Wednesday, February 29, 2012

While they cure

If you don't have much patience, concrete counters are not for you - they are still in the forms and still curing ... so we wait

And now I find out that the sealer might need to cure for 10 days.

Oh well - that gives me time to focus on the creative aspects of the job.  I thought I had picked a paint color but...

It all goes back to the fantastic buy I found at Kirklands - this picture caught my eye .. for some reason I am attracted to birds lately

The original aqua I picked out doesn't match and the rest of the house is more earthy so the color scheme took another twist..

So the unveiling

The blue is called Ice Rink, the cream is called Heavy Cream and the tan is Lunch Bag - all by Martha Stewart Living.  The terra cotta is a Behr but I'm not sure of the depth of color I want - it will go on the beadboard inside the cabinets.  The cabinets will be heavy cream, the walls blue, and the trim is the tan. 

I still haven't settled on a plan for the backsplash but I was thinking of subway tile - run vertically instead of horizontally

Pinned Image

traditional but with a modern twist - but that is a lot of tile and since, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to do the tile, I better choose wisely!

Tomorrow will be an exciting day - we unmold the countertops!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Counter tops

The counter tops have been placed

Meet my new best friend!!  Rented from your friendly neighborhood Home Depot!
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The initial pour does look a bit rough

This IS a messy job

But the finished project is worth it

In a few hours, we will be able to cover it and it will cure for a week.  Next weekend will be sanding and sealing/polishing the counters and I may be able to start priming the cabinet doors.  What I REALLY want to do next weekend is go to a SPA!!!

My hands our toast.  Troy's back is shot.  But we are still on track and the budget looks good as well.  We are DONE for the day!

14 hour day

Yesterday was a 14 hour day.

We started at 7 am....

First project - rip out the wall board behind the stove

That was my job - I had to use the dreaded circular saw which is NOT made for a woman's hands!

Next the cement wall board - Oh how I HATE that stuff!  And of course every wall had an outlet so lots of cuts - DUST EVERYWHERE.   I actually had to use part of our lunch break to dust our my office!  But now the walls are ready for tile.

That job took a total of 5 1/2 hours!  Much more than I antcipated!

Next on the list was building the forms for the countertops.  I thought that would be the hardest but it went rather smoothly - UNTIL we had to cut our the hole for the sink.  We have a BIG, cast iron sink which I want to keep.  It is HEAVY - which is why I like it. 

But our forms came out great!

And Troy's proudest moment


I used several new tools today

Reciprocating saw - hate it
Jig saw - now that I could get in to
Router - Another tool I could get in to
Nail tap - tedious!

Well Troy just pulled up with the cement mixer - we PLACE (not pour silly girl) concrete today! 

Hopefully we will be done in time to watch the Daytona 500.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Electrical is finished

Who knew I could get so excited over a swith - this one will operate the garbage disposal, the over the sink light and my NEW under cabinet lights

Puck lights - perfect for my former hockey player don't you think?

We will be building a custom trash slide out trash can and I have been challenged to build a drawer!  It would be the perfect place for spices don't you think?

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Dishwasher home is ready!  And see the bead board on the back of my appliance shelf?  And I know you can't really tell but the cabinet under the sink has been reinforced.

We want to get the countertop poured this weekend but first we have to do the cement board on the walls and the countertops.  It is going to be a busy weekend but I am so looking forward to it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

 So this is what I come home to yesterday.

It really looks like a renovation now!

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But on the bright side - I now have an appliance garage! The microwave will be mounted above this little bookshelf that will house my crockpot, food processor and blender and mixer.  I figure if they are out in the open they will be used more.  I think I'll be ready for a frozen daquari when this is all done!!

Oh and another surprise tonight..

A new dishwasher!  This kind of makes up for the even bigger mess the electrician made today!

Oh and I totally changed the color choices - more on that this weekend if I survive the concrete!  As of right now, we are a week ahead of schedule!! Woo Woo!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm losing it!!!

I got a disturbing email today.  Troy decided to take a few days off to get the renovations on the fast track - he's gotta meet the two month deadline or eat crow!  But as a result I am losing my countertop and sink sooner than anticipated! 

And now I have to make decisions about things I am not prepared to make decisions about yet!  Like under cabinet lighting, switch and outlet placing.  Why can't I just pick fabric and paint colors?????

Speaking of paint colors - I found it!  The perfect color for the kitchen...

Kitchen color - Glidden Misty Aqua
Misty Aqua

It is a Glidden paint but from Walmart not the Glidden Duo I would prefer so now I get to see if the nice paint people at Home Depot can mix some for me. 

I am still tired.  I caught a cold working outside on Saturday and having to run all my weekend errands and doing my weekend chores during the week is exhausting. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Incredible changes already!

After a hot shower, a dinner of Grilled chicken basted in Maple Barbecue Relish (thank you Diana), brown rice (thank you Uncle Ben) and green beans, an hour with the heating pad, and a good night's sleep, day 2 commenced.

Troy started stripping the cabinet frames while I did some grocery shopping.  Considering that they were predicting snow, Wally World wasn't as busy as I feared they would be and I was out in about an hour. 

I bought some frozen entrees' - lasagna, ziti bake and the like, plus some Chinet disposable bakeware (I'll post a review when I use them).  I spent more than usual - eating processed food is expensive and I much prefer my own cooking.  Let's see how creative I can be.

The electrician came by for a look see.  He is scheduled for next weekend. 

By four pm our work was done and we accomplished our goals for the weekend.  Check out the cabinets now!  

see what is missing - the contact paper
My new dishwasher's future home.
even the wallpaper came of the bottom shelves
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The wood inside looks so nice, we are going to give the insides a ligh coat of poly, install bead board along the back, line the shelves with shelf liner and only paint the fronts.  

