The Kitchen Finale

It’s done!  Technically it’s been done for quite a few weeks, again I’ve just let life get in the way of posting the finished pictures.

I can’t believe we lived in the house during all the construction.  I guess I’m really good at suppressing memories.  Towards the end, I was sure the guy who made our cabinet doors was going to quit because of all the nit picky things I would hit him with first thing every morning.  I’m sure our contractor talked him off the ledge a few times.

kitchendone

I love our decision to not have upper cabinets on the wall with the range.  I never realized how claustrophobic they made me.  Cooking feels so open and airy now, I love it!

I used to think under cabinet lighting was a waste of money, but now I don’t think I could live without it.  It’s like curtains on a window or a well placed rug.  It just adds that something to make the room feel warm and loved.  I love it too.

The microwave under the counter is awesome.  It took me a few times to figure out how to use it, since I don’t read directions on power tools and appliances.  The placement is great.  Out of the way of the person at the stove, convenient for the kids (when they are old enough to use it), and not a feature of the kitchen. Ok, I love it too.

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I love the wood.  I love the countertops.  I love the pop of green.  I love our fridge.  I love the storage.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop.

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There are things that I don’t like or would have done differently.  The main thing that bothers me is something that can’t be helped.  Due to code restrictions we have to have 8 electrical outlets on the countertop alone.  I think I counted 15 outlets total in the kitchen that are either new or moved.  Overkill.  However, I’m sure I will like it if I ever decide to use every single appliance that I own, plus a few power tools and a glue gun all at the same time.

The only other thing I would change is to add recessed lights by the refrigerator.  It can look a little dark over there now that we have the beautiful lighting on the other side of the room.

I created a short video of the the kitchen’s progress over the 3.5 months that it was being worked on.  Enjoy!

The Kitchen from morgenflower on Vimeo.

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Progress

Today was a big, loud, wonderful, stinky day.  It was countertop day!

In previous homes we have always had dark countertops.  Our last home had black granite and the house before that had a brown and black speckled granite.  Those countertops were very pretty, however they had one flaw.  When an “early human” makes a messy peanut butter and jelly sandwich and doesn’t clean up the mess, it’s really well hidden on dark counters.  So when the unsuspecting victim walks in and puts the mail on the countertop, it gets set into PB and J.  In this kitchen, I decided I’m done with dark counters. We chose to use an almost white silestone.  There are little beige flecks in it, so even though it’s not pure white, jelly will have a hard time hiding.

I didn’t realize how smelly and loud the countertop installation process was.  We had to open up the house for about an hour to get the smell out and I’m sure we didn’t get it all.

Part of the countertop installation is the sink.  I’m very excited about the sink.  It’s deep, very angular, and has a built in drying rack type of an area.  And it came with all sorts of fun accessories that we were surprised with when we opened the box.

The other very big and exciting part of the day was the refrigerator.  We finally pulled it out of the garage and put it in place.  And by that, we mean our contractor roped the countertop guys into helping haul it in the house.

We are so happy with it. It helps break up the white on that side of the room and it adds a great retro vibe.  I can’t wait to get the finishing touches done, but I guess things need to be more finished before the finishing touches can be done.  The dark wood area to the right is going to be painted white to match the cabinets.  We’ll probably paint all the walls around the fridge white just to keep it clean looking.

There is still much to be done.  The plumber is coming tomorrow to hook up the sink, dishwasher, disposal and ice maker.  The tile backsplash starts next week, hopefully.  Also next week the lower cabinet drawers and doors will be done.  The cabinet knobs will be installed after the doors are on (obviously).  We need to paint the ceiling, walls and the area next to the fridge.  The tile on the floor where the trench was needs to be fixed.  Oh, the stove needs to be put in place (tomorrow), the oven vent hood will be hung when the tile is done and the microwave will have it’s own little cubby crafted for it.  I’m sure I’m missing things, but this list is overwhelming enough as it is.

All in all today was a great day for progress.  It’s amazing what countertops will do for a person’s moral.  Not that I’ve ever sat watching HGTV, crying because my house isn’t done.  No, I’d know nothing about that.

