Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like....


No, it's actually warm here in Buffalo with no chance of snow. I was going to say it is beginning to look a lot like a KITCHEN!!!!

Matt has been working really hard all weekend and has busted out most of the cabinet install including special framing for the dishwasher to support the future counter tops.

On Friday and Saturday Matt got the base cabinets started with the two cabinets to the right of the stove. He got them all leveled and attached to each other. These base cabinets will be topped with butcher block counter tops.

Next up Matt installed the cabinets that are along the wall to the left of the stove. He started with the very large corner cabinet, which required extra work to get it balanced and in place. Next he installed the sink base by cutting holes for the plumbing to be fed through, and then the final cabinet to the left of the sink.

After the base cabinets were installed Matt spent Sunday creating framing for the dishwasher and a support system for the counter top in the unsupported area around the chimney. In the future the frame work will have a cover panel added so that you won't be able to see into the corner. The frame Matt made had to very exact so that when the counter top installers come they will easily be able to create the template they need.

Here's the installed framing Matt added for the counter top:

This is what it looks like with the dishwasher in the space:

It's been a very productive weekend here, although the pictures and my words might not contain all the activities that went on. I make the installation of the cabinets sound simple, but it's very exact work and requires time to make sure that all the surfaces are level and plumb.

My husband has been rocking it out in the kitchen, I'm so glad I'm married to a man who is so handy and finds a way to complete very task with such precision. He jokes that he completes work with "tight clearances", but why not when you've got the skills?

You might be wondering just what I do all weekend, right? I'm the support role around here. I make sure there is food in the house, I prepare meals, I clean, I'm in charge of knowing about the cabinets/doors/hardware/etc, I help when he needs a hand, and I am make sure we're ready for what is coming up next in our lives.

In other news we also found some time to stop at the store to check out the counter top options available to us. We knew that we wanted our counter to be light in color (white family of colors) and we knew we didn't want it to be a solid color- it needed to have a little character. After doing some research we found a solid surface counter top that was within our budget for the color we were looking for. It's called sanded cream, and this was the only picture I was able to find.

Lastly I'll end with a photo of our friends' cute puppy, her ears are very unique and make her look so innocent. (She refused to look directly at me.) Her name is Betty and she is so very cute and has a very calm personality. I even let her sleep on my lap after she fell asleep- so sweet.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In my absence...

Well since Monday evening I've been doing what I do best- working, eating, helping with the kitchen, and sleeping.

Here's an update on the kitchen progress so far this week:

The focus of the week has been assembling the fridge cover panels and attaching the over the fridge cabinet. This was no easy project, but it really customizes the look of the kitchen.

First up taking the very large, heavy cover panels outside and cutting the down to size by removing approximately 9" from the bottom and 6" from the back. Due to the recent rainy weather this process took two evenings to complete (can't use power tools in the rain).

On Wednesday evening Matt cut braces to separate the two panels to the perfect width to fit the fridge perfectly in between the panels. After installing the panel braces the cabinet was attached to the panels.

After all was assembled on the floors the panels/cabinet were lifted into place on the wall. It was quite the task, but in the end the plan came together and Matt was successful.

After it was all set we installed the fridge. Yeah!!! And just in case you are wondering to the right of the fridge will be the dishwasher- which is currently in the foyer.

So what do you think so far?

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Jillian kicked my Booty!

Recently Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point decided to take on Jillian's No More Trouble Zones (NMTZ) DVD as her current challenge, and after do a little research on the DVD I decided to join too. She is also working on her personal goal of completing a 5K in 23 minutes.

Since the half-marathon we've been to the gym and I've been on only one run, so I need a challenge in my life- a goal or something to look forward to and prepare for. With our schedules being so crazy with the kitchen remodel, I decided to take on the challenge of NMTZ three times a week and three running sessions to prepare for a 5K on August 15th with Katie. However my goal is to do the 5K in 36 minutes or less.

So tonight was my first round with Jillian and let me tell you she kicked it into high gear! It was hard stuff, I was sweating after the first circuit. She had me feeling it and it felt good! Matt came home from work just as I was finishing up, I can only imagine when he saw me in a sweaty mess in front of the TV that he was surprised.

Needless to say it was a good workout and pretty quick too! I'll leave you with an after picture...

Off to help Matt with the kitchen!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We've been making lots of progress since my last post on Thursday, we've worked all weekend to get stuff done. Here's rundown with photos,. I think I captured all the major moments although I'm sure there are little tasks that got missed.

First up was applying the deco trim to the cabinets that are mounted to the top of the soffet over the sink area. Matt took the measurements and cut the angles to get them all perfect.

After the cabinets were prepped for hanging, Matt measured and cut the mounting rails. The rails were hung using the laser level to ensure everything was at proper height and lined up. The cabinets are attached with nuts and bolts directly to the rail, and do not move once the bolts are tightened.

Saturday morning I set to work on building and modifying all our base cabinets. I am now quite efficient at assembly, removal of the original edging, applying new edging, and staining to match. I even built the drawer on one to get an idea of how difficult it would be.

While I was building cabinets Matt was working on retro-fitting the cabinet above the microwave to allow for it to vent outside. This required him to cut holes in the bottom of the cabinet to connect to the microwave vent and to feed the power cord through. After establishing where the vent hole was going, he began to cut a hole in the house! Yes that's right, he used all the tools he could to find to cut through the many layers of the house, he even borrowed our neighbor's saws-all for some extra power!

