Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The makings of a kitchen

With cabinets hung and drilled into place, it’s beginning to feel like we have a kitchen again. On Thursday, we painted the walls a lovely shade of gray. Then on Friday, we assembled the upper cabinets. We cranked out six in less than two hours. (We felt like champs.) We placed them in their respective spots in the kitchen and went to bed, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Saturday morning. (Well, D was at least.)

Painting the walls gray. 
Fitz is bored with all of the cabinet building. 
Derk’s dad came bright and early and they got to work right away. Ikea has a pretty cool system for installing cabinets. They have a steel suspension rail that you mount to the wall. You drill this into studs and ensure that it is perfectly level. Then using their hardware, you secure the cabinets with a few screws and they are in place. Those crafty Ikea engineers are so smart.  (Here’s a nice little step-by-step for those interested.) A difficult task was installing the new microwave and wiring it up correctly. But probably the biggest challenge was building in the fridge. We’re going for a completely built-in, seamless look and had to add side paneling to fill the gaps between the fridge. With the help of Uncle Ray and the magic of FaceTime, we were able to figure it out.  Getting the correct measurements was no easy-task, along with maneuvering such a huge piece of wood in and out of the house for cutting.  At the end of the night, we put together the pantry which is a massive structure that reaches the ceiling. The four of us (D’s mom was there too) had to build and move it into place, avoiding the collision of the pantry with the ceiling and other cabinets. By the end of the night we were exhausted, sweaty, and stinky, but guys, WE HAD THE MAKINGS OF A KITCHEN!

Attaching the rail.
Up close and personal with the steel that holds all of our upper cabinets in place.
The first cabinet is in!

Hours and hours go by and the pantry is in place!
Happy hubs!
On Sunday, it was just the two of us. We got the lower cabinets in place, including making the holes for the pipes in the sink cabinet. We even brought up the new dishwasher, but it won’t be working until the sink is in place. (Boo hoo. Washing dishes in the bathroom sink is NO fun.) The cabinet doors went on too, which really made it feel like the real deal. Seeing everything come together has been somewhat magical because it’s looking better than imagined.

Sink cabinet holes.
On Monday, we started to out together all of the little stuff – drawers, pull outs, shelves, etc. The neatest contraption we have is this lazy susan on steroids that fits into our corner cabinet. It swings in the cabinet and then pulls out straight.  I can’t wait to actually have all of our pots and pans organized and not in a heaping mess.
Assembling the lazy susan on steroids.
Lazy susan on steroids in action. 
So what’s left? Well, a lot. The biggest thing is the countertops. The measurement guys should be out Thursday. Then they will go in about a week later. We also have a shelves, etc. that need to built and installed, cutting and installing trim on the top and bottom of the cabinets, the installation of the window seat, adding under-cabinet lighting, adding another pendant light, creating a tile backsplash… the list goes on. We have the major stuff now completed, so now it’s all the little time-consuming things. BUT GUYS, WE HAVE THE MAKINGS OF A KITCHEN. Like we’ll be cooking again in a few weeks. Doing it ourselves is challenging, but so rewarding. And not to mention we’re saving thousands and thousands of dollars. And that’s a cause for some major celebrating. <Insert celebratory fist pump here.>     

Quite a change from the previous post's last picture. 

Even the dogs are impressed. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Walls, and floors, and lights, oh my!

I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! … Can you say that about your kitchen? Whatever, that’s how we’re totally feeling right now. Here’s the lowdown from the past week:

Last Tuesday, we had an electrician come and rewire the kitchen. For two days and nearly 20 hours he worked his magic, moving all of the wires that were in the soffit, plus a whole lot more. We’re so glad we hired someone for this job because we would likely still be at it if it was just us (or let’s be honest, all Derk.) Afterward, we had someone install drywall. Again, we are happy that this was someone else’s job because otherwise this whole overhaul would take two months. As soon as he left, we painted the ceiling. My, oh, my, what a difference a crisp white ceiling makes. After that dried we could finally wire in the recessed lights. As soon as those went on it was like BAM! Let there be light! It was pretty amazing. We have all of them on dimmers so when we want to create a romantic mood in the kitchen, for say like washing dishes, it’s possible.  

We raised the cut-through by about six inches since we're going to have taller cabinets. Also, take a minute to admire those wires. They cost us a lot of money.
You spend your Saturday nights painting too, right? Riiiight?
Proof that I do more than just blog about this kitchen renovation.
Recessed lights that dangle - could be a future trend. 
But they do look much better in the ceiling.

The next thing to conquer was the hardwood floor. D’s dad graced us with his presence again and was such a huge help. All day Sunday they measured, cut and nailed each board into the floor. It was no small undertaking. We were under the impression that the floor would be basically one color. We soon realized that there were big variations in the wood color. We found this to be such a good thing though, and we absolutely love the finished look. We have enough to do the entire first floor and I have a feeling that after we finish the kitchen, we’ll be itching to do the rest of the house ASAP. The old crappy laminate next to the new, beautiful bamboo is like night and day.

Laying the first boards. 
Handling the nailer like a BOSS.
Getting close!
Well deserved exhaustion at the end of the night. 
Check out that beauty up close. 

This week and coming weekend our main jobs are paint and hang cabinets. (Yeah, just hang cabinets. No biggie.) We’re still on schedule (woot woot) and everything is turning out better than imagined. Here’s to that streak continuing.

Now excuse me while I go do another happy dance on our kitchen floor.