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Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Plans

Yesterday's post showed you a bit of a project we've been working on this last week or so.  We're hoping to finish it this weekend so we can clean up and move on to the rest of our To-Do List.

The dining room and master bedroom in the addition is pretty well lined with windows and we wanted to add transom windows above them.  The only problem with that is to purchase them the size we need is considered custom, and therefore very expensive. 

If you can see past the mess, the transom windows will go above these windows and patio door.  Yes, that's a cement mixer, miter saw and a few cupboards in my dining room!
 Since the transom windows will be fixed (don't open and close), our solution was to have a glazier cut double panes of insulated glass to the size we needed. This might be taking the DIY thing pretty far, but it's saving us a lot of money!

Now our job (or Cameron's, for the most part) is to build the casing and stops around each of these windows.

Plenty of measuring, cutting, routing, glueing, nailing, etc. left to do, but it'll be worth it when it's done! Hopefully next week I'll be able to take pictures of the finished project to share.
And just for fun, here's a (not so flattering) reflection of me that Cameron caught.  Could I get any bigger?  I still have 5 weeks of growing left to do!
Thursday, July 28, 2011


A few pictures to give you an idea of the kind of things happening around our house. 

Keep in mind we have a baby due in five (!!!) weeks. That being said, we're scrambling to try to get some projects knocked off our to do list. 
I'm sure you can imagine the kind of "nesting" I get to do.  It usually amounts to sweeping up drywall/sawdust and shuffling lots of tools around!

All of the crown molding on the kitchen cabinets needed putty applied and sanded to fill in the corners and finishing nail holes.

We used Elmer's Wood Filler and pushed it in the spaces that needed to be filled. It's easy to do and can be smoothed over with your finger. After it dried we went over it with a find sand paper and then used tack cloth to remove the dust before painting.

Once that was done, we taped around the mouldings and hung plastic over all the upper and lower cupboards to avoid getting overspray on them.

Here's where Cam's autobody experience and tools came in handy. He used his paint gun to shoot all the mouldings, along with a couple of drawers that had a few scratches. It's really the ideal way to paint a lot of things for a nice smooth finish. 

All the cabinets were painted with a product called Catalyzed Lacquer. It's a commercial grade paint that dries to a matte finish.  Most cabinets have to be painted with a glossy finish to hold up to the wear and tear they take, but I love the modern look I get with this product.  The matte finish also helps hide nicks and scratches that are bound to happen.

Now that we finished up those touch ups, I am slowly getting things organized in the kitchen. We're told that our counters and sink will be installed next week! Then we'll have a functioning kitchen!

Here's the other project that we're working on now. Can you guess what we're up to?

I'll share the rest of this project tomorrow.  All in the name of saving money!!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Roman Shade

I'm wanting to turn some pretty fabric into a roman shade for our kitchen window.  I love the tailored look of a roman shade.  Plus, it would add a nice amount of color and pattern to this space.

This fabric was purchased months ago from a remnant bin for less then $3.00/yard. I love the minty green color and graphic pattern. Reminds me a little of the caning you see on furniture.

My issue is that I've never sewn a roman shade before and am a little intimidated by it. 
I came across a tutorial by Martha Stewart HERE

It seems a little complicated for someone as inexperienced as I am with sewing. Have any of you tried sewing one, or come across a good tutorial? I would love to know!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Faucet - our pick

So here's the faucet we ended up choosing.  It's similar to the first option I showed in THIS post. The only difference being the inner coil isn't black.

We ordered it from because they have the best prices, and I had a 10% off coupon! Who doesn't love a good deal!

It should arrive any day and be installed next week when our countertop arrives. It'll be nice to have running water and a usable kitchenNot that I mind eating out a few nights a week!
Monday, July 18, 2011

Kitchen Install

Just a few shots of the kitchen as it was being installed.  There's still clean up to do (sawdust!!) and some touch up work.  The finishing nails in the molding need to some putty and paint and then we can put the doors back on. They just click into place, so it won't take much time at all. 

It's also hard to use our kitchen just yet, since there won't be a functional sink until we have our countertops in place.

But...I'm am LOVING how it turned out! I'll keep you posted as things continue to happen.

Toe kick register needs to be painted black. Cabinet next to the window is lighted with a glass front. Range & hood will be placed on this wall.

Dishwaser will be to the right of the sink.  Microwave goes in the bottom of the corner unit with flip up shelves. Two floating shelves will be installed next to corner unit.

Pantry wall with lots of storage! Try to ignore the ugly old fridge!

Full extension rollout drawers in the pantry.

Coffee bar in dining room.
So there you have it! That's where we're at right now.  Still lots to do to make it a pretty and usable kitchen, but I think we're off to a good start!
See the kitchen progress:
Friday, July 15, 2011


While I can hardly wait to show you our new cabinets (being installed while I type!), I do have a few pictures for you of the granite we're using for countertops.

Yesterday, a visit was made to the shop that will be cutting and installing the counters. I had a chance to snap a few pictures of our massive granite slab.

This granite is called Kashmir White. It's one of the few light colors of granite available. I love the soft grain and shades of grey that run through it.

Here's a close up that shows you the grain with shades of black, grey and tan.

They are coming Monday after the cabinets are installed to take final measurements for the template. I'm also getting to help layout the template so I can choose what parts of the granite I want used.  Should be fun!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kitchen Before...

