Tile Away, Tile Away…

you put me up, and I won’t fall…I am gla-a-a-ss… okay, no one wants to hear me sing, but I bet you do want photos of gorgeous green subway tile on my kitchen walls.

BAM! Here you go:

2497_946281083275_1349709587_n 559958_943503255065_789656889_n 537630_946279022405_609060511_n

Of course, the magic of the internet makes this look SO much easier than it actually was, but I am absolutely loving how much it changes the kitchen already and we haven’t even grouted it yet!

The first wall, on the sink side, took a LOT longer than the second wall, since we were trying to get a feel for how much thinset to use, how to cut the tiles around the outlets (YUCK!) and making sure we had all of the spacing correct. But since it turned out pretty darn well, the second wall seemed to take much less time.

Hopefully the grouting will go smoothly and then we’re down to just a few final finishing touches!! Can you hear the fat lady warming up??? Oh wait, that was just me singing that Titanium song again. ;)

The saga continues (Or: How is it February 1 and our kitchen is still not finished?)

I bet you were all expecting a final “Ta-da” here’s our brand new amazing kitchen post as the next step, weren’t you?

Nnnnnnotsomuch.

We have made some progress, but we had been waiting on a final decision as to what was going to happen with a few stains that we found on the edges of our countertops. See those little brown spots?

20130116-155010.jpgYeah, those weren’t supposed to be there.

And given the stains that originally delayed our installation, we presumed that these were holdovers from those stains. Unfortunately, it took at least two months and two trips from the Countertop Factory folks trying to use solvents to remove the stains before they realized that they weren’t stains at all, but rather hardened resin that was apparently the wrong color.

So, a few weeks ago, we were told they were going to take out the countertops and re-edge them to remove all of the resin. Which would have been a pain, but worth it to get rid of the spots. And two days before they were supposed to come out, they cancelled and said they wanted to try another option first. #ifeltlikepunchingsomething. After weeks of following up with them to find out what they were ACTUALLY going to do, they were finally able to send a repairman to us yesterday who painstakingly (with dozens of razor blades) chipped out each brown spot and refilled it with clear resin. It took the poor guy nearly 4 hours.

But the end result is…. a FINISHED COUNTERTOP!!! Can you believe it?

20130201-192943.jpg

Now that I know our countertops aren’t going to be removed and we’re not going to have to find another type of countertop to replace them… I can order the backsplash tile and get moving on this $#!&!

Excuse me, are those real countertops?

Approximately seven months ago, our kitchen looked something like this:

And then… after a few weekends of work, it looked like this:

Now, it looks a little something like this:

Dan and I can’t stop exclaiming “we have countertops!!” every time we walk into the room. It’s just simply been WAY too long since we’ve had a functional kitchen.

But let me back up just a little bit to help explain why this step seems even more amazing to us. Right before we left for our vacation, the folks from the Countertop Factory came out and measured to get the exact dimensions for our countertops, and told us we had to wait 7-10 business days for installation. Unfortunately, while we were on vacation we received an email telling us they expected the material to be delayed at least 3 weeks. Then, another email a few weeks later letting us know it wouldn’t be available until November 2. We were so disappointed, but we tried to be patient until they were finally scheduled to deliver and install the countertops and the sink on Wednesday, Nov. 7. I worked from home and scheduled the electrician’s return visit, the countertop installation AND our wine fridge repair (a story for another day) all on the same day. At the end of the day, I was ready to have the most amazing kitchen ever… but it ended up that only the electrician came that day, and didn’t even complete everything while he was here.

The problem was apparently a discoloration issue from the fabricating table that had stained the countertops, so we had to wait until Saturday for them to use a solvent on it and get the discoloration out before they could steal and install it.

But finally the day arrived, and now our kitchen looks like THIS:

WE HAVE COUNTERTOPS!!! AND A SINK!!! AND A DISPOSAL!!!

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like a kitchen

Well, it’s finally starting to look like we might be close to getting this kitchen functional!
20120926-092336.jpg

Which is not to say there isn’t a lot more work to do. But, we have a functioning dishwasher again for the first time since mid-April. Yes, that’s correct, more than 5 months without a dishwasher or a sink. So you can imagine the first thing I did when I got home last night:
20120926-092505.jpg
20120926-092811.jpgIt’s the little things!

I also added some moulding around the floor behind the stove and refrigerator locations, so that everything looks nice an finished behind the appliances like it did before.
20120926-092704.jpg20120926-092655.jpg

And, you’ll notice, we have cabinet doors!!
20120926-092751.jpg20120926-092801.jpg
Well, almost…

20120926-092827.jpg

Out of all the pieces of the kitchen that we bought from Ikea, this was the only one that had any problems at all, but it was kind of a big one:

20120926-093222.jpg

Tonight… it’s installing the stove… and tomorrow, they come and measure for the countertops!
YAY!

The Epic Saga Continues

It’s not much, but we have made more progress on the kitchen over the past few weeks!

