Friday, June 25, 2021

Remodeling Week 13

 Things are coming together!  We are getting to the end now.  The floors got finished this week.  They are all covered so pictures are no fun.  But I am glad they are covered so we cannot ruin their prettiness.

This week we had one guy here consistently working on the last of the floor and the cabinet guy was here every day drilling the cabinets into the floor, making sure they were level.  By the end of the week all the drawers were put into the cabinets and they were putting on the wood border on the bottom of the cabinets.  (does this have a name?  I am sure it does).  We worked on finding the right size pulls for the drawers - ordering one kind and then wanting to see something different.  We figured out how we were going to frame the giant sink so that I could see a large part of it but not go crazy with dirt around it.

On Thursday the counter top installers from the stone yard came to do the template.  It took him 2 hours to get it just right (what a neat thing to watch - it was like watching a surveyor), and then we went over all the details.  (there are 100s of little decisions that we have made over the last 13 weeks - I had no idea there would be so many).  It will be three weeks until their return with our counter and a few days before they were send us the final pictures to sign off on.  I cannot wait to see my soapstone again.  

We did get the call that the date for delivery for our Range has been pushed back.  Again.  Now it will be after August 20th.  I am trying hard not to lose it.  It is a minor problem in the grand scheme of things, but I just want this to be done so we can start enjoying the space.  Everyone keep their fingers crossed that it doesn't get pushed any more.

It is slowly getting quieter here.  Mat and I are soon going to be working on laying the tile in our mudroom and front rooms.  The electrician and plumber will be back hopefully next week to get the lights installed and start to plumb for the fridge, sink, and faucet.  It is starting to look like a house again.  I cannot wait to start to enjoy it.

I got a quick glimse at the island today while waiting for the counter top installers.  I am loving the drawers.  It took us forever to pick the sizes - figuring out where everything was going to go.  I am going to do a matte black handle on each drawer.  This side faces out to the hall/living room
This side of the island faces in - the range is right across from it.  These drawers will be for pots and pans and cutlery
The last area to get wood was our tiny hall closet right by our side door.  The floor is officially DONE
Mat and I are doing all the tiling ourselves.  It was a pretty steep price for the contractors to do it and based on the already high cost of this project, we decided to take a few things on ourselves.  The painting was one, and this was another.  This past week we started to figure out how we were going to lay the mudroom tile, and this is what we came up with.  This tile was MAt's choice.  He wanted something rustic and a bit more "outdoorsy" for the mudroom.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

End of Eight Grade

 Friday night Finley and Cainan had their 8th grade promotion ceremony and today was their last day of 8th grade.  I don't get many pictures of them any more - they really don't love it.  But I did get just a few this weekend.

We are really proud of them.  It has been quite the year for them.  We moved back to the states right before school started, and the year started in a Hybrid program where they were home three days a week and in the building two days a week.  It made it hard to make friends.  It made it hard to learn.  Masks every day for 185 days was.....a  lot.

But in the spring, things started to improve.  School went back in session at the end of March 5 days a week.  So many of their friends returned.  Friendships grew.  Things got better.  And they left this year with new friends, straight A report cards, and settled.  Finally settled.

I give them both so much credit.  This year was a bear.  IT was hard for us as adults - I cannot imagine what it was like for the kids.  

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Remodeling Week 12

 This week was all about cabinets and flooring.  The cabinets showed up bright and early Monday morning filling our living room with boxes.  It was like Christmas.  It was killing me not to rip those boxes open and check them all out

Tuesday the installation of the cabinets began.  While the installer did that, the other crew continued working on laying the floor in the dining room and hallway.  It was so fun to come downstairs each afternoon after the crews left to see the progress.  

We are in the home stretch now.  Just a few more weeks.  If they get the cabinets installed by the 24th, then the counter top makers will be out to make a template.  That pushes our project up a few weeks which would be terrific.  It is still a bit up in the air, but we can hope.  

Just like I can hope that the darn stove actually arrives in July.

26 boxes of fun
Cabinets going into the pantry.  We chose cabinets in here instead of drawers so that I could store my table top appliances on some pull out drawers.

These will be some of the cabinets for the peninsula
This is where the range will go  - between these cabinets.  On both sides of the range are spice drawers.  In the corner to the left are going to be two cabinets for trays

The cabinets we chose are a custom Ultracraft.  Avon style in Arctic White.  Maple wood.  It took us forever to pick these cabinets and the drawer sizes and depths.  So many decisions.

By Tuesday they had laid a lot of the floor as well

By Wednesday all of the cabinets were in place.  The island is amazing.  It is so hard to capture its size in a picture, but it is 10 feet of awesomeness.  I am glad to have it, though, because without upper cabinets, the kitchen would have seemed small storage wise without it.

