Presto chango

Now you see the old door...

...now you don't. Holy new door, Batman!Here are a few things I love about the new door:

1. It's black. This just gets me all excited for getting my house painted this summer (note to self: need to book that work...)

2. The only space you can see outside is through the window.

3. You can't feel outside with this door.

4. I didn't have to paint it. Granted it was REEEEEEEEEE-diculously expensive for me to have the installers paint it, but with all of the other work smacking me in the face right now, the fact that I didn't have to bother with doing one more project (for those of you friends--and that was basically everyone I knew--that advised me to save the money and paint the door myself, surprise. I didn't take your advice and I couldn't be happier).

When the installer left today it was everything I had to not hug him around the neck, whisper sweet nothings in his ear, and give him a slobbery kiss of appreciation. However I restrained myself... for the time being. Truth be told, I'm finding it really hard right now to resit the urge to strip down to my skivvies and throw myself at the door. Ooh. That was awkward.


And this is where I now do my dishes and accessorize

I'm going post crazy tonight (this one is number three, here's one and two). As much as I don't love the fact that I'm washing dishes in my bathroom sink for the next (fingers crossed) few weeks, I do love love love Mrs. Myer's Clean Day products. Might I suggest Lavender or my new favorite (shown above) Lemon Verbena?

If these walls could talk...

... would they be moaning or sighing with relief?

Moaning. This is them down to the studs. "I'm naked, naked."

Siging with relief. Even though they are now down to the studs and feeling naked, this pile is all of the stuff that covered them over the past 104 years (admittedly, I was not sighing for relief when 104 years of gypsum dust, insulation and who knows what was covering every square milimeter of my house).

Moaning. Agh! Look! A hole in my house. A hole in my house that was N-E-V-E-R in the plan. Man of Iron never got the memo that Domestikat finds it extremely difficult to stray from the plan. But wait for it, wait for it...

Sigh of relief. Look. That's the new window. Straying from the plan was actually better than the original plan.

And just for fun, these are the boards I saved because, yes, I will be making kitchen cornhole! out of them. Heck yes, the smurf cupboards will live out their destiny as America's favorite backyard game of skill and strategy and mostly drunken beanbag tossing.


Demolition Derby: The quick and dirty

I'll post pictures tomorrow, but I survived demolition. I am forever indebted to the Man of Iron who really was the brawn behind all of the work--but I do a mighty fine job of trimming shims, thank you very much.

In all honesty, he did most of the work and I did a lot of freaking out. Here are some of the demolition stats:
3=number of trips I made to Lowe's today
2=number of times I teared up because I was so overwhelmed
4=number of sheets of plastic I finally hung up to keep the dust from traveling all over my house--oops, too late
700=number of times I went back and forth on a decision to take out the old window and install a new one
48*36=dimensions of the new window I impulse purchased and watched Mike install

So installing a new window, not in the plan. Also not in the plan was re-drywalling an entire wall and it looks like that may have to be done. The window will definitely make my back splash tiling MUCH easier since it's now level. The original window (installed 104 years ago) was almost an inch out of level. As charming as the old window was, it will be nice to have this new one when all is said and done (which seems like so far away...).

I promise pictures in the next post, but for now I'm hopping off of this roller coaster and heading to bed.


Have I told you lately that I heart IKEA?

After a week away, I returned home anxious for the weekend. There were a lot of things I needed to try and get accomplished on the kitchen, but my mom was also in town for the weekend. Turns out I was able to have a great time with mom, and still accomplish a TON of stuff. Also, it was a huge relief to have my mom here, so she could see all that I'd done with my house since the last visit (over a year and a half ago) and so that she could see what I was going to do with the place. Oh, and mostly it was great to have her here to get some good old mom hugs and love.

I have basically made all of the big ticket purchases I need for the kitchen (except for the granite counter and the services I'm waiting on). Saturday I bought my dishwasher, and today I bought the light I've been coveting for months.

