Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kitchen Remodel - Post 4...

On April 28, the back splash was started.  So many of the 1" tiles were cattywompus and had to be removed from the backing and straightened.  There were so many electrical plugs, switches, cable and phone jacks to tile around that this job actually lasted three days.  Grouting and sealing lasted another day.  I kept asking Mike if he hated me yet.  In contrast, the floor took a day and a half to put down, not counting the underlayment.  Lots of cuts on the floor tile, also, because I asked them to lay it diagonally. 
Our walls had been 'wavy' enough that there were gaps between the counter top and the wall.  We had originally planned for the 2" x 4" accent tile to run through the center of the back splash.  The 1" x 1" tile wasn't thick enough to cover the gap so we had to use the thicker tile at the bottom.  That also solved the problem of cutting the accent tile at each switch and plug.  It actually looks great and was another of those "I planned that" moments.
Originally, our pantry door and trim was dark wood.  Since we were trying to make the kitchen brighter, I opted for white doors, white trim and brushed nickel hardware.  Pat really did a great job painting this door.  The door to the right that leads to our garage was replaced with a new door with a factory paint job.
The new sink and faucet are now working and I've actually done dishes in my new sink.  The window has been painted and Pat has ordered new parts to make the window slide up and down with a finger.  I'm starting to see light at the end of this tunnel.
On May 12, the floor tile was going down.  I loved this tile in the box and I loved it even more on the floor.  It actually seems to reflect light upward.  It also shows dirt as soon as it hits the floor.  Mike is replacing the floorboards and kick plates under the cabinets with the same tile.  The plywood was an attempt to keep our curious cat out of the adhesive.  She wanted in so badly that eventually she jumped the plywood.  I don't think she liked the smell much because she didn't come back in until the plywood was removed.
We're all done except for sealing the tile on the island.  Mike left us the sealer so we didn't have to pay for another day's work while he came back to do it.  Sealing grout has evolved since the paint brush days.  It's in a spray can now.  You just spray the grout and wipe off the sealer.  Piece of cake.
Our TV covers all three plates:  the cable outlet, phone jack and the plug, leaving a nice clean look.  If we had not added that extra plug, the cord would have crossed the switch to the left or be stretched the sixteen inches to the plug on the right.  Either way, not a good look.  Also, I wanted to mention the beautiful hardware on the cabinets and drawers.  Those handles catch me every time I walk by; they catch my pockets and my bathrobe.  I have learned to walk slowly; if I hurry I could actually rip my clothing.
The sconces on this wall are mounted on trimmed boxes that Pat built.  Underneath the one on the right is the old console for our intercom system.  Mike mounted 'L' brackets above it and the top of the box is screwed into the brackets for easy removal if we should feel the need.  We debated about the hutch.  It doesn't exactly match my pale color scheme, but it's in good shape and holds my cookbooks so while I'm still thinking about it, the hutch will probably stay.  It's where we put our mail, car keys, change, coupons, and the many other things that come and go in our home.
These are the final pictures.  This is the east wall and my new range.  Our old range was almond and purchased in 1989.  It didn't hold heat well, it was never level and while I didn't hate it, I mentioned it might be time for a new range.  The cost of the kitchen to date was mentioned so I dropped the subject.  One afternoon two weeks before the end of the project my husband came home saying "I had a great idea on the way home".  His great idea was to order a new range.  So I did.  Our fridge was already bisque (which is the new name for almond but it's a much lighter color than almond) so now all of our appliances match.  He was sure I wanted stainless but to get the light and airy look I was going for, stainless would have been a little heavy.  All of the stainless ranges I looked at had an industrial look, not my taste at all.
The new door to the garage.  We elected not to paint it white.  You can see the color difference between the door and the trim.  It's a little more gray but it's a factory paint job so we left it alone.  We may paint it sometime in the future but it doesn't bother me having it this color.

This is my lovely new island.  It has storage space for my crock pot and electric skillet.  In fact, it was built for those dimensions.  We opened all the cabinets, the range and the dishwasher and 'drew' out the island on the floor with blue tape to ensure there would be room to open everything and to walk around it.  We needed a 14" extension on either end for my new antique white stools and room for the appliances.  The island ended up being 24" wide which was 6" less than the bistro table we had originally.  The island is on wheels so I can move it to clean or move it to our dining room to use as a buffet on holidays.  My valance was created from a curtain panel purchased at Lowes.  I cut it off, hemmed it and put it in the window.  The light comes through it beautifully and it is an exact match to the back splash tile and accent tile.  A real find.
Here you can see the two shelves for my appliances and my new range hood.  I am so very pleased with the result.  Everyone did a splendid job and we've recommended Mike and Pat to several people looking for a contractor.  While they were here, they put in a corian window seat in our living room bay window.  The gentleman who measured for the seat didn't do a very good job.  The slab arrived too long in one direction and not wide enough in the other.  Pat and Mike filled in with trim that was meticulously stained to match the existing trim and made the seat fit.  My husband can't stop looking at it.  The corian covered a plywood base that had been water stained and was really ugly.  They also replaced our front door.  We went from plastic trim to a beautiful Albany door with a Pella storm door.  Our door is a single door with the windows to the left and right.  I ordered a brushed nickel sand cast dragonfly door bell which lights up from underneath.  As an afterthought, we asked them to replace the french door that led from our dining room to the deck.  It was badly installed, the trim was pulling away from the wall, it let in air and asian beetles and the sliding screen was open a half inch at the top so every wasp in the world found its way into our home when the door was open.  We now have a new Pella sliding patio door with a screen that is bug tight.  As soon as we replace our garage door we will be finished with every major job around our house.  We will have little stuff left.  As those of you who own homes know, you are never finished with jobs around the house, but we can rest easy that all the improvements we've made have increased our home's value and will last because they were done by professionals who take great pride in their work.  If you live in Central Illinois and are looking for a contractor, please e-mail me and I will give you Mike's particulars.  We recommend him whole heartedly.  Thank you for following me on this journey.


  1. Wow Cindy, this is gorgeous!!! You did a beautiful job with the colors and tiles, everything looks stunning together!!! I had to do a double take on your fridge...it's the same one we have!! lol

  2. oh C2, it is so pretty!!! Congrats Sweetie!!!

  3. Mike and Pat are the kind of guys I'd feel safe leaving in my house, alone. What great people! Ruthann