Friday, December 3, 2010

What I do when I'm not biking. Part 1.

As soon as I got home from California, we went to see the new baby (what a sweetie!) and then went home and started dismantling the kitchen. I knew when we moved in here that it would have to be done sooner rather than later, and it has been over 4 years! So we packed up the dishes and food and moved the appliances out