Kitchen

Skipping ahead a little (and obsessing just a wee bit about a kitchen I don’t yet own)

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Who’s already planning out her next kitchen?

Yep.  That would be me.  Crazy, insane, kitchen-loving me.

Don’t get me wrong – we haven’t yet bought a house.  We’re still trying to decide between a couple of nearly-perfect properties that we’ve seen, while desperately hoping that a really-perfect property appears in the meantime and before we make an offer elsewhere.  We’ve seen quite a few houses at this point.  There’s been a bit of good, a lot of bad, and oodles of ugly.

And, the common ugly element with each house we’ve seen?  The kitchen.

Yep, that’s right.  Nearly every house we’ve seen has had what I like to affectionately refer to as a “scary kitchen.”  Be it because of filth, or due to wear and tear, or even just really really unsuccessful decorating attempts (for the record, mac-tac is not a good or lasting solution for hiding outdated countertops), I’ve seen a tonne of awful kitchens during our house-hunting rounds.

So, as a kitchen pick-me-up, let’s look at a few of my most recent lust-worthy Pinterest finds, k?  To cleanse my kitchen-looking palate, if you will.  To erase (or at least quasi-quash) the memories of all the bad that we’ve recently seen.

First, I’d like to officially declare my love for (fellow Canadian!) Sarah Richardson’s super pretty white and gray (with a wee bit of blue thrown in too!) kitchen…

Sarah Richardson gray and white and blue kitchen

See that ceiling?  Oh sighhhh.  I’d like that exact ceiling in my (next, yet to be purchased) kitchen, if you please.

And then there’s this one that apparently (according to Pinterest!) originates from a blog out of Sweden (I think!) called Allt i Hemmet (although I couldn’t find this actual image on their blog…  I’m sure it’s likely there somewhere though!)

I think I need a bunting-draped kitchen of my own.  So fun eh?  I love.  :)

There’s also this lovely mint specimen from Home Ideas Mag

Mint and wood kitchen with butchers block counters and farmhouse sink

How absurdly pretty are those mint-painted cupboards?  Quite unexpected.  And quite awesome.

Lastly, there’s this one…

Stonington Gray and white and yellow vintage older kitchen1

Yep.  My own poor abandoned little 1940′s kitchen.  Oh how I miss it.  There was a whole lot of angst and nail biting and obsessing and hours upon hours of Pinterest-searches and Canadian Style At Home-reading and HGTV-watching that went into that tiny (but super functional!) kitchen.  And when it was finished, I was so pleased.  Oh how I miss that pretty little space.  [Ginormous sigh.]

So those are my most recent kitchen-lust-worthy finds.  It’s rather hard to make plans for your own kitchen prior to actually purchasing said kitchen, but I’m definitely doing my best (and, honestly, I really can’t help myself!)  Here’s hoping that I have a new kitchen of my own (that I can obsess about for real-sies) very very shortly.

 

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Memories… light the corners of my fridge… (one last kitchen post)

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m going to miss my kitchen.  A lot.  Yep, that’s right – we haven’t yet sold our house and I’m already getting all nostalgic for the room that caused me so much grief and cost me so many hours while I lusted over other people’s kitchens on Pinterest and planned and researched and obsessed.

But I now love my cute little kitchen.  The floors are no longer blue.  The countertop is all sparkly and clean, and I finally got my double sink.  I adore the Stonington Gray-painted walls, and my fresh clean-looking Snowfall White cabinets.  Plus all the other little things I did to make our kitchen feel like “us.”  I worked hard to make it pretty!  It’s now my happy place – many batches of brownies and cookies and other yummy things (made for the people I love) have emerged from this room.  And it’s where Sweetie and I convene each night after work, discussing our days while sitting across from one another at the island.

Let’s reminisce just a little, k?

Here’s where we started (image courtesy of the original house listing, not me!) with an ugly and rather greasy chair rail, ridiculous light fixtures, dirty cream coloured cabinets, strange gray trim, and a blue peel and stick floor…

Ugly kitchen before

Kitchen before

Sweetie removed the rather random chair rail, and I painted the dickens out of my wee kitchen and we swapped out all the hardware and the obnoxious light fixtures, leaving us with this…

1940s BM Stonington Gray kitchen with Snowfall White cabinets and trim

…which we lived with for quite a while (while I crazily stalked other people’s kitchens and planned and planned and planned some more.)