I did pretend to be standing doing my "thing" at the island.  Plus I wanted to make sure I could see the TV from there.  Very important reasons.
This corner has always been tricky and our architect has come up with some good ideas to make it flow nicely.  Plus - no one will see all these angles once the counters are in place.  The cabinet next to the sink is all drawers.  But next to that is a corner piece that will just have shelves and be open.  I didn't want just a random cabinet door in the middle of an "all drawer" kitchen, so we decided to go wtih open shelving here.
Wala!  All the cabinets.  We also have a penninsula as well as the island.  The penninsula will have seating, which is going to be great, especially for breakfast and snacking, or just for people who come over to keep me company while I am cooking in the kitchen.  That was Mat's idea, so I will give him credit for that.  He gets a point.

The sink, faucet, pot filler, and all of the light fixtures arrived today.  It was like Christmas around here.  Most things are hanging in our garage until the electrician and plumber return, but they did put the sink in place (sort of) so work the fit.  I love it so much.  We picked a granite sink in a black/gray speckle.  We originally thought we wanted soapstone, but the soapstone folks talked us out of that.  Said that it scratches too easy.  We couldn't really get a black that would ever match the counters, so we went with the grayish color.  It is so big and lovely.  I could take a bath in there.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Remodeling Week 11

 The painting is now complete.  We spent about 10 days painting (a little last week and all this week).  And when I say we - I mean me.  I painted every inch because Mat was in San Francisco on business this whole week.  It was unfortunate, but he had no choice and we had to get it done.  

We bought a paint sprayer. Man that thing is fun.  It really did speed up the painting process.  However the prep to get ready for the sprayer is killer.  Took almost a full day to tape up everything to keep the sprayer off windows and doors.  Because we have plaster, we knew we were going to need a ton of primer.  So the sprayer worked well.  Put it on nice and thick so I only had to do two coats before it was ready for paint.  We used a Benjamin Moore primer that was specific for brand new plaster walls.  I am glad we asked professionals for what we needed since we never painted new primer before.

The sprayer took some getting used to.  I am glad we had it for the painting, but I do wonder if in the end it would have been easier to just roll the paint (not the primer - too much of that).  Especially the ceiling. I fussed over that ceiling for days trying to get it right.  With no lights installed in the downstairs and not much natural light coming in, AND the paint being white - I was struggling to see where I had been.  Mat finally stopped me when he got home and told me to let it rest and blend and then we can see.  I am happy with it now, but my goodness the ceiling was a pain.

We chose the color Absolute Zero for our main wall color.  We used Marquee Paint from Home Depot.  I know a lot of people don't love Home Depot paint, but I have never had problems with it.  Their Marquee paint I feel is on par with Benjamin Moore in quality (and they are almost identical in price these days).  It was the winner for the color we wanted.  It is a blue/gray and just gives the walls enough color that they aren't white.

For our mudroom and our dining room we went two shades darker with a Benjamin Moore paint called Little Falls (who names these paints?  I want this job).  It is a darker blue/gray (more blue than gray) color that felt a little warmer for those two rooms.  We are putting down almost white floors in the mudroom, so we thought a darker color in there would work well.

I put on all the gear when using the paint sprayer.  I was covered from head to toe and even had a respirator which is highly needed.  Do not skip this step when you use a sprayer.  Once all the color was one, I spent the last part of the week fixing all my mistakes and getting it to a point where I could let it go until the project is over.  I even did a coat of white on the trim (I wanted to do that before the floors were laid).

15 gallons of primer, 6 gallons of ceiling paint, 7 gallons of wall paint and 1 gallon of trim white and I was DONE.  I am proud of myself.  

Now to start shopping for that expensive backsplash........

My outfit and new sprayer.  I was ready!

Absolute Zero on the walls

Little Falls in the mudroom and the dining room

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Remodeling Week 10

 The contractors were only here two days this week before finishing up until the cabinets come in (about 10 days from now).  They gave us a big window to get the painting started.  We elected to do the painting ourselves and save about 10K.  Not even kidding.  I don't love painting, but I do like saving money to use for things I want more (like more expensive backsplash), so it was a good trade off.

The contractors laid all the floor in the pantry and where the cabinets will go.  They covered it and let us have the run of the downstairs.  The temporary wall came down which was GREAT - now we can see the whole downstairs for what it will look like.  

The flooring begins!  Against the wall on the left will be where the cabinets will be going

They put the basement door back on and framed it out.  This area had to be bumped out about 6 inches to accommodate the wood beam above.
The pantry gets flooring!  Cabinets will be on the left

They got pretty far before leaving for the week.  Went just slightly beyond where the cabinets will go (including the island), and then covered it all

I could paint a whole house with the number of paint samples I have brought home.  We are going to do the entire downstairs (minus the mudroom and dining room) in the same color, so I want it to be right.  We don't get a ton of natural light because of the way our house faces, so it has been tricky.
The kids started covering windows for us in preparation for painting
The temporary wall is GONE!  They will put back up a plastic sheet when they return to help control dust, but while they are gone, we can enjoy the open space.  It is more amazing than I imagined.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Cainan's 15th Birthday

 Today our boy turned 15.  I can hardly believe it.  He has grown and changed so much this year.  He has gotten tall!  He is wrapping up 8th grade and has done amazingly well.  We are so proud of this kid and so lucky to be his parents.