Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga: Back Splash

Before back splash:

Before Back Splash

After back splash:

After Back Splash

Before back splash:

Before Back Splash

After back splash:

After Back Splash

Before back splash:

Before Back Splash

After back splash:

After Back Splash

We love it. It’s exactly what we pictured. Since we have so much brown and black, we wanted some color and I love the browns, reds and creams in the tile. The tile is also distressed, so it really reminds you of an Italian / Spanish villa. Even the tile guy seemed pleased with the way it looked. (Of course he would, but, you know).

At any rate. We have a back splash! Now. We’re on our way to Lowe’s to look at light covers and get some ideas for paint – which is what we will do this weekend … sometime.

We’re thinking of a light khaki and eggplant.

Oh yes. I said eggplant. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned …

Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga: Counter Tops Have Finally Arrived!

Well, after one month of being without a sink …

Before Counter Tops

we FINALLY got our counter tops yesterday.

After Counter Tops

They are exactly what we wanted and pictured. They’re a pretty brown / amber-ish color and the flecks in the stone perfectly pick up our cabinets, our appliances and our floor.

Can you see the sink? That’s an under-mounted sink, in case you didn’t know what I was talking about when I said it was a sink that I could just scrape food into without fear of getting food caught under the lip.

The guys arrived at 11:30 and they were out of here by 2:00. They were very efficient and they did an excellent job of lining it up (remember, we have a crooked room, it slopes inward and there’s an inch difference in that distance).

We have to allow 24-hours for the glue to dry before we can hook the plumbing up. Kevin plans on working on that about 3:00 this afternoon.

I can not wait to use my sink and dishwasher!! I’m so sick of washing dishes by hand, which I know, wah, but in the bathroom sink? It’s kind of gross on top of being super inconvenient.

I am SUPER pleased with how the oven side turned out.


I love how it looks like the oven was built in – everything is very smooth and sleek on that side.

So … our kitchen saga is nearly finished. Now we need to figure out our back splash. We have a pretty good idea what we want, it’s just finding the right materials, color and someone to do it. Even though Kevin could do it, he doesn’t want to. He’s pretty busy wrapping up his job right now (the company liquidated and he’s been busy packing up the office and moving everything into his home office – not to mention fielding calls from stockholders and filing reports to the SEC), so we’ll need to find someone to do it for us. We’re thinking of getting our tile guy out here to do it. Even though he miscalculated the unevenness of the room, he really did do a beautiful job and as long as Kevin is VERY SPECIFIC about what he wants, it should be fine.

I hate to be a pansey-wansey female here, but when it comes to this type of thing, this home improvement thing, I totally play the female card. One, I have no idea what I’m talking about anyway, and two, Kevin is very specific about what he wants. I feel sort of sorry for the contractor guys because since Kevin has done this sort of work before, he knows when it’s done properly and when it’s not. I’m sure he drives the contractors nuts with his nit-picking, BUT, we’re the paying customer and we know what we want and how we want it to look.

At any rate, that’s the next project – the back splash. After that’s put in, we’ll think about paint, decorations and trim.

I can’t believe we’re nearly done with this project. It’s been quite a process!

Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga: Slowly Getting Back to Normal

You wouldn’t think that simply BEING at home and coordinating contractors would be so stressful …

…but I’m here to tell you, it IS. I’m a little disappointed in myself, if you want the truth. This whole kitchen remodel has stressed me out so much that I’ve literally been crashing on the couch at 8:00 p.m. and I only rouse myself long enough to make sure the boys are going to bed and I’ve brushed my teeth.

This remodeling stuff is for the birds. I can’t imagine building a whole house!

On second thought, maybe it’s easier when you build a house: you get to leave and come back to see results. When you remodel, you have to live (i.e. shuffle things around and step over obstacles) among the mess and see every single thing that happens every single moment that it happens. When you remodel, you get to hear the contractors curse under their breath when something doesn’t quite work out like it’s supposed to and then moments later they clear their throat and call you into the room to show you and ask for an alternate plan.

And that’s is the part that I hate the most – the questions. Kevin has to go to work, so I’m here, alone, with the contractors and their blasted questions. I feel like such a helpless female whenever they ask me questions I don’t have answers to.

“Hang on,” I say, “let me call my husband.”

I feel like such a Victorian when that happens.

“Help me! I’m a weak female who can’t think for herself!”


So to over compensate, I run every possible scenario past Kevin before he leaves for work. I know he’s gotten a bit impatient with me these past weeks, but seriously, it’s no fun to feel like an idiot. (You’d think I’d be USED to that feeling by now).

