Thursday, July 26, 2007
I think Chris' desperation for this project to be over has peaked. Today after work he finished painting the ceiling:
And installed the sink flange:
And installed the disposer:
And now we have a functioning kitchen sink!
I accused Chris of beginning to enjoy home improvement projects, but he assured me that this is not the case. He is merely desperate to have a working kitchen again.
Until the missing light fixture parts and the new updated Hoosier cabinet come in, there's really nothing more that we can do. I have some organization projects planned for this weekend in the event that the parts don't arrive. Maybe I could straighten up some other rooms of the house that have been neglected for too long... nah.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The paint is a specialty metallic finish that I searched far and wide for. It's allegedly very difficult to roll on because you have to finish the strokes all in the same direction so that the metal particles are all lined up. Chris is applying it with a brush to avoid this and he said that it's taking him about 4 minutes per square. That's either dedication to a job well done or desperation for this project to be over, I can't decide which.
Monday, July 23, 2007
This is the only good thing that has happened with the light fixtures for the room. When the island fixture arrived, there was much excitement, but then we discovered that the shades were broken. This is easy enough to fix, manufacturer's deal with this all the time. I sent an email and they assured me that the new shades were on their way. Great! Now we can install the fixture and just wait for the shades, no need to send the whole thing back. I assemble the fixture and strip the wires and Chris was standing on the island waiting and then I realized (yep, I didn't realize until this point, sad, I know) that the mounting bracket and chains that the fixture are supposed to hang from are missing. I sent another email and I got the same response, but still no parts. It's been two and a half weeks and this is holding up the whole punch list and I would totally call them up and give them what for, but no one picks up the phone there, they just have a recording that says to submit questions via email! Maybe they've had too many talking to's in the past. I am definitely going to send a semi-harsh email now!
Grandma to the rescue! My Grandmother, Shirley D, painted these plates when I was a kid. They've hung in her house for as long as I can remember and I have always loved them, so I was very happy to be the lucky recipient when my grandparents moved to a smaller home recently.
This isn't a great photo, but if you click on it you can see them in more detail. They fulfill all of my requirements, AND they have sentimental value. Thanks Grandma!
The first thing that we could ruin was the subway tile. The people who installed the previous counter top used really large amounts of caulk, so we had to be very careful prying the backsplash away from the tiles. We managed to uninstall the counter with only 1 broken tile and two that were pulled out of their grout. A number of tiles that would've been behind the backsplash were also missing. We found some tiles under the counter on top of the cabinets, but we are still missing 2.5 tiles. I will head to the Historic Albany Foundation Parts Warehouse this weekend to try to find properly worn replacements.
The second thing I could ruin was the sink. Someone from the Old House Web forum suggested I look for sinks at Ikea. I shot her down and then marched out and bought a sink from Ikea. It wasn't expensive, but it took two trips to Paramus, NJ to get it and I didn't want to make a third trip. The sink only had one faucet hole and we needed two so I got out my trusty Off Brand Rotary Cutter and porcelain bit and hoped for the best. I taped everything because I was worried about chipping, but it turns out that the OBRC worked like a dream.
The third thing I could ruin was the counter top. Fortunately the sink installation didn't require me to cut a rectangle in the oak slab, I don't think my 10$ jig saw would've been up for the job. Since I didn't think my wimpy cordless circular saw (it seems I don't have a lot of faith in my tools) was going to do a very nice job either, we dragged the 9 foot long, 100 pound counter top to the basement so we could cut it on the table saw. This worked superbly, but it was a little nerve wracking for me. Obviously I couldn't use the fence, so I tried to dig up some geometry skills to ensure a square cut. I'm not saying that the cuts were square, but I'm saying that if you don't have a T-square with you and you squint your left eye a little, they look pretty good.
The right side of the counter butts up against the wall, so I tried to scribe it and then measured that angle and then tried to cut it so it would fit. For this one you'd have to squint both eyes, but it looks OK. The back corner is about 1/2" from the wall, but when I put the cookie jar full of dog treats there no one will know, so don't tell them.
Here are some pics:
The oil rubbed bronze disposer flange has not arrived yet, so the sink is not fully functional, but Chris finally got the right supply lines yesterday (plumbing always requires at least 3 trips), so we have water. Hurrah!
The gap on the right side of the sink is where the disposer switch will go when we get that wired up.
I'm sure I'll ruin something during that project too...
This is what the Nook looked like before the snow storm that caused the Hole:
I just realized that in the photo it may look like Chris and I are drinking heavily. This is surely not the case. The night this photo was taken we were hosting a very innocuous baby shower and we were merely making 'punch'.
And this is what the Nook looked like not so long ago. I would say that was the low point.
Here are the most recent photos:
At some point I plan to build a cabinet that matches the other kitchen cabinets to put on the left side of the stove. By 'some point' I mean, 'when I acquire the woodworking skills for cabinet making', so that could be a while. It's definitely not on the punch list.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
We worked on the kitchen when we weren't inside the Home Depot. I am happy to say that we have a working range again and I have made a total of ONE meal! I was using the stove as an excuse for all of the burritos, but it turns out we just like burritos a lot.
Here's a short recap of the kitchen progress:
The Cook Nook:
This area used to be sort of a breakfast nook, but it has been renamed The Cook Nook. The plaster wall didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I had some trouble with the finish coat, so I got some advice and tried a second finish coat, but I got distracted while doing it and didn't get it smoothed out before it set. I thought about skim coating it, but then I decided that a tin backsplash would be easier and with the rest of the stuff that was going to be on the wall that the plaster job was good enough. We installed the hood and potrack and then hooked the stove up and we are back in business! We probably should've finished painting the finish coats before hanging everything, but we got so durn excited that we couldn't wait. It's OK, Chris loves to tape and paint trim... hehe. The rest of the hood chimney will be installed after the ceiling is finished. The hood is stainless, it just looks orange because of the reflection from the last of the orange walls.
Chris and I hung the Anaglypta in the main part of the kitchen. It was clumsy and sweaty work and we were both covered in glue by the end, but there are only about 10,000 wrinkles and gaps, so we feel pretty successful. I understand that the paper generally looks pretty bad until it's painted, and I am hanging on to that hope. We hung the strips at a dizzying rate of 1 per hour, so this project took 3.5 days of vacation.The ceiling will be painted silver for a faux tin effect. The metallic paint chips arrived this week, but we still haven't decided which shade of silver would be best.
We have now entered the era of modern conveniences with a new electric ice box. OK, we did have a modern refrigerator, but it was too big and too boxy for our small kitchen and since we are adventurous people we decided to look for an antique refrigerator. On Sunday we drove to South Hadley, Mass. to pick up this little beauty:
It's a 1941 GE in nearly perfect condition. I was a little worried, but it is so quiet and cold I can hardly believe it. We can fit most of our groceries (and boxes of wine) in it, but we had to get a supplemental freezer. While we were at it we also got a little fridge for the Man Area (den) so we can have cold beers and diet cokes near the TV. Everybody's happy.
The plan for the old fridge (it wouldn't fit down the basement steps) was to put it on the curb and list it on Craig's List for free, but it was gone before I had a chance to publish the ad. Hopefully someone's getting some use from it, I have some guilt about getting rid of a perfectly fine fridge.