 

 

 

Kitchen Plans

The cabinets are going in today and I realized that we haven’t written much about our kitchen plans.  I’ve written about faucets, knobs, trenches, garbage disposals, inspirations, and even fake kitchens, but not our plans for the kitchen design.

The kitchen started out as a U- shaped kitchen.  We wanted to open it up and create an island.  Which explains our trench.  The island will not have a breakfast bar.  Since the dining room table will be right on the other side.  The sink and dishwasher will be in the island.

We are only going to have one wall of upper cabinets.   This may sound blasphemous to some.  “What? What about all the lost storage?”, you may ask.  Well, we thought about it.  Between the lower cabinets, the pantry cabinet, the weird storage closet next to the fridge and the one wall of upper cabinets we will have more kitchen storage than we have had in all of our previous kitchens combined.  I’m actually wondering how I’m going to fill it all up.  It will also help us keep the things we love and give away the things we have grown past.  Keeping life more simple.

The wall the stove is on will be all subway tile in a yummy green.  It’s where we are brining in the color.  We can’t live without color.

Here is a sneak peak of the cabinets so far:

Ok, that was technically this morning.  I’m waiting until they have more done before I share more, teeheehee.

Getting a Handle on it

We still are missing drywall.  There is still a trench in our floor.  Our sink is still being held up by a 2×4.  The counter top is just a 2′ by 2′ corner.  I know it’s only been a week since we had to move everything out, but when you have to cook for 5 people it gets a little old.  I also know that it’s not changing anytime soon.  Our poor electrician was sick all week with heat stroke and our city’s zoning department doesn’t want to give us a permit for the work that needs to be done (it’s been 3 weeks). Oh, well.  On the up side I heard our cabinets are ready to be picked up.

To keep my mind off of what we don’t have, I’ve been trying to figure out the handles for the cabinet doors and drawers.  Even with removing an entire wall of upper cabinets and turning the one wall into an island, there are still a lot of knobs.  I’m as confused as ever in which direction to go.  There are 3 possible options style wise: vintage, vintage reproduction, and modern.  I first thought I would want European styled cabinet pulls.

Sleek, simple, easy to find and purchase, but way too trendy.  I knew this option was out when my mom bought them for a house she was flipping  (I’m sorry mom, I still love you).  I’m the type of person that hates pink because girls are supposed to like pink (even though I secretly like it in small doses), I avoid decorating trends (even though I like some of them), and if you tell me everybody’s doing it I won’t do it.  I want to be myself, but I can’t be myself if everything I do is just like everyone else.  I’m complicated.  Anyway, back to cabinet handles/pulls.

First, lets look at vintage options.  I’ve been looking on eBay and Etsy to find vintage handles.  It’s hard finding large enough lots of matching handles, so we’ll probably have to go with one handle for the drawers and another for the doors.  This would be good for the drawers.

But, part of the downfall with original vintage knobs is that they might need to be refinished (time and money).

These are in great shape and would be great for the cabinet doors, but I’m not sure I like the idea of having this type of handle on the doors on the lower cabinets.  They could just go on the upper cabinets.

The next option is vintage reproduction.  I haven’t done too much looking in this area.  Rejuvenation has the most iconic mid century option, the boomerang.

But, I worry that the boomerang is too expected for a mid century kitchen.  I also have a hard time doing what’s expected of me.  I told you I’m complicated.

Finally, modern handles.  I’ve mostly been looking at inspiration kitchens and what they have for handles.  I know I can find the actual handles with a little google searching.  I like the simple lines of the handles in this first picture.

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I also like that the cabinet handles are horizontal to match the drawers.

This kitchen has the same handles on the lower handles that the kitchen above has, but the upper cabinets are different.  I like this idea since we only have one wall of upper cabinets.

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Since, the bottom cabinets are going to be tiger wood, maybe something less prominent would be good.

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Actually writing this post has helped me out a bit.  I think I might know where I want to go, for now.  I’m not going to tell you, since I will probably change my mind 1,000 times.  I’ll share it after we’ve bought them.  I guess I know how I’ll be spending my down time today.

The Walls Came Tumbling Down

It only took 15 minutes for the contractor to rip out this small section of wall and another 5 to clean up.  We now have an official island.

