Kitchen Source List – Part Two

I was going to give the low down on the entire kitchen and the sources for all items but that turned out to be a huge post so I’ll do it in parts.

The kitchen island is handy when working on the prep side of the kitchen.

The kitchen island is handy when working on the prep side of the kitchen.

See Part One. Part Two: The Prep Counter with Stove and Refrigerator

The prep area of the kitchen is across the room from the peninsula and parallel to the driveway outside.

The prep area of the kitchen is across the room from the peninsula and parallel to the driveway outside.

The kitchen was a completely new addition added onto our old house.  The prep counter window overlooks the driveway.

This single window on the ground floor is in the center of the prep counter.

This single window on the ground floor is in the center of the prep counter.

The countertop was custom-made by LightBlocks. We hired our cabinet supplier to make a template which was then shipped to New Hampshire to be made into a two-piece, seamless countertop from a product called LightCast.

The best photo of the countertop I could get -- it's very translucent.

The best photo of the countertop I could get — it’s very translucent.

From left to right we have a side-by-side refrigerator, microwave (tucked beside the fridge), prep sink, work counter, stove and more counter.

The long counter runs the full length of the room and makes a short 90 degree turn at each end.

The long counter runs the full length of the room and makes a short 90 degree turn at each end.

After 6 months of use, I love the LightCast, I love my prep sink, and I especially love ice and water on the refrigerator door.

Lots of interest tucked into the refrigerator corner of the long counter.

Lots of interest tucked into the refrigerator corner of the long counter.

The light in the window is on a dimmer.

The Fleur pendant glows in the window.

The Fleur pendant glows in the window.

There are undercabinet lighting strips at each corner.

Undercabinet lights brighten up the dark corners.

Undercabinet lights brighten up the dark corners.

The prep side of the kitchen is very functional and keeps the action away from the peninsula side so two people can easily work simultaneously.

The bottom cabinets are dark grey stain and the top cabinets are white with a hint of grey wash in the bead.

The bottom cabinets are dark grey stain and the top cabinets are white with a hint of grey wash in the bead.

Ask any questions you like and I’ll try to answer.

Sources:
Cabinets: Shiloh Cabinetry, Homestead maple inset doors in Silas with Graphite Highlight
Knobs: Berenson weathered nickel knobs and cup pulls ordered from ATG Stores
Lighting: Fleur by Quoizel
Counter tops: LightCast by LightBlocks, Nashua, NH
Sink and faucets: Krauss sink and faucets from Faucet Direct
Refrigerator: Samsung at Pacific Sales in Best Buy stores
Tile: Royal Grey Honed Limestone, Best Tile
Paint: Benjamin Moore Waterbury Cream HC-31
Stove: Frigidaire at Pacific Sales in Best Buy stores

Do you have a special spot in your house that “really works”?

Progress – Week 2

Here is the progress of week two 2-month week-by-week plan.

This week I worked on the runner on the stairs from last week and started working on the list below the picture.

And here's the second floor.

The king size sleigh bed (with the blue covering above) goes in the master bedroom.

September 29 – October 5

  • Paint, cut, and install baseboard for back of master bedroom (buy shoe molding)
  • Cut down footboard of sleigh bed
  • Strip sleigh bed frame (buy stripper)

The list above are the things I was supposed to accomplish this week.  First I tried cutting the baseboard which was not a total failure but not really a success either.

Bedroom baseboard

Bedroom baseboard

Then I thought I could work on the sleigh bed but I was stopped in my tracks by the fact that I can’t find the hardware to hold the bed together. This bed project is on the back burner until the hardware shows up.

The sleigh bed has dedicated hardware that is stashed somewhere. I wonder where that is?

The sleigh bed has dedicated hardware that is stashed somewhere. I wonder where that is?

Instead I decluttered the mudroom

Most of this pile gets recycled.

Most of this pile gets recycled.

Mudroom back to normal

Mudroom back to normal

and cleaned the bathroom with my favorite home-mixed cleaner: blue Dawn and vinegar,

The vinegar/Dawn concoction even cleans our old tub.

The vinegar/Dawn concoction even cleans our old tub.

and made double vanilla extract with enough time to steep before the holidays,

Plain rum on the left; double vanilla extract with rum base on the right.

Plain rum on the left; double vanilla extract with rum base on the right.

and I got a haircut.

Next week’s plan is to continue to work on the bed so I’ll see if I can make progress.

