Thursday, August 27, 2015

Running Out Of Steam

I feel I have to refresh your memory back to June when it looked like the kitchen remodel on Hartford was approaching the finish line.  All that was left were the two overhead cabinets on either side of the sink.

Base cabinets, countertop, sink, faucet and window were all in place.  So what happened to drag the project to a halt?


Going way back to March, the plan was to have counter to ceiling cabinets on either side of the window.  But after much deliberation and searching for the right doors for appliance garages, I gave up on that idea.  Tambour doors were my first choice, but because I only wanted the opening to be 14" high, there was not enough room for the mechanism that controlled the opening of this type of door.  I looked into hinged and sliding doors and just when I thought we had an option, something else prohibited that solution from working in this installation. I was about at the end of the alphabet with plan A, B, and so forth.  I settled on Plan X and niXed the cabinets that rested on the counter.  Overhead cabinets that rose to within 5" of the top of the window became the new plan.

That, of course, presented a design issue never before considered.  What do I do with the wall on either side of that cool looking backsplash?

I considered the same tile I had used behind the stove.  It was just a tiny bit tempting since I had almost enough of these tiles left over to do both sides.  However, a couple things ruled the tile out.  First, the 6x6 tiles would not come out evenly in a 21"x 14" space and I really did not want to repeat the tile on another wall.  From the get-go I had always envisioned this tile being the focal point and I couldn't let go of that.  And just to cinch the demise of this idea, I didn't really like the smooth finishes of the tile and the backsplash on the same plane butting against each other.

Some other random ideas were tossed around that never made it past the 15 minute consideration deadline.  But one idea did stick.

Tin Ceiling Tiles

Thus began the research online and otherwise for the right product for my purposes.  It took way longer than it should have, but until you browse through all the promotional material trying to figure out what makes one company's product different, better, less expensive...you don't know that it's all marketing and they are pretty much the same.  The above tile is cool and has the same quatrefoil design as the radiator panels in my island, but....it presents the same problem as the ceramic tile.  A 24" piece of metal does not fit a 21" opening and a border was not a option.


So I chose a filler panel that is something used for borders on a ceiling when the patterned pieces do not come out even.  It has the look of hammered silver.

I ordered it online from American Tin Ceilings and it arrived in two days.  I also ordered a J-strip to slip onto the bottom edge so that there would be a nice transition from the metal to the countertop.  The top edge will be covered by the cabinet and the backsplash will hide  two of the raw sides.  That just left two sides one of which butts up to the back door casing and the other into the wall on the left.

I wasn't interested in the shiny silver look you see on the top third of this shot.  So I primed the two panels after they had been cut to fit.

I painted them with a weathered steel spray paint but it was too dark and dismal looking.  So I repainted them with a Krylon stainless steel spray.

Then I waxed and polished them before they were installed.


Time moved on as do contractors when things slow down on the job.  And getting their attention again can be tricky, but the cabinets finally arrived to be painted.

They came primed and just needed a little sanding and two coats of paint.

It wasn't a hard job but I made the mistake of not staying hydrated in the heat and so suffered the consequences of heat exhaustion.  I'll spare you the details but not the warning.  DON'T  ever let yourself get to that point.  When the weather forecasters suggest taking special care of children and older people on a given day. take them at their word!  I can't speak for the children, but older people don't recover from this overnight.

As each phase of this remodel came to pass, it was with fingers crossed that the vision actually translated to a pleasing reality.

Exhale!  Even without the doors, I can tell they are going to work.

One thing that isn't working is my little valance above the window.  Currently rethinking that one.  It doesn't pay to get ahead of yourself.  I was a little impatient during the down time and forged ahead before the cabinets came.

After trying the TV in a couple locations, I settled on this spot.  My son-in-law found me a nice little flat screen for $79 so I ditched my old TV which would have taken up the entire counter over the dishwasher.

I think this is it.  It's the day the guys finish their part of the job.  The glass doors are being installed on the overhead cabinets, and...

...a final stabilizing feature is being added to the island.

 Although it was rock solid from front to back, the island had a bit of a sway from side to side.  The diagonal steel bars ended that today!

The doors are in place and the knobs are on too.  Now it's up to me to accessorize.

I was in a hurry to get this post published so cleaning the glass in the cabinet doors was scratched from today's list of chores.

The next post will show some decorative elements I have been working on while waiting for this moment.  And the final post on the kitchen will follow that post.  I'll be showing the kitchen from every angle with the before/after pictures next to each other.

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