And the kitchen has a bridge now.  I’m really hoping there aren’t any trolls living under this bridge.  Just to be on the safe side, the kids aren’t allowed to go across it.

I keep telling myself it has to get worse before it can get better, thinking that we have reached the worst.  Oh, but I’m wrong every time.  Monday it gets worse again.  It’s time to get ready for the drywall guy and the electrician.  Then, maybe it will start to get better, or not.  This is definitely an adventure.

Ultimate Power!

I’m a Star Wars geek. While I can’t wield the force, I still can have unlimited power. In preparation for the kitchen remodel, I bought the tour-de-force of garbage disposals that any Sith or Jedi would be pleased to grind bantha bones in. It’s not even in yet and it has me shouting:

You may be asking what’s this have to do with mid-century modern design. My answer is … absolutely nothing. However, we do live on the Space Coast and this machine has some series NASA-like ingenuity. Named the InSinkErator Excel Evolution, experts call it the largest residential-use garbage disposal one can put under a sink (Cue the Tim “Tooltime” Taylor grunts!). Hard-core rubberized connections with four “stomachs” encased in silencing fiberglass with a ONE FULL horsepower engine for grinding food waste, sharpening spears for an entire Ewok village or just mulching a flower garden. Things just got real, folks.

Did I mention FOUR stomachs? This thing has four stomachs like a cow or an ox or better yet: A deer! That’s right I said a deer. But a ferocious deer! A cunning, quiet, voracious deer … like this one:

The Devil is in the Details

About a week ago we gave the ok to have the cabinets ordered for the kitchen.  The estimated date of delivery is somewhere around August 16, give or take a week.  So we have been trying to make sure that we have all the details ordered so when it comes time to install everything we have it and don’t have to wait.

Today’s task was to pick out a faucet.  Who knew there were more faucet options out there than there are stars?  One handle or 2, 8″ spread or 4″, 1 hole or 4, maybe 3 holes, low profile or high goose neck, maybe a pot filler.  Just plain crazy how involved a faucet is.  But I didn’t go into this blind.  I knew that we are going for a  mid century inspired kitchen with a Danish feel.  With that in mind I narrowed the search down to a low profile faucet with 2 handles.

After stopping first at Retrorenovation to get an idea of the silhouette I wanted, I then ventured on to Home Depot.  Most of their faucets just didn’t fit the bill.  There was this one:

I wasn’t fond of the handles.  So, I went back to Retrorenovation and dug deeper.  I found this post about which faucet Pam used in her own retro kitchen.  She used a faucet from Chicago Faucets:

I liked the look of it, but knew that I wanted 2 handles.  I spent the next hour or 2 searching Chicago Faucets website trying to narrow it down to what I wanted.  I eventually got it down to these 2:

I like the handle design on them both.  They remind me of little rocket ships and since we do live on the Space Coast I figured that would be a fun touch.  I wasn’t fond of the metal piece that the first faucet sits on, but I did like the curve of the faucet.  The second one doesn’t have that piece of metal, but the faucet is a bit higher.

I ended up choosing the second faucet and ordered it, but now that I’m sitting here writing this I’m wondering if I made the right choice.  Maybe I should order both of them and return the one that doesn’t fit with kitchen.  Maybe I should stop stressing, I mean it is just a faucet right? Ugh.

I think too much. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

The Dust Storm Continues

More dust. More noise. More hiding in bedrooms.

The tile backsplash came down today.  I thought, silly me, that the work would be done with some sort of delightful chisel with minimal noise.  Nope, it’s done with a small jack hammer that knocks the tile off the wall, were it falls to the floor with a very loud crash.

This is where we started this morning:

No, if you push on  the medallion behind the stove nothing magical happens.  No secret doors or hidden treasure. Not even a giant boulder that tries to roll you over.  Nothing! It’s very disappointing. Notice the dust outlines of everything that was on the counter yesterday.  Yes, we had to wash EVERYTHING in the kitchen.

Here is the after:

Again, silly me, I thought walls would still be up after the tile came down.  I didn’t realize we were going to the studs.  Everyday is a opportunity to learn new things.

Note that the trash can is not white, that’s dust.  That’s what the whole house looked like.