Do you overestimate you personal strength? Ability? Funds?

Are You Missing Something, Mary Poppins?

Mary Poppins soars through the sky on the west wind suspended from her umbrella. I think we may have been saving it for her in our mudroom closet.

Mary Poppins and her umbrella. Illustration by Mary Shepard.

Mary Poppins and her umbrella. Illustration by Mary Shepard.

To be sure this one does not have a talking parrot head. (Take note Jimmy Buffett.)

A large, black umbrella

A large, black umbrella

What it does have is a large hole right at its peak, ultimately useless as a rainstopper and for catching a hike on the west wind.

I feel something dripping on my head -- don't look up.

I feel something dripping on my head — don’t look up.

So I threw it out and the weekly collectors put it on their truck and hauled it away. (No, I’m not recovering an umbrella except maybe if it’s a Brigg.)

What useless piece of equipment have you been saving?

Still Trying to Rid the Clutter

It’s invisible corner week at this decluttering blog! According to that blog: “These are the little piles, stacks, or collections of random things that have settled into odd spaces like the corner of a room, under a table, at the end of a counter, etc. that have become so much a part of the everyday landscape of our homes that we don’t even notice them anymore.”

Looking into the dining room from the living room -- you'd hardly call this an invisible corner.

Looking into the dining room from the living room — you’d hardly call this an invisible corner.

“Walk into a room. Take a critical look around and see if you have a bunch of stuff that your eyes and brain have been tuning out for a while. Deal with that stuff.” It seems my brain has been tuning out not just corners but entire rooms.

Every time I clear a horizontal surface, be it table or floor, someone uses it for a resting for his stuff.

Every time I clear a horizontal surface, be it table or floor, someone uses it for a resting for his stuff.

Darling son came over and took away the broken microwave which has been replaced, 2 stereo components we were disposing of for church, as well as a few odd brass pieces like the old front door knob that wouldn’t turn.

Our microwave was only 2 months old when it had its demise.

Our microwave was only 2 months old when it had its demise.

I’m still using the window seat as a paint staging area but it won’t be long before all the painting will be finished and the unused paint can go into basement storage.

I have a lot of paint projects going on.

I have a lot of paint projects going on.

But things have definitely improved in the dining room.

The clutter is removed.

The clutter is removed.

As I’ve said before the dining room is visible from all the other first floor rooms (except the mudroom, and bathrooms).

View from the conservatory.

View from the conservatory.

Next project in the dining room: finish painting the paneling.

Are you is the fall cleaning mood/mode? Holidays are coming!

Kitchen Source List – Part One

I was going to give the low down on the entire kitchen and the sources for all items but that turned out to be a huge post so I’ll do it in parts. Part One: The Stainless Steel Peninsula with Coffee Station.

Location of the kitchen peninsula.

Location of the kitchen peninsula.

The kitchen was a completely new addition added onto our old house.  The peninsula which faces the dining room used to be the west side wall of the house.

The peninsula starts at what was once the back edge of the house and runs to about the middle of the window.

The peninsula starts at what was once the back edge of the house and runs to about the middle of the window.

The countertop was custom-made by a local metal shop. Our own contractor built and fitted the substrate which was then taken to the metal shop and clad in stainless steel.

The tiled wall replaces the outside wall of the house.

The tiled wall replaces the outside wall of the house.

From left to right we have a cabinet with doors and drawers, an undercounter refrigerator, a 30-inch stainless steel apron sink, and a dishwasher.

After cleaning I polish the stainless steel top with Jubilee kitchen wax.

After cleaning I polish the stainless steel top with Jubilee kitchen wax.

After 6 months of use, I love the stainless counter, I love the huge sink, and I especially love the caffe bar. The 3 lights above are ganged together and also on a dimmer.

Utensils cups and coffee are in the cabinet, milk in the refrigerator, and espresso machine ready for action.

Utensils cups and coffee are in the cabinet, milk in the refrigerator, and espresso machine ready for action.

Close-up of the caffe bar.

Close-up of the caffe bar.

 Ask any questions you like and I’ll try to answer.

