Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bits and Pieces

It's hard to measure progress on the kitchen project this week, but I will give a brief recap of what I can gather together.
Ron put the hardwood back in the refrigerator closet....what he could salvage that is.  Then he filled in with some leftover pieces.  It won't matter because....
on Sunday I met with the floor guy to talk about screening the hardwood and putting on a fresh coat of poly.  Turns out a screening won't do the job, so a full sanding is in order.  There are some badly worn spots by the back door and in front of the sink.  Ugh!  More dust!!

Because the finish is coming off completely, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get rid of the golden yellow in the floor.  The sander guy gave me a sample of the only gray he offers.  That didn't really work for me.  So I set off to see my guys at Paint Supply on South Grand.  Doug worked with me to mix a gray.  It looked way darker on the board I took with me than it does on my floors at home.  I'm a little undecided but I don't want to go too dark.  Dark floors really show the dust about two seconds after you clean them and it's downhill from there.  A little more experimentation is necessary.

It looks a little pink here but I don't really have a problem with that.  I need to add a little poly and see what that does to it.

Now, about that window over the sink.

A lot of filling in happened around this window so that tidied things up some.

 Some taping and sanding and priming of the walls took place too. (That wall to wall shelf really stands out as creamy white now that the walls are primed.  Very distracting and I couldn't wait to paint it the same OC-23 as the rest of the woodwork.)

Finally ready for a coat of primer and a good-bye to the green ceiling.

The medallion was fitted for the wall behind the stove.  Because the border is 1 1/4 inches deep, it would not line up well with 1/4 thick tile.  So Dan cut a groove in the drywall and pushed the frame into the groove.  I had sprayed it will a primer before they installed it.  Now whatever I chose to do to the finish will most likely have to be done in place.

I stand corrected.  It can come down to be painted and reinstalled with ease.  Yay!!!

Because the floor sanders will be here on Monday, we had to scurry around and get one coat of paint on the walls and ceiling.

Remember I chose the lovely shade of gray called portland gray?  The large sample second from the left is the one.  Looks nothing like what you see in this next photo but when you place it on top of the painted wall they do look exactly the same.  Paint is really tricky.  It's best to have a glass or two of wine to cope with the surprises.

The cutting in process began on the walls.  I actually stood and watched the paint dry.  Even at this point I had some doubts but decided to see it through.  And just in case you are wondering, the ceiling has been painted pink.  I'll talk about that later.

Portland gray is really a beautiful certain times of the day in my kitchen.  Early morning, dusk and evening it looks spectacular.  The rest of the day, depending on how the light is coming into the room, it is lavender!  Seriously, it is a little princess dress and with the pink ceiling it is over the top sweet.  So after the guys left, I went back to the paint store and picked up a gallon of abalone.  Not sure if you can tell in this photo but I have cut in the abalone over the top of the portland gray.

Here they are in the paint deck.  You can see that the portland gray is rich and full bodied.  Really a lovely color.  I thought about trying to tweak it by adding a little green then decided it might be better just to leave it behind and move on.

Here is another shot of the abalone as I cut in over the portland gray.  In this picture the portland gray looks great but I knew I could not live with the lavender from 8-5 every day.  This picture was taken in the late afternoon.

Here you can see just a little of the portland gray sticking out on the left hand side.  These colors are about the same intensity.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I had them hold back 25% on the colorant recommended for the abalone.

You know how the walls change color depending on how the light is hitting them?  Here is a perfect example.  All the walls are now painted abalone (less 25% of the formula).  But see how the wall on the right looks like a totally different color?  I'm really OK with that.  I think it makes the room more interesting.  But there are times when it just doesn't work.  Need I mention the wine again?

 I'm good with the walls. It's a nice neutral backdrop and it works much better with the color of the woodwork.   But I'm still thinking about the ceiling.  Nothing will happen with that until the electric is changed for two pendant lights.  And why didn't we do that first?  Well, because there is a chance that I will be "getting" an island.  I don't know what it looks like or how big it is so we can't space the lights yet.  The island story will have to be posted later because right now I don't have a thing to tell you.  This mystery island is literally 100 miles away and until it arrives I don't even know if it will want it.

What I do know is that this coming week will be all about the floor.

 The pantry cabinet and the chandelier have been buttoned up to prevent fine sawdust from coating everything.  We will see how well that works.

And today is my last day to use the stove before it it gets disconnected.  Looks like I will be eating a lot of salads until this project is completed.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My New BFF

This week has been a flurry of activity with my new best friend.  We have crisscrossed the city checking out appliances in an attempt to find a dishwasher that has a door short enough to open fully in the allotted space.  The refrigerator also has parameters so that was on the list too.  The stove is the standard 30" so it was a bit easier to select.  Finally after four days haunting appliance departments, T.M. and I settled on a trio that we hope will work well together even though they are not all the same brand.

 While that was going on, the guys were busy hanging drywall and smoothing out the textured finish
that has graced my kitchen walls for several years.

They extended the flue wall, moved an outlet, and did their best to level out the wall on the left.

It's good to have that behind us.

You may remember I have a piece I want on the wall behind the stove.  This is the piece I bought from Craig's List.  It will be surrounded by 6x6 tiles.

Dan marked off the dimensions on the wall.

And then I sat down to do more math with my good friend.  (This time a ruler rather than a tape measure)  Tile is another material that needs to be ordered immediately and I need to plan the layout and get a grasp on how much I will need to order.

