’t put my foot down on the floor color. We had dark floors at our flat in San Francisco and they were quite nice. Plus, since the floor had to run through both rooms, I felt a darker stain would warm up the family room section and would be a nice contrast to the white cabinets and backsplash.

We had to move out for a couple days while the floors were being finished, as the fumes from the process are extremely potent. Luckily we have a huge attic fan, which really helped air out the house when we got back.

With the floors complete, all that was left was our final decision on the paint color.

IMG_9190 (1024x768)I won’t even tell you how long I spent just narrowing it down to these five. Most people whose opinion I asked chose Revere Pewter, a neutral gray color (far right). It IS a lovely soft color (duh. I chose it out of thousands). But in the end, I went with my gut, which was Pashmina, a light grey-brown neutral with a hint of green (middle). I felt Revere Pewter was too close to our hallway color, and I wanted this room to feel separate.

Since we’re already in week nine, I can tell you that I’m very happy with my choice (whew!). Pictures soon.

Kitchen Remodel – Week Six: Blower, Countertops, Backsplash and Our First Meal

IMG_9093 (1280x1043) Here’s the kitchen at the end of week six! We are sooooo close.

On Monday, the blower and hood got installed over the range…

IMG_9059 (960x1280)On Tuesday, some dry wall touch-ups…

IMG_9064 (942x1280)And the countertops arrived. I selected a light gray quartz, which is actually somewhat lighter than I remember in the showroom, but I think they compliment the white kitchen and stainless steel appliances beautifully (whew. Was nervous about that one).

IMG_9067 (1280x960)Quartz was also put down for the fireplace hearth (and will frame the fireplace as well, but pieces were cut a fraction too small) and the mantel was built.

IMG_9088 (1280x960)On Wednesday, the backsplash was installed…

IMG_9087 (960x1280)I chose 3 x 6 ice white subway tiles. Grout will be done this coming week.

IMG_9089 (960x1280)Baseboards were put down…

IMG_9068 (960x1280)And the painters came to take the hallway doors away (to sand and spray at their warehouse).IMG_9065 (980x1280)

There’s always some sort of small issue to be dealt with and this week for me it was the case of the two red knobs. If you’re anything like me, this photo makes you want to shield your eyes and run the other way. I’ve been promised new knobs. I’m hoping for the maroon red vs the cherry red, but I’ll be happy with either, as long as they’re the same shade.

IMG_9122 (1155x1280)The best part of the week was being told that our kitchen was ready to use! Even though this was such good news, we haven’t really utilized it yet. Knowing that painters are still sanding, grout hasn’t been done and the floor people will be kicking up more dust this Friday….I don’t want to have to clean the whole room and then do it all again next week.

We have started doing dishes in the sink and I did move the espresso machine and coffee grinder out of the dining room to the kitchen counter, because clean-up in the tiny bathroom we’ve been using is such a pain. And I did break in the Wolf range. I have been fantasizing about the first meal I would make in our new kitchen. Sometimes it’s carnitas tacos, sometimes lasagna, sometimes turkey chili.

IMG_9144 (1280x1181)It’s never once been boxed macaroni and cheese. But it was yummy.

Kitchen Remodel – Week Five: Appliances, Cabinet Installation, Carpentry, Lights, Butcher Block

IMG_9051 (1280x1280)We’re more than halfway to the finish line! Week five of the remodel was really exciting, as all the work done was visible, so we were able to notice daily changes.

IMG_8973 (930x1280)The appliances arrived Monday afternoon (my only shot of the actual delivery is blurry).

We settled on stainless steel appliances. It was a pretty easy decision. What wasn’t easy was deciding which brands and/or models to buy. We went back and forth over whether or not a high-end fridge and range were worth the investment and ultimately did spend the extra money (gulp). Wolf, please don’t let me down!

We also got our zippered door on Monday…

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In the dining room, looking toward the kitchen.

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Looking into the dining room. The basement is through the hallway to the right.

It was perhaps the most anticipated event of the week. Having a zipper means no more traipsing through the freezing cold (literally freezing – it was in the teens a couple days last week) and snow (!) to do laundry or grab something in the basement or take the dog out. Now we just zip, step through and we’re in the other half of the house (with access to both the basement and backyard via the sliding doors).

Marty was in all week (including over the weekend), working on various carpentry jobs.

IMG_8971 (960x1280)He built the cabinetry surrounding the fridge and put up some of the crown molding…

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Fridge (551x735)…cut a new hole for the laundry chute and built a frame around the opening…

laundrychute (516x630)…and built the cabinets on either side of the fireplace.

Initially, on the left of the fireplace, we were going to have a false door on the top half of the cabinet, but the flue ended up being higher than originally speculated. Thus, he was able to box in the flue, leaving us with almost two feet of storage space we otherwise would not have had.

IMG_9006 (960x1280)IMG_9040 (960x1280)IMG_9049 (1280x960) In order to center the fireplace, which was a priority for my husband (the family room was “his” room to design vs. the kitchen, which was “mine”), we not only had to sacrifice a few inches of space lengthwise, but we were also left with another symmetry issue, caused by the flue having to vent out through the side (there’s another fireplace directly opposite this one, in the living room).

There were a few different choices including having two closed cabinets or no cabinet on the right of the fireplace. We thought about it a lot and chose the option that we felt was the best aesthetically.

