Monday, April 30, 2012

Progress Report

The kitchen reno is moving right along!  Everything that had to be ordered is now in (except for the tiles for the back splash, which I understand are due in tomorrow), the electrician came by to scope out his parts of the project, and they're polishing our countertops!!!  I saw an iPhone photo of part of one of the counters and it looked amazing!  They will start the install this week!!!

So ... in the interim, while we were in the "some of the wood trim is missing and the bar top has been sawed off stage", I thought I should decorate the area. How does that expression go? "Say it with flowers"?

IMG_7762 flowers

I thought some Iris would accent the exposed drywall and garbage disposal switch quite nicely.  It didn't have the complete "wow" factor I was looking for, though, so I decided on this placement:

IMG_7759 Flowers

We had a houseguest at the time and I'm not sure he fully appreciated it.  I thought it was a nice touch, though. Coordinates nicely with both the wall stud and the quilt hanging in the dining room ... don't you think?  My lovely and helpful pups even blogged about it.  They DO have a remarkable work ethic.

Moving right along - I changed out the flowers after a bit.  The little quilt you see there is my "Pansy Star" quilt (you can see it on this post), so why not some paper pansies?

IMG_7800 paper pansies

I thought that was a winner!  I didn't want the basket to fall, so I thought painters tape would be apropos.  Adds to the overall ambience, don't you think?

But NOW... it's time to empty the kitchen!  Or at least everything out of the lower cabinets, off the counters, and remove the drawers.

IMG_7850 getting ready!

I'm getting there, slowly but surely.  Doesn't it look like I'm moving?  I feel like I am - and have some of the same emotions or thought patterns:  cautiously excited, knowing there's a whole lot of mess and hard work ahead, but anticipating a really cool new beginning.  I'm trying hard not to "squee".

I'll keep you all posted!  Until then, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kitchen Remodel, Part 2

I'm back today with some "in progress" photos for you - and pix of some of my choices for the new, improved kitchen.  :)  ("Before" pix were posted yesterday.)

For the countertops, we looked at all the wonderful choices out there and decided the right option for us is concrete!  There is a wonderful business here in town with incredibly talented builders/craftsmen/artisans that we've contracted for most of the work.  After describing to them our vision for the counters (and sharing some pix with them via Pinterest!), Jason came up with a mock-up sample of the counters he will be making for us!

IMG_7364 floor, cabinets, counter
Bird's eye view!  Counter mock-up, looking down on the cabinets and floor

I just love it and toted it all over town with me, so I could choose just the right backsplash to go with it!  (I put it in my Super Shopper Bag, by the way, which was a smart decision.  Did I mention concrete is HEAVY?!?)  I already had a vague idea of what I wanted, which helped tremendously.  Here's what I came up with!

IMG_7345 back-splash and counter
Bliss - Waterfall - by Florida Tile

I was also hauling around a spare floor tile.  This back-splash really ties it all together - floor (which isn't as dark as that top pic makes it look...), counters, and paint (White Fog). Very pleased with the choices so far.  Oh. And the sink, too!  I'll have a white Silgranit sink! I do love white! :)

OK... so... as I mentioned yesterday, we're removing the bar-height part of the counter and will have it all one level.  They needed to go ahead and saw that off (basically), in order to make an accurate template for the new countertops!  That's been done - and since Dave was still restricted to "no stairs", he got to supervise.

IMG_7379 Dave supervising
"Woo!  Good thing me and Zim didn't do that!"

His brother was downstairs in the office with my hubby, being a tremendous help to him, no doubt. Fortunately neither one of the boys are bothered one bit by loud noises.

Dave made sure they measured carefully during the templating process:

IMG_7380 Dave supervising
"Let me know if you guys need an extra paw, OK?"

He does have a lot of experience supervising me while I measure and cut in the Quilt Studio, so I'm sure he'd be quite helpful.  From his spot in the dining room.

And so... this is what the kitchen looks like currently:

IMG_7384 "during"

I can't explain how much just cutting that bar-top down has opened things up!  Also, removing the wooden quasi-back-splash was a big change and made the wall between the counter and cabinets seem bigger.  Those tiles are going to look so cool in there!!!  (I hope/think.)  They will go all the way up to the cabinets.

IMG_7382 "during"

It's mostly a visual thing; it makes the kitchen feel so much larger!

