February 20th, 2017
It has been a busy weekend!
The photo above is out of sequence, but I figured I would save you the trouble from scrolling to the bottom of the article just to see the end results before I am ready to introduce them. Did I spoil it for ya, or what?
Ok, let’s step back a little bit.
Wait… just gotta say it… Wow.
Ok, here we go.
This is how it looked Friday afternoon. The crew took the house from exposed studs to drywall and some cabinets in a matter of three days- all with new floors, too. I have been fortunate to be home for the entire renovation and have been able to lend a hand where I could while also overseeing each step of the project.
Additionally, I have learned some things. Maybe just enough things to tackle the bathroom project myself. We shall see.
As you can see, the are does a good job of keeping things tidy when they leave for the day. They pack their stuff, sweep the rooms, remove the tarps and drop cloths. I have been very pleased with their efforts and work ethic.
These upper cabinets on the left are our new addition to the kitchen. We never felt great about stage here, and truthfully, I’ll never be happy until it looks like displays in home furnishing stores. You know the ones… open this drawer and the one pot is in there with separate special lid holder. Open another drawer and you will see two pot holders (never used), six corn holders, and maybe a spoon. Each with their designated space equidistant from each other and the boundaries of the drawer. So on and so forth.
Not there yet, but we thought we would start by adding 45 inches of upper cabinets.
Our crew left Saturday with he cabinets in place, a rough piece of drywall sanding, and plastic wraps in place for me. I ran through the kitchen two to three more times sanding and spackling to my heart’s content.
Maybe gypsum-white tile would have looked nice, too…
Sunset, joint compound, and ladders…
And more dust. This stuff makes quite a mess, but the end result is a beautiful finish.
I noticed the contractors mix their own joint compound from a powder, whereas I always buy the premixed tub. I am sure their way is cheaper, but for the amount of this stuff I use I would go twenty years before noticing any sort of difference. But I say that to say this: If you are thinking about buying powder joint compound, I would suggest not doing so. I don’t know if they mixed it improperly or what the deal is, but every now and again I saw tiny little air bubble holes on the cured joint compound on the wall. This required sanding, applying more joint compound, letting it dry, then sanding again. The pre-mix stuff is mixed properly and I have never seen bubbles in anything I applied.
Just a bit about the cabinetry: They are all-wood cabinets that are constructed to a pretty high specification. There is no particleboard, MDF, HDF, or LDF in the construction of these cabinets. The plywood and regular boards are all hardwoods. It appears the plywood is Poplar, but all the face pieces, doors, and drawer fronts are Maple. Maple has a much softer and cleaner look to it than the other favorite: Oak. Oak has very deep grain lines that, in my opinion, make the cabinets look very busy. I wanted a cleaner look that still shows the natural beauty, but doesn’t become over-bearing.
Wait, no… that is not good enough…
Something missing here…
Emile and I took an hour last night to install these beautiful LED under cabinet lights, which I have connected to a single dimmer switch by the sink.
The best part about under cabinet lights is they send the light towards the wall and it bounces back down and all around. What this means is no longer will we have to prepare food in our own inescapable shadow because the light was previously always above and behind out own head.
The light bars are mounted underneath each upper cabinet unit, and because I thought ahead with the wiring, they all loop around and are powered by a single switch. (If you scroll up to the photos of exposed drywall, you will also see a whole bunch of 14/2 wire sticking out under the cabinets in well-thought out locations. 14/2 is plenty for LED. heck, 18/2 speaker wire would be fine for LEDs, but let’s not get carried away…) (Yet…) Anyway, I did the single switch for visual effect and appearances more than just the simple utility of it. If I want, I can also power each unit individually by hitting the switch on each light bar, but I doubt I’ll ever do that. I think this is far better than having light switches for each section because, I mean, really, A) Who has time to hit switches, anyway? and B) It’s LED so I almost feel guilty at the minimal power usage here!
Additionally, I installed a four inch LED task light over the sink, operated off a different switch. Previously, we had a 24 inch flourescent tube that had a ballast bin its last leg so when we hit the switch, the light would flicker to life at some point… but never the same point as when we flipped the switch.
Now, instant sun.
Additionally, you can see the under cabinet molding in this photo. These aren’t absolutely necessary to conceal the under cabinet light fixtures, but they make it far easier and really dress up the units. They can be added to existing cabinets fairly easily, as well.
On the left you can see the unit sans lower molding. They had to leave this vacant until our appliances arrive, because the microwave gets installed and then the lower molding is installed afterwards.
Two tone crown molding. I saw this on a display unit in the store and we both fell in love with it. When finished, this kitchen will have dark counters and a dark floor. I felt like it needed something to tie all that together, and this did the trick!
We used an espresso (taken black, one sugar) riser and crown molding and then added a cafe latte dental molding to it. This dental molding matches our dining room hutch.
It’s all coming back to life!
Stay tunes for more! I installed the secondary counter framework this afternoon, I should be able to pick up the knobs and pulls tomorrow, and the appliances are due in on Wednesday!