Hardware was installed on the cabinets (I went with one of three (?) choices of standard hardware rather than pay additional dollars for a different kind of pull).

IMG_8977 (1280x946) IMG_8992 (1280x958)And the maple butcher block was installed on the island.

butcher (552x647)The lights over the island were put up. The electrician asked us if we wanted the longer rods or the shorter (he recommended the longer) and we chose shorter (and by we, I mean me, since the kitchen is you know, “mine.” I didn’t want anyone to bonk their head on the lights while cooking).

After they were installed, I felt like they were too short (#favoriteclient), so they went ahead and installed the longer rod for just one of them, so we could be certain of our decision by Monday (for sure the longer!).

IMG_9048 (960x1280)Our gigantor kitchen light was also installed…

IMG_9052 (944x1280)It’s definitely a biggie. But I got the size that was recommended to me by the good folks at Mutschler, so I’m trusting that once all the furniture is down (and our new kitchen table will sit centered for the most part under the light), it won’t look so in-your-face.

After the kids go to bed each night, my husband and I walk around the room and just take it all in (and of course find handles that are off center and fingerprint smudges on the white light fixture, etc). The decisions we’ve made are so far seem perfect. Fingers crossed that all the furniture we bought (most of which hasn’t arrived yet) will work with the space!

We Have Floors!

IMG_8934 (600x800)Our new floors got installed over the weekend (and completed Monday) – hurray!

To refresh your memory, here’s what the carpeting looked like before. The carpet, in its defense, was actually pretty nice and really good quality. Hate to rip something perfectly good out but we wanted hardwood to match the rest of the house (and because we just love hardwood).

house.family2The floor guy set up a make-shift workshop in the garage,

IMG_8913 (648x800)(and in the family room). And put down a layer of subflooring.

IMG_8920 (600x800)Then he installed 2 1/4″ wide red oak floors. The floors will get stained and sanded last, after everything else (cabinets, moldings, lights) is complete.

IMG_8921 (600x800)He also installed vents that are flush with the floor…

IMG_8935 (800x745)vs. the older vents we have throughout the rest of the house that are raised…

ventThe excitement was short lived; the floors got covered up again the day after they were installed.

IMG_8939 (600x800)But it’s nice to know they’re under the tape and paper. And even nicer knowing that the reason they’re there is because cabinets arrive today!

Kitchen Remodel – Week Three: Inspections, Insulation, Drywall

Week three of the kitchen remodel consisted of electrical and plumbing inspections, insulation, relocating the laundry chute and installing drywall.

IMG_8874 (600x800)IMG_8897 (588x800)IMG_8875 (593x800)The insulation was done by this guy (dang, I wish I could remember his name – Dale?), who also handled our demolition the first week. He’s a really nice guy and very fond of Sam the Labrador.

Sam, by the way, is so used to people coming in and out of the house, he barely gets up anymore to greet anyone. And he’s the only one who can sleep through the noise. His new hangout spot is none other than the floral couch (his old spot was the leather armchair in the family room, which is now in the basement and only accessible via the back of the house).

IMG_8912I covered the couch so he wouldn’t dirty it all up and am hoping that once the remodel is done, he’ll go back to his old spot (and if he doesn’t, he’ll be forced to. sorry, buddy). Yep, the zebra rug is still there (if you haven’t figured it out by now, remodel = expensive). But look – we got a coffee table! It belonged to my mother-in-law’s parents and  it was hanging out in her garage, waiting for a home. It’s a little wobbly, but usable and we love it.

The electricians were here early in the week, finishing up with socket placement and all the other wires for the fridge, and lighting. The outdoor sconce placement was discussed, decided on and marked.

IMG_8876 (600x800)The inspections went well (to my knowledge), but they did insist that we install new smoke detectors throughout the house. We had battery operated ones, so the guys took those out on Wednesday and put in new ones upstairs and downstairs that are hardwired throughout the house. We also had to purchase a carbon monoxide plug-in.

IMG_8895 (600x800)The laundry chute was relocated. Old location is the lower rectangle, new location is the higher rectangle. It will still be accessible, but via a cupboard instead of on the backsplash, where it was before.

(Note: see the hollow area to the left of the laundry chute? That’s unused space under the stairs. Wish we could’ve figured out a way to use but…alas.)

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Standing in the family room looking at the kitchen.

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There will be built-in shelving on either side of the fireplace.

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Standing in the kitchen, looking at the family room. Fireplace on right.

Finally, some light! With the drywall up, the room is instantly brighter (and what the heck color to paint the walls?!? STILL trying to figure that one out. Any ideas?).

IMG_8906 (2) (600x800)Why use a ladder when you have stilts? Drywall was prepped today (I think they’re done? I’m not 100% sure).

Next week is going to be an exciting one….cabinets arrive! Also, I think they’re going to put in a zippered wall (vs. a cardboard and Visqueen wall that obviously we can’t walk through), which will be possibly even more exciting than the cabinets at this point because I am freezing from having to walk all the way around the house to get to the basement (laundry, filing cabinets, printer, random boxes – all of which I use often). It was 34 degrees this morning when we took the girls to school. Yikes.

Which reminds me of another thing I’m looking forward to when this project is done – getting to use our heated garage. My car has been parked outside during the remodel and it is cooooold in the mornings. So much to look forward to (and so thankful that these are my hardships at the moment).