Tonight we are going out to dinner.  Back to our paying jobs tomorrow.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A fond farewell

We woke up bright and early and got to work ....

bye bye soffits - I am doing a happy dance

bye bye hinges and doors
bye bye grease, dirt and varnish

What a crazy day!  Of course as soon as we begin a project, Troy's truck won't start so after ripping out the soffit and getting the hinges, handles and doors off, he worked on the truck while I started stripping.  Luckily it was a nice day and I was able to do it on the back porch.  After he got the truck fixed he helped me. 

We used a gel stipper and scraped the gunk onto a sheet I laid down.  It was GROSS and messy!! After stipping, we wiped them down with mineral spirits.  Tomorrow we tackle the frames.  Can't do that outside.

Of course when we were ready to wash down the porch the power washer went on the fritz.  So while Troy worked on that, I came back inside and started removing the contact paper and WALLPAPER - yes WALLPAPER lining the cabinets. (I think contact paper would survive a nuclear war!)  Since we are going to use beadboard behind the stove and shelves, we think we are going to put it on the cabinet backs as well since we discovered they are just frames mounted to the wall.

Oh and another surprise

The vent to nowhere

The range vent goes nowhere!!!  And that funny noise it made was insulation and a block of wood!

Wonder what other surprises will pop up!

Friday, February 17, 2012

D -Day

Guess what today is


Yes, it has finally arrived. We have spent the evening setting up a temporary kitchen into the dining room and packing up the rest of the kitchen into the garage.

Our temporary kitchen setup

We kept out a few pots and pans and appliances

This is more than most people have.  We can actually use the range and oven.  And we are going to keep the counter in place as long as possible so we have a sink. 

Tomorrow the game plan is to remove the soffit, handles and hinges and start stripping cabinets.  And it looks like we will be buying a new dishwasher bartering the old one for electrical work. 

Oh and we better get some plastic ware and cups and paper plates and bowls or we'll be eating with our hands!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shopping Trip

Today we took our first shopping trip to buy supplies for the reno.  It seems real now!

We bought paint stipper and flooring and a garbage disposal.  Later this week we are going molding shopping.  I grabbed a few paint cards while I was there but no luck yet!  I did see some nice glass tile - a special buy - which makes the idea of glass tile backspash within the realm of possibility.  I need to figure out the square footage calculations so I can be ready when a deal comes my way. 

Most exiciting of all was buying the concrete, colorant, mest and rebar plus the melamine for the forms!  We came in under budget on the countertop supplies.

I started a spreadsheet so we can keep track of expenses and catagorized it so we can see how much each of the projects cost us.  Usually we just kind of wing it and estimate but the bookkeeper in me just freaks out with Troy's rough estimates!

It is so handy using something like Cozi Family Organizer or Evernote (my #1 pick) to keep lists, measurements and even pictures that will sync from your computer to your phone.  We can have a planning session in my office or our living room and then take it to the store!

5 days to demo!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Coloring outside the lines

I love color - absolutely love it.  I am partial to golds, greens, blues and browns and terracotta's.  I am very picky about my color choices though.

My gold must have enough brown in it to not look too yellow.  My greens must be olive or sage - with gray or brown undertones - not yellow.  Terracotta - too pale it looks peach and too dark it looks muddy.  I don't like white.  Blues are easier but right now I am struggling to find the right aqua/turquoise for the kitchen walls.

Trevor's bedroom request was roman movie theater.  He saw a room in Haynes that he liked (it was a media room design).  Getting a 12 yo to like anything is a challenge.  Everyone though I was crazy when I said dark brown walls and a black ceiling but when it was all done everyone thought it came out great! 

My office is my "space".  I wanted to be surrounded by my favorite things and also to be inspired.  It is much more colorful than the public spaces

I fell in love with the tropical punch color

The picture was a gift from my daughter one Christmas and it inspired the blues
Looks kind of like a sunset!

I carried the color scheme to the other side of the room on this buffet
stenciling the door panels was the finish touch

This what one of my living room walls looks like right now.

That is not mold but my attempt to find the perfect color scheme for the entry/living and dining rooms.  I ended up spending $20 in those little paint samples but considering what paint costs, I think they are a bargain!  The wall texture and room lighting can change the color that was "perfect" in the store!

Lucky for me I don't have to pick a color until near the end of the project.  The hunt for the perfect aqua/turquoise continues.


Sunday, February 5, 2012


"A goal without a plan is just a wish"  
                            Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)
                                    French writer, poet and pioneering aviator
Demolition day is two weeks away. Valentines Day weekend is our traditional demo day. It helps remind me that every reno is a labor of love - which comes in handy when the construction mess overwhelms me and all my muscles ache!
Doing this kitchen means a big disruption in our lives. Trying to minimize the chaos is part of the planning. We still have to eat! So we made plan for a temporary kitchen and a way to prepare meals.
The plan:
  • Pack up the kitchen and move dishes, pans etc to the new shelves in the garage
  • Move the stove and fridge to the dining room - we will have to dismantle the dining room table and store that in the "game room" for the duration
  • move the microwave to the baker's rack we currently use as a bar
  • use paper plates and plastic silverware as much as possible
  • take advantage of frozen meals, microwave foods and the grill
Staging the job is important as well. In order to have running water and a sink as long as possible we are going to strip the cabinets before we take out the countertop and sink.
Another plan:
I bought some design software a year or so ago but haven't had a chance to give it a test drive. Troy and I were having a disagreement about the orientation of the fridge and the location of the pantry. So I decided to put the design in my software to "prove him wrong". Ends up, he was right and seeing a 3D image of the finished space with both options made me change my mind.

Does anyone have any good recipes for crow?