Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Completed Kitchen

Sorry for the delay in this post, the lighting has been terrible in the kitchen lately and since I don't have a fancy camera, I was trying to wait to see if it would get better. Unfortunately, no, it hasn't, so this is the best I can do for now. Here's hoping for some late afternoon sun this weekend!

But, the great news is that the kitchen is 100% finished!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a light valance:

I assure you there is a light valance next to the fridge, too. Darn overcast skies ruining my shots!

And courtesy of Jerry's Dad and Judi, we have a beautiful island. It provides some extra storage and is on wheels so that it can be moved where ever needed to serve or prep food. The lovely cutting board on top was a house warming gift from Cindy and John - Thanks Cindy and John! The mangoes are the product of our very own mango tree in the yard. I haven't sampled one yet but I see mango margaritas in our future...

We had a get together for Jerry's birthday and to show Jerry Sr. and Judi the house and all we've done to it. I don't know which looked better: the island or the desserts on it?
Thanks so much Jerry and Judi! We love the new island. It really completes the kitchen and is so useful.

Finally, in case you were wondering where we kept all of our trash... here is the lovely gliding trash can that Jerry installed. It's in a convenient spot, right next to the dishwasher and I love that I don't have to look at a trash can. You'll sleep better knowing that, won't you?

That's all for now. The last major project is the master bathroom. Due to some unforeseen problems that I won't go into here since they may or may not incriminate a certain member of my family, the doors to the vanity had to be replaced. There may or may not have been an errant hole in the wrong place when we were installing the door handles, but I'm not talking. My next post will be the finished master bath, whenever the doors are re-installed. Should be in another week or so. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Progress on all projects

After spending more time than I'm willing to admit trying to figure out how to do a cool trick on here that would show before images when you rolled your mouse over a picture, I have abandoned that project. (Any bloggers out there want to give me some pointers? I think maybe blogspot has that feature disabled?)

But, since it's been a while since I've started this and you might have forgotten how far we've come, I have included some before and after pics in this post. No room is 100% done, but I think you'll agree that the improvements are incredible. By the way, do you think any room will ever truly be 100% finished? I continually see new projects EVERYWHERE! It's just a matter of time, money and priorities.

Do you remember the half bath before? Warped vanity, elephant border, rusty fixtures and all?

Not a bad after, huh? (Nice work, honey!)

Look, the lights work and everything. :)

How 'bout those master bath vanities? Useless gap in the middle, peeling brass fixtures, and dated wood finish:

Ahhh. Much better. I feel more centered just looking at it. We still need to put the pulls on the door, but I think Jerry is waiting for my dad's assistance so he can have someone to share the blame with if they go on crooked. And please note that the wood all matches now, thank goodness!

When we moved in, I envisioned wonderful things for this kitchen...

For instance, I thought how nice would it be if we had actual appliances instead of imaginary ones? Also, cabinets that were not circa 1989 were an appealing concept.

Who knew how amazing it would all look?

All I have to say is WOW!

Okay, I guess that's not ALL I have to say, this wouldn't be much of a blog if that were the case, now would it? The door/drawer pulls are in place and the under cabinet lights have been mounted. The only thing we are waiting for is the light valance to hide the under cabinet lights and some top hats so I can actually see to cook once the sun goes down. It's the little things in life...

Now we are just shower doors away from being able to truly enjoy our new home. Here's hoping they get installed this week.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beginning the backsplash and beyond

There has been lots of progress at the house. The kitchen is 90% done at this time. It's a wonderful thing! Here's what we've been up to the past few grueling days...

Installing the backsplash. Here's most of the tile all stacked up. This should be easy, right? (Please note: never say famous last words because they can be!)

Just a few cuts on the wet saw:

Make sure the power is off to avoid electrocution:

Apply adhesive to the wall, and stick the tile up. Easy, peasy. Especially since a few years ago my dad installed a backsplash and got the wrong adhesive that required him and my mother to hold each square up for about 15 minutes each so they wouldn't slide down the wall. Lesson learned. This stuff stuck up there perfectly the first time. Take that, gravity!

Here it is, all stuck up and just waiting for grout. Hmmm... I think it looks pretty good as is. Grout is WAY overrated! (Any guesses on who actually did most of the grouting?)

You guessed it! This is a renovation blog, I can't get away with simply being a photographer the whole time. This was taken after I had just finished grouting the entire area you can see in the shot. Little tiles look great, but they sure require a lot of grout! I'm still sore from all the "elbow grease" that was required. Moral of the story: grouting sure isn't pretty, my outfit is living proof.

Meanwhile, my dad got to work on more important things, like installing the plumbing in the guest bathroom. Special thanks to my mom, the guest photographer on this post. She knows how to get us at all our best angles. :)

Here's a close up of my fabulous grouting, plus the new black outlets that my dad installed. Not bad, eh? (Jerry - I *think* you might have to do a little paint touch up...)

This section is still on my to-do list... Hey, it looks perfect in this photo, maybe I should just keep it? It's not like I'll be using too many liquids next to the fridge...

Ahhh. Running water. I now have a kitchen and that's a beautiful thing.

Plus, the tub fixtures got switched out so they all match. Do you believe the people who lived here before us took the drain plug with them? It didn't match, so we would have switched it anyway, but taking it with them? Really?

