Repeating Colors

Now that all the shutters have been painted I have an idea for using the shutter color is one place at the back of the house.

The back of the house looks less colorful than the front.

I think the bottom of the bump out might look good painted dark, the shutter color.

Before
I can paint the bump out paneling storm blue.

My original inspiration for the bump out was painted. What’s the worst thing that can happen: I paint it white again.

The house painting was completed in 2015.
Now I might paint the bottom of the bump out.

I mocked up an old photo to give a feeling of how it would look.

Do you use paint to transform spaces?

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A Little More Redwing

My sister has a magnificent Red Wing vintage pottery collection.

I have the fabulous Red Wing stag flower frog and matching bowl.

On the other hand I have a few pieces of my own.

I have a huge set of Merrileaf by Red Wing including lots of interesting serving pieces.

I also have a large set of dinnerware in the Merrileaf pattern.

Merrileaf cup and saucer

As I was perusing eBay I saw a set of cups and saucers.  I already have lots of saucers but wanted to add a few more cups.

I might want to serve hot beverages to a crowd.

For a bid of $9.38 I received 8 cups and 7 saucers.  For comparison Replacements, Inc. charges $9.99 for one cup and saucer set.  Everything came well-packed as indeed it should for an extra shipping charge of $20.

A bargain for vintage dinnerware.

Still, this is a good deal.

Do you shop on eBay?

Cottage Kitchen Backsplash

While the tile setter was installing backsplashes in the conservatory and master bathrooms, we had a job for him out in the Cottage.

The Cottage kitchen

The tiny kitchenette needed a little upgrade so we offered our cottage-dweller choice of 3″ by 6″ white porcelain subway tile or 3″ by 6″ frosted glass subway tile. She chose the glass tile.

Glass Snow Frost 3″ by 6″ subway tile from The Tile Shop.

Unlike the tile on the conservatory bathroom backsplash, she decided on a diagonal herringbone placement.

Charlie, who was monitoring the installation, frantically called me to see if we had any more tile because they wee running short.

This is more labor intensive for the tile setter but adds subtle interest to the kitchen wall niche.

The tile seems to enlarge the space.

This backsplash goes all the way from the countertop to the bottom of the hanging cabinets.

Kitchen before the tile backsplash.
This tile appears to lit from within.

Since glass tile doesn’t have a bullnose option we chose to finish the edge with a brushed metal edging.  It is sleek and simple and prevents cuts to the hand when cleaning the backsplash.

Tile protects the wall behind the sink.

The Cottage is slated for more upgrades this spring.

The next items on the fix-it list are new windows.

It’s all so exciting.

Is it time or money that keeps your improvements to a minimum?

Mini Kitchen in the Cottage

The mini-kitchen in Glade Cottage is totally functional.

The Cottage kitchen set-up is behind the living room.
The Cottage kitchen set-up is behind the living room.

My friend and new tenant moved in on October 29th just in time for Halloween.

The Cottage corner that became the Cottage kitchen.
The Cottage corner that became the Cottage kitchen.

We started with open wall space on the back side of the bathroom wall. A drainage pipe had been previously installed a dozen years ago (behind the blue chair above).

The sink and counter in place.
The sink and counter in place.

I already had a mini-fridge for the kitchen.

One cabinet supports the countertop. and sink both from Ikea.
One cabinet supports the countertop. and sink both from Ikea.

First we added an Ikea counter and sink.

some
A microwave and toaster oven are perfect for one-cook-one-diner eating.

Then my friend brought her kitchen cart with a new microwave/convection oven she had been gifted by her sister-in-law.

Upper cabinets over the sink and counter.
Upper cabinets over the sink and counter.

We added upper cabinets.

Base cabinets were custom made from the old cabinet doors from our now demolished kitchen in the house.
Base cabinets were custom made from the old cabinet doors from our now demolished kitchen in the house.

Base cabinets.

Left to right: Dryer, washer, refrigerator, water heater closet.
Left to right: Dryer, washer, refrigerator, water heater closet.

And a larger refrigerator/freezer back in the laundry area.

We tinted the lower cabinet paint at home to coordinate with the upper cabinets.
We tinted the lower cabinet paint at home to coordinate with the upper cabinets.

The tenant carefully primed and painted the lower cabinets.

The small coffee pot is set on a timer to brew early in the morning.
The small coffee pot is set on a timer to brew early in the morning.

After painting the base cabinets, a white enamel towel bar (also from Ikea) is hanging on the side of those cabinets. I also provided a small stainless steel shelf from Ikea that I had hoped to use somewhere.  It’s now a coffee station (over the toaster oven).

A kitchen where there wasn't one.
The final improvement is stainless steel knobs and handles for the cabinet doors.