Anyway, all this to say …. I was simply too stressed, distracted and tired to write anything about yesterday.

AND to say …


Aren’t you glad?! I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it, I’m certainly sick of writing about it.

The cabinet guy came over early Saturday and finished the job. After many adjustments and tweaks, he finally finished. It only took him three days (?), but I have to say, we couldn’t be MORE pleased with the results.

Remember the crooked floor issue? Well, he manipulated the cabinets so that they lined up with the grout line and anyone walking into the room would never know our kitchen is built like a fun house room. Everything looks fantastic.

I’ll take you on a tour:

This is the view looking in from the dining room:

New Cabinets

And a closer look:

New Cabinets

Our cute little glass doors on either side of the sink:

New Cabinets

The cabinet where our sink will go – looks pretty normal and blah, right?

New Cabinets

Ah, but wait! It actually opens up into a wedge drawer! This is where we’ll keep our sponges and anything else we usually have lying around the sink.

New Cabinets

We opted not to put knobs on this because even though it’s a cool little compartment, we didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that it’s a cool little compartment, you know? (Huh?)

Karen, what is that overly large drawer for?

New Cabinets

Ah, I’m glad you asked. It’s where our …

New Cabinets

… trash goes!! Yay! No more unsightly trash can out in the middle of the floor for visitors to see and smell! (Well, see. I’m sure our trash will STILL stink after this. *ba-da-bum*)

Seriously, I keep opening this drawer up to admire our dual trash bins. And I haven’t allowed anyone to use it yet because HEY, the newness needs to wear off first, thank you very much. (Kevin just rolls his eyes at me).

Here are the cabinets on the range side:

New Cabinets

There aren’t any fun little drawer gadgets on this side – it’s pretty straight forward.

This is what you see when you enter the kitchen via the family room:

New Cabinets

Note the AWESOME bookcase!!


See those yummy columns? Would you believe those columns were the most expensive “extra” thing we ordered? (Yes, even more expensive than the glass doors). Talk about insane. BUT, we will never do this again and you know? If it’s what you want, it’s what you want. We don’t want to look back on this project in our old age and say, “You know, we should have just splurged and bought the dang columns.”

Now? No regrets. πŸ™‚

I can’t wait to put my NEW cookbooks on there. (And yes, I will have to buy some decent cookbooks because mine are seriously nasty, stained and literally coming apart).

Here’s a shot of the kitchen from the other side of the room:

New Cabinets

See that big door in the lower right-hand corner? That’s where our kitchen computer goes.

New Cabinets

Because YES FOLKS. We are such uber geeks that we planned a space specifically for our kitchen computer. (And Kevin has already set it up using an unused shelf to put his monitor on).

I think our cabinet guy was amused with our computer space.

And there you have it. Our new, customized kitchen and I couldn’t love it more. I mean, I truly, TRULY love it. I walk in our new kitchen and simply stop to admire.

“I can’t believe this is my kitchen.”

I am proud of it. I am no longer ashamed of it. We’ve talked about doing this project for 18 long years and now, it’s finally happened.

Please allow me this moment to appreciate it.

We went to Lowe’s on Sunday to buy some paper to line our drawers. I don’t want the moisture from our dishes to warp our wood. In the past, I’ve just haphazardedly thrown some paper in there and it’s looked like crap. Kevin actually got his leveler tool out and cut the paper into exact measurements (please allow our anal-ness).

We went over to Kevin’s parents’ house Sunday to pick up the washer and dryer. They were Nanny’s (Kevin’s grandmother’s) and quite new. (Nanny passed away last summer). I had painted the portion of the wall where the washer and dryer were going to go and with the help of Dude, the guys got them back into place so I was able to catch up on laundry.

In the meantime, the Boys / Girls Club came by and picked up our old washer and dryer and range. Kevin had cleaned them up and they all still worked, so they were thrilled to have them.

The plumber and the appliance guys came out yesterday. The plumber ran a line to the back of our fridge so we could use the ice machine / water spigot on the front of the fridge. The appliance guys finished installing the appliances about 4:00 p.m.

I felt actual physical pain when I heard them drilling into our brand new cabinets in order to secure the dishwasher.

New Cabinets w/ Appliances

They had to take the front door off in order to get the fridge into the house. It wouldn’t fit through the garage entrance. It didn’t dawn on us, until Sunday night, that our fridge MIGHT be a bit too big to go into the space allotted.

