Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kitchen Island Phase 2 Tile Removal and Floor Patch

The kitchen island is coming along.  After the demolition phase of the project, we started on tile removal and floor patch.  Here is where we left off in the last post.


We then placed the cabinets back in the kitchen in the new configuration to determine where we wanted the island to ultimately be. 

The new and improved configuration would relocate the two existing cabinets side by side rather than the L-shape they were previously.  Some blue painters tape on the floor (under Lillie's belly) represents the amount of overhang that will be on the "stair" side of the island where counter height bar stools will "live"


So after we shuffled the cabinets a little this way and a little that way, we decided our final placement of the cabinets.  With this decision made we could then mark which tiles needed to be removed so that the cabinets could sit on the concrete foundation.  We had toyed with the idea of just patching the tile and then placing the island on top of the tile, but then considered the fact that some day we will have luxurious bamboo floors and all the tile will be ripped up again (hopefully not by us, but the flooring contractor) and so this way all of the tile can be removed without leaving some under the cabinets or having to move the island.  

So I marked the tiles to me demolished with and 'X' so we were sure to remove only what we needed.  Also we made the decision to remove any tile that was already cut, so that we could install full tiles in their place.


Oh and one small hiccup for this project was that the electrical (the island had 4 outlets in it before and we want to keep 4 outlets in our new one) was coming out of the foundation at the very edge of the prior wall that is no longer there.  So we had to make a small trench to run the electrical from old point A to new point B.  The new point B is a small wing wall that will come out from the island on both ends to support the overhang. 

The discovery of the actual electrical location (we had been making guesses of where it would come out of the floor from the day we conceived this crazy idea) was a bit of a downer for our DIY-ing enthusiasm.  But when Devin emerged from the garage with this AMAZING little tool, a pneumatic air hammer that used the air compressor to be exact, we did a little celebratory dance to the DIY gods.  This tool may be small in size but it did the trick of taking out small pieces of concrete in order for us to run the line to point B.  It was like a mini jack hammer!   


This tool may be small in size but it did the trick of taking out small pieces of concrete in order for us to run the line to point B.  It was like a mini jack hammer!   YAY!


We then proceeded with demolishing the tiles that were so nicely marked with an "X". 


This was not a fun job.  It was long and tedious, but not necessarily hard.  We were so thankful we didn't have to do the entire kitchen.  This was the point I believe that we vowed to hire a flooring contractor to demolish ALL of the tile in the future.


Next was the WORST step in the entire project to date.  Removing the mastic from the concrete.  This is what the tile is adhered to the floor with and it is the bane of my existence. 


The first attempts at removal were by hand with a chisel and hammer, but with little success.  So Devin brings out the big guns once again, the pneumatic air hammer.  The chisel bit made removal of that pesky mastic a cinch, ok well it was still hard work, but went way faster than if were were operating with old school chisel and hammer. 


One downfall to this process of using the pneumatic hammer was that the mastic was flying ALL over the house!  Thankfully, all the animals were in hiding (because they pretty much hate the noise that that tool makes) to avoid getting binged by flying debris.   



I was on clean up duty after we Devin got all the mastic up.  This is when I discovered those infamous "blue bags" from IKEA that are basically made out of tarps, were the perfect construction debris disposal containers!  I love having multiple uses for stuff!


With the floor cleared, we were able to place the cabinets and double check our electrical trench with our first wing wall frame (more on the framing in another post) to make sure we trenched it long enough to reach.  NOTE: The electrical wire will ultimately come up through the frame by means of a drilled hole to be inside the wall. 


It looked perfect so we then patched the trench with cement and leveled it out.  Done and done!  We waited a day for the patch to set before we officially set the cabinets and started framing.  Oh and of course we had help, and because of all of our 'help' we had to cover the cement up with plastic as it cured. 


Stay tuned for a super excited post about leveling, framing, and wiring!  Woo Hoo!  I can honestly tell you that it is looking FABULOUS!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitchen Island: Phase 1 Demolition!

