Friday, July 3, 2015

Window Transformation



Back to the beginning to refresh your memory on what this window looked like when we started.  The sink and counter top cut off the bottom part of the window and there was a well behind that small splash along the back of the counter top.

From the porch side it looked like this.  I tried putting things in the well that were decorative, well sort of.  Truth is, nothing really looked very good.

Like everything else, this had to go too.

The idea was to create something that resembles this.  The farmhouse sink got nixed way back when and my back splash had to be higher and my windows shorter.  So, in reality it doesn't look like this at all.  But this is where we started.

Dan had taken these doors off a china cabinet and they were the right width for my window, so we decided to use them.  The glass has been removed in this photo but they do have nice beveled glass inserts.

This was the mock up before the tear out.


All parts of the window were removed.  The only thing we saved was the casing and corner blocks.


Then the rebuilding started.  The window sill was raised considerably for a couple reasons which will be obvious as we move along.

Even at that height the doors still do not reach the top.  However, Dan had a plan to fill the gap.

I painted the windows a charcoal color called French Beret.

Most of the fitting of these windows was done from the porch side.  That meant the storm window had to be removed.

So there were several days when a little cardboard was all there was to keep the AC inside.

There were some pretty long discussions about what to do with the bottom panel on the porch side.  Ideally we needed to be able to access the pipes to the sink.  Over breakfast with my friend, Vicki, I mentioned this unresolved issue and she said she had something that might work.  I followed her home and picked up this piece.

It was pretty much ideal!  OK. OK not quite this perfect.  The guys built this frame after I got this plaque from Vicki.

The color was a little off for my scheme but that was no biggie.



I doctored that up a little.


And we were in business.  (sorry about the reflection.  Impossible to avoid)

From the inside it looks like this.  That cross bar you see is actually the transom bar on the large windows of the porch..

I originally thought I wanted the small piece above the windows to be black.  

However, the arch detail at the top of the windows was lost in the shadow so I repainted it to match the rest of the window trim.

Keep in mind, there are still overhead cabinets to go on either side of the sink.

As of yesterday I have knobs on the doors and drawers of the cabinets and that made working in this kitchen way easier.


This hardware came from my old butler's pantry and is original to the house.

The knobs were recycled from the previous white cabinets that were moved to the basement.  I'll find other hardware for those.

This wire holder was a gift from my niece.  It fits nicely here even when the door is open.  What I will put in it remains to be seen.

I did add the knobs at the top.  I had purchased these from Hobby Lobby long ago thinking I would find a place for them someday.  Seems like someday is getting closer for a lot of things.  Can't wait to reveal the next post.  Hint:  The island is almost complete.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Overhead lights are ON


When this kitchen project started there was one light over the island.

Because I now wanted two lights over the island, some changes needed to be made.

It got this far and then there was that waiting period for various other things to fall into place.


Once the old opening was patched and the ceiling was repainted, things moved along.


The fixtures  I planned to use were purchased at the Habitat restore.  ($26 each)

I knew the gold would have to go but what happened to the rest was more of a  figure it out as you go process.


 These went from shiny brass to...


black.  Then I decided to have them rewired using black electrical wiring and the rings were removed at the very top.  I decided to eliminate the chains and hang them from the wire.

The globes went from white to aluminum.  This took three coats to completely cover so the light would not shine through in spots.

I resprayed the black parts because I preferred a more matte sheen.

Not great quality on this photo.  My setting on the camera had moved and I didn't realize it.

I know it would be nice to see them with the island but we're not quite there yet.


And included in the lighting redo, I painted the black baffles of the recessed lights a metallic silver.

These little springs are intended to hold the baffles in place.  They work if you have an extreme amount of time and patience required to get them in place.

Over time my light bulbs somehow managed to become a variety of colors and types giving off a rather checkerboard glow.  I finally bought all new LED bulbs so they look the same except for that middle one in the back row that is set higher than the rest.  I haven't had the stamina to remove those darn springs to reset that one.  Some day when I'm feeling very rested and calm I'll take that on.

In the meantime, it is not noticeable with the lights off.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Impact of Tile

One wall in the kitchen is making dramatic strides towards completion.  Here is where it all started.


Once the overhead cabinets were down, the flue wall was expanded to the left, about where the first outlet is above the base cabinet in the first picture.

 This Craig's list find became...

 this, with a little paint. (that process is covered here)

It sat in place waiting patiently for six weeks for the tile to arrive.  But, even when the tile came, there was another two week delay waiting for the counter tops.


During that wait I laid the tiles on the floor to develop the best strategy for installation.  The trick was to not have narrow pieces of tile on each end.  It was a collaborative effort to determine how best solve that problem. Brother John suggested butting the tiles as close as possible thereby creating about an inch on each end but that was still a narrow piece of tile.

In the end it was Dan who suggested pieces of angle iron on each side to avoid the narrow strips of tile. It was the perfect solution.  I cleaned and waxed the iron before it was adhered to the wall.

Here you see Ron as he begins affixing the first row of tile.

So far, so good.

The guys did have to lower the fleur de lis about 3/4 of an inch because, in the strategic planning when we decided to push the tiles as close to each other as possible, we changed the vertical measurement as well.  So by lowering the medallion, we were then able to put exactly three rows below this centerpiece.

Inching our way upward.

Yay!  Metal sides are not attached yet.  The outlets need to be installed.  And it still has to be grouted with Delorean Gray.  But even in this stage, it's lookin' good.

Oops, another delay.  The 1" metal strips, because of the thickness of the steel did not quite meet the tile.  So they had to be exchanged for 1 1/4" pieces, then cut, cleaned, and installed.  Another waiting period as the guys finished up another job somewhere else.

Finally it was grout day.

 Even though the tiles were pushed tightly together on the back side, they were slightly beveled towards the front so the grout lines show up a little more than I expected.


TaDAH!  Taken late in the afternoon on a rainy day.  I'll try for a better shot tomorrow and maybe the outlet on the right will be in place. (screws too short so another mini delay)

 Still have not fixed the outlet on the right.

 But the one on the left looks good in the brushed nickel finish.


I'm still working on the recessed lights.  I finally found bulbs that don't bath everything in a yellow cast.  Instead of replacing the baffles at $17 apiece, I spray painted them.

They went from black to silver so easily.

Getting them reattached with these crazy little springs was a nightmare and took a lot longer than spray painting.


I couldn't manage the one over the stove so I'm waiting for someone with longer arms.  I got five out of six without getting violent, but I couldn't get this one without standing on the stove.  That's where I drew the line.

If you are wondering about that pendant light hanging in the middle of no where...then hold that thought.  I'm hoping that will be the next post.