New Base Cabinets Finally!

(Sorry this post was delayed.  So many things have happened and seems it was hard to keep up with it all.)

Well it finally time to make some much needed progress. Living over a week without a kitchen sink or dishwasher was awful!

The plywood was put on top of the base cabinets by the cabinet maker. Then it was my turn to make magic happen. It was a hard choice, I knew it was white subway tile, with black counters. I went through all the options of Soap stone, but that bid was more than almost all the kitchen. Then solid black honed granite, well that was pretty much over the budget too…..What’s a girl to do?

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Never fear and as a budget designer I knew I could find a solution. First my cabinet maker had an idea for an industrial grade Formica counter. He even ordered a sample and mocked up a sample. Of course for the life of me I can’t find the photo! It is a solid color thru product used in labs. It was matte black and if it chipped or got cut it was black completely inside so it would never show. Sounds appealing. But not sure a big plus for a buyer who might not be as welcoming to a new custom kitchen with Formica counters.

(You can read about it here)

Along came granite tiles with a rounded edge already applied. These are called Lazy Granite and are 12×12 tiles and you could order any configuration to cover your countertop and it would have an edge already on it. However this kitchen has so many corners and edges that it made this product more expensive than it should have been.

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Seriously it shouldn’t be this hard! So with a little investigation and clever frugal mind I came up with a solution!

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Black granite tile with a black ceramic edge. Wait, give it a look before you judge it. It was budget friendly, fit with the vintage look of the overall kitchen theme and was a DIY project I could do myself, which meant further savings.

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The ceramic edges were installed upside down, for lack of a better description. They went around the edges, with the granite as the filler. Black grout used to make a flawless finish and voila the perfect Vintage counter was born.

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The backsplash was traditional white subway tile with a black accent line of vintage goodness.

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We we used the top of the bed posts as legs on the base cabinets. Also some quarter round.

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And you you remember the sink base legs from the footboard of the bed.

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It is so nice to have the cabinets in. Now for the uppers!

Hugs,

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Upper Cabinet Installation

So we left off with the walls being done at this point. Click here to see the wall post. So since the cabinet maker had the shells of the uppers done, and I had finished painting the uppers will get installed before the lowers.

I guess I should give you a little back story.  This part of a kitchen remodel is “compromise” yes that is the name of the game. You have a mental photo or dream in your head for the space. But in all actuality it will look very close but you will have to compromise at some point in the details. This might be due to budget, or unforeseen problem your space will throw at you. This could be a major wiring in the way, to support beams, and sometimes just a few inches can make or break an idea or plan.

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So far I’ve had two compromises. The first was the old panty area, which now will hold the supersized refridgerator.  Then due to this it would have been major problem to remove the soffits, so they remained and we even have to change them up and extend them.

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Here the soffit is already altered. The corner cabinet, and vintage inspired curved shelves were on my list! The other side was to either have a matching curved shelf or not one at all and the wall completely tiled.

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Then I lost my open shelf and wall concept above the range and to the sides. To the right one open shelf was to house the microwave, since things shifted to the left and right something in the center had to go, and it was the microwave shelf. Now the range hood is to be built in and become a focal point structure. Which is now looking pretty slim of becoming a reality.

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So the new cabinet has bead board  in the back. This is due to the fact it will have glass doors and contain dishes.

So we are on a roll. No shelves and have install the doors. But it’s looking more like a kitchen everyday.

The next step the kitchen sink!

Hugs,

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Kitchen Walls

So before we can move forward on installing the new custom cabinets, work on the existing walls needed to be done. Yeah another step in the right direction!

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So after the carpenter Frank installed a false wall to hide the wires I didn’t want to pay to have moved, there was the job of reworking and adding to the soffit, make the new angle the corner, and extend the end.

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This was all a compromise on my part as I did not want a soffit at all. I wanted it all ripped out, finished off the ceiling, and the tops of the cabinets exposed for display. But I’m keeping the cost pretty low on this kitchen, I know it may not seem so with my sink choice or custom cabinets. But truth be told the sink was a splurge. But my cabinet maker gave me a screaming good deal, and I could not have bought the right sized cabinets for this kitchen anyway.

Examples of some of the cabinets I looked at that were pre-made. I like the one in the center with the bead board inserts.

