Friday, September 27, 2013

3 Month Anniversary

It's been 3 months already!  3 months ago we were spending our first night in the house.  Time flies when you are working yourself to death.  :)

The house has gone through so many changes and is finally starting to feel like our home.  Overall things have gone smoothly (I know things could have been a lot worse) and there have been only a few bumps in the road so far.  Having said that, I am exhausted.  Everyday I wake up and see what needs to be done.  Living through an update is hard on the mind.  It is a constant to do list reminder.  When the kitchen is finished I will be taking on client work again and will be taking a break from the house.  There is a 12 month to do list but nothing urgent needs to be done.

Here is a list and a look back on what's happened over the past 3 months.  I plan on writing posts about each room when they are finished but for now here is a quick review.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Design Doubt

Happy Thursday!

Do you ever doubt your design plan?  Or you start putting your pieces together and things just aren't working for you?   Sometimes I visualize a design and I am so confident in it.  Example:  The outdoor seating area.  I saw those pillows and knew that the green door left by the previous owners would make a great table and the rug I saw on would be a great base to bring everything together.   And I love that area and the colors.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY Lantern

Photo Credit: Ever & Anon

A few months ago I wrote a post named "Let's Talk Lights".   Its kind of funny so if you haven't read it, I recommend you do.  :)

 I mentioned in that post that I was putting the same light fixtures up through out the main living areas.  You saw the new lights in the hallway and now you can see the new kitchen lights.  No more ugly florescent!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Coastal Fabrics

Happy Monday!  Today I want to tell you about some beautiful fabrics and fabric websites I have discovered.

Over the past few months I have been on the hunt for great fabrics.  This is never an easy task.  There are not many fabric stores anymore.  Everyone knows about Joann Fabric, Hancock and if you're lucky, a Calico Corner is in your area.  Problem is, they all carry what I call generic fabrics.  Some of them are good quality and have pretty patterns but you see them everywhere.  I am always looking for different.  My goal was to find fabrics that coordinated but were not too match-matchy and were coastal but not too beachy. Blue, which happens to be both mine and Blittle's favorite color,  plays a huge part in our decor.  If you have ever been to the Caribbean or other tropical island you know that the shades of blue are endless.  It is amazing how many colors the ocean can be.  I have decided to focus on teal/turquiose and navy for our main living areas.  Pinterest played a huge part in my research but I also have been ripping out magazine pages with new fabric websites to check out.  I spent hours on the internet searching for the perfect patterns and colors.

 Here are some of the fabrics I have found and are considering for curtains, pillows, and cushion covers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

DIY Butcher Block Countertops

January 2016 Update: Visit our new blog  

In yesterday's post I talked about how we came to the decision to have butcher block countertops. (Read about it here)  Today I am going to tell you how we did it.

This is a really long post but if you are considering doing butcher block countertops yourself, it is worth the time.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our New Countertops

Let me start this post by announcing butcher block was not my first choice.  It wasn't really my second or third....because I didn't have a second and third....LOL.  I was head over heels in love with a beautiful countertop and there was no other that could live up to it.  If you remember back in my Kitchen Inspiration post I talked about a dream home that had my close to perfect kitchen.  Here is a reminder.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Waterproofing Under the Sink

January 2016 Update: Visit our new blog  

Weird things happen under the sink. If you have ever lived in an older home, then you might have had to replace part or all of the cabinet base.  Over time all the small (or big) plumbing leaks, spills, and moisture takes its toll on the wood.  The area under our sink in the new house was in BAD shape.  Swollen and falling apart.  Our house was a vacation home and never had full time residents and in the past 9 years, they weren't even using it as a vacation home.  It had been sitting empty for a long time so small things like plumbing leaks were neglected and caused problems.

This is what it looked like when we bought the house.

Since our base was so bad, we cut out the entire base area.

Then we replaced it with a piece of plywood.  I caulked all around the edges, primed and painted it the cabinet color.

To prevent future water or moisture damage I wanted to waterproof the area.  Some people put vinyl tiles or contact paper down but there are several things I don't like about those options.  First, I wanted real waterproofing.  No cracks for the moisture to get into or edges for it to get under.  Also, I wanted a seamless look.  Tile and contact paper don't match the cabinet color perfectly and are obvious.  I like things uniform and consistent so I bought this.

