Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kitchen Remodel Part 3: Finishing up

We hired a contractor to help install the cabinets and countertop because Mike had never done anything like it, and we were glad we did. It was more complicated than we thought.

The countertop is Mike's pride and joy, so cutting into it was scary, especially because our sink didn't come with a template. We almost didn't get the counter we wanted because they discontinued the color,but fortunately I called the supplier and found they had some in stock and got the place we ordered it from to try again.

The sink fit perfect, fortunately. We still have the cut out piece, we need to make a desk or something with it.

The cabinets were new too, but budget new.

The pantry was fun. The finished cabinets didn't come in the size we wanted so we bought an unfinished one, ordered unfinished doors that matched the new cabinets better, and got the contractor to finish it. The finished cupboards were maple, the doors on the pantry are alder, the frame around the doors are oak, and the panel on the side is birch. Fun stuff! But it looks good. We used what was left of the birch panel to make the kickplates and a panel next to the dishwasher as well. The dishwasher we found on Craigslist for $25. Nice, especially because Mike was laid off.

The microwave was on Craigslist as well. LOVE having the over the stove microwave, it frees up so much space on the counter. The fridge was a gift from someone at church.

We do still plan to get a backsplash above the counters, but that's a long term thing. 

The good thing about writing this late is that I have a longer term opinion about the kitchen. The main part has been finished for 3 months, and I have gotten into it well. And I LOVE it! I have so much more space (triple the counterspace, more cupboards) I have a dishwasher, I don't have to put appliances on top of my cupboards, I can actually sweep and mop my floor, and the garbage and recycling fit perfectly under the sink! And the outlets! I never have to to search for a plug, we installed a bunch of new ones, and they are all easily accessible! Plus, we grounded them all. Much safer. I am so happy with my new kitchen!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kitchen Remodel Part 2: Painting and Flooring

Once the demolition was done and the new and damaged walls were mudded, it was time to paint. First with Kilz of course, to prime it.

The boys had a lot of fun with the ladder, and Auntie Missa helped out quite a bit.

We figured they should each have a turn painting.

Then we did the green walls and white ceiling. It was a bit more vibrant than expected, but now that we've got trim and curtains and stuff it's toned down. We've had differing reactions, but we like it.

We did the floor when the walls were finished. We hired someone because we installed ceramic tiles. Worth. Every. Penny. It is gorgeous, and nice, and much easier to clean. The color is a bit off in this pic but it shows how nice it looks.

Next time: Part 3, finishing up

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kitchen Remodel Part 1: Before pics and demolition

I'm finally getting around to doing blog entries of our kitchen remodel, now that we finished the little touches. First, here are a few before pics.

Yucky. You can't see the floor either, it was a nasty asbestos thing where most of the tiles were crumbling, and it was basically impossible to keep clean. So we started tearing things apart.

The first thing to go was the closet/ pantry next to the fridge. It was too big and not useful. Ripping it out really opened up our space.

Then we took the door of the bathroom entrance and sealed it off (there is one from the master bedroom too, so we can still get in).

Then we tore up the floor. I really enjoyed that, did most of the tearing up myself.

While we were working on the kitchen, we set up a temporary kitchen in the front room so we could have breakfast and lunch at home. We setup a cooking rota with my mother-in-law across the street so that we could have real meals for dinner. Ended up removing the rug too, so it wouldn't get covered in food. The floor in the front room took some real cleaning when we were done.

At this stage, we also had the contractor we hired to do the cupboards come and redo the plumbing for the new sink, rewire all the electrical and add more outlets, and move the stove plug to the new location. Mike also spent a lot of time mudding the walls where we tore things out and the ceiling where there was some water damage that we repaired. It was all starting to come together.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Painting and flooring!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Home Decorating Tips from a 2 year old

Ever feel your parents have no sense of aesthetics? Fear not! With these handy tips, you can easily redecorate your home to show them your sense of style and have fun while you are at it! No pics, unfortunately, Mommy is too fast at cleaning up.


No kitchen decor is complete without a few milk splatters. An easy way to get them all over your area of the kitchen is to wait until your parents are distracted at breakfast time and stick your fingers in your cereal bowl. Coat them well with milk and then flick the milk all around. Repeat until desired effect is created or until you are caught by Mommy or Daddy.


Does your bathroom have a dull vanity? Mine is plain old ordinary black,and brandnew. It obviosuly needs some work.

For this change, all that is needed is a nice bar of soap. I picked white, it goes well with black. Get your fingers nice and dirty when Mommy is busy with something important like Facebook, then get her to let you in to the bathroom so you can wash your dirty hands. Immediately grab the soap, preferably a nice wet piece, and rub it all over the front of the vanity. You'll have a nice new gloss to add to the original boring color. And if your vanity has creases, so much the better; Mommy won't be able to clean it all off easily!


Our hall is boring hardwood that Mommy is often sweeping. It needs a rug, which I obviously can't afford, so I found a nice alternative.

I waited until Mommy was throwing up in the bathroom like she does every morning (did I tell you I'm getting a baby sister?) and Daddy had left, then I went straight for the toilet paper in the hall closet and grabbed two rolls. Before Mommy made it out, I had thrown most of one and part of another all over the hall. Such an improvement! Mommy didn't seem to think so though, she cleaned it all up.

We also have an air intake vent in the floor of our hall,and it is super boring looking. So I've livened it up by finding random pieces of toys and tissues and things all over the house and shoving them into the vent. It looks great, and it isn't an easy cleanup for Mommy. Also, Cheerios and tissues fit well in floor registers.


Used cat litter looks great on the front room rug! Fingerprints always look great on windows, and there isn't a wall that can't use a little ink, if you can find a pen and a busy caretaker. The weekly ads make great floor decorations once they are shredded, as does the daily calendar on the piano. And I'm sure spaghetti sauce would be a nice touch on the new white curtains in the kitchen, but I haven't managed that one yet. Still trying though! One of these days, Mommy or Daddy will get careless, and I'll be able to make a masterpiece!

Any decorating ideas to share? Comment below!