February 2010

Let the bathtub dish washing begin!

15 miles today… think I’ll still have energy to rip out cabinets afterward?

Here is my view on the matter:


Choices choices choices! I’ve really been digging warm wood cabinets with slate gray tile and counter tops. It’s hard to show what the tile actually looks like as I’m not the greatest photographer.

This was taken with flash:

And this wasn’t:

But it’s the same tile. Amazing! I took the rest without flash so hopefully they look pretty true to life. So for the floor, I liked the above, or this one:

Both are gray with just a hint of brown. One is $1.77 a sq ft and the other is $1.45.

I always despised tile counter tops growing up, because you can’t roll out dough and they’re a pain to clean. But then I saw this beautiful tile counter top in the store! It’s a porcelain tile which apparently holds up to heat and scratches better than regular ol ceramic, they’re large pieces so there aren’t many grout lines, the grout lines are itty bitty, and the edges are beveled so it looks really nice. There are still a few weird things- the pieces aren’t big enough to cover the whole depth of the counter so you would definitely be able to tell it’s tile, and although the grout lines are tiny and there aren’t many, they are still there.

I am going to call around and see if I can get granite scraps, but I’m not going to bank on that too much. My other option is laminate. It’s just not worth it in my neighborhood to spring for the big bucks, and plus I have lived with laminate and I like it (as long as the previous tenants didn’t set a hot pan on it). Here are a couple samples I picked up.

I’m liking the one on the right. Is it too dark? The middle one has too much brown I think.

On to backsplashes!

How about some glass subway tiles? I’m not a huge fan of these honey colored ones…

…but maybe in more of a bluish color it would be great (like the one on the upper left in the photo below).

A lot of you really liked this picture that I posted before:

I really like it too. I think a glass backsplash would add a lot to my little kitch.

But my favorite thing I found was this! A frosted, aqua-blue (it’s actually clear but it looks aqua-blue) 2×6 subway tile sheet… ahh.

I can’t decide what I think about the rough edges though. Would it match the rest of what I have going on? Clean-lined shaker-style cabinets and slate gray tile/counters?

I love love love the color but I just don’t know about the rough edges. And yowza that price! But it’s a small space so it actually wouldn’t be too much money.

As always, I love to hear everyone’s feedback, so feel free to let me know what you think of the tile, my color choices, or anything else!

I’m in total kitchen mode right now, so of course this little article caught my eye.


Oh, Martha.

You’re great.

My favorites are #8, #9, #11, #15, #21, and #24.

While Jonny and I were taking a load to the dump and picking up my lovely new appliances, Stan stayed behind and finished tearing out the last couple 2x4s. Here’s how it looks now. We also moved the old stove over to the new stove’s future home. Don’t mind the 220V and old doorbell hanging there, and the floating heater vent. (Click here to see it before.)

The house already has a totally different feel with the wall gone. I love open floor plans. You walk in and you see 60% of the house, with the bedrooms and bathroom tucked away in the back.

Although I would love to keep everyone in suspense about what’s going to happen in the kitchen, I’ll show you the plan. Try to use the brick chimney and stove (where it is now) as a reference.

Here is my cabinet guy’s rendering of the “stove side”

and here is his rendering of the “sink side”

The renderings are a little deceiving because they make the floor space in the middle seem really big. When I asked for advice about getting a standard sized sink vs a smaller one (and thank you all so much for your input!) a few people suggested getting a small cart to add some counter space. If you look at the dimensions you’ll see that it’s not really possible- it’s pretty much a galley kitchen with just enough space to walk through. Actually Stan and I pretended to be using the stove and the sink at the same time, and it is comfortable, but if a third person wanted to get by we would have to squeeze. It’s less than ideal, but I think we’ve made the most of a really tiny space.

I emailed Sherry at Young House Love to ask her opinion on the sink matter (that woman is amazing- she got back to me in less than 12 hours!), and she suggested a standard sink to appeal to a broader audience for resale, but one that comes with a perfectly fitting cutting board for extra cutting space, or even just one of these.

Love it!

Oh and I might mention that this kitchen design has seen a lot of changes- some of which can be seen here, and before that here. I always knew I wanted to take out the wall, but my original vision for the kitchen was pretty different. Some really good advice that I’ve heard from a lot of people is to live in your house for a while before you make any major changes. While you’re living there, you’ll discover things about your lifestyle and taste that will definitely sway your final decisions.

What do you all think of the plan? Be honest, I can take it!

Have I mentioned how much I love punny blog post titles? A couple weekends ago I got super friendly with a nail gun, ALL BY MYSELF. Jonny dropped it off on my back porch with the air compressor when I wasn’t home, and he asked me to bring it back up to him a week later so I knew I couldn’t procrastinate this one. And what do you know- just like my old blinds-hanging experience, it turned out to be really easy! You want to use a nail gun for a project like this, as opposed to regular nails or screws, because the gun sinks the tiny nails deep into the wood, just leaving a small hole to patch instead of a big nail head sticking out.

