Thursday, October 27, 2011

On the Hunt

Now that we have a beautiful new island with beautiful new counters we need beautiful new counter stools.  I have been perusing some of the 'regular' stopping points online to get an idea of the type of stools we like.  First we both agree that we do not want a stool with a back so that it may easily slide under the counter and out of the way to make room for working space on that side of the island, and secondly, we agreed that we wanted a round stool. 

So here are some options that I have been considering:

This gorgeous shiny gem is from Restoration Hardware (and most likely out of our budget)

These super sleek "navy" stools are at Crate and Barrel and they

Crate and Barrel also has these neeto skeeto industrial-esque adjustable stools.

I found this streamlined option on Overstock, I like the white and chrome.

West Elm has these cute all white wooden stools....

and these industrial strapping looking stools.

IKEA has an adjustable height option in wood, but it is a little cheap and would need to be painted or it would disappear under the island. 

There you have it, what we are considering for the kitchen lately. 

FYI, the back splash in the kitchen is looking beautiful!  Pics and more next week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baby Steps

A little progress was made to the kitchen project over the weekend.  It is all about the little things right?  Right!  After the counters were installed, we waited 24hrs until we could install the plumbing to the sink.  This meant having to un-install our precious garbage disposal that we installed back in March.  This was super easy...for Devin to do.  I'm sure it is because he had lots of "help."

Then we got to re-install the disposal in the new sink, which was infinitely better than installing it in the old sink.  This was much more exciting.  Notice in the image above, Devin's procedure of placing the rings in order of install...and see them again below.

Nice technique.  Whatever works.  The new sink also received a new stainless steel "Work Horse Strainer".  You are welcome sink.

Which meant we had to use this again.

It's pretty fun, like Playdoh.

Then we installed the faucet, the counters crowning glory.  It is a sight to behold I tell ya!

Here it is complete with a soap dispenser (recycled from old sink) and dishes in the sink.  I'm just keepin' it real for you.

Then came a little paint for the island.  She was looking a little bare.

Now she looks much more fancy and dramatic.  You can call it her "little black dress." 

Devin completed her by powering her up! 

Complete with fancy black outlets and cover plates. 

And one little hint of what we are working on now...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Houston, Countertops Have Landed

What an exciting morning we had today.  We got to witness the amazing installers from Austin Stone Systems do their magic installing our new counter tops.  The did a great job!

But before we get to the goods, Devin and I spent an hour last night taking out the old counters and sink in preparation for this mornings event.  We disconnected the plumbing from the bottom of the sink and took out our precious garbage disposal and Devin scored the caulk around the top of the sink.  It lifted out with a little muscle.  Once we had the sink out, Devin just sliced the caulk at the back splash and the wall and I unscrewed a few screws from underneath and they essentially lifted right out. 

Then...the magic happened.

Our first counter top installed.  The island was the first to be blessed with this beauty.  Then the rest followed suit.

It took approximately 1.5 hours for them to complete the task and it is beautiful.

Check out that "Banjo" sink!  We opted for two holes drilled, one for the faucet and one for the pump soap dispenser. 

Here is an extreme closeup and more of an aerial view.  Can you tell it is under mounted?  Well it is and it is glorious!  I can just picture myself easily sweeping crumbs into the sink now.  It's the little things that really make us happy.  We now have to wait 24 hours until we can install the new faucet.  Yeah we are "chompin' at the bit"!

I have to just stand and admire it now...

It ain't over yet, may the back splash tiling commence...

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Serious Case of Grout

It's official folks, we have grout.  That means that the tile work in the kitchen is D-O-N-E.  Yay for our team! 

Now for some process photos:

Devin mixin' it up.

Approximately halfway done

Grout finished, awaiting the final de-hazing.

The "help"

The final product looks pretty swell considering the grout doesn't match perfectly due to the fact that the old grout is "broken in" and has a darker appearance.  With enough time, the new will look like the old. 