Alright, here are the before pictures of our kitchen.  Nice eh?

I'll admit, I've been sort of embarrased by it. It was a really ugly "temporary" set up that we lived with for the last few years as we worked on everything else in the house. You need insulation, wiring, plumbing, drywall and a million other things before you can put in a kitchen.

It served us well enough, but I'm SO ready for the upgrade to things like cupboards, drawers and countertops!

Tommorrow, I'll share the progress as cabinets are installed...Stay tuned.!

P.S. Here's the real original kitchen-before we moved in. Gross.

Lighting Solution

We have installed several recessed lights (all on a dimmer) in our living room. This was done a few years ago when we were running all the electrical though out the house. But some plans have changed since then.

Initially, we wanted to have a fireplace in the room but after living in the space for some time, feel it will take up too much room. This decision throws off one of the recessed lights that we installed to be centered over the fireplace. So I had to come up with a solution, since it isn't something that can be simply removed.


My plan is to use either a recessed light adapter or purchase this fixture from Ballard Designs. That way I can have the light fixture suspended from the ceiling over a seating area that will be (eventually) set up in our living room. 
Recessed Light Adapter-Home Depot
The benefit of the adapter is that I can use any light fixture with it, so the options are unlimited.

I do like the fixture from Ballard Designs, especially with the Seagrass Shade. It's also on sale for a very reasonable price.

But first, we need to finish sanding the ceiling(since we scraped all the texture off), then prime and paint it.

Until we do that and I can show you the finished results, take a look at how Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms has done this with awesome results!

Via Isabella and Max Rooms

Via Isabella and Max Rooms

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On to the faucet

Since our new sink is on the way, we have been looking at for a faucet to go with it.  No point in having a brand new sink and no water right?

A few that have caught our eye and would suit our kitchen:
Which one do you like best?

My criteria for the faucet was that it had to be a single handle, pull down spout and I don't want a soap dispenser installed with it in the countertop.  I prefer the clean simple look of just the faucet on it's own.  Picky aren't I?

Another thing about the sink.  A blogger I recently came across at Just a Touch of Grey tells me that they have purchased the same sink, and love it!  Yay for good reviews!
(by the way-make sure to look at her living room makeover-it's awesome!)
Monday, July 11, 2011


This week is off to a good start! Cameron and his dad stapled up the Tyvek (house wrap) so we could start putting trim up soon. Around 5 AM this morning we were awakened with severe weather sirens going off and looked out to see most of the Tyvek had been blown off.  Poor Cam, he ran out in the pouring rain and stapled it back up-only to wake up an hour later and see that the same thing happened AGAIN! Hopefully, this time it stays! How's that for a Monday?

Anyways, there should be lots of activity to write about this week. We're getting things ready for the kitchen install on Wednesday (!!!!).
 This weekend, I was pretty excited that we found and ordered a new kitchen sink.  We started out pricing an undermount, stainless steel, single bowl sink at all our local big box stores and couldn't get over how expensive they were. Most of them were in the $500.00-$1000.00 range.  Crazy.  So I did some searching on and came across this one for a fraction of the price!

I'm pretty sure we'll be getting a faucet from them too.  They have an awesome selection and you can't beat their prices!
We've been using the (gross) cast iron sink that was in the original kitchen. Here's what this sink will be replacing:

I'd call that an upgrade for sure!
Have you come across any great deals on before? Or do you have other online sources you go to for good prices and selection?
Friday, July 08, 2011

Architectural Salvage

Today I'll be taking a break from doing this...

(A task that doesn't seem to have an end in sight!) do some shopping! There are still stacks and stacks of trim (exterior) in the garage that need to be painted, but they'll have to wait. 

I'm making a quick trip to Des Moines to pick up tile that I came across at West End Architectural Salvage.

I was there for the first time a few weeks ago, and forgot to bring my camera.  If you like vintage or the industrial look, this place is so worth visiting!  This time I'm hoping I'll remember to take some pictures and share my favorite things they offer!
Wednesday, July 06, 2011


You know what these are, right?

You're looking at my new kitchen! I can hardly believe they're here. I'm about to have a real kitchen!

This past weekend, Cam and his Brother-in-law David, made a trip all the way to California (more on that later) and brought home our kitchen cabinets.  Thanks guys!

Thankfully they made it home with no incidents, and Cam was very impressed that our Trailblazer pulled the 14 foot trailer "like a champ." 

We managed to unload them all yesterday.  It took a good part of the day to do, since the 7 months pregnant helper tends to move a little very slow.  There were about 3 pieces that were way to big for me to lift. So we called up his other Brother-in-law Jimmy, to help out with those. I think our family will be happy when our house is done and we don't have to pester them for help!

The nice part? We don't have to deal with the task of installing them. Next week, the owner of the company (and family friend) that built these will be here for a couple days to do that for us.

Here's a close up of the lower cabinet color.  We had them lacquered in Benjamin Moore's Ebony King. It's a deep blue-black shade, and I love how it turned out!

I can't wait to show you the before and after pictures once these are all installed and our kitchen finally starts to come together. We still have a lot of work to do this week: clearing out our temporary set-up, and a final sanding, priming and painting of the walls and ceilings. Make sure to check back to see the progress!