Examples of some of the cabinets I looked at that were pre-made. I like the one in the center with the bead board inserts.

And this kitchen is very small when you consider the cabinet area. Plus I built the island and the pantry is in the adjoining room. (It is being re-done) So it was a no brainer!

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Here the uppers are removed, the soffit extended and reworked. All ready for texture so it matches the existing work in the house.

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Now once this dried I got busy painting it all. The whole great room was to be painted. This corner is the kitchen, to the left is the dining area, and I’m standing in the living area.

I went to Lowes, and for the first time in my interior design life, choose 3 paint colors all from the same paint chip card! I must say I’m not sure if I was just tired, or it just worked that day. I Chose Valspar  Signature. Card 3008-10. It has the 3 tones on the one card ranges from a darker tone, midtone, and then the lightest.

This is the beat up paint chip card I carry in my purse, so when I need to match or mix paint I have it with me.

This is the beat up paint chip card I carry in my purse, so when I need to match or mix paint I have it with me.

I had painted the interior of the house after we moved in. The big feature wall was a darker beige color, and the other 3 walls were a soft cream color. At that point anything was good. The walls were all a pink color, and the kitchen cabinets were 2 toned. The bottom plum, and the uppers lavender!

The thing I learned first about painting when living near the ocean, is color changes color. The color you pick out, and paint color you end up with may not necessarily be what you had envisioned after it is applied. And certainly not during certain times of day. Something magical happens when you paint near the ocean, I can’t explain it, but I have encountered it several times, and have discussed this with others who have encountered this very phenomenon.

I must say when I started on the feature wall, I was prepared to paint at least 2 coats. I had washed the walls from the mishap with the smoke and soot with a TSP solution and a special sponge, but there were still streaks and discoloration to deal with.

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This color went right over the darker color not only easily, but covered in one coat! I wasn’t sure until it dried, but sure enough! WOW! I’ve used a lot of paint over the years, and still have various cans and brands around that I will refer to on this blog, but none of them will get glowing remarks from me as this will! It will be my go-to paint from now on, and I’m not getting paid to say that either. Oh by the way, I would love to get paid to say that! I will never, ever say that I like a product unless I truely believe in it!

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Here is the feature wall. It is a Historic Preservation color and the darkest color.

The other 3 walls in this great room consist of one wall with a large window, and the other two wall are chopped up with doorways, and the kitchen area. They needed to be lighter in color so the middle color on the card seemed to work real well with the overall theme.

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Im not sure about you, but I always thought my dream job would be part of the group that picks names for paint colors. I’m sure it is an awful job if you think about it. How many names can you come up with for beige, or white?

Speaking of white, I had always used Dutch Boy Sweetened White for all my trim in a Semi-gloss. But as you can guess not anymore. Which leads me to the cabinet color I chose.

It needed to be whitish, but not all in your face screaming, blinding white. That’s where the third color comes in from the paint chip card.

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As you can see, it really isn’t white at all, but remember the magic that happens with paint. When you open this gallon of paint it looks white. Just not the glaring, awful in your face white I didn’t want. This can was used for the soffit, and then delivered to the cabinet maker. The great thing about this color is it has replaced my Sweetened White as my go to trim color.

Its coming along, I’m excited about the next step. The lower cabinets will be torn out, prep work done then the installation of the new cabinets. Oh and that large farm house sink!

This I’m sure will be the hardest part, and the most trying part of a renovation. Pretty much several days without a functioning kitchen.

Hugs,

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New Kitchen Island

So we started the island if you remember from this post here.

So now that the floor is done on the part where the new island will be we can install and finish it.

It looked like this as we placed it in the house.

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Ran the wire up into it and secured it in place. Then connect it all together and put on the backing bead board. You can see it doesn’t line up with the green tape on the floor. The front has a toe kick that needs to be brought out to make it a solid piece. This will give it the illusion of a piece of furniture, or in this case the old general store counter appearance we are looking for. This was achieved by using 2×4 spacer pieces and one long 2×4 the length of the counter. The trim will hide all of this work.

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Here you can see the trim along the floor. I pre-painted it so it will just need to be touched up once it was nailed into place. You can see the poplar strips added to give it the antique look.