The demolition bug caught a hold of us and we started the kitchen island project last Monday after dinner.  Nothing gets me more excited than making my plans come to life and my husband is the best for suggesting we just get it started after dinner.  I LOVE that man!  So first let me lay down the plan for why we even attempted this project.  The layout of our great room is FABULOUS in our house...except for one little barrier, the kitchen island.  Here she is in all her barrier-ness.


  • Problem number one:  The layout.  It is two cabinets placed in a L-shape.  It makes it almost impossible for two people to stand at the counter together. 
  • Problem number two:  The split height surfaces.  The backside (or in the kitchen) the island is normal counter height and then on the front side (or living room side) there is a small bar height lip.  It is not very wide, and you cannot sit at it for lack of knee space. 


Here is the original plan with the existing island:


Here is the new improved plan which will include new counter tops for the entire kitchen and a new sink!  The new island will all be counter height so that you can work all the way around it, say if you have family over and we are all cookin' in the kitchen, you have LOTS more room to work.  The side opposite the refrigerator will be able to accommodate 3 counter height stools with plenty of leg room and space for the stools to slide completely under it and out of the way when no one is sitting there.  Muy Bueno!


First I had to empty the cabinets and remove the drawers and stage them in the dining room for the time being.  Yes this means that we have to walk in there to get a fork occasionally.


Then we began this project by taking the counter tops off of the island.  This required removal of some trim pieces...


and removal of the electrical switches on the counters of which there were three.  We will be re-using these in the new configuration.  Oh and we did shut off the power to these circuits at the breaker prior to any of this work!  Pretty important step!


The counters then were just unscrewed from the bottom and lifted right off, ok well there was a little more muscle involved than lifting right off implies...


It was quite interesting to see what the builders left behind for us in between the two cabinets.  It appears to be some aluminum foil and a napkin from lunch time...NICE!


Then we unscrewed the cabinets from the wall and then muscled them out. 



Next step: take that wall down!  We removed the electrical boxes and the base boards and then started removing the drywall.  This involved a big heavy ball pein hammer and some sexy muscles.



Two sides did have particle board under the gypsum board, so they took a little more coercing.


Did we have help?  Of COURSE we had help!  We could never do these home improvement projects alone.





Removing the wood frame was the easiest part.  We basically removed it in three sections being careful to remove the electrical wire as we went.  We were left with a nice open kitchen with a big hole in the tile where the cabinets used to be!  SWEET!  I can already tell I like so much better!



Stay tuned for the next installment of Kitchen Island.  It is kind of like Lost and Devin is Sawyer's character and I'm Kate.  Ok well nothing like that actually but Lost is a better analogy than Gilligan's Island...but wait, that means Devin can be the Professor and I can be Mary Ann.  Ok well that will work also.  Any hoo...stay tuned to be witness to some tile removal goodness and some super sweet jack hammering a la Sawyer Devin...




oh the anticipation!   


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Under Construction

We have been busy!  Just a hint of what we are up to?  Well it isn't the laundry room like I have been talking about.  Hey one project leads to another project in our house and apparently me talking about doing the laundry room encouraged us to start the kitchen! 

Here is a little taste of what we have been up to the last several days...


Don't worry we have lots of help!


So here is the plan...in color board form.  We have the existing cabinets, window treatment, and appliances. 
Our dream kitchen to do list is:
  • A - Install quartz counter tops (Eco Recycled content)
  • B - Install tile back splash (glass and marble mixture)
  • C - Get new sink and super cool goose neck faucet
  • D - Have new bamboo floors installed on the entire 1st floor
I will be back with more details and more pictures of the entire remodel/kitchen island rework soon!  It is looking GREAT so far!

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Little Lamp of Mine

Update: The jury is still out on what to do in the laundry room, but I can tell you there is some pattern involved...so hang in there for a full blown post about it.

