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:

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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. 😉

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!
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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:
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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.
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And, you’ll notice, we have cabinet doors!!
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Well, almost…

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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:

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

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!

8 Trips to the Hardware Stores (and other tales from Memorial Day weekend)

Why is it that, no matter how simple you think a project is, you always end up going to the hardware store 2, 3, even 6 more times than you ever thought you’d need? Well, this weekend was no different for us. Psyched for a productive long weekend, we thought we’d try to tackle a big chunk of the next kitchen steps. The project: paint the kitchen walls and ceiling… maybe start laying the flooring vapor barrier and even start the flooring. The anticipated list of supplies:

  • ceiling paint
  • wall paint
  • paint sprayer
  • masks and goggles

The plan:

  • Pick the wall paint color
  • Prep the room
  • Purchase a paint sprayer
  • Paint the ceiling
  • Paint the walls
  • Start on other steps

You know what they say about best laid plans… It all started on Saturday afternoon after a long day of relaxing (let’s just say that part wasn’t exactly in the plan, but after some friends came in from out of town, we enjoyed our Friday evening a bit more than anticipated and needed some recovery time). So Saturday afternoon, we looked at the paint swatches that I’d pulled weeks (likely months) ago, and we narrowed it down to four by comparing them to the countertop sample and the tile that we’re planning to order. The four final choices were:

  • Behr Mystical Sea (430E-2)
  • Behr Herbal Mist (440E-2)
  • Behr April Mist (450E-2)
  • Martha Stewart Living Spring Melt (MSL114)

As you can see, we had a bit of a theme going. So we went to the store that evening (Count=1) and got the little sample sizes for all four colors so we could see what the colors actually looked like on the wall. Can you guess which is which? Here’s another picture of the samples in different light: The next morning, when the paint patches were dry, we took another look. After debating for a few minutes, we unanimously decided to go with option number 2, which was… Spring Melt by Martha Stewart Living.We picked this color because it seemed to blend nicely with the countertop samples and tile, without going too yellow or blue and not too bright to overwhelm the space. Since the first Home Depot we went to for paint samples didn’t sell paint sprayers (the store is a smaller urban store), we went to another location here in the city to buy the actual paint and the sprayer (Count=2). Unfortunately, not only did they not have the paint sprayer that we wanted, (I should have done more research on where to buy it), but the location we went to also didn’t have enough of the Glidden Duo paint that we were hoping to color match to the Spring Melt. Not to be discouraged, we simply drove up the road and went to the other Home Depot for the paint (Count=3, a trifecta of Home Depot visits in less than 24 hours). Since they still didn’t have the paint sprayer we wanted, I ordered it from the Lowe’s store while I was standing in the Home Depot – I have to say, I loved technology at that moment. Since we were headed out to the burbs that afternoon for a family graduation party, and could pick the sprayer up on our way, we decided to go back to the kitchen and begin all the prep work, so that we could come back that evening and paint after the party. We taped all the outlets and switches, covered the doors and windows in plastic and suddenly remembered that we needed to move one of the alarm pieces over to the left about 6 inches to allow room for our cabinets. Wah-wah… Figuring we could tackle that project Monday morning, and then paint the walls later that night, we headed out to pick up the paint sprayer (Count=4) and enjoy the graduation party. The next morning, we realized that our contractors had managed to walk off with our drywall knife, so another trip the hardware store (Count=5) made sure we had the right tools to cut a hole in the wall, move the alarm, and cut a new piece of leftover drywall to fit. Then it was time to mud the patch into place – fortunately we had some leftover joint compound mixture that our contractor had left; unfortunately, we mixed it before watching the video online and made it a bit too watery by the directions on the back of the bag. Wah-wah… so off I went to the Crafty Beaver (Count-6) for some joint compound, and a larger putty knife while I was at it. After all of that, we got the patch mudded and were ready to paint the ceiling… and wouldn’t you guess it, the sprayer we bought didn’t work. So off I went back to Lowe’s (Count=7) to return the first sprayer and pick up a new one (the Graco Truecoat Plus). Once I returned, the new sprayer was up and running within minutes and we got started spraying away on the ceiling. About halfway through the room, we realized that one can of ceiling paint just wasn’t going to do it (paint sprayers definitely use a lot of paint!), so I got back in the car and headed to the Home Depot again (Count=8) to pick up another can or two of ceiling paint and another can of wall paint. After a few more passes with the sprayer, the ceiling was painted and the room already looked just a little bit better.

Tonight, I sanded down the patch around the drywall and reapplied the joint compound as a skim layer, and it should be ready to be sanded again tomorrow.

Hopefully we can tape off the ceiling and get the walls painted Wed or Thursday evening, so we can prepare to lay the floor this weekend. Not exactly according to schedule, but really, at this point, who can say we’re on any true schedule?