So, we hurriedly went out and measured – we had 1/2 an inch clearance! HA! I don’t know why it never dawned on either of us to make sure our fridge was going to fit before we bought it. We were excited I guess.

But it all worked out and everything is now in place. We can’t use the dishwasher yet, of course, until we reinstall the sink, but everything else is functional.

New Cabinets w/ Appliances

We’re going to hold off putting our old counter tops back in place and reinstalling our old sink until after the counter top guys come out and measure for the template. They haven’t called us yet (we’re following up on that today), but after they do their thing, we’ll be able to get our kitchen back into semi-normal. We don’t expect the counter tops to arrive for at least a month (Lowe’s warned us that they take the longest).

I transferred everything from the old fridge to the new fridge last night so now we don’t have to make a trip out to the garage to get our milk.

We were too tired to cook at home last night, but tonight, I plan on cooking breakfast. I can’t wait to use the new range. (Though I need to read the manual because it’s a lot more fancy than our other one was).

And that brings you guys up-to-date. Thanks for indulging me while I rattle on about our remodel. I wanted to make sure I documented the whole long process and though we’re not through yet, the bulk of the work, and inconvenience, is over.

Everything looks great and we couldn’t be happier. Now we get to “tweak” it and make it look pretty.

I think I’m looking forward to that part the most. πŸ™‚

Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga: And On the Sixth Day, They Had Cabinets

Ladies and gentlemen,


we have cabinets!!

I’ll blog more about it on Monday. Now? I have to paint and sort through boxes of kitchen junk because there is NO WAY I’m going to allow anything gross and/or ancient back into my new, CLEAN kitchen.

(I have to document every precious moment of this because this will be the cleanest my kitchen will EVER be from this point on, let me assure you.)

Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga: Drooling Over the Cabinets


Our cabinet guy arrived about 9:30 this morning and we bombarded him with problems right off the bat.

I mentioned that the tile guy, erhm, sort of tiled our floor crooked, right? Well, the cabinet guy will now have to compensate for that when he puts the cabinets in so that they line up with the grout line.

I don’t think he was too happy about that.

Then he told us that the pipes that Kevin shortened (Kevin chopped the shut-off valves off because they were leaking and it would be easier on the cabinet guy to have them off so he wouldn’t have to knock a huge hole out of the back to make room for the plumbing) were too short – he needed to add another length of pipe to it. So Kevin had an unexpected project that he needed to get done right away and he wasn’t too happy about that because he needed to get back to work, but you know, it is what it is.

Then, the cabinet guy called me in to tell me that the floor was sloped on the opposite wall (naturally) and that that would affect how we put in the back splash. (He just wanted to tell me so we didn’t blame him later).

And in the middle of all of this, Kevin had to shut off the water so he could fix the pipes (I was doing dishes – fun) and I ended up fielding two phone calls at the same time – one from our new appliance guy and one from the charity that we’ve asked to come by and get our old appliances.

I have felt like a juggler living in a fun house today – juggling all sorts of things at the same time and dealing with a crooked house that is giving us nothing but issues, issues, ISSUES!


I’m so glad this project is nearly finished – I’m sure you’ll be glad, too. πŸ˜€

However, I peeked at the work done so far and OMG, I have to tell you, I am LOVING THE CABINETS!!! And I am totally digging the doors. I can’t wait to show you guys. (I’ll take before and after pictures soon.)

Kevin’s dad came over to take a look at our floor last night. We had gone out for some Chinese food and when we returned, he was busy studying our new floor. He’s actually built some houses before so he knows what he’s talking about and is pretty experienced in fixing problems. (Not that that implies he caused problems when he built houses, only that he has experience … oh never mind).

He told us the tile issue wasn’t the worst he’s ever seen (he was probably being nice), but he gave Kevin some ideas on how “they” (I think it made Kevin feel better that his dad was willing to help him out) could fix it. I’m so grateful that J came over because he seemed to calm Kevin down quite a bit.

Kevin doesn’t get upset very often, but when he does, it’s not pretty.

As the tweet above says, we’re pretty sure that whoever built this house was drunk at the time because wow, our kitchen is OFF. It’s off by two inches on one wall and the floor slopes downward on the other wall. So either this old house has done some serious settling or someone had one too many “refreshments” when they were measuring.

Either way, it’s been frustrating to try and work around. All I know is, I don’t know what I would have done without Kevin and his dad – if it had just been me dealing with this issue (HA! Yeah right, I would have moved than deal with a remodeling project like this on my own), I don’t think I could have handled it.