Exhibit A:

20120822-185038.jpg
Cabinets assembled!! Well, the shells are assembled- the shelves, doors and drawers will be installed once the cabinets are mounted to the walls.

And the best news, exhibit B:

20120822-185228.jpg
LAUNDRY!!!

I will admit that we did a half-dozen loads as soon as we got it hooked up again, we were in desperate need of our washer and dryer.

Next is installing the cabinets and then we can call the countertop peeps to have them measure! In the meantime, we’ll keep eating out and hope we finish at some point!

One, Two, Three, Floor!

I should really relabel this post, one-month, two-month, three-month, floor!

It’s been a long, long time coming, but on July 27, we finally laid some of the first planks of flooring in our kitchen!

But before I go into too much detail about the flooring, let’s recap how the pantry doorway finally got finished.

When the workers ‘finished’ their work in our place, they left the door of the pantry looking like this:

Our neighbor, who is going to custom make the doors for us, let us know that this wouldn’t work, particularly since it wasn’t even finished off evenly on both sides (I’m sorry, I know it’s tough to see in the photo).

So after a long wait of trying to schedule the contractor to come back out and finish it off, we finally agreed that we would make it clean and drywalled around like we had the other door to the laundry room. Unfortunately, after their first day back in the kitchen, we ended up like this:

And then like this, when we said that the first way was NOT going to work:

But the good news is… it ended up like this:

And then we got started on the floor!

The Secret to Kitchen Makeovers

Bet you thought we were wrapping up our kitchen makeover and just not telling you about it, didn’t you? Well, you’re wrong – we haven’t done much of anything since my last update. The secret to kitchen makeovers in our household is seeing how long we can go without one… until we finally crack and push stuff along because we just can’t take it any longer.

Or at least, that’s how I feel we’ve decided to handle it. Since my last post, we have finally gotten our contractor to come back out and look at some of the areas around the pantry door that need to be fixed (but they haven’t come out to actually fix them yet – hopefully this week). We also made the trek out to Ikea to buy our cabinets.

Both the husband and I had visions of going through the aisles in the self pick-up area trying to track down all the components of the kitchen cabinets one by one, but Ikea makes the process really easy and kitchen cabinets are part of the assisted pick-up! Which is a good thing, because there were more than 130 separate pieces and parts that we purchased to make our kitchen beautiful – toekicks, cabinets, shelves, the wonderful drawer and door closers that keep things from slamming and all of the other little pieces and parts.

We just double checked everything on our pre-designed online kitchen:

Printed out the full list, which an IKEA kitchen specialist triple-checked:
And then paid up in the kitchen area and waited for the IKEA folks to pull all of the items on the list. (We admit, we bought little tarts and had a glass of wine up in the kitchen area for part of that time). After about 30-40 minutes of exploring and dining, we headed to the assisted pick-up area, where they had everything waiting for us on four carts. (I wish I had thought to take a picture of them!)

We loaded everything up into the car we had rented and our own car (it would not have all fit in just one trip in our car), and then made the trek back into the city.

All-in-all, it took us several hours to get everything done, but since the prices of some of the more custom cabinets from the local hardware stores were nearly twice as much, and we liked the look of the IKEA cabinets, we were okay with putting in a little extra time and driving.

But those several hours were about all the progress we’ve made in the past month. Ridiculous. But hopefully the contractor will wrap up his part of the work this week, and we’ll get to laying the flooring this weekend so that we can finally get this moving along. One can only hope that we’ll finally have a kitchen again before our fourth anniversary at the end of August…please!?!

What a Little Paint Can Do

After all the madness from Memorial Day weekend over, we thought for sure we’d be able to paint the walls over the week- and get everything squared away for laying the floor. But with Dan working 60 hours in four days, and a bit of exhaustion from our first bout, it was the following weekend before we got everything taped and ready for painting the walls.

But we did get it painted. every square inch of the kitchen was covered first with the spray painter, then the spots that needed a little more work (divots, bumps, etc.) were sanded, mudded or patched, and we did another coat on the problem areas. It was all looking gorgeous:

Ignore the shiny spots, they’re just reflections in the semigloss from the window and my iPhone camera wasn’t the best for these photos.

Except for when the tape came off:

I’ve read every contradicting opinion about peeling tape while the paint is wet, dry, semi-dry, etc. The truth is, I think I’ve tried to do it in every stage, and somehow, it just never works out for me. This time, anywhere that was taped and only sprayed, peeled perfectly – with a beautiful edge and no problems whatsoever – but near the ceiling, where I had to go over it with a brush to get a clean edge due to the angle of the sprayer, the paint stuck together in peel-able layers and caused problems like the one above.

So, the following week, I had to go back around and freehand the edge with a brush, and I was pretty successful in not painting green on the ceiling, much better with the Purdy brush than I’d done the first few times around ceilings in my condo (which is another reason why we really want to do crown molding!)

So now, we’re painted, spent a weekend last weekend relaxing, and our next steps are doing a bit of clean up with the contractor and then FLOORING!

I can’t wait to actually start putting things back INTO the kitchen!