But the best, the best thing of all, is that I bought all--well, almost all--of my kitchen cabinets. And they were sales tax free! Every Memorial Day weekend IKEA pays the sales tax on everything you buy, and last summer I made a mental note of that. As I started planning for the kitchen, I thought about holding out that long, but really didn't want to spend my entire summer working on the kitchen. However, when I returned home from a week away, what did I find in my pile o' mail but a flyer from IKEA stating that they would cover the sales tax on any $1600 or more kitchen that was purchased between today and next week.

The possibility to save myself a couple hundred dollars was enough to get me off my duff and down to the mega-store (two times in one weekend, no less). I got the bulk of what I needed--and a little more for less than I had expected to pay. Yippee!

And in case you were wondering, you can almost fit an entire kitchen in one little Jetta. And if your Jetta had a roof rack, you could have tied the really tall pieces onto it and fit it all in there. But instead, you may have to recruit some help. Beer and pizza work as good payment (as if the joy of going to IKEA on a Sunday afternoon isn't payment enough).

Now it's just a matter of piecing the 4 dozen plus boxes of PERFEKT and STAT items I have sitting in my basement together. This oughta be fun...


Floored, again

After much back and forth, and a couple of more bids on the floors, it turns out I can refinish them (or Kevin the miracle worker can). This makes me happy, although it does make me sad that there may be no cornhole!

Maybe I'll make a cornhole! set out of my smurf-blue cupboards... hmm...



Turns out I can't just refinish the floors. No amount of sanding and staining will truly restore the 104 year old fir that's in the kitchen.

This bums me out.

What's crazy is that it almost costs as much to sand and refinish the floor as it would to install new floors. So I'm getting bids this weekend.

This got me thinking about how I'd love to have some sort of tribute/relic to the history of the house in my new kitchen. So what if I did something with some of the old floor boards before they toss them. That may be cool (or it may just be another project to tack on the list...).

Taking creative suggestions on any creative things I could do with some old fir. If nothing else, I'm thinking cornhole!


The pro-ject, eh.

Canada, you beat me to my own punch. The other night I took pictures of the kitchen so I could give a visual rundown of all the work that this project will entail.

So here's the rundown, not necessarily in the order they will happen (and my apologies for any blogger formatting wonkiness because of all of the pictures):

1. Build wall--Nearly completed. I wish I would have taken a before picture so everyone could have seen what it was like. Oh well.

2. Molding and trim--extensive mill work was done on all rooms of the house except the kitchen. Need to install 10" baseboard and crown molding, as well as trim out the windows and doorways to match the rest of the house.

3. Replace back door--I bought a great door from a great store, Frank Lumber the Door Store. Yes, that's it's real name. I'm not sure how old this door is; if you could count layers of paint like you do rings of trees, I'd wager it's about 392. What I'm most excited about is the fact that my new door will not have a crack in the middle of it (you may not be able to see in that picture) that you can actually see--and when the wind's blowing, feel--outside.

4. Demolition--obvious part of the project. I need to rip out the old counters and cabinets, just wait until we discuss the sink.

5. Replace the floors--in one of the most tragic moves ever, someone thought the best thing to do for flooring in this kitchen was to put really lame peel and stick linoleum tile directly on top of the original fir floors. It's really too painful to talk about.

6. Install cabinets--Hello, IKEA. I love you. I'll be doing the kitchen in the STAT model. I'll be going with some glass fronted cabinets to class things up a bit where I can. One thing is for certain, the interior of the cabinets will NOT be smurf blue.

7. New light fixture--I'm lusting over the Jefferson at Rejuve. You'll notice in the picture how the scale is off with the old light fixture... just a wee bit.

8. New appliances--I've already discussed those here, here, and here.

9. Plumbing--moving the pipes for the sink. Just take a look at this beauty, would you? I mean, wha' happened? First of all the sink is the size of a bathroom sink, and the faucet? Coming out of the side? If I only did one thing to improve this kitchen, it would be getting a new sink. (I came home from work on Monday to find my new sink had been delivered. She is beautiful, shiny, new, big and will be positioned correctly upon installation.)