Notice the induction heater burner near the window.  It works well as a cooktop.

The kitchen is in a space behind the sofa.
The kitchen is in a space behind the sofa.

I’m sure there will be a couple more improvements upcoming. Can you guess?

What’s your “must have” in the kitchen?

Since You Asked

When we installed a kitchen in the Cottage we used mismatched base cabinets.

The bottom cabinets are a mixture of leftovers from our old and new kitchen in the house.
The bottom cabinets are a mixture of leftovers from our old and new kitchen in the house.
Primer equalized the different cabinet finishes.
Primer equalized the different cabinet finishes.

On Saturday morning the tenant decided to paint the base cabinets white.  She started with a primer coat.

The bottom cabinets were painted.
The bottom cabinets were painted.

Using a foam roller, the second, third, and even fourth coats were painted with special cabinet paint. I got a text with the photo above asking how it looked.

I said I needed to see it in person.  I was bluntly truthful and said the stark white cabinet paint didn’t go well with the top cabinets and didn’t look great against the sofa.

One issue is that a foam roller gives such a thin layer of paint that a piece painted with one often needs multiple multiple coats.  The other thing is that the upper cabinets are creamier white than the bottom ones.

Waterbury Cream, my kitchen paint, warmed up the cool white paint.
Waterbury Cream, my kitchen paint, warmed up the cool white paint.

I suggested that I take the paint and tint it with some of my leftover paint.  I added some Edgecomb Gray and Waterbury Cream which slightly warmed up the cool-tone white paint.

The new paint color on the center door is a better match to the upper cabinets -- warmer.
The new paint color on the center door is a better match to the upper cabinets — warmer.

Unfortunately the tenant needed to paint a couple more coats of the new tint.

Clear Briwax would be a nice finish.
Clear Briwax would be a nice finish.

It’s looking much better. I also suggested that in a couple of weeks when the paint is cured the cabinets should be waxed. I think waxing would create a sheen similar to the upper cabinets.

Are you blunt or tactful?

Garage Apartment Mini-Kitchen Final

We’re rehabbing an over-garage apartment at work. One of the first considerations was what to do with the kitchen.

Out contractor used our suggestions to design a slightly larger kitchen.
The plan for a closet kitchen.

Instead of just using the recessed area originally allotted to the kitchen we added an L-shaped cabinet which houses a refrigerator to the left which allows for greater storage under the sink and stove.

The kitchen was carefully appointed with upgraded appliances and fixtures.
The kitchen was carefully appointed with upgraded appliances and fixtures.

Storage space is always important in a small kitchen.

The flip-up counter would be more useful as a seating area if the support hardware was in the center.
The flip-up counter would be more useful as a seating area if the support hardware was in the center.

One space-saving detail is a fold-down counter that can double as an eating space.

GE Spacemaker 56 Cu Ft Compact Refrigerator Stainless steel Model: GCE06GSHSB
GE Spacemaker 56 Cu Ft Compact Refrigerator Stainless steel
Model: GCE06GSHSB

We ordered a small refrigerator/freezer that exactly fit in the 24-inch opening.  Unfortunately the first one we ordered arrived broken so we had to send it back.  Ultimately we bought one at a local Lowes that just happened to have one in stock.

Before - very disfunctional
Before – very disfunctional
After - pleasant and usseful
After – pleasant and useful

The whole project was $8,000.

Do you seek out the best value?

Building a Table: The Frame

Back in September Charlie and I started building a new kitchen table from old wood we’ve been saving from the house demolition.

We completed the table top except for sanding.
We completed the table top except for sanding.

Using the wood we salvaged from the old sheathing we made a table top.

Cut the side pieces to 44 inches and the end pieces to 20 inches.
Cut the side pieces to 44 inches and the end pieces to 20 inches.

For the base we used old legs from a now defunct table and 1″ by 4″s bought for our baseboard.

We put a piece of plywood under the board as a spaced to inset the fame on the legs.
We put a piece of plywood under the board as a spaced to inset the fame on the legs.

We drilled the boards on the short edge using the Kreg jig.  Then Charlie screwed the edges into the top of the salvaged legs

Halfway together, the frame started looking like a table.
Halfway together, the frame started looking like a table.

We made the 2 long sides first.

The packet hole joints are very sturdy.
The packet hole joints are very sturdy.

Then we joined them together with the short pieces.

We might add braces to the corners even though the frame is very sturdy.
We might add braces to the corners even though the frame is very sturdy.

We replaced the rickety, temporary kitchen table with this one.

We'll use it like this until we have time for some refinement.
We’ll use it like this until we have time for some refinement.

We’re not going to attach the top to the frame until I paint the bottom and Charlie sands the top.

Have you built a project with a Kreg pockethole jig?