The switch that you see to the right of the paper towels is for the garbage disposal.  It will be moved inside the cabinet, under the sink.  There was also an electric outlet on that sort of demi-wall that held up the bar-top - that will be moved to the wall behind the cabinet drawers.  (It won't work to have it on the side because of the drawers; if it was a cabinet there, it would be a different story.  We did discuss having them install a pop-up outlet that would sink into the counter and disappear when not in use, but it just isn't the right option for me.)

That's all I've got for now.  They are building the forms for our counters and will hopefully be pouring them in about a week and a half - or the week after that.  We'll see.  Installation will come after the concrete  cures - and they'll do all the other work (tile, lights, sink, faucet, etc.) at that time.  I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Here ... Really!

For those of you who don't read the boys' blog or follow me on FaceBook, my apologies.  I really haven't dropped off the face of the earth.  I've got two major things keeping me occupied right now:
     1.  Dave, my Guide Dog for the Color Blind, as I mentioned in my last post, is recovering from some back and neck problems.  We're gradually letting him build back up, but haven't tried the stairs yet.
     2.  We're having our kitchen ripped apart.  Well, not exactly, but we are making some major changes in there - new countertops, adding under cabinet lighting, adding back splashes, and a few other things.  I've promised to show pictures to so many people that I think it will be easier to post them here!

I really like my kitchen, but some changes will really help out.  Here are a few "before" shots:

IMG_7376 "before"
From the breakfast room, looking into the heart of the kitchen 

IMG_7378 "before"
Basically, looking the other way ...

It's hard to get a feel for it from those pix, so I used one of the panoramic photo apps on my iPhone and took some more.  They're fun, if nothing else.

The first shot was taken from the breakfast room, panning from the built-in desk, into the kitchen, then you can just catch a glimpse of the dining room:

IMG_6965 Panoramic "before" shot

The desk top will be changed out, too, and will still match the kitchen counters.  The biggest change will be "straight ahead" in that shot.  See the bar-height part of the counter?  The guys are cutting that down, and the entire counter will be one height.  Still eat-at-able (my spell check let that one fly; isn't that great?), but lower.  We'll swap that stool with a lower one we have elsewhere in the house.

Changing perspective just a tad, let's look at shot #2:

IMG_6966 Panoramic "before" shot

I was standing in the doorway to the laundry room for that one above, just beyond the desk.  You can see the dining room, just beyond the kitchen wall, the door to the deck, and the breakfast room.  The door faces west, so we get tons of sunlight in there!  It's a bright kitchen, so I rarely use the center light fixture.  Having said that, when we had the house built, I asked them to install under cabinet lighting.  The builder looked at me like I was from the planet Neuxenius and was asking for Zackton gas to fuel my spaceship for the drive back home.  That was way back in ... 1998.  Yeah.  Stone Ages, apparently... let's move along.

Panoramic shot #3 was taken from the door to the living room:

IMG_6967 Panoramic "before" shot

Not much to say there, other than I didn't line my shots up very well, so there are blurry areas.  Oops.

Oh, actually... see how we don't have back splashes?  There is a 4.5" wood strip where the counters meet the wall, but not an actual back splash.  We'll be adding one; I think it will make a great difference!

Pan shot #4 is in the same doorway, but giving you a look into the living room.

IMG_6968 Panoramic "before" shot

OK.  The photo above is really for my friend Shelli, the Macon Bag-a-holic.  Zim is in there on his bed, looking really adorable, and I knew she'd like this.  (Plus, she helped me name the planet Neuxenius and decide it was a spin-off from Neptune.  Seriously, how many of you have friends who wouldn't bat an eye when you text them that you're trying to make up a name for a strange planet and need their help?  The least I can do is post a picture of Zim being remarkably cute.)

Oh!  And look!  My Gettysburg Battle Flag quilt is hanging above the TV!  I love that my husband wanted it somewhere where we could see it all the time!  :)

The last of the panoramic shots is with my back to the door, shooting the whole scene:

IMG_6969 Panoramic "before" shot

That door to the right of the desk is to the laundry room -- machines are to the left, facing us is the door to the garage, and to the right, with my bags hanging on the handle, is the door to the pantry.

OK!  So ... those are the "before" shots!  I'll be back within a couple days to show you some of the choices I've made and some "in process" pix!  This is very exciting... albeit messy, a lot of work, and expensive.  It'll all be worth it, though.

Thanks for reading!
 (proud resident of the planet Neuxenius, finally getting that Zackton gas!)