Its like plastic in a can.  Strange and fascinating all at the same time.  Rust-oleum just released a waterproof product that seems to do the same thing but I had already purchased the Plasti Dip when I saw the Rust-oleum product so I stayed with the Plasti Dip.  It is about $8 a can and comes in many colors including gloss (clear).  Before using the product be sure you have fixed all leaks, caulked any gaps if you replaced the cabinet base, and protect areas that you do not want exposed to over spray!  I taped off a 6 inch rim and taped off the sides of my cabinets to protect them.  I also covered my floors in front of the cabinet with a blanket.  (Excuse the bad photos.  These are all iPhone photos because I have been too tired to worry about the good camera.  Sorry folks...I get to be lazy sometimes.)

WARNING:  This stuff stinks!  Very powerful.  I wore my full chemical safety face mask that I use in the paint booth.  I opened windows and I turned the vent on high.  Be sure to have plenty of FRESH AIR ventilation.  Turning on the vent over the stove will not be enough.  A good way to help bring in fresh air is to put a small fan in an opened window to blow in outside air.

I put two coats waiting at least 4 hours between coats.  Super easy to work with except for the smell.  Now I have a water resistant base under the sink that will be durable enough to handle any water leaks and moisture for many years.  This also makes for easy clean up if you keep cleaners or the trash under the sink.

Can you even see it?!  It looks like any other cabinet base but it does feel different.  If you look close, you can barely see the edge where the texture changes.  Here is a close up.

You wouldn't  know that this base is different than the others if I had not told you!  LOVE!  Just another idea for you DIYers looking for a better option to deal with the moisture problems under the sink.  This is easy and affordable so anyone can do this.  If you don't have previous water damage this project is super easy!  Just tape off and spray!

Here is another reminder of what a little work can do.

Click here to see the finished kitchen.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

DIY Floor Cleaner

Hi all!

I hope everyone had a great week.  I don't have much to talk about today so this post is short and sweet.

Things in the kitchen are going well but have slowed down.  The countertops are installed and have to be "waterproofed" now (more on that later).  I have to put many coats of several products on every 24 hours then after the last coat it needs 7 days to cure.  SLOW.  A 24 hours dry time is almost painful to me at this point.  We are so close!  Until the countertops are done, I can't do the backsplash...hopefully next weekend will be the start of that adventure.

I have painted the office, put in it's new ceiling fan, worked on our dining room table,  and worked on another dresser (this one for me) this week!  Very productive!

Just so I didn't post for a whole week again, I want to share with your  a great floor cleaner I came across on Pinterest.  We put laminate floors in our first home and I hated that I could always see my mop marks on the floor after I cleaned it.  I would have to dry the floor with a towel to get a streak free look.  So after we had our vinyl planks put in the new house, I was a little worried about mopping them.  I found a DIY floor cleaner recipe on Pinterest and I LOVE it.

1 Cup White Vinegar
1 Cup 70% Rubbing Alcohol
1 Cup Water
Several Drops of your favorite dish soap  (I use Dawn)

This can be modified, of course, but its mostly about equal parts of each then some soap.  It works great! The alcohol makes the moisture evaporate quickly so no streaks and no staying off the floor for a long time to let it dry.  You can put it in a spray bottle or I found this guy at Target.

Its the Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop.  You can put whatever kind of cleaner you want in the bottle and it sprays from the mop (like a Swiffer).  The pads can be put in the laundry and you can buy several extras!  Love this.  It is easy to store and the pads have held up well in the wash.

Just a side note:  I saw one lady post that it smells "yucky" on Pinterest but I don't agree.  When you first use it, there is a vinegary smell but it fades quickly and the floors will look clean and the room will smell clean.  If you think the vinegar smell is too much, put  a little less in your mixture.  

Happy weekend everybody!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Rough Week

Happy Labor Day!  I hope everyone has a great, relaxing day planned.

I haven't posted in over a week!  That is mostly because I haven't had much to post about.  It was a slow week....and not because I am slow.  Nothing was easy last week.  NOTHING!

Last weekend we installed the countertops.  The sink had to be installed at the same time due to its large size and my cabinet doors being so small.  For the most part, things went smoothly on this project but it was time consuming.  I will post more info about the countertops in a few days but here is a little peek at the sink install.

All the cabinet bases are painted and the countertops were installed, it was time to start hooking up appliances.  I wasn't overly worried about this since our cabinets were built for standard appliances so I knew all our appliances would fit the spaces well.  The problem was hooking them up.  None of the fittings attached directly to the appliances.  I had to find new fittings and hoses so the new appliances would fit the old hook ups in the house.  FRUSTRATING!

On Monday, I started working under the sink.  The garbage disposal and sink plumbing had to be put back in as well as hook up the dishwasher.