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This is the other end with the opening for the built in microwave. you can see the wires there for the dedicated line for it. The microwave was suppose to be on a special shelf between the range and fridge, but due to having to allow extra space for the custom corner cabinet we lost space and had to move it. I’m not a big fan on them on the counter. This made sense and would allow a opening for it.

I wanted the doors to be different on this piece than the bead board doors I selected on the cabinets. The pieces had a raised Shaker style doors, so I had a recessed area to work with. I got the brilliant idea to use old ceiling tin on them. I looked and found some online, but they were what I thought pretty expensive. So I figured why not use the fake plastic stuff. A trip to Home Depot, provided me with just what I was looking for.

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It is PVC and looks like tin ceiling tile, but is made to be used as back splash and has grooves to overlap and pieces to finish off the edges. You can order online if they don’t have the color you want in stock and delivered to your local store. It will be in the kitchen decor/remodel department.  I wanted my doors to match pattern wise so had to use a full sheet for each of the 3 door on the island. It seems a little expensive, but not when compared to original antique pieces if you can find them to fit your cabinets. I think they could be primed and painted too?

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I measure the door inserts and marked the panels.

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I then simply cut them with my kitchen scissors. They fit tightly into the insert area. I used liquid nails and put 5 dots on the door area, staying away from the immediate edge so it wouldn’t squeeze out the sides and show. I  then pressed the PVC  Tin Tile piece into the area and rubbed well. I let lay flat for a day and dry.

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I attached the new hinges and hung them. I had selected the hardware for the new cabinets and couldn’t find anything I liked better so did use the same hardware on the island.

30mm Victorian Glass Knob, and Martha Stewart 3" Bracket Bin Pull in Iron.

30mm Victorian Glass Knob, and Martha Stewart 3″ Bracket Bin Pull in Iron.

The glass knobs are just under $3.99 each. I did get the iron bin pulls for $1.98, they sell now for $4.97.

They didn’t show very well on the black painted island so I took a silver paint pen and rubbed it on them, quickly followed by rubbing with a rag to spread it and get it into grooves.

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The top is going to be butcher block. I found one at IKEA that is perfect. They sell counters that are a narrower width, but also a piece that is a wider width. Problem is the nearest IKEA is about 3 1/2 hours from us so we need to wait until someone is going that direction that can haul it! So until that happened we made do.

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This is before the hardware and distressing. I sanded, then stained, and waxed to give it and old used feel. If I would have know about milk paint then, it would of been milk painted with some chipping goodness! However it turned out good, and even people who love antiques think I “found” my old store counter and converted it! We finally got the top, the cabinet maker cut it down to fit. It was wired with an outlet at both ends and one inside on a separate circuit for the microwave. I tested several stains and found one that matched the Red Oak that is on the floor on 2 sides of it. And used a natural Bees Wax to seal it. It gets a good cleaning sanding and re-waxing about every 6 months.

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While on my trip to see my son, (here) I purchased a few things at IKEA. I installed them on the island to give it more of that general store look and also some practical storage solutions too.

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And a view of the microwave end too.

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Here you can see the distressing also. Just were it would be worn perhaps from customers rubbing against it while talking to the shop owner, or from being moved or cleaned over the years. I love it. It is functional and looks great too. Plus I like the fact I can say “yeah I built it” ( insert big smile).

If you have hung on long enough to read this whole post thank you! Sorry about the quality of the photos. There was no lighting installed in here when most of these were taken. Also before my new camera purchase. (Yeah)

So more to come, the lower cabinets are next, and another great repurpose project too.

Hugs,

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Laying the Kitchen Floor

So because we are living in this mess at the same time as remodeling it is a challenge to say the least. Almost all the old is torn out now and the wall repaired and ready to paint.

“We” are laying the floor before we tear the last part of the cabinets containing the existing sink. First the “We” is me. Me and me alone. And second I know it seems odd to lay the new floor with part of the old cabinets still in use, but it will all work out. The part where the new floor isn’t being laid is under the cabinets so will never be seen. Using plywood to level it out, after the tear out will be cheaper in the long run.

As you remember we have that 1970’s vinyl as our base. Oh gee how could you forget.

