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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Re-design of a Mid Century Bathroom

imageSo this is a design job for a Mid Century Bathroom. 1968 to be exact. This young couple just bought their first home and are faced with the main bathroom stuck back in the past. Not only components of the 60’s but some upgrades from the early 90’s as well. They want to honor the design but need a second shower to make this functional.

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For some odd reason there is a niche and cupboard above the tub that you can only use if you are standing in the tub. Everything seems solid, but we need to gut the shower to make it ready for the new tile around the tub and install plumbing to create the shower head.

It has been a process to help them decide on the choices of materials for this update. They needed to pick out tile for shower surround, floor tile, new vanity, paint, counter and sink, lighting and faucets. As with any young couple they want  it to look like a dream photo they have found but with the budget, cannot have the amount or certain materials that they want. It is all about compromise.

I put together some samples after talking with them about their likes and colors. What I got from them was dark cabinet, mosaic tile behind a free-standing or stand alone vanity.  Nickel or pewter colored fixtures, tub to ceiling tile with inset of mosaic tile, dark wood look ceramic floor. Paint that could match all the existing house that the interior has recently been painted. And possibly tiled wainscoting. All this on a rather small budget for materials and labor.

Tub surround, subway which was requested. In almond not white.

Tub surround, subway which was requested. In almond not white.

Mosaic, subway and floor tile in wood look.

Mosaic, subway and floor tile in wood look.

Vanity request, with open shelves for baskets.

Vanity request, with open shelves for baskets.

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After presenting them with photos, samples and cost or materials and labor. Changes happened to get closer to budget and what they really wanted. I eliminated the ceiling lights and wainscoting right off, knowing that the budget wouldn’t support that.

It was decided to eliminate the entire wall being mosaic tile behind the vanity, changed the subway tile surround to a smaller connected tile at a greatly reduced price but still achieve the desired look. Add a larger vanity when presented with photos of one. Also add a feature wall behind vanity with a different paint color, and additionally may add some mosaics above vanity when it gets closer to the finish.

The toilet is newer so it will be reset. Also the client will do the shower demo himself which has begun.

It is fun to see them shopping for materials and changing their minds after seeing different materials when we went to purchase the components.

updates will be coming…….

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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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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How to Hide Your Popcorn Ceiling

While we are having snow and several days of below freezing temps, here is the next installment on the kitchen. It seems hard to believe this was a while ago and things have progressed since then.
So while trying to remodel a kitchen that happens to be in the center of a great room, the whole room becomes involved.

Then the wood stove decides the spit out black soot all over it while everything else is going on in that room and you have a disaster. Yes, that is what happened. At the time it didn’t seem to funny, or good timing but now I know it was perfect timing. The ceiling needed to be done before we moved on with the remodel.

Enter tongue and groove cedar. We have used it before on our cabin and it turned out great. I like the idea of it on the vaulted ceiling and I wanted to white wash it. Mr Nostalgia doesn’t want it painted. (Just like men and wood!) Given the choice of popcorn ceiling or no paint on the wood, I will take no paint, plus sometime in the future in could be painted.(wink, wink)

We measure and calculate what we need. We have to buy a whole unit of this lumber which is way more than we need, but that is how it is sold. Oh I’m sure I already have a use for the remainder of the wood! Shh…don’t tell Mr. Nostalgia.
So we find the trusses in the ceiling and snap a chalk line to mark them. Then sorting through the lumber we sort out the damaged or not as pretty pieces to use for this part of the project as they will not be seen.

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Once we get all the strips nailed into the trusses, we then measure the width across the room and pre cut our lumber so it lines up for easy application. We use our nail gun and both of us on ladders starts at the lower edge and work our way up towards the peak.

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We continued this stopping to measure and sort wood as we went until we were almost to the peak of the ceiling.

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Here it is the next morning. Excuse the piles of mess. Anyone who has lived in the middle of a remodel knows you think it will never get better. So now we stopped near the top, and start again along side the other lower edge.

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This side isn’t a straight shot due to the soffit or bulkhead above the cabinets. We decided to install the first full width piece along the soffit then work towards the wall on the partial side. That gave us a full piece with no odd cut. After working down to the wall we started from the full piece, and headed towards the peak again.

This side will be a challenge as we have electrical boxes in the ceiling for the lights. We haven’t chosen the light fixtures yet, so we leave the boxes where they are for now and work around them.

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Yeah! Side two is done. I wanted to tell you there is no finish on this wood. The shine is from the natural planed wood itself.

We debated on how to finish the peak. Should be put a false beam up, or perhaps old reclaimed, recycled gingerbread trim from an old house? We hadn’t really decided I thought. Well, one day I came home to fine Mr. Nostalgia had come up with his own solution. I really like it. It blends in well, now to get the finish moulding around the edges!

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If you have a house of this time period beware if you have ceiling heat. We do in this house. However the heat had been disconnect in the great room and the wiring used for a 220 wall heater. If you do not use your ceiling heat, you will need to have an electrician disconnect it permanently before you can nail into the ceiling. I will talk about the light fixtures, and paint choices as we continue the kitchen.

Hugs

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Kitchen Updating Turns Remodel part #1

So when I decided to remodel the kitchen, it came about in an odd way. It all happened really by accident, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

It all started with a new washer and dryer. I told Mr nostalgia I thought it was time to update our set of front loaders. We had had them for a while and used them a lot. I just figured it was better to upgrade before we had to.

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This is the old set, there is a funny story how we sold them on Craigslist! That will be a later post.

While in Lowes one day I checked out the current brand and models we all ready owed. Check! They look good to me, I would love to venture out and do a color but, white is fine and goes with everything and blends well. Oh yeah we will go will the pedestals too.

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Well a few months before Mr. Nostalgia and I had been in Lowes to pick out items for his business remodel and bought ourselves a new microwave. We looked at new refrigerators and of course men being men he picked out the biggest and best that he liked! We didn’t buy one just cruised.

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So while I’m there looking at washer’s and dryers, I check out refrigerators, and ranges. The wonderful sales associate answers all my questions while I took photos on my phone to share with Mr. Nostalgia. The sales associate informs me that they will be have a sales event coming up and all the details, writes up my selections and I’m on my way.

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Of course when I show Mr. Nostalgia his refrigerator photos well that the one he has to have. So on the sales weekend I head to Lowes to purchase my new appliances, Washer, Dryer, range and the refrigerator. They are all set and delivery is set up.

Here it comes…..the refridgerator is to wide and to tall for the opening. So I tear out the cabinet above the old one, and the little cabinet next to the stove. Now we will have to do some work, but not to bad.

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Delivery day!

I have to take a lunch from work to come home while they install the new washer and dryer, range, and refrigerator. Everything goes pretty smooth until the refrigerator.It won’t fit between the pantry door and the kitchen island. They have to remove the French doors and bottom freezer drawer. Thankfully it fit! However you cannot really open the doors and work in the kitchen.

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Sorry about this blurry photo, only one I could find of the enormous island!

So the remedy was to hire help and we tore out the island. We hauled in an old cabinet from the garage to sub in while we figured out what to do with the kitchen.

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Until part 2

hugs

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