That makes me sound weak, let me rephrase that – I COULD have handled it, but I’d most likely be 10 pounds lighter from the stress if I had.

On second thought, maybe I should take the initiative and take control of this project – I could stand to lose ten pounds.

Anyway, between manipulating the cabinets and fudging the trim a bit, I think we can make this work. No one will be the wiser – well, except for the entire Internet, but you know what I mean.

The big stuff on this project is nearly over. Our new appliances will be delivered tomorrow and once we have our old appliances hauled off, Kevin will be able to use his side of the garage again.

I’m REALLY ready to have my house back. I’m getting pretty tired of having all of these strange men running around. Oh wait, we still have the counter top guys coming in to measure their template – I forgot about them. We’ll be using our old counter top (Kevin made them so we were able to salvage them) in the meantime.

But after THAT, things should slowly start getting back to normal. We plan on painting and doing the back splash last and I can’t wait to “tweak” things a bit and make them look pretty. I’m planning on throwing out a lot of junk and cleaning things up a bit so everything that goes into our new cabinets will be stuff that we actually need and use.

After being in this house for almost 18 years – we have a LOT of crap to get rid of.

Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga: ‘Da Floor

And ladies and gentlemen, we have FLOOR!

The tile guys, (it was a father / son combo – how cute, right??) came over on Monday. They finished up late last night. I can’t believe how fast they got it done! They did our kitchen, utility room and the pantry. Kevin cut a hole in our pantry floor so he would have indoor access to our crawl space (clever, right??), and the guy was able to tile that door and make it look uniform with the rest of the floor.

He really did a beautiful job.

Our tile is called “nutmeg” and it looks like the spice – it’s brown with dark swirls. Kevin is not crazy about the swirls, and they’re growing on me, but I think they give it character and I’m okay with it. (The sample we saw didn’t have the swirls. Here’s a tip to anyone shopping for tile – look at more than one square). It also has a “distressed” feel to it and yes, we’re doing our kitchen in “earthy” tones.

Overall, we’re pretty happy with our floor.

There’s only one problem.

It’s not straight.

Apparently, our room is crooked. There is one wall that actually slopes inward and there’s a whole inch difference. Only, the tile guy didn’t realize this until it was too late (he shouldn’t have assumed the room would be all one size – older houses are often crooked due to settling, etc. However, lesson learned on his part). So the tile along that one wall (the left wall in the picture – I cut it off because it’s so embarrassing) are not straight. In fact, they gradually shrink to a sliver by the end of the wall.

To say Kevin was NOT happy would be putting it mildly. See, he’s done tiling – lots of tiling, so he KNOWS how it’s done and he can’t understand why the guy didn’t begin in the middle of the room and work outward as opposed to starting on one wall. It has really bugged and upset him. So today, he called the company we bought the tile from and he, and our tile guy, came over at lunch today to “discuss” it.

Though Kevin had a valid complaint and the guy really needed to see what he did wrong and why it’s unacceptable, I felt sorry for the dude. Here he is, his boss on one side, his customer on the other side and he’s having to juggle both defending himself and admitting he shouldn’t have assumed the room was an even rectangle.

I just awkwardly stood to one side and wished the new floor would suddenly crack and swallow me whole.

At any rate, we’re going to talk to the cabinet guy tomorrow and see if he can’t fudge one side of the cabinets about an inch to make it line up with the floor. And between the cabinets and the fridge, most of that side of the floor will be covered. However, there is one area that will be noticeable and the tile guy said to call him when our cabinets were in and he would come back over and manipulate some trim so that he can hide that one small part that is visible.

I’m honestly okay with this. It’s not the guy’s problem that our room is crooked and even though he might have done things differently, he honestly thought it would look better this way and as I said, the rest of the room just looks fantastic. (Now if this had been an issue along the right wall, then I would have had a BIG problem with it because that side? Will be nearly all open and very visible). And we can cover this – no one will be the wiser. But Kevin is still pretty upset about all of this. THIS is the biggest reason why he does things himself – because he knows it will get done right and will be done to his expectations.

At any rate, we’ll fix this. I’m confident our cabinet guy will get us taken care of (we can’t be the only house that has crooked walls) and it’s going to look fantastic.

I’m expecting the cabinet guy to be here for about three days. We’re going to call our appliance guys so they can deliver our new appliances on Friday.

We found a charitable organization that might take all of our old appliances off our hands, I hope.

In the meantime, we no longer have to walk outside and around the house to get to our fridge, which is in the garage – we can walk on our new kitchen floor and THAT is really satisfying.