Monday, April 23, 2012

Kitchen Remodel -- An Update

We're right in the middle of the messy part of the kitchen renovation now.  Yes, folks, the shop vac is temporarily residing in the kitchen, next to the table.  Our very own, personal R2D2.  WARNING:  Please excuse the mess in these pictures.  /:)

There's only enough clear space on the table for one person to eat there, so we mostly eat our breakfast and lunch in the den, and eat dinner out.  That's definitely gotten old.

Sawdust is everywhere, so we have to remember not to leave anything edible, or anything that we wish to eat or drink from in the kitchen, or it will get a liberal sprinkling of sawdust.  And I've discovered that the smell of primer is not one of my favorite smells.  Definitely not.  But these are really minor inconveniences, which we can deal with because in the end, we'll have a nice, like-new kitchen to use and enjoy.

The great news at the moment is that all the wallpaper is gone, and we now have warm and cheerful yellow walls and clean, white trim.  The crown molding isn't up around the ceiling yet; it will probably be one of the last things to be done.  But the dark effect caused by all the stained woodwork and cabinets is mostly gone -- either painted or covered with white primer.  It's amazing how much brighter the room is already.

Last weekend, Tim (our contractor) was tearing out drywall from behind the old tile backsplash, and he discovered the edges of the original counter tops.  Bright orange...

which coordinates beautifully with the original color of the backsplash.  ;)  Yes, this bright, yellow-gold color in the back of the pantry was, we believe, the color of the original backsplash.  Our contractor thinks the backsplash didn't have tile, but just painted Sheetrock.  When Tim discovered the orange Formica under the current white Formica counter top,

 we wouldn't have been surprised to find Alice in our kitchen cooking dinner the next day.

I've realized during this process that it's fun to discover what was here when the house was first built.  I told my mom that it feels sort of like looking through someone's closet of old clothes and thinking, "Did people really wear these?"  I think we might all agree that the 70's was not really our best decade for either clothes fashions or home decorating trends.

Here are some pictures of where we are currently on the renovation.

In the next picture, you can see how the space in our pantry wasn't being used in the most efficient manner for optimum food storage.  Too much wasted space.

I have big hopes that our new pantry insert will help with that problem.

Before the tile backsplash came down...

...and after.

Now the old drywall is off, and we're down to the studs.

At this point, Tim has also built up the corners of the cabinet frames, patched seams, filled holes, sanded and smoothed everything out; and we have a second coat of primer on the cabinet boxes.  You can see in these pictures how bad the inside of the cabinets look.  That is kind of bothering me.  But I feel like that was one of the ways Tim cut corners in order to accommodate our budget, and that's okay.  He is doing such a good job for us.  He's very meticulous and thorough, and hubby and I are so pleased with the beautiful paint job.  Also, I'm getting some other features that I really wanted, such as granite counter tops and a nice sink, and those aren't cheap.  So we made some trade-offs.  I'll find some nice shelf paper to cover these, and not that many people will see the inside of my cabinets anyway.    

Here's an unpainted view of our new cabinet doors.  Tim brought a few last weekend to show us.  They're solid poplar wood.

Of course, MacDuff had to check them out.

The door on the right is the frame for one of my glass doors.  I'm going to have two of those.

The new yellow walls in our eating area...

 These are the accent tiles we'll be using in our backsplash.

Granite sample and cabinet hardware.

It looks like we're about three weeks away from being finished with the work.  Then I can look at putting everything back in the cabinets and adding all the personal touches.  And after that -- time for a whole lot of cooking.

This is the biggest thing we've done to our house since we've lived here.  We finished a large room in our basement, but we did that ourselves, with the exception of some of the electrical work and the carpet installation.  And we've done lots of little things, and little touches can make a big difference.  But this is pretty big (to us) and we're really excited.

Well, that's all for now.  I'm joining Susan's Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.  Can't wait to see what other people are working on!  Thank you for visiting and reading my blog.  Your visits and comments always make my day.  :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rose Note Cards

Hello everyone!  I've taken a week off from blogging, and I feel like the break helped my brain re-charge.  I enjoy my blog so much, but I've realized that it's important to take a break from things now and then to keep from getting burned out.  I have still enjoyed reading your posts, even though I've only left a few comments in the past week.

When I checked my blog roll this morning, I realized that it's time for Vee's monthly Note Card Party again.  This is such a great idea that Vee has; you should pop over to her blog, A Haven For Vee, this evening to check out the pictures and join in the fun for yourself.

When I went out to run an errand mid-morning, I was thinking about what pictures to use from my existing posts for the note card meme, and I had almost made up my mind what I would do.  Then as I was pulling back into our driveway, I noticed that our rose bush has some blooms on it.  The other ideas went out the window because I realized I wanted to share these beautiful flower pics with you now, since this is the time of year our roses usually bloom.

This is our one and only rose bush, but it has been such a joy that I want to plant some more.  It's a David Austin rose called "Gertrude Jekyll."  Every year when the blooms appear on this bush, I'm amazed at the rich, pink color and the wonderful old rose fragrance.  So here are my note cards, folks.  I can't wait to see all of yours!

Not completely open yet...

Their beauty on a table in your home is hard to beat, in my opinion.

You can read more about these David Austin roses and see more pictures HERE.  I hope you're enjoying a beautiful spring in your part of the world.  As always, thank you for your visits -- they make my day!


Monday, April 9, 2012

"Hello and Goodbye (For Now)"

 Hi everyone!  Do you remember the Beatles' song "Hello, Goodbye"?  For some reason, I always loved that song -- just thought it was fun to sing along, I guess.  Anyhoo, I hope everyone had a very blessed Easter weekend.  We certainly did at our house.  We enjoyed delicious food prepared by our moms and had fun visiting with our families.

I was barely online at all last week, and I'm going to take a little time off from blogging.  Maybe a week, maybe a little more or less.  I'm playing it by ear.  I really need to re-charge and re-group, in addition to the fact that our kitchen renovation is still going on.  I'm so excited about the whole project, but we still have about three or four weeks before it will be finished.

I so much appreciate those of you who read my blog and leave such nice comments for me.  It has added a whole new dimension to my life.  I love exchanging ideas, thoughts about life, encouragement, and sympathy with my friends out there.  So don't forget about me, okay?  :)

And I want to say a big "Thank You" to Cuisine Kathleen for the cookbook you sent me from the St. Patrick's Day giveaway.  I'll be sharing more about that when the kitchen is finished.  In the meantime, I'll be following along to see what all of you are doing during this beautiful and busy time of year.  And I hope when this big Google Blogger change happens, I'll still be able to find my way around and find all of you.  I'm not excited about the new format.

Have a great week, everyone, and I'll see you soon!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mosaic Monday

These pink dogwood pictures were taken in Old Salem, North Carolina, earlier this week.  This tree is in a courtyard between the buildings of Salem College, which was established in 1772 as a girls' college.

If you'd like to see the rest of the pictures and read about Old Salem, you can find those posts HERE  and HERE.  I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.  I hope you'll stop by her blog to see lots of beautiful photography.  Thank you, Mary, for hosting.

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