Friday, January 27, 2012

Kitchen island doors

I hand painted the doors on the kitchen island when we did a mini make-over on the kitchen, until we were ready to gut it and start from scratch.  Well we are weeks away from the start of our renovation and the doors are about to be removed and Brenda would love to have them. She is going to have to use her best pouty lip because Larry thinks he is going to hang the doors in the breezeway between the garage and the sporting goods room which is also the covered dog run.
I am on Brenda's side and it would make her so happy.  I may be to supplement Brenda's pouty lip with my own and we will gang up on Larry.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Our Home

When we moved into our home twelve years ago it had everything we needed for two adults and two teenage children, even if it was a bit outdated and I felt overwhelmed with the previous owners’ love of blue.  The outside of the our home was painted blue and was not appealing or inviting and only after driving by it three times did we finally stop to look inside, Enough bedrooms, the master bedroom was blue with blue carpet, frilly cotton blue curtains and a blue sink, a green bedroom with a wallpaper border of green lamps and a pink bedroom.  Both the bathroom upstairs were blue as was the living room, dining room, kitchen, entry, and the study was cheap paneling and wallpaper in a muted green/grey that matched the art studio paintd a darker green/grey.  The only room in the house that was a normal color was the sunroom in pale beige.

Space was the issue and this house had it all including what we now call the sporting goods room that in its former life was a ham radio room, and my husband has converted it into his own man cave of various sporting equipment for fishing, hunting, boating, and a 32” flat screen television.  I do however own most of the space above this room an attic storage which is completely full.
In addition to all this, the house sits on one acre on a quiet private road with only seven other homes.  In the back yard is a nine hundred square foot barn, converted to carpenter’s shop, that became Hollyhock Cottage, our own little collectibles, antiques, hand crafted treasures shop. It has an attic that is about three hundred square feet filled with the childhood treasures from three children of our six children and assorted miscellaneous pieces of furniture and items waiting to be transformed from their formal life into new usable items.

Before we moved in I stripped the wallpaper with little green lambs off the bedroom wall and painted it white for my daughter and painted the second bedroom white for my son.  Our master bedroom became a soothing cafĂ© latte brown and the blue curtains were quickly donated to the Goodwill along with the cutesy homemade vanity cabinet that looked very out of place in the bedroom.
I lined the kitchen cupboards and drawers with new shelf paper after scrubbing them all down and began the process of unpacking the boxes we were moving everyday from our rental home.  We settled in and began life in our new home.

That first spring when Larry left on a fishing trip I was busy in the garden and used the mustang convertible we owned at that time to bring home shrink wrapped trees with the top down and plant a new tree bed.  When I had the use of the truck again I brought and unloaded three cubic yards of mulch into soil that was deprived of nutrients.
Larry left on a fishing trip the following spring and I decided to make a few more changes.  The blue rooms and blue carpet get sort of depressing on cold grey winter days when the sun doesn’t shine and the rain never stops.  Three cans of yellow paint from a pale tint of butter yellow to a deeper shade of Mediterranean sun kissed yellow and the house was feeling brighter and happier.  Now the blue carpet sort of faded into the background and the blue border wallpaper was gone making the main living area seem sunny and bright.

The following year when my husband left to go fishing (Do you see a theme here?) I painted the stairway and upper hallway white.  My daughter was gone for the summer one year and when she returned the blue walls were gone, replaced by four coats of white paint.  Do you get the idea I am no longer a fan of blue paint.  The downstairs bathroom was stripped of the blue flower wallpaper to reveal a wall that is not sheetrock but has yet to be determined exactly what it is made of.  It was paintable however and became a rich bronze color.  Bronze paint was not yet an item you found in quantity in the stores, being just a little ahead of the metal craze, so I bought up every single craft size bottle I could find for weeks and mixed it with a glaze and burnt sienna paint until I had the color I needed.
My daughter Kelly helped me tackle the kitchen once again.  This time I was painting the brown stained plywood box cabinets that looked exactly like the day they were installed in nineteen seventy-six and featuring door knobs installed in the middle of the cabinets doors.  I painted the base cabinets black and the kitchen island doors were hand painted with patriotic barnyard animals.  The upper cabinets were primed, painted red, painted with crackle paint, painted with a butter cream paint color, and rubbed with an antique glaze to soften the finish and give them an aged look.