After some hard work Matt was successful in getting the microwave to vent outside, pretty impressive if you ask me.

Tasks planned for this week after work include:
-Completing the deco trim on all the wall cabinets.
-Adding 'filler' pieces to the cabinets next to the wall.
-Applying the cover panels to the cabinet sides that face the windows, which allows them to match the color of the cabinet fronts.
-Hanging the cabinet unit that will be over the fridge, along with the fridge cover panels.
-Beginning the install of the base cabinets and dishwasher.
For Matt's version of our progress this weekend check out his post of VW Vortex.

In other news:

I made some peanut butter today!

Actually I made lots of peanut butter today! I bought a couple containers of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, so I figured I'd make a supply of peanut butter to have available for us and some other lucky people. Who doesn't love peanut butter, especially when it is homemade?

With my last batch I added carob powder to give it a 'chocolate' favor, but it really doesn't taste that different- I might need more chocolate next time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Kitchen floored that is...

Sorry for no posts since Sunday, but we've been busy busy over here. Monday and Wednesday night we hit the gym to get our workouts in, we figure two days is better than none at all because every little bit counts. In reality on the nights we aren't at the gym we are busy around the house with the kitchen or general upkeep so there is never a dull moment.

Tuesday night was an eventful evening in the kitchen because the floors were layed down. We chose to go with Traffic Master's Allure Floor, which is are vinyl interlooking tile panel that look and feel like the real thing. Our house is old and not so level so ceramic tiles would not have worked and our wood floors could not be salvaged.

The floor was cleaned, and a thin lining was laid down for a little extra padding.

After it was down, Matt did some planning before getting to work.

The it was just a matter of working row by row and overlapping the tiles ever so carefully. The gray edges you see in the photos are super sticky and basically once it touches the other edge they are bonded. The instruction say you have up to 10minutes to seperate them, but it's better just to take it slow and do it once.

The "finished" product lookslike this:

Pretty impressive, right? We still need to add threshold and put more flooring down on the landing before you come up the stairs, but that will come in the next few weeks. Our focus now is hanging the walls cabinets, building the base cabinets, and then installing base cabinets. We still have at least one month before all the finishing touches will be done, but it's going pretty fast considering we're mainly weekend workers!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We've got color...

So Saturday and Sunday were very busy days for us in the kitchen. On Saturday Matt finished up some last minute scraping and sanding, while I worked on customizing our cabinets.

To give you a little background IKEA cabinets comes with one of two colors on the interior, white or birch, and we chose birch. However for the exterior of the cabinets you can choose from a wide range of additional colors, our choice was a medium brown. When the cabinets are closed you can slightly see the birch, and Matt found out that some other people had had success in replacing the edges with newly stained veneer. So with a twist of my arm I agreed to try it out, and I couldn't be happier.

Original cabinet:

On the left is the original, middle is after removal, and the right is the unstained veneer I ironed on to each edge.

Then it was on to staining to match our cabinets.

This is a comparison between the new cabinet edge and the front of the cabinets, pretty close right?

This step adds a little time to the cabinets, but in the end it will just create a customized look.

After doing the cabinets, Matt was ready to add some paint to the kitchen. We started by priming the entire kitchen, obviously in white.

(The only paint clothes I have are huge!)

(I'm smiling but it was almost 9pm, and I was getting hungry!)

Matt put in some time after dinner to finish it all up around midnight. Here's our kitchen in all white!

Sunday was more painting. I got up early and began the trim work. Then in the afternoon Matt painted the ceiling. After lunch we took the plunge into some real color. The color choice we went with was Behr Ultra's Oregano Spice. Matt did the cutting in while I did the rolling. We have cabinets going over a majority of the walls, so we didn't paint all the way to the floors, but I tried to cover the rest of the walls just in case.

And the final product looks like this:

To some it might be a little bit overwhelming at first, but there will be cabinets and tile on a majority of the walls, light colored counter tops, and most of the appliances are stainless steel. I think all these things will help keep the color from darkening or over powering the room.

And hey it's just paint, if we decide it doesn't work once everything is installed it will only take a weekend to change.

Alright, well time to hit the hay. It's been a long, yet productive weekend. We should hopefully be laying floors very soon. It is all coming together.

Friday, June 11, 2010

His and Her Tasks...

Matt's task for the day was to create smooth walls and trim. He filled holes, skim coated the walls, and then set to work smoothing it out. For his adventure he chose the following gear:

It was very dust job, so it was definitely appropriate. Here's some pictures of him hard at work.

After doing all that work Matt cleaned up the DUST, and there was lots of it. There is still dust, but we're going to have to pick up some tack clothes to get it off the walls before painting.

While Matt was busy with the kitchen I made myself useful, and took to the "Pink" room. My task was to take this room from disaster zone to organized chaos. Just a little background for some of you, the pink room is soon to be the only room that has never been painted and has functioned as a storage area since we moved in. Since the wedding it has been store gifts that we didn't want to use until the kitchen was done and now it also has all the kitchen items.

Take this mess:

Substrate out unnecessary packaging, and do a little organizing.

It then equal this...

Much easier to move around now...

After all that work we were both very hungry, so I set to work on a quick yet filling meal.

Alright off to rest now with more fun in the kitchen tomorrow.