Now to get the new counter tops installed, which is happening on THURSDAY!  More action to follow of course, meaning tiling the back splash.  Oh and FYI, that is our new faucet sitting on the end of the "island", yeah that is getting installed with the counters on Thursday.  So exciting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Help a Sister Out

Along with our little remodel project we have going on in our kitchen, I have been designing for my sister's house.  She was in desperate need of a change, so change is what she is gonna get!  First order of business is the Living/Dining area.  I say this loosely because this first phase has also included painting the hallway and kitchen area.  When you are on a painting roll, you just gotta keep truckin'. 

So here are some before pics, I apologize for the poor quality, they were taken with my sister's IPhone. 

Overall thoughts?  Too dark and that Fireplace gots to go!  The above picture is my mom checking out the fireplace "situation" before they took the TV down and the fireplace screen and painted the fireplace white!  I can say it does look mucho better.  The fireplace screen also got a coat of black spray paint and a white mantel was re-installed.   The biggest improvement to this fireplace "situation" is that the cables you see all hanging down from the bottom of the TV are now nicely routed through the fireplace wall to the left side where the components live.  My mom and sis were weekend warriors drilling the holes and fishing the wires, they rocked it out!

The goal is to lighten up the space and make it more "her".
Here is the plan, for the NEW and improved living/dining area...

The plan is to re-use some of her existing pieces and then add some new.  The Queen Anne-esque chair in the color board, is an existing chair that is getting a face lift with white paint and new upholstery.  The dark brown console table is getting re-used and re-located in the space, and she has a buffet and dining table that are remaining.  Oh and I plan to re-purpose some of her accessories, but for the most part, most everything is getting Craigslisted (and there is a lot!)  My sister has the theory that one is good but 10 is better, so part of this effort is to declutter and organize. 

We did find the amazing sofa shown in the color board at Dillard's on sale and we are anxiously awaiting it's arrival.  Also a modernized wing back chair.  Woot Woot! 

Here is an initial section drawing of the living and dining space to be.  I can't wait to get a large series of artwork framed on the big wall as a focal point. 
Stay posted for some progress photos (that are not taken with an IPhone) as it comes to life. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some P&T, a.k.a, Priming & Tiling

Woot Woot for another step in the Kitchen Island project over the weekend.  I'm just a tad bit sore from the process, but all the better since the work will result in Arnold Arms, you know as in the Schwarzenegger.  Yeah my arms will be super buff at the end of this project! 

The last post left you with this:

At this point we had sanded the corners to round them a bit, wood puttied any nail holes and the corners, and caulked the two inside seams.  The next order of business was to prime the plywood.  My favorite primer is KILZ latex primer.  It works great and is water based latex for easy clean up. 

Oh and not to worry, I had plenty of "help" with the priming.  Well mostly I try to prevent animal hair from getting in the paint the whole time the "help" is helping so maybe it isn't much help, but a little belly rub is good for moral (to clarify that is me rubbing kitty belly...not vice versa)

I applied the first coat evenly by keeping it pretty thin.  Using a foam roller helps in the process and doesn't leave brush marks.  I actually only used a brush to prime the toe kick under the front of the cabinets. 

Love my paint clothes don't ya!  Hey whatever works.  We have done so much painting in our house that we had a couple of cans of primer left from other jobs so I just used it and put the roller screen right in the can so I didn't have to pour paint into a pan.  It makes things that much easier. 

So after two coats of primer...

Purdy right?  I was so happy to see the plywood go away!  The final black paint (to match our existing base cabinets) will go on after the counter tops get installed. 

With the priming done, we moved right on to tile.  Well, it wasn't exactly right away, because Devin and I went to 4 different stores looking for tile that would "match" the tile that was already there.  The previous homeowners had left us 11 tiles that they had used to replace some tiles but they were not the same tiles, but close.  So we used them and two more boxes of tile that we managed to find that "matched" pretty well. 

I just started in one corner and worked my way across trying not to work myself into a corner.  We purchased pre-mixed tile mastic to just spread and set the tile with a square notched trowel.  We also used quarter inch spacers to keep things nice and straight. 

I marked the tiles that needed cutting and Devin manned the wet saw (borrowed from my mom, she has the good tools).  He did a bang up job I must say.

It started looking great right away!

With a little carpet trimming, I continued the tiling to the edge of the island and worked my way around. 

So now the before and the after...the best part.

Grouting to commence in T-minus who knows when, but hopefully this week sometime! 
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