Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kitchen Update

Operation Kitchen Facelift is in full effect over here this week. And true to any kind of home renovations/improvements, it isn't going as smoothly as you hope it would.
We are replacing all of the lighting in the kitchen courtesy of the best youngest brother in the world. Unfortunately, he is still running ragged with work thanks to Superstorm Sandy and he was good enough to stop by Monday night after spending the entire day on one of the devastated barrier islands to rough in my recessed lighting so I can paint the ceiling.
(Thanks Chris - You're the best!)
Of course when we pulled down the old, hideous flourescent ceiling fixture we found a few nice holes in the sheetrock from some obvious installation mishaps. Now we have some patching to do prior to painting.

Let there be light!

The unpatched hole is where pendant #1 will be installed over the peninsula.
We didn't put the right flood bulbs in or install the lenses yet until after we paint.
The difference since removing the flourescent fixture is astounding. Monday night Charlie and I just stood in the kitchen marveling over how amazing it is even in mid-state.

I ordered 3 pendants for the kitchen: 2 for my peninsula and one for over the sink.
After we removed the dated, scalloped wood bridge that connected the cabinets and the curtain we discovered that the sink was not installed evenly under the window.
I guess the other pieces masqueraded this - but it poses a problem to adding a light.
Line it up to the window?
Line it up to the sink?
Since we are not replacing the counters at this time and trying to keep the project within a modest budget, we are forgoing the light. My brother installed a recessed pot close enough to the sink area to provide adequate lighting.
As you can see, my kitchen window is under a breezeway to the garage so I was going to leave it curtainless to allow more natural light. Depending on how off center the sink looks when done I might have to revisit it and add something.
Maybe a roman shade?
We also removed the corner shelves that flanked the sink, which I dubbed the "granny shelves".
Well, guess what was lurking behind them?

Oh, just a cabinet that doesn't meet the wall or have a front!?!?!?!
This was a serious WTH....we stood in disbelief for a solid 15 minutes.
We have known for the 7 years we have lived here that the prior owner used a half-ass handyman to do all of her home improvement projects. In fact, the night we closed on the house he knocked at the door to very proudly introduce himself and offer his services to us.
(Yes, it was weird. And we said "Thanks, but no thanks")
Now we have no option but to reinstall the corner shelves or replace the cabinets.
See what I mean when I say it is never easy???
Needless to say, the shelves are going back on. I'll make it work.

Since the Northeast is in for another round of bad storms, I ran out yesterday to get all of the paint I need so I won't have to leave the house for a few days.
I ran into Benjamin Moore to get my Chelsea Gray only to be horrified by the swatch of it.
It is WAY too dark!!!!!
I want a bold gray, but the kitchen struggles with natural light so I need to be cautious. After some debating, I settled on Pilgrim Haze. I like how it pulls the gray out of the countertop and with the cabintery redone in white it should work - fingers crossed it is not too overbearing!
Speaking of the walls, Charlie spent all day Sunday removing the wallpaper border from only one wall. It took all day and true to our experiences so far with this house, it is pulling off sheetrock with it. Years ago when we removed the wallpaper from the hallways of the house (a lovely 80's silver and mauve brushstoke design that covered a 70's American Eagle printed paper - awesome!) we had a family friend who does sheetrock for a living here almost every night for a month repairing those walls. It was a total nightmare.
Yesterday morning I googled how to just paint over wallpaper to save us another major issue and Benjamin Moore's website said "Yes!" "It's possible!" and provided good instructions. Since we will have to respackle the walls anyway, we are plunging forward and giving the paint over a go. More fingers crossed that it works out just fine! I ended up buying all Benjamin Moore paints for the room. They even have a primer and paint for the cabinets that will allow me to avoid sanding.
Hooray for that!

Tell me about your DIY renovation nightmares...I know I can't be the only one!


  1. I have a painter coming next week to start on our kitchen/dining area. We would do it ourselves only the cream paint on it at present has started flaking badly. All needs to be sanded down and treated before he can start!I am keeping most of our present kitchen cabinets and hope they look good when newly painted. Nightmare trying to pick the right colour:( Hope your own renovation progresses well! Looking forward to seeing it all finished:)

  2. When I extended my kitchen I had to go out the sitting room door into the garden into another door to get to the kitchen. This was suppose to be temporary only a few days but due to an error with the windows I had to put up with this for over a month total nightmare. But you know it is all worth it in the end. I recently painted my hall two shades of light grey from Dulux I love it . It is surprisingly warm and also reflects light.

  3. This is why I don't DIY, hahaha.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE that Pilgrim Haze color...can't wait to see the big reveal!
    Until then..breath.

  4. I'm totally with you, Eleanor! It's really frustrating when things didn't go as planned. But I think it's only part of the trial and error process when you opt for DIY way. Anyway, I read your “Almost Completed” post, and I'm glad to see that it goes well with your plan. The fixtures definitely stand out from your wall color.

    ==Kip Whitehead