When our daughter moved out the sunroom became the dining room and we had it painted hunting coat red from the Ralph Lauren paint line.  The old dining room became a sitting area off the kitchen--well suited for large parties and lots of people--with a twelve foot church pew and several chairs.
We tackled the study next by removing the paneling on one wall, removing all the wallpaper which was several layers thick and the upper chair rail with wall paper border.  The frilly inefficient fireplace was removed and a radiant gas fireplace and new box replaced it giving the room a much more contemporary look.  The same red paint in the dining room covered one wall in the newly renovated study, with a warm caramel color on the bottom paneling and a soft cream white on the other upper walls and ceiling.  The artwork was returned to the room and hung more like an art gallery and of course the new flat screen television over the new fireplace.  Furniture, drapes, and carpet completed the makeover of the study. 

I have dreams of painting my studio, removing the florescent lighting, the ceiling fan that I can never use for fear of glitter, embossing powder, gold leaf, paper, and miscellaneous art supplies floating around my room.  Patience…because my studio also houses the laundry, sewing center, and the dog crate.  It will probably be last on the remodel list after the guest bathroom gut, and two upstairs bathroom remodels, but both of these will come after the kitchen.
The kitchen.  We are back for the third and final update and this time we are gutting it.  New floors, undecided on engineered or laminate but we like the darker colors but not as dark as ebony.   What we pick for the kitchen will be installed in the entry, pantry, kitchen, sitting area off the kitchen, and the living room so it has a smooth continuous flow throughout the downstairs.  White two inch by four inch ceramic subway tiles for the backsplash with an accent row of white glass, and stone seven eights inch mosaic tiles and then running these small mosaic tiles up and around the window.  We are going with a black or dark grey grout for the tiles to give it a contemporary look.

The new stainless steel thirty-one cubic foot LG  French door refrigerator, thirty inch stainless GE double ovens, thirty six inch pro style natural gas six burner slide in stainless steel cook top by Hypotheory, and stainless steel inside/outside tall tub dishwasher are all sitting in the garage waiting for the project to begin.  The new thirty-three inch double bowl stainless steel sink has been chosen, the pro style pull down chrome faucet, and one horse power garbage disposal have been selected and will be ordered shortly.  Making the decision on the stainless over the range hood and the new thirteen gallon stainless trash can will be made within days. 
The thirty inch high kitchen island will have a new butcher block top.  Everyone asks why I like this shorter cabinet and the answer is easy.  When I am rolling dough or mixing by hand it is less stress on the shoulders to have my arms in a downward position than chest level.  I can put all my strength into rolling out and cutting twenty four dozen cookie with no problem.  Countertop material for the rest of the counters is undecided.  We thought about butcher block on everything, but the contractors and cabinet builders are all against it, even though I am seeing it in high end designer homes and remodels on HGTV.  I guess we will have to check the options on wood, laminate, and granite, keeping in mind our budget.

The budget has to include forty-eight feet of lower cabinets and twenty-seven feet of upper cabinets.  The cabinets include the kitchen and galley pantry that is semi open to the kitchen.  We are losing a small amount of cabinets in a slight change to the kitchen layout but gaining a small amount when we remove a non load bearing wall and add cabinets  to a wall that looks like they ran out of cabinets when the house was built.  The cabinets to the side of the ovens will be designed to have frosted glass in the center cabinets and the side cabinets will drop all the way to the cabinet counter to give it more of furniture cabinet look than another bank of cabinets. 
The bids are coming in from contractors and cabinet makers.  The first bid for construction and cabinets was a shocker that left us wondering what we were going to do with those new appliances sitting out in the garage if all the other bids came in with numbers close to theirs.  Bid number two for construction only was within our budget and we have five more bids we are waiting on.  One bid will be for the construction cost only, one for construction and cabinets, and three bids for cabinets only.  We have a catalog for knock down cabinets that would mostly work with a few tweaks if we had to order from them and I haven’t even checked stock cabinets from Lowe’s yet. 

Exciting and nail biting.  Once we start it will take about two months from deconstruction to finished kitchen.  Sheetrock dust, furniture moving, eating off paper plates, using a microwave while living and camping in the middle of a work in progress.
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