10. Electrical--I need a few new outlets placed so I can plug in my stove, micro hood, and fridge in shall we say, less precarious places than before. My stove and refrigerator used to be plugged into this powerstrip that is nailed to the wall...

11. Counter tops--going with either a simple honed granite, or what my granite friend (not to say that she's made out of granite, but that she's in the granite business) thinks I would like an Irish mist something or other.

12. Painting--walls and ceiling. Walls will likely be the same color as dining room, Benjamin Moore: Hampshire Grey.

13. Tiling--going for a subway tile back splash and actually tile some of the other walls as well. I love tiling. I hope that I can still say that after this project is finished.

In a nutshell, that's all that I'm hoping to accomplish over the next two months. Here we go...


How to make a wall

Dearest friends, here are the instructions on how to make a wall in many superfluous steps:

STEP 1: We can have lots of fun (oh my gosh, I love you forever if you get that reference; and if you do, you are most likely female and in your early 30s).

Okay, real STEP 1: Sit and stare at the chimney-type-structure that is in the corner of your kitchen for, oh, I don't know several hours over the course of several months. Inspect the chimney-type-structure. Pound on it in all sorts of places and determine it is part brick and mortar (from 1904), part drywall, and part random things that should be shoved in chimney-type-structures. Contemplate putting a pantry on the chimney-type-structure, but realize it is not a flat surface what with the mixed-media monstrosity that is going on behind layers and layers of paint. Peel off some of the paint just to see what's under there and then realize you need to build a wall-type-structure around your chimney-type-structure.

STEP 2: Buy a book by Stanley. Fall in love. Become so smitten with Stanley that you pore over every word he writes imagining he's reading them to you in his most virile and I-can-fix-anything manly voice.

STEP 3: Sigh.

STEP 4: Go to a party that your friend, the Man of Iron is hosting and realize that he, the Man of Iron, knows a heckuvalot about construction. Bat your eyes at him. Convince him that he really wants to help you build a wall. Because it will be fun, and because you will give him beer.

STEP 5: Go out and stock up on beer.

STEP 6: Buy your materials: two by fours, 16d nails, finishing nails, heavy duty wood adhesive, wainscoting, think about buying drywall but reconsider it (see steps 8 and 10).

STEP 7: Watch the Man of Iron crank through framing a wall. He's good, I mean real good. Do a lot of watching, but also do some cutting of the boards on the miter saw you scored on craigslist for $40. Thanks to Mr. Marcus your 10th grade woodworking teacher, remember that you actually do have some pretty good carpentry skills. But building a wall is not the same as making a nightstand.

STEP 8: Instead of buying drywall, consider stealing large scraps of particle board from the construction site that has become your nextdoor neighbor. Listen to the voice of the little girl inside of you who hates breaking rules and getting in trouble. Do not steal wood.

STEP 9: Install frame for your new wall [see diagram a]. Admire handiwork on creative access to your gas line for your stove (code? what code?).
STEP 10: The next day when you leave for work, holler up at the contractor working on the townhouse construction nextdoor. Bat your eyes at him (can he even tell from that distance or does he just think you have something in your contact). Ask him if they are using the materials that are strewn about the yard, say for instance the 8' sheets of particle board. He will tell you that everything back there is yours for the taking. Get so excited you almost pee your pants. Pick out your boards when you get home from work.

STEP 11: Beg the Man of Iron to come over again and help finish the wall. Admire his great skill. [See diagram to the right]. WARNING: Do not try this at home. No, not making a wall, but doing your carpentry in all of your spandex glory. Ladies, this one is single and in shape, and boy howdy can he rock the Lycra on the ladder, or what? He could be the living breathing Stanley. Interested? Let me know in your comments and we'll see about making a Love Connection.

STEP 12: After jumping around your kitchen squealing about how excited you are to have a wall. Start to finish it by putting wainscoting on it. It's really much simpler than one would think. Call it quits when you run out of wainscoting and know that you will finish it when you get more materials--including baseboard and crown molding, corner and edge pieces.
STEP 13: Write a blog post about building a wall that may take longer to write than the actual making of the wall.
STEP 14: Eventually prime and paint.