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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Still Working on the Kitchen

Before moving in, we moved the location of the doors, changed out the peninsula, added upper cabinets from the laundry area, and had new lower cabinets made, as well as an oven cabinet.

Remember the before picture?

The cabinets in the kitchen were good, custom cabinets, but the finish was dull and had some surface damage in places. After cleaning them well, we used sanding sealer, sanding sealer, and sand paper to prep them, and then restained and applied new polyurethane. The tile we chose for the backsplash is gray with a border tile with a fruit design. We thought this door pull went well with it.

The kitchen countertops and sink were installed the day before we moved in. We would have liked more time so we could have gotten more done, but at least I didn't have to wash dishes in the bathroom, a definite plus.

Since the kitchen was long and narrow, it was fairly dark. Because of that, we chose white tile for the floor, and white appliances except the smooth cooktop, which was black with gray specks. We thought it wouldn't show fingerprints or scratches like a white or solid black. We also let a display at the appliance store influence the placement of the oven, and put it under the cooktop, even though it was a separate unit. It works there, but its front is a piece of tempered glass held off the metal by bushings in the corners, and every crumb from the cooktop above is drawn to that narrow opening and can't be removed. When we ordered the new cabinets, we were planning to put in two ovens, but with our budget quickly disappearing, we bought one oven and microwave and left the other opening empty. It was several years before we could add the second oven, a side-opening convection oven.

We also chose a white ceramic/cast iron sink which I later came to regret. Even though I really like that it has one extra large basin, I have broken or chipped countless dishes on the center divider. Aluminum pans mark it easily, and it also stains from foods easily. I have found that the glass cooktop cleaner works best removing the metal marks.

The new peninsula was a little smaller than the original to allow more room to open the refrigerator doors, and the new has a stack of drawers. The original kitchen had a furdown (called soffit or bulkhead in other parts of the country) which was a bit deeper than the cabinets. We added a plate rail that was a bit deeper to accommodate knickknacks and small antiques. We also changed out the recessed lights and added a ceiling fan. The blown acoustic was scraped off this ceiling also, and a knock down texture put on. The wallpaper was tan with little rust colored flowers. Sizing was applied to the furdown before the wallpaper border was put on, which made me think removing the wallpaper was going to be a breeze. Wrong. The walls had no sizing, and the curling seams had been closed with school glue. Armed with a spray bottle, razor blade, and scraper, the wallpaper relaxed its hold except for a few stubborn areas where big chunks of sheetrock paper came with it. We didn't know if we wanted to paint or have the walls repapered, plus we still want to remove a wall, so we decided to temporarily paint the walls, holes and all. And thirteen years later, it looks the same, except a few of the holes have been patched.

This is now - with still a lot of work to be done.

The cabinets need to be totally refinished now, and of course the walls need to be painted. All in good time.

One thing that never ocurred to Larry is that a house should have a door to the backyard. Children and pets especially need direct access to the safety of a fenced backyard.

So after thirteen years of walking out the side door and through a gate to get into the backyard, we finally have a back door. I wanted a door with the 9-lite look, but with mini blinds between the glass that raised as well as tilted, but cheapskates economically careful folks can't be choosy, so we ended up with a plain glass door with a cellular shade between the glass.

From the newly finished living/dining room - both new doors:

Hubby really likes the shade because it can lower from the top as well as raise from the bottom.

He started at the crack of dawn one Saturday, or so it seemed when I was jolted out of a deep sleep, sawing out the brick to make the opening. By evening, the door was in, and most of the trim in place both inside and out. I didn't get a chance to take a "before picture" from inside so will have to start from this point. The tile in front of it needs to be replaced to fit against the threshold.


And after (also removed the tree)

Until next time, may you have blessings and patience,

Next, on to the laundry room.

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