Sources:
Cabinets: Shiloh Cabinetry, Homestead maple inset doors in Silas with Graphite Highlight
Knobs: Berenson weathered nickel knobs and cup pulls ordered from ATG Stores
Lighting: Bell pendants from Pottery Barn
Counter tops: Stainless steel from Ample Sheet Metal
Sink and faucets: Krauss sink and faucets from Faucet Direct
Refrigerator: Avanti undercounter refrigerator at Pacific Sales in Best Buy stores
Tile: Royal Grey Honed Limestone, Best Tile
Paint: Benjamin Moore Waterbury Cream HC-31
Toaster Oven:  Euro-Pro from Lowes
Espresso Machine: Rancilio Silvia from 1st in Coffee
Metal wall cabinet: Home Goods
Two tone Mugs and Sugar canister:  Starbucks
Espresso sets: Rome (2005) and Paris (2011) 
 

Do you have a special spot in your house that “really works”?

 

 

New Resolution

In order to make progress on my never-ending list I have been planning interim tasks for each evening when I get home from work.  Last evening I was supposed to haul the power miter saw on its bench out of the Cottage so I could cut some trim.

I usually keep the miter saw in the cottage and open the window when I need to make a cut.

I usually keep the miter saw in the Cottage and open the window when I need to make a cut.

I dragged it just outside the door because I needed enough room to place a 16-foot piece of 1 by 4.  Needing this for the long wall of the master bedroom I cut a short piece off one end.

The white strip in front of the fireplace is a 16-foot 1 by 4 to be used for our baseboard.

The white strip in front of the fireplace is a 16-foot 1 by 4 to be used for our baseboard.

Then I measured the 105 and 3/4 inches for the other end and I cut.

I tilted the blade to get a 45 degree cut.

I tilted the blade to get a 45 degree cut.

I had measured the wall in the bedroom twice just to make sure the measurement was accurate.  Unfortunately I was sidetracked for a short time and when I took the piece up it was short by about  45 inches.

Can you see the break in the baseboard toward the left of the picture?

Can you see the break in the baseboard toward the left of the picture?

That’s right, the actual measurement had been 150 and 3/4 inches, not 105 and 3/4.  I cut another piece to make up the difference and I also cut the ogee.

This will look good when it's painted and nailed on.

This will look good when it’s painted and nailed on.

I’m not installing it any time soon because I’m disheartened by ruining my only 16-foot piece of 1 by 4. Instead I’m making a resolution NOT to use a power saw after work, at dusk, when the mosquitoes are biting (and they really were).

Outside, broad daylight -- that's the plan.

Outside, broad daylight — that’s the plan.

All cutting will be accomplished on the weekend unless I have a mid-week day off which is not very likely.

Tonight I have a reprieve from my daily tasks — choir practice.

Do you cry over spilt milk?

UnStable, I Mean, UnStaple

I was all ready to put in the runner for the stairs from the first to the second floor when I ran into some roadblocks.

Ready for a runner.

Ready for a runner.

First of all, even though we have a hoard of staplers finding one that matches the staples I have along with one I can actually manage to utilize is a chore in itself (kind of like untangling Christmas lights). I can barely squeeze the manual staplers so I used the one electric stapler.

Half dozen staplers and a variety of staples

Half dozen staplers and a variety of staples

In the box with the staplers is a load of loose carpet tacks which I do know how to use even though it would be a lot easier if I could find my tacking hammer.

Traditional carpet tacks

Traditional carpet tacks

So armed with a full-size hammer and a dish of tacks I went to work on making 10 Ikea throw rugs into one long stair runner. The Ikea throw rugs were $2.99 each.

Peering down from the top of the steps.

Peering down from the top of the steps.

First I cut off the fringe from both ends.  The fringe might have been a novel look but I’m pretty sure it would have ultimately been grabbed by the vacuum cleaner which would have ripped the rug right off the steps. (Not that I’m a reliably dedicated vacuumer.)

One rug without fringe almost covers two steps completely.

One rug without fringe almost covers two steps completely.

I found that the rugs were just a bit short to cover two entire steps so I used one for a double step.

The rugs are not totally symmetrical so it takes a while to line up the stripes.

The rugs are not totally symmetrical so it takes a while to line up the stripes.

Then the next one I cut down for one step and alternated 2 then one all the way down.

While assembling this runner I found out the stairs are very uneven.

While assembling this runner I found out the stairs are very uneven.

I began at the top (more or less) and with a combination of staples and carpet tacks I runnered the steps from top to bottom.

Two steps up, a landing then two steps down.

Two steps up, a landing then two steps down.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the landing  and the 2 steps down on either side (one set to the living room and one set to the powder room).

Do you come up with ridiculous, labor intensive ideas for an otherwise straightforward situation? (Remember, I read your blogs!)