But in the mean time, I did manage to FINALLY get around to painting that good old lamp that I purchased from Goodwill several months back.  Remember this is what it looked like in all of it's brassiness...


I purchased the lamp for a whopping 7 dollar...holla, with the intention of painting it a fun color.  The shape of the base was nice and a simple barrel lamp shade would modern it up.  So FINALLY, it got all taped up with someplace to go, the back yard to get a spray down.


I found a color of spray paint that would work in our bedroom and actually in the living/kitchen area also, at Hobby Lobby.  Sometimes you must branch out beyond the hardware store to find better colors of spray paint.  So I went with this Lagoon color in a Rustoleum paint.


I won't bore you with the spraying application details, but I did this quick little project at 9 AM and it was already 95 degrees outside so I had to work quick.  The optimal temperature to paint according to the can was between 68 and 90 degrees...so I took my chances. 



I think it turned out lovely.  The color emphasizes the curvy shape of the lamp even more.  The color turned out pretty darn nice and it actually almost perfectly matches the paint in out breakfast area.


By the time it was coated 3 times, I was a hot mess!  Yeah sweating was involved in this project that required me to be out in the sun for maybe 5 minutes at a time!  I am ready for fall!  I let the lamp dry fully, inside, out of the heat, and then put it back in its spot in our master bedroom. 



Now to spruce up the lamp shade.  I have been toying with several ideas, one is to cover it with fabric, and two is to stencil or stamp a pattern on the shade...the jury again, is still out. 

We would love to hear from you!  Have you had great experiences with spray painting found objects at thrift stores?  Have you found a pattern that you are just absolutely in love with?  Let us know, we are all ears!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Big 05!!

We celebrated a big event this past week!  It was Roxie's 5th birthday!  Yup she is most definitely a big girl now.  As part of the special day I baked her some homemade dog treats and made her a birthday cake.  It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing home the sweet little 6 week old puppy.  She has certainly made our little family happy.  To show her how much we love her I made a 4:47 minute video documenting her life with us thus far...enjoy, I know I did making it!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Spicing Up the Laundry

I have been seriously contemplating a quick laundry room makeover to happen this weekend and have been perusing through some inspiration photos to get an idea of what I want to do.  I do know that I want to incorporate color and pattern into the dull space, perhaps a well needed makeover will encourage me to do laundry...well I can hope.

Here are some images that I have been scoping out!

I love the idea of creating a simple pattern with paint...


Another pattern, but this one with tile.  Such a great idea!


Nice bold color!  I LOVE it!


More pattern, this is a wall paper.


I could easily do a stripe with paint...hmmm


I will keep you all posted as to what unfolds at Chez Young this weekend!  Hopefully, something GREAT!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Friday Freebie!

And the winner is NO ONE!  Not one person entered the contest...bummer!

Now that talk of school starting and school supplies has begun, I guess the summer is winding down.  Although here in Austin, I believe we will continue to feel the heat for a few more months.  To keep the dream summer alive we are giving away one poster from our Ysquared Design Shop.  This is a reminder that even though the summer is coming to a close we can all keep sizzling!  In fact we tend to do more grillin' in the fall anyway so we use the "Keep Calm and Grill On" mantra year round.  





The Low Down:
  • Giveaway Prize:  1 Ysquared Design Poster 16" x 20" (poster only)
  • To Enter:  Post a comment on this post saying "Grill On". 
  • Extra Bonus: Tell us about your best summer 2011 memory.  Did you go someplace awesome this summer, did you spend every waking moment at the pool?   
  • Enter By:  Thursday August 18, 2011 by 9pm CDT
  • Results Announced:  Friday August 19, 2011 at 12:00pm CDT
  • Shipping:  Within the United States only
  • Rules:  Only one entry per email address.  Winners will be selected at random using random.org.  To find out who won, please return to this post.  Good luck and may the force be with you. 
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