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So first thing first. Moved out the temporary island sweep and vacuum existing floor area. Also checked for any spots that protruded or stuck up which might cause the new flooring to have a bump in it. I choose an Armstrong snap together floor. It looks like travertine tile in a random pattern. (Sorry the exact name I can’t remember)

Starting with the underlayment it was rolled out and joined as was directed on the package. It covered the open area when the floor was to be laid. I have installed a good many laminate and snap together floors so figure this small area with these large pieces will not take very long to install, so I’m anxious to get started and finished this morning.

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The green tape marks the island placement. The power supply is the wires coming out of the floor that will come up into the new island to power the outlets and the microwave outlet. You can see a piece of the flooring on the left hand side of the photo. And this corner is where we will be laying the first piece to start the pattern off with.

I opened all the boxes and there was 3 different patterns included. However one of the patterns I had a lot of, and one of them only 3 pieces. This made me wonder how this was going to work?

The first piece was laid and the end piece running into the old cabinet was cut and attached to the first long piece. As I laid out the next row to match the pieces or their grout lines, I ran into a problem. This wasn’t going to be easy at ALL! Once I found suitable pieces I just laid them there without attaching them and looked for the next row. This took the better part of the morning just trying to match the grout lines! I was in over my head!

Before I pulled my hair completely out I decided to call my next door neighbor. After all he is a professional floor layer! I felt awful calling him! After all I didn’t hire him to lay it. And who was I to ask him to look at it and help me? But as I was nearly in tears, I felt it was my only hope, so I dialed his phone number! Sure enough he was home and came over to look at my problem. I’m sure he heard the “I’m desperate and about to do damage” in my voice!  One look and he said  “Yeah, this stuff is awful to lay. It is suppose to look random, but isn’t. All I can say is you are really doing a good job, and you just have to keep doing what you are doing”

Well I thanked him and promised him home baked cookies, for his advise. And after he left I looked at the floor and calmly told it, “You will not beat me, I will win!” I took a little break then started back matching this odd pattern and putting it together.

once I got to the stove and fridge I slid them onto the new floor, laid the pad and continued to the back wall. I might add this floor didn’t want to stay together either, so it was an uphill battle the whole floor! Finally by 5:00 I had finished the last pieces, then pushed the appliances back to the wall.

It looks perfect, is a breeze to clean, doesn’t really show when it is dirty. But I would never have this floor again! The corner are very brittle and seem to break easy, it was awful to install.

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Now that that is complete we can move on!

Hugs,

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A Farm House Sink

So I need to pick out some of the things for the new kitchen. These had to be done so we can build cabinets and get started. I searched and researched. I wanted this kitchen to have that Nostalgic look to it. Kind of like grandmas house but with modern conveniences .

You will remember we started the island already here. It will look like an old general store counter.

It only seemed natural that the sink would be a nice white farmhouse one. I drooled over several photos of kitchens with those sinks. I looked a big box stores, and home improvement stores. I fond the one I wanted. A Kohler 36″ white case enamel sink. It is made right here in the USA. It was so nice I could see piles of veggies, and lots of room to wash cookie sheets and large stock pots.

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So here it is! A Kohler Whitehaven apron front 36″ self rimming sink. I ordered it. I think it will be perfect! Look at all that space. I used my bonus from work as this was the “big” splurge for the kitchen. I justified it as something that gets used everyday, more than an appliance really, so why not get what you want.

It arrived by air freight to a major airport more than 4 hours from our house. The shipping was FREE! But would have normally cost more than $150. It arrived by freight company. I was at work, in a meeting and could not meet the driver. He texted me he was at my house with my package. I told him I could not get away and to please put it inside my breezeway, as it would be safe there. He said ok and that was it. I could hardly contain myself until I could get home from work and see it in person!

Boy was I in for a shock! It was in a cardboard box strapped to a pallet! How the delivery guy got it into the breezeway I will never know! Had I known how big and heavy it was I would have told him where the panel to open the garage door was! I feel sorry for him as the thing weighs a ton, well just 143 pounds!

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Here she is! I couldn’t believe it, it was huge! I almost could have taken a bath in it!
My cabinet maker came to measure it and look at it. He couldn’t believe how big it was either. I have a vision on how I wanted it to look.
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Source

I like how the legs make it look like an old piece of furniture was used for the sink. I discussed this with my cabinet maker and he said I needed to find some posts about 23″ long. We also had to do some reworking as they could not stick out at all into the kitchen since we were so short on room.
The right side of the sink cabinet will go into a corner cabinet, so to have anything protrude will not allow the corner door to work correctly. I need to find some old posts, or buy new ones so he can start on this cabinet as it is the first cabinet to be built and the starting point for all the others.