The guys did their fair share of measuring too as they worked on getting this window reconfigured.

Not there yet but you can see where the new window sill will be.

Here they are making sure those new windows will fit properly.

Meanwhile I am searching on line for a wall mounted faucet that meets the specifications.  Again, it all comes down to measurements.  I found something I really liked but, alas, the spout was too short to work well in this instance.  So back at it again.  There are limited choices when it comes to wall mounted faucets.  Throw in the need for the spout to reach 12 inches and the choices drop drastically.  Add to that a brushed nickel finish and a reasonable price and...well, it's no longer a choice.  It's called, "take what you can get and like it."

I'm ending this post with a choice that does not require any math and is much more within my comfort zone.  It's a little premature to choose the wall color for the kitchen but we want a coat on the walls before the floors are screened and polyurethaned.  So even though it could all change when the various elements arrive and things start reflecting off each other, I selected Benjamin Moore 2109-60 for now.  It is called Portland Gray.  It is the largest sample shown above.   It plays nicely off this canvas that will hang on the only open wall in the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

About that Window

As with any remodel there is always something that does not go according to plan.  If it's only one thing then that's pretty much a miracle.  Another rarity is finding something interesting in the process.
Turns out both of these things were true for the part of the job that involved the window over the sink.

As a refresher, this is how it looked when the remodel started.

The plan was to remove the window sashes and replace them with two 46 inch high windows and raise the sill up about 12 inches.

 Oh, Oh!  Looks like the plan has taken another turn.  The casing had to come off?  OK, it had to be shortened to adjust for the raised sill and it would be easier to cut to fit if it was off the wall.

The next bump in the road came when it was discovered that the window opening measured 34 inches at the front of the sill but got narrower as it went towards the back.  So now those double windows were not going to fit.  So, off came the jam to be replaced in a tidy and, might I add, square fashion.
During the clean up, Ron heard a ping as he moved the rubble into a pile.  He investigated and found a business card ... a rather interesting one!

It is actually metal.  As you can see, the business was called, THE STANDARD STEAM LAUNDRY CO.. and was located at 7110.12 on South Broadway in St. Louis, MO.  The telephone numbers listed were:  South 133 A and Kinloch Victor 942.

It also lists the President and Manager as: Guido A. Doering.  The Vice-President as: Wm. J. Johnston and the Secretary and Treasurer as: Geo. S. Johnston.

On the bottom left of the card it says;  Strictly First Class Work Guaranteed

Someone wrote a note on the card but it is difficult to read.  It looks like someone's name followed by the numbers, 2657.

The backside of the card was not left blank as you can see here.
It shows a twelve month calendar from July-December of 1904 and continues from Jan.-June of 1905.

The card was printed by Aluminum Mfg. Co. of Two Rivers, Wis. U.S.A.

So, about that's still right where you saw it pictured.  Other things have taken precedence.  Stay tuned for the next episode.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Elephant in the Room

Guess I have been tiptoeing around yacking about everything but that big monstrosity referred to as "the fridge." Fortunately I can keep it in the closet, but from there on my plans are sketchy.

 Here is the before picture to refresh your memory.

And all I've really said is that the doors and the casing will be removed.

I decided the only way to know exactly what I wanted to do here was to see what would be revealed in the demo.  I'm hoping it opens up more possibilities than it extinguishes

My 38 year old refrigerator has been delegated to the back porch until new appliances are chosen.  In case you are wondering the original finish on this was almond.  I painted the front with chalkboard paint at least 10 years ago....maybe more.

Obviously the stairs to the second floor pass overhead.  The guys decided it would be OK to cut out the section where they have removed the plaster creating a little more room over the refrigerator.

That done they proceeded to make the opening as large as possible.

Because I had new hardwood flooring installed somewhere along the way, that flooring would not be under the areas now being removed.  So all the flooring inside the closet was removed.  It will be moved forward and relaid and some new strips will be added in the very back.

This shows the other side stripped down to make it as wide as possible.  Now what?

This magazine clipping shows the general idea I have for this area although I probably won't have doors over the refrigerator.  I only have 18" for the side cabinet and for what they cost, I have to make it useful.

 Here is a sample of the possibilities.  The small gray square on top of the marble looking piece is what I would like for my base cabinets.  But I don't really want that for the pantry cabinet.  So I thought about using the the stained look on the cabinet samples in the background. (FYI: the boards in the background are two different samples of the same color)  The square on the far left is a possible tile sample for the wall behind the stove.  The one in the middle is a possible countertop sample for the island.

The dilemma I am facing is that the stained wood samples look very different depending on the light.  As you can see they look very brown in this photo and they have a more charcoal look in the previous photo.  It's a tough call.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cheese Cubes

Yes this is a Pinterest recipe that I saw, I pinned, I tried and I thought it was great.  Therefore, I am passing it on with my recommendation to give it a try.

 It's super easy too, so all the more reason to give it a whirl.

I served it with grapes and crackers for happy hour.

Someone else brought the beer and wine.

It received good reviews.

Marinated Cheese
(adapted from "Prime Meridian" Cookbook)
80 cubes

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 (2 oz) jar diced pimento, drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) block sharp cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cubed Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno pepper (pepper jack)
  • Combine all ingredients, except cheeses in a jar or plastic container with a lid. 
  • Cover tightly and shake vigorously. 
  • Place cheeses in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour marinade over cheeses and refrigerate a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Serve in a shallow dish with toothpicks and assorted crackers (in a separate dish).