New shower fixtures installed. A few screws were missing from the kit so we're working on getting those. I guess turning the shower on and off and being able to adjust the temperature isn't all that important as long as the shower looks good, right? Plus, you'll see the contractor trimmed out the knee wall, niche and entry to the shower with the same granite that's on the vanity. Nice!

More running water. Now I just need a stool so I can reach the faucet. Did I mention these vessel sinks make the vanity HIGH? Hmmm, maybe two vertically challenged folks like us should have considered that first. We love how it looks and as my mother always says, "beauty hurts."

Jerry's been out of town on a golf retreat all weekend. Little does he know his honey-do list has been growing exponentially the whole time... This week we (read: tasks for Jerry) hope to put in all the drawer and door pulls in the kitchen and bath and get everything unpacked and ready for our first party, a Memorial Day BBQ. Any menu suggestions? I can't wait to cook up a storm in our new kitchen!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gorgeous Granite

Sorry to keep you in suspense for so long... the only way we can afford all these renovations is by working and when the job that pays me money requires me to travel to Atlanta for a few days, there's nothing I can do but oblidge.

Without further adieu, here is the fabulous granite!

Uba tuba in the kitchen:
Almost looks like a real kitchen, doesn't it?

Look how thick and fabulous the granite is. We got a bevel cut, for those of you who care about details like that.

Giallo Ornamente in the Master Bathroom:

And yes, those sinks and faucets are just for show, nothing holding them in but gravity right now. We just wanted to get a feel for what it would look like all together. I see mirror shopping in our future...

My dad is coming over today to work on the backsplash in the kitchen and begin installing all the plumbing fixtures. Homecooking is only days, possibly hours away. Who's coming over for dinner?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Adding Appliances

Things are really starting to come together in the kitchen. Since all of the cabinets are now in place, we were able to start installing all the appliances.

Microwave and oven, plus a few panels of the backsplash to envision how it will look when it's all put together.

Dishwasher, oven, microwave:

And the person responsible for all the installation. Thanks Dad!
Now we have our work cut out for us: installing all the shelves and door/drawer pulls. The granite will be installed on Wednesday which means I'll have a kitchen sink by the weekend! Can't wait to make my first meal in our new home. Gotta go dust off those wedding presents. Here's hoping I can find the pasta maker and the bread maker when we unpack the kitchen. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Oh, and not to dissappoint, Jerry installed neon signs in his office. (insert ooohs and ahhhs here). The fan and window blind will be replaced soon.

That's all folks! Next post will hopefully show our new granite in the kitchen and master bath!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kitchen Cabinets Part 2

Get your reading glasses out, this is going to be a LONG post. Lots is going on in the house, so I'll try to stick to lots of photos and not a ton of explanations.

The cabinets are finally all in. Here they are in process:

See, no toe kicks and upper trim:

Here are the doors up and the toe kicks:

Toe kick! (Brings back memories of The Cutting Edge, you know, that ice skating movie where the figure skater and the ex-hockey player team up for the Olympics? Toe Pick! :))

Here's the finished product with upper trim. We might add crown molding in the very distant future. All these little things really add up!

Here is the "finished" vanity in the master bathroom. Do you see the problem here?
That's right, the center piece and toe kick are the reddish color that's in the kitchen, not the brown color that are supposed to be in the bathroom. So, new pieces are being created and will be installed when the granite gets here.

Here's the cabinet we had built in the water closet to compensate for the fact that we don't have a linen closet:
So, that's all in cabinet news. The granite has been templated and should be ready for install next week. Here's hoping!

Here's the latest from the rest of the house. Jerry got some new furniture and got to work setting up his office. It looks really great! Just wait until he hangs up all his sport paraphernalia and neon signs. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my husband owns not one, but TWO neon signs that he would like to hang in our home. You can see a bit of one of them in the lower left corner of this photo.

Here's the other side of his office, he'll be building a shelf above to show case some of his stuff. Working in a pro-hockey arena for 5+ years really makes the signed sports items add up!

We also tackled the blinds in the master bedroom. Here's the before, yellow, missing slats, doesn't really line up and just looks dingy in general:

Here's the after. We are so pleased with how much this brightened the room, and now I don't have to worry about the neighbors being able to see in.

And, just to remind you all that it's not all sunshine and roses over here, a few shots of the carnage all of this remodeling causes:

Mondays and Thursdays (our trash and recycling pick up days) can't get here soon enough!

Plus, in case you thought Jerry did all the work around here, I finally got around to putting together my bookcase. Yes folks, I made this all by myself even though the instructions recommended two people for some parts. It only took me about 300 hours and gave me one major splinter. :) Now I just have to unpack all of my books... which will definitely require the help of my big, strong husband since I can't carry the boxes up the stairs by myself.

And, as promised, here are some closeups of the birds. This is Emmy and Petey. Watch out ladies, they are big flirts!

And the group shot for those of you who have lost count of my numerous birds. From top to bottom, left to right, here are the names: Dobby, Ponce, Peeps, Emmy, Blue and Petey.

Thanks for reading. The painters are here, so I'll post on that next. Can't wait for the house to be all uniform colors!