After our meeting that day I ran a few errands. I decided to stop at a local thrift store to look around and see if they had any posts that might work. As I am walking through I see a bed frame pushed up in the back. I pull a different bed frame away and call my cabinet maker, then shoot these photos and email them to him. I take measurements and he comes right down.

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We look the frame over and it is solid maple with four posts. It is a full size, which doesn’t matter to us, but today it’s half price! So for the total of $12.50 I got the whole frame and 4 posts, the headboard and footboard and side rails in Maple.
He immediately goes to work separating the posts from the other pieces then filling the holes. We decide to use the footboard pieces as their finish work is perfect and the feet just finish the bottom up. The main post piece was trimmed down so it sets back.
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The top “ball” part was cut off. He sent me these photos from his shop.

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Here you can see the leg was trim down to snug up against the cupboard, but the foot part wasn’t so it looks like it is the support on the floor.

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This angle shows the sink sitting in the cabinet. It looks like the posts are supporting the sink, but that isn’t the case. It just appears that way. There are supports built inside to support that 143 pound sink plus any weight that might be included when it is full.
I’m exciting to see it is coming along. I have more things to pick out! Still have to choose lights, counters, hardware, faucet, and paint color!
Hugs,
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Update on Kitchen #2

So here we are, cabinets torn out, ginormous (is that even a word?) island removed. Now that leaves us with a floor that is uneven. It seems when they updated the kitchen the last time in the 1990’s they added plywood to cover the original floor around the new island
The house is a 1978 Ranch. We have found archeological evidence of some updating about every 10 years. So it looks like we are going to peel a few decades away from our girl, and give her a brand new kitchen. This will be her first completely new kitchen, since the disco era! Here are some flashbacks for you of some kitchens from that time period.

Check this one out, harvest gold, dark cabinets. They look so cheap.

Check this one out, harvest gold, dark cabinets. They look so cheap.

Again dark cabinets, harvest gold, and lots of harvest gold vinyl floors!

Again dark cabinets, harvest gold, and lots of harvest gold vinyl floors!

Diggin' this one. It has wallpaper, and Tupperware, bonus a matching washer and dryer. Plus that lovely light fixture.

Diggin’ this one. It has wallpaper, and Tupperware, bonus a matching washer and dryer. Plus that lovely light fixture.

Three Harvest Gold Disco kitchens, circa 1978. Just to give you an idea of what her original look might have been.
She had some small cosmetic work done, such as paint, floors, and track lighting installed when I got her.

I know I want to do a lot of this remodel myself, but I cannot do this alone. The kitchen is odd and small and requires custom made cabinets to pull it off. I have collected magazine clipping for 30 years of kitchens that I liked. I one day a few years back sat down with a pile of magazine pages and finally cut out the inspirations that I loved and pasted them to a vision board. (I might note this was before Pinterest) Boy hasn’t that made that rather old fashioned!

I knew just who to call. My dear friend Frank. I’ve seen his work before and we get along great, plus I can describe most things to him and he gets it. So he looks and measures and asks and sketches. Then goes home on his computer and does some magic and returns with some graphics of what the 2 walls will look like. We fine tune it and both go to work doing our parts. Mine being some demo, and finding a new sink, and islan.
I first start by tearing out the uneven plywood floor, and pantry.

Ripping out 3 layers to the original 1978 vinyl.

Ripping out 3 layers to the original 1978 vinyl.

Wow, so many different layers! But I got them all up.

Here is the pantry. Door is removed inside is already started. Marks and plans underway!

Here is the pantry. Door is removed inside is already started. Marks and plans underway!

If you look real close you can see where the cut in on the drywall for the new opening. But all work comes to a halt! We found 220 wiring above there. This means that this part cannot come out without a lot of added expense. So plans will change.
However we have the floor all leveled off now and back to 1978. I posted this photo on Facebook, some how it made me want to put on a pair on hip huggin bell bottoms!

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And the wires from the old island take up temporary residence on the toaster island!

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This is post sure has a lot of Harvest Gold in it! Stay tuned we have more exciting things to come….

Hugs

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