Saturday, July 23, 2011

My crazy kitchen project

Anyone that knows me knows that sometimes things get a little out of hand when I start with a project. I joke with my family that my kitchen project is like the bathroom project I did years ago at my parents house, which started as I was going to repaint the ceiling and instead I remodeled the bathroom. What can I say.
When I moved into my house I noticed that the water dispenser didn't work on the fridge, having grown up as a tap water drinker it didn't really bother me. Bryan moved in and wanted to see why the dispenser wasn't working. We forgot about it for a while and finally at the beginning of June we decided to look at it. Well the fridge was wedged into it's place but looking behind the fridge with a flashlight it looked like we might have mold. We decided to get the fridge out. Easier said than done. It was wedged pretty tightly in there. I ripped out the two cabinets next to the fridge, one base cabinet and one wall cabinet. The wall cabinet came down in one piece; however, the base cabinet was pretty much obliterated. Well there's one cabinet to replace. We pulled out the fridge and there was mold, a whole big section of it and to top it all of the flooring under the fridge was starting to peel up. At that point we decided we were going to replace the floor. The more we talked about it, the more the project grew. Bryan knew I wanted to extend the kitchen out a little farther and possibly get rid of the bar in the kitchen. As we decided on flooring we talked about how to put down the flooring and deal with the cabinets. Needless to say one day Bryan came home from work and I'd taken almost all of the wall cabinets down. Once again I jumped into a project head first at full speed. The next day I had all the base cabinets torn out. In this time I had also replaced the section of moldy wall. My friend Cathy helped me get the first load of cabinets. I debated on whether or not to keep the duct work, after a trip to Sears and some drooling over a very nice cooktop/oven, I decided to rip it out and patch up the hole in the wall. (On a side note we looked at a downward draft oven that pulls all the stuff that your range hood pulls up down instead. We like the model that has a gas cooktop and an electric oven). I finished getting the rest of the cabinets we needed for the project, a grand total of 16. After the drywall work finished drying I primed the wall and we hung all the wall cabinets and started to put down the base cabinets but ran into a flooring snag. We then decided that we were going to rip up the carpet in the dining room and put down the same hardwood laminate that we had gotten for the kitchen in the dining room. After putting down some plywood, which was the flooring snag from the carpet, we finished the base cabinets on that side. I left town for a couple days. When I got back we took out the cabinets on the sink side, painted the kitchen and dining room one one side a lovely shade of blue and put up cabinets. Now we are working on the flooring and staining the cabinets. We have put temporary countertops on until we have the money in the budget for the new ones. When we put in the final counters, we'll replace the sink. We have gained tons of cabinet space, the cabinets go into the dining room but it flows nicely and it looks good. Bryan has about 1/3 of the floor done and I'm slowly staining the cabinets. We got the fridge back into place finally instead of in the middle of the floor, it's not totally set since we need to connect the water line (which we replaced the old lines cause they were leaking, hence the mold and the non functioning dispenser). The stove is still in the middle of the floor but Bryan will have the flooring under the stove done soon so that can go back. (As a side note, he works about a zillion hours so the process takes a bit longer but all the work he's done looks great.) Like I said, I've been slow staining the cabinets, I'm not sure if it's the smell that bothers me or if I'm unmotivated. Bryan's mom is going to help me stain the cabinets this weekend.
This project has been insane but the end is in sight. Even without being done I can tell you that the results are amazing. I've appreciated all of the help. Bryan has been wonderful in being patient with me and going along with my crazy idea. He even picked out the shade of blue that we painted in the kitchen and dining room. I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful man. And we're already started planning next summer's project. I will post pictures of the finished project along with some of the process. It's been quite the transformation but it is so much more functional for two people who enjoy cooking.

A bit of catch-up

It's 4AM on a Saturday morning, I haven't been to bed yet and I'm not really tired. I was reading the last book in the Hunger Games series, called Mockingjay. I started it yesterday evening and I finished all 400 pages of it about 45 minutes ago. It was hard to put down. The whole series was that way though. I like/hate books like that. I like them because they keep you interested, but I hate them cause there is more to life than spending countless hours (in one day) reading. It's a nice distraction from my projects; however, it's not really a good distraction from sleep.
There are only a few weeks of summer break left and time has yet again gone by so quickly. I don't know if it's because I spent some time traveling or if it's been because I've been buried under a huge project, but time has flown by.
As I look back on my blog (a bit ashamed for lack of posting) I realize there is a lot to update. The end of the school year went pretty well. My parents came up to visit and were here for the spring concert. It's the first concert they've seen of mine since I've been teaching. 3,000 miles does make it hard to be here. I biked to work on the last day, partially because it was bike to work day and partially because I must be insane. It's only 6 miles. Backing up just a little bit we got new neighbors. It turns out that they were neighbors at the apartment too. It was hilarious when we figured it out. They're pretty cool. Jumping forward again into May. I took the train to Fairbanks with an overnight in Talkeetna, it was awesome. Bryan and I went to a movie and then to dinner on his birthday (right after he got off of work), we came home and were going to go out again but apparently the front stairs had a different idea cause we spent the evening in Urgent Care because Bryan miss-stepped on the stairs. He was home from work for two weeks. He joked that the only way he could get vacation was to injure himself. It wasn't truly time off though cause he did go in several times to do paperwork and such. We did get to take a train ride together though.
We also started to remodel our kitchen. I think I might make a whole new post for that one since this one is getting involved.
We've spent a great deal of time remodeling. I've got a fish tank now with a billion fish in it, ok really only 26. 13 of those I bought, the other 13 came as a surprise.
I've spent a little time traveling making my way down to Ketchikan, Metlakatla, and Wrangell. I fly to Illionis Tuesday to visit my family and some friends. I arrive there 8AM on Wednesday morning since I'm on a red eye flight. On the upside, I get to fly first class.
Well I think I'll wrap this one up and give the kitchen the post it deserves. In 10 hours I have to pick up Bryan's dad from the airport and about 4 hours later pick up his mom. We have his parents in town for the weekend. I guess I'll probably do some cleaning today as well, and maybe get some sleep.