I knew the plumbing from the garbage disposal to the existing p trap was not going to line up correctly because our new sink is a lot deeper than the old.  The garbage disposal was easy to install but I really wasn't confident in what I was doing with the plumbing.  After several trips to Lowes, I finally got all the plumbing to line up and connected.  I also got the dishwasher put hooked up and pushed back.  That came with its own set of issues.  It took several more trips to Lowes to find the correct connections to get the dishwasher hooked up to the waterline.  I finally got that done, got the wiring done, and pushed it back into the opening so all I needed was to hook up the drain hose to the garbage disposal to be done. The hose wouldn't reach!  AHHHH!  Back to Lowes, to find a connector and extension.

All this took several days.  I got very discouraged and frustrated and had the energy sucked out of me.  It was horrible.  I worked so hard everyday and barely made any progress.  To recoup and take care of my mental health, I took a personal day on Friday.  It was necessary.  I was so tired and unmotivated. Nothing was going well and it became apparent to me that nothing about these appliances was going to be easy.

Saturday,  we put in some new valves under the sink to eliminate some of the hoses and to reduce leaking.  Brian turned off the water to the house.  I unscrewed the old valves and put on the new ones.  First try, we had a leak.  Made some adjustments and still had a leak.   Every time there was a leak, I had to unhook the sink lines, and take off the new valves, make the adjustments then reinstall everything.  Very time consuming.  So by the third time I was ready to hurt something or someone.  I made some more adjustments and had less of a leak.  Finally, on the fourth go, when Brian turned the water back on I couldn't tell.  No leaks.  WOOHOO.

So after all this, it was finally time to open all the valves and try out the sink, check the plumbing, and garbage disposal.  We also turned on the valves to the dishwasher and refrigerator.  That is the kind of moment I say that classic line, "Hang on to your butts".  I had wrenches and towels in hand as well as one hand still on the valves in case they needed to be turned back off.  First the sink.  It worked great!  I have running water in my kitchen!!!!!!!

After a few minutes I noticed a leak in the p trap.  I tighten some things and it was gone.  Then I opened the valve to the dishwasher and heard water dripping.  PLEASE PUNCH ME IN THE FACE! To get to the leak, I had to totally unhook the dishwasher and pull it out.  After tightening some stuff and making more adjustments, I got it back in.  No leaks.  Then we turned it on to make sure the drain hose didn't have leaks.  No leaks.  Thank goodness.  Finally making some progress.

 Lastly, I opened the water valve to the refrigerator hoping for no leaks.  Worked great!  We have ice!!!  And cold, filtered water from the fridge!!  I almost forgot what it was like to have a functioning kitchen.

Yesterday, we moved on to the over the range microwave oven.  There was a vent hood there previously so the duct work was already there for venting and all we had to do was install the microwave on the wall and to the upper cabinets.

I am not sure why, but I looked up the pipe with a flashlight.  All I saw was insulation!!!!!  It went into the attic but was plugged up with insulation so it really went no where!!  Really?!?!?!  SOMEONE SHOOT ME! So, we went to Lowes, probably the 20th time in 5 days, not an exaggeration and we had to get the materials to bring the venting duct work through the attic and to an exterior wall.  Thankfully Brian climbed the crazy tall ladder (remember our kitchen is on the second floor so our attic is at third floor level) to cut a hole in the side of the house and install the outdoor vent.  Although it went well, it was still frustrating.  One more thing that was not as fast or as cheap as we were hoping.  After installation it does work and looks great!

All that is left now is the stove.  We decided to push it back in the cabinets to make sure everything was lining up and fitting.  It fit into the cabinet and in between the countertops but wouldn't push back all the way.  There isn't much behind  it, an outlet and the gas hook up but thats it.  After several tries we figured out our gas valve is too high on the wall and is not low enough to let the stove push back all the way.  STAB ME IN THE EYE NOW!  I have to call a gas guy tomorrow to get it changed.

Overall we did get stuff done but it doesn't reflect how much time and effort was put in this week.  I am reminding myself to stay positive, at least we got something accomplished, and to remember that it is almost done.  I am not going to lie....there were moments I wanted to throw myself on the floor and start yelling and crying but I refrained.  I have to remember we are in the homestretch.   I am about to have an amazing and beautiful kitchen that my husband and I DIYed so I also saved a lot of money and put sweat equity into my home.  Its almost done and life will go back to normal.

Today, I am prepping the spare room that will be the office/fly-tying/craft room for paint and unloading/washing dishes and putting them in their new home.  If you look in the reflection of the microwave you can see my plates and glasses are already washed and in the cabinets!

Staying hopeful things will be easier this week.

Click here to see the finished kitchen.