I’m not sure what that white area in the wall is. The dining room (we made it an office) is on the other side of that wall.  Maybe it was a pass through, a door, maybe a window and the room on the other side was added at some point?  Who knows.  The mysteries abound.

A Trench Runs Through it

Today we voluntarily let 3 men into our house who preceded to jack hammer a trench in our kitchen.  I of course use the word kitchen loosely since there isn’t much there, but after today there is even less.  Part of the kitchen plan is to turn the kitchen from a U shaped kitchen to a kitchen with an island.  So in order to do that they have to run the water and electric under the floor.  It’s no fun having the water pipes run along the floor, you know, tripping hazard.

So this is where we started this morning:

As you might remember from this post there used to be a countertop that spanned this corner.  They took it out yesterday and moved the sink over about a foot today to get ready for the giant cement saw to come in today.  After lots of noise, dust, and the horrible smell of burning cement dust we ended the day here:

Doesn’t look bad does it.  I should have gotten pictures of the during stages, but we were hiding out in Sarah’s room.  More on that in a later post.  Do you notice the grey splatter on the wall under the copper pipes?

That’s splatter from the saw.  They kept it wet to keep the dust down- I would hate to see this place if they didn’t do that. I’ve found this splatter all over the kitchen and the front hall.  This place is a gross dusty mess and I’m refusing to walk around barefoot.  They are coming back tomorrow to remove the tile from the backsplash, so more dust.  We will clean the house after that’s done.

This is what it looks like under the boards.  It’s weird seeing dirt floors in your kitchen.  But I guess it has to get worse before it gets better, maybe?  Thanks to this process we did learn that we don’t have terrazzo hidden under our tile.  Oh, well.

Our contractor wrote on the wall to let the guys know how far to dig the trench. We had to add our own writing on the wall as a reminder (las isla bonita).  Now to try and relax, ignore the dust and rest for what’s left of the night. Tomorrow is more dust and noise.

Cart Before the Horse

We haven’t closed, don’t have the keys and don’t know when we will, but we know it’s just a matter of time.  My poor husband is losing sleep over all sorts of irrational fears that something is going to go wrong with the financing in the 11th hour.  Petrified that we didn’t answer the “Why do you want to buy a house” essay question right .  Yes, we actually had to write a letter saying why we wanted to buy a house right now.  He wrote something eloquent.  I would have answered with, “I want to by a new house because I’m tired of cleaning this house and I can no longer live in this pigsty”.

Since one of the first things we are going to need is a real functioning kitchen, we decided to meet with our contractor now rather than later.  I thought I would share some of our inspiration that we passed on to him today.

The house was built in 1965 and is a beautiful mid-century modern ranch.  We want to keep with the simple modern lines of the house and put in a clean modern kitchen with some fun vintage touches.  Like the Big Chill refrigerator:

 The over all feel we  I want is open, bright, clean, and relaxed.  I found this image on Desire to Inspire (via Pinterest) and fell in love.

Love the wood, the lack of upper cabinets, the white, how open it feels and how relaxed it feels.  We plan on getting stainless appliances.  I wish we could get a range like the one in the picture, but we have a very curious 3 year old who would make it his mission to learn how to work the stove.  And since we have no desire in having our house burn down, we are going for controls in the back.

To break up all the white we plan on putting in a full wall tile backsplash in a yummy green, like the next inspiration picture.

I found this image on Pinterest and was a bad pinner,  I don’t know where the original image came from.  I really do try to pin from the original source, but sometimes they just slip by.  Anyway, we have ordered some samples from various tile shops to find just the right green for us.  On my husband’s laptop this green looks  much different than it does on my laptop.  The only way to know for sure is to order samples.

The kitchen is a U shape.  Along one wall will be the range and no upper cabinets.  Across from that will be the sink and it looks into the dining room, again no upper cabinets.  The wall that joins those two areas will have upper cabinets.  However, they will be all white like in this kitchen:

Our contractor seemed a bit excited about doing a kitchen that wasn’t your typical kitchen design.  I know I’m excited and I really hope it comes out as beautifully as I imagine it in my head.  But, before we get  there we have to actually own the house.

Are you good at keeping things in the proper order, or are you like me and plan things way before it’s even time too?