Here’s the nail gun, looking intimidating.

Until you lift it out of the case and realize that there’s only one possible thing to do- plug it into the air compressor and point and shoot (and wear safety gear of course). Oh, and plug in the air compressor and scare the living daylights out of poor Misty with all the racket it makes.

I used my trusty $7 saw and miter box from HD to cut the appropriate lengths of quarter-round

then I put them in place and let-er-go. The nail gun makes such a satisfying “PPSSHH-ahhh” noise… I had to stop myself from putting in a bazillion nails because I remembered that I don’t particularly like patching and sanding holes.

Then for my least favorite part- caulk. Seriously, I hate caulking. I would rather paint, scrape paint, eat stale bagels, tile, and grout than caulk. It’s so messy and you wipe it off with your finger and then you think you’ve gotten it all off your finger but you haven’t, so it ends up right back on your quarter-round or your floor or your hair… ugh. So anyway, I got all the pieces nicely caulked, which was a pain fitting the caulking gun behind the toilet and sink and caused me to use a couple expletives. So now all it needs is matching white paint and voila, a seamless transition from wall to floor. Wahoo! Oh and a note: make sure you use painter’s acrylic caulk on a project that’s going to be, well, painted. Use pure silicon for places like the shower that see lots and lots of water.

Here it is before:

and after I nailed the quater-round in place:

and looking much more finished after paint and caulk:

I was too lazy to wait for the paint to dry before snapping this picture, but trust me the paint is the same color as the baseboard when it dries.

After the wood floors are refinished, I’m going to have to put quarter-round on every single baseboard in the place so I’m glad I knocked the tiny bathroom out and got some good practice.

And I know I’ve said this before, but the bathroom is this close to being totally finished, or at least as finished as it’s going to get! The only thing I have left to do is decorate, which is a little scary for me.

We had about an hour before I had to be home to meet the cabinet guy so he could take measurements, and decided to stop by RC Willey, just to check things out. I knew I needed appliances (my current stove is a loner from my brother, and my current fridge came from a used appliance store and is a little too big, not to mention not terribly easy on the eyes). I had been looking online, and had pretty much decided to skip the whole stainless steel craze and go with black. Not that I don’t like stainless steel, in fact I really quite like it, but I just didn’t think it was worth it to spend the extra dough.

That is…


I saw…

a beautiful SS gas stove on clearance and a wonderfully shiny and perfectly sized (fingers crossed!) SS fridge for cheap!

Behold the stove:

It has an oblong center burner, and the grate can be swapped out for a flat grill that came with it. PANCAKES! FAJITAS!! It’s standard sized at 30″, but I’m still hoping that it’s not so big and chunky that it overwhelms the tiny kitchen. I really like to cook, so I’m excited about having a gas stove with sealed burners and cast iron grates that cover the whole stove, so you can easily slide pots and pans around. As you can see, there are some tape bits on it, which is why it was on clearance. No, those aren’t scratches. Hopefully Goo Gone or something will take that off. Total: $545 plus he threw in a 5 year warranty.

Don’t feel left out, fridge, you’ll have your moment:

She’s an 18 cubic foot beauty (more standard I think is 21.5 cubic feet), reversible doors, but other than that nothing fancy. No icemaker, water dispenser, etc. It does have glass shelves, which my sis-in-law told me to watch out for so that if something spills on the top shelf it won’t dribble all the way down to the bottom as it would with wire shelves. Good thinking. I don’t mind that it’s no-frills because I’m fine with making my own ice in trays and getting water from the tap. Plus, that means less parts to break. The fridge was on sale (although I swear everything at RC Willey is perpetually “on sale”) and since I bought the floor model it was even cheaper. Total including rebate from Rocky Mountain Power: $480.

I really like how the stove is a mix of black and SS, since that leaves me free to get either for the dishwasher. I really never planned on getting stainless appliances, but I thought these were a pretty good deal and I know how crazy everyone goes for them when it comes to resale. Plus, I like them too. I also thought about getting used ones again, which probably would have saved me a bunch more money, but it’s nice to not have to worry about them breaking. And if kitchens sell houses, then I think it was a wise move. Right? Right?? I kept calling it an impulse purchase, but Jonny put my mind at ease when he said “You knew you needed them anyway, it’s not like you didn’t even need them and then you went to some Tupperware party and blew a bunch of money.” So true, Jonny. So true.

Good thing I have Jonny (my bro) around and he is so nice, because that meant I didn’t have to pay to have them delivered. Part of the deal is that the appliances have to live in my living room for the next month since RCW wouldn’t hang on to them, but I can deal with that. In fact, I’ll probably spend the next month sitting on the couch staring and drooling at them.

Any thoughts on the purchase? Thoughts on black vs white vs stainless steel? Thoughts on gas vs electric? Thoughts on the sizes I got? Tips on removing super sticky tape from stainless steel?

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