Then – happy day! – I laid a new kitchen floor.  Best.  Day.  Ever.

Allure slate look Patina tile kitchen floor

…and then (then!) we added new countertops and the fancy new double sink. Leaving us with our current happy (and pretty!) little kitchen…

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray kitchen with yellow and white accents

Stonington Gray kitchen with island and Ikea white Ingolf bar chairs stools

Happy sigh.  :)

If we were planning to stay in the house longer, I would have put in a backsplash, probably in marble of some sort.  I’ve always adored FrecklesChick‘s lovely little kitchen, and I think a similar tile backsplash would have looked snazzy here.

But perhaps we’ll save all that for the next house.  :)  While I’m hoping that our next kitchen won’t be quite as disasterous as this one was when we moved in, we tend to buy houses with ugly kitchens.  It seems to be our (not at all intentional) “thing.”

So, just to recap (because I love a good Grand Finale!), this…

Ugly kitchen before

…became this…

Kitchen after with original cupboards vintage gray and yellow

…and this…

…turned into this…

Stonington Gray kitchen with island and Ikea white Ingolf bar chairs stools

Better eh?  I’d say that’s definite progress.  Here’s hoping the next family who lives in this house loves this little kitchen as much as I do!

And here’s looking forward to having a new kitchen to obsess about and pretty-up at our next home, wherever that may be.  Although I could really do without a blue floor this time.  (Just saying.)

 

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A short-ish tale about an ill-fated kitchen counter replacement project (spoiler alert: they all lived happily ever after) (more or less)

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hi.  My name is Melissa, and I suck at carpentry.  Give me a paintbrush?  I’ll rock those walls.  Hand me a ginormous piece of countertop and tell me to make it fit between two kitchen walls (while somehow bypassing a rather stupidly-placed windowsill?)  I go a little batty.  And cry a bit.  And curse a lot.

It’s not pretty.

We installed our new laminate countertop last weekend.  It was a rather traumatic endeavor.  Don’t worry – Sweetie and I are ok, we’re still married, and we still have all of our fingers and toes.  But my kitchen?

Sigh.

Let’s start from the beginning, k?

Here’s the before…

Laminate formica kitchen countertop replacement project before

And look…

Yep!  That’s my dish rack.  Bet you’ve never seen that in any of my kitchen pics eh?  That’s because I normally hide it away before taking any pictures of my kitchen.  Nothing screams “Look!  We have a single sink and no dishwasher!” like a big ol’ white dish rack.  But because I was documenting our final single-sink day, I thought I’d leave the dish rack sitting out.  Just once.  :)

As soon as I was done snapping some final BEFORE pics (because I’m a little insane like that) Sweetie started tearing things apart while I ran out to Home Depot (for the third time in 24 hours) for yet another somethingmerother that we needed.  When I returned, the old countertop was gone, and the kitchen looked like this…

Old wooden countertops under my laminate counters

Ack eh?  Ack indeed.

Old wood under laminate countertops

We then grabbed the new slab of countertop.  It seemed like a pretty simple concept: remove old countertop, add new countertop, enjoy new countertop.  Unfortunately, despite some very careful measuring and re-measuring pre-new-countertop order, the new top didn’t fit.  At all.  We wiggled it, we tried turning it, we attempted some fancy coordinated countertop maneuvering.  It was a definite no-go.  Our mistake: little 1940s houses don’t have square walls.  They also have window ledges that I’m convinced were specifically installed to thwart countertop replacement projects.

So out came the circular saw.

We employed the less-is-more strategy with the saw (since despite having the power to easily make the countertop shorter, it’d be super a fancy trick to make it longer again if we took too much off.)  Cut number one was still too long.  Cut number two was closer.  And with each cut we’d haul the slab of laminate through the house into the back yard, then lug the ever so slightly shorter slab back in, all the while trying desperately not to chip the corners and edges.

Then came cut number three.  It fit!  But it fit a little too well.

Laminuate kitchen countertop replacement project - a big gap between counter and wall

(Those are my snazzy zebra print slippers btw.  Cute eh?  They were part of a Christmas gift basket from my very lovely and amazing friend Jess who blogs over at Little Townhome Love.  And, coincidentally, whose birthday is today!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS!  Love you!)  (And our walls, for the record, are not purple.  All that purple-ishness is likely reflecting off of my very pink hoodie.)  (Note to self: always remove pink hoodie before taking pictures for blog.)

(But I digress…)

Yep.  Once we finally cut enough off to fit the countertop into place beyond the evil too-long window ledge and the stubborn 1940s-carpentry-gone-awry bowed out wall, I was left with a ginormous gap at the most often used and most easily viewed end of the countertop.

I cried.  It’s true.

So out came Sweetie’s belt sander.

You see, we couldn’t just leave it like this.  There was no way to fill in that gap with caulking (my normal go-to fix-all solution.)  So Sweetie decided that we’d sand down the high spot on the countertop to make it fit more flush with the bowed out wall.  This meant that the gap on the other side would get even larger, but the other side of the countertop, being the less often used and less obvious side, could handle it.

The risk paid off.  Hooray for power tools.  Hooray for Sweetie.  :)

A full day of plumbing fun followed.  I’ll spare you the grizzly details.  There was swearing and cursing and a whole lot of water coming from places it should not.  Suffice it to say that Sweetie is definitely an electrician – a plumber he will never be.  The Coles Notes visual version looks like this…

How to cut a hole in a laminate countertop top - use painters tape

Irwin even got a bit of a plumbing lesson.  For the record, cats sorta suck at plumbing.

Teaching our gray and white cat about plumbing

But, after everything was cleaned up and sealed and leak-tested and shined up, we had this…

Black formica kitchen countertop with white cabiets and gray walls

Pretty eh?  New countertop.  New double sink.  Who needs a dish rack?  For the first time in two and a half years, not me.  :)

I still have a gazillion touch ups to do (we took some rather good-sized chunks out of the wall while trying to wiggle the new countertop into place, and the old countertop definitely sat lower than this one so I’ve got to do a bit of painting above the backsplash.)  Oh, and see that big hole under the sink?

That’s where we had a bit of an oopsie with a big drill bit (patching definitely required there too.)  And a cabinet door randomly fell off at some point during this whole experiment…

How to install a countertop in a 1940s house and live to talk about it later

…so that should probably go back on eventually too.

But the countertop is in!  Yay!  And it’s awesome.  And I’m a very happy girl.

The moral of this tale?  Unless you’re a skilled carpenter, have walls that are perfectly square, or are just really really lucky when it comes to these sorts of DIY things, hire someone for countertop replacement.  Really.  I didn’t at all enjoy this project, and I’m still not 100% thrilled with the end result.  But it’s done.  And hopefully prospective home buyers just won’t look too closely at our workmanship.

And they all lived happily ever after.  The end.  Ish.  :)

 

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The kitchen floor fiasco finale (for real this time) (really!)

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s done!  Finished!  Complete!  Poof!  Yep – the floor is done.  Quarter round has been added.  Seams have all been caulked.  Everything has been painted.  And a permanent smile is plastered on my face.

DONE.

Here’s the progression (for anyone who’s visual, like me.)

I started with this…

…which (thankfully!) turned into this…

Allure trafficmaster tile flooring in Patina in gray and yellow kitchen

…Sweetie then added quarter round, which looked like this…

Quarter round moulding added to base of cabinets

…then I caulked and painted everything, leaving a sparkly new (and finished) (and not blue) kitchen floor, that looks like this…

Caulked quarter round trim on new kitchen floor

Am I happy much?  YES.  Have a already christened my new floor with a silly little happy dance?  Of course.  Does this occasion call for a big bottle of wine?  Absolutely.

(Although pretty much any occasion is a good excuse for wine, if you ask me.)

One more thing done off our big ol’ to-do pre-listing list.  And one major item completed from the list of things I’ve been meaning to do since we moved into this humble little abode 2.5 years ago.

Progress, how ever slow, is still progress.  :)

 

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My fantastic floating floor finale (well, almost…)

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After months (well, YEARS, technically) of deliberation and debate and ongoing ponderings over the virtues of THIS floor versus THAT floor and what about THIS option over here and hey – why don’t we just cover the whole darn floor in PLYWOOD and just paint the stupid thing once and for all…  I officially have a new kitchen floor.

And it’s not blue.

And there are no giant ugly gouges marring its loveliness.

And it looks clean and fresh and sparkly and new.  :)

See?

Allure floating floor tile look in Patina installed in my kitchen

Sigh.  Yep.  I’m a happy girl.  Despite taking nearly THREE whole afternoons to lay (Dear Allure flooring folk: while I adore your product, it’s not necessarily as easily installed as you claim for those of us who are a tad OCD and really want all the seams to line up all nice and neat and such) and despite that it’s not my much adored hickory-look floor (oh, how I wanted that hickory-look floor!) it’s still way better than the 1980′s era flooring-monstrosity that hides underneath.

And, most importantly, it’s not blue.

Should we do a quick Before and After?  Likely.  Just because I’m super ridiculously proud like that.

The rather depressing BEFORE (with ugly 1980′s peel and stick blue tiles and a whole lot of ickiness)…

Ugly blue 1980s peel and stick kitchen tiles

AFTER (pretty and clean and NOT BLUE)…

Allure Resilient Flooring in Patina tile finish in my kitchen

Allure Trafficmaster Patina finish easy to install kitchen floor

What’s that you say?  Why yes – that IS a pretty new yellow tea towel (thank you for noticing!)  I’m quite sure that Galen over at President’s Choice made that specifically for me because he knew yellow would look nice with my amazing new floor (and I think he was right.)

Yellow tea towel in Stonington Gray kitchen

And see that bowl of lemons?  Yep.  That’s me practicing my fancy-pants house-staging tactics.  Snazzy eh?  Because I would never randomly just leave a bowl of fruit sitting out on my counter like that (since, well, I don’t eat much fruit, and it’d likely be all moldy and gross by the time I actually remembered it’s there.  Which would make me sad.)  (Unless we’re talking bananas here.  Bananas are always a countertop fruit.  But they don’t look nearly as pretty as lemons do in a bowl.)

So what’s missing?  Quarter round.  That goes on next (thanks to Sweetie’s stellar carpentry skills.)  And then the floor drama will officially be over.  Forever.  Hooray!  Tada!

Or at least until the next house.  (Teehee.)

 

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Kitchen floor progress (yep, I finally took the kitchen floor plunge!)

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Look!

Allure Resiliant flooring the first tile

That there is my new kitchen floor going down.  Finally.  Fiiiiiiiinally.  (Insert big huge ridiculously silly happy dance HERE.)  It’s amazing how the rush to get your house listed for spring (aka prime house-selling season) will suddenly move any much-deliberated but never-initiated projects into fast-forward mode.  Yep – two and a half years of griping about our ugly kitchen floor (and much ongoing debate over what to replace it with) later, and we’re finally making ‘er pretty.

Progress rocks.  :)

Sweetie removed all the quarter round for me last weekend…

And then I patched the icky holes in the old peel and stick tiles…

And then floor-laying officially began!  I started yesterday with this…

Allure Resilient Flooring in Patina tile finish

Which then grew into this…

Allure Patina Trafficmaster Resilient flooring

And then eventually became this (much later in the day and under ugly artificial light)…

Putting down Allure Trafficmaster flooring

I finally called it a night when I had enough flooring down that I could move the appliances back into place.

If you’ve been following my (ongoing) floor drama at all, you might notice that this isn’t the floor I originally wanted.  Like, at all.  I had big lovely hickory-look flooring plans.  However all that quickly changed when I found a batch of flooring on clearance.  Yep – I went cheap and cheerful on my resale-bound floor.  Regularly $47 per box (with each box covering 24 square feet) I found four boxes of this particular floor (Allure’s Resilient Flooring in Patina) in Home Depot’s clearance pile for $30 each.  And even after supplementing my clearance boxes with one additional box at full price (since four boxes would have given me exactly enough to do the floor without any extra for errors or weird cuts or things like that) the whole floor will cost about $170 in the end (plus a whole lot of elbow grease), which seems pretty darn reasonable, if you ask me!  It’s not exactly what I wanted (and if we were planning to stay in this house, I would have committed to my beloved, but pricier, hickory-look floor) but for resale?  It’ll do.  :)

Assuming I give it a good solid effort, I’ll likely (hopefully!) have the rest of the floor down today.  While it’s not quite as easy to put down as the good folk at Allure would like you to believe, it’s not particularly difficult either.  It’s just time consuming.  And a little finicky when it comes to making sure the seams are all tight.

Looking very (very!) forward to finally (finally!!!) checking “make kitchen floor look much much prettier and way less blue” off my to-do list.  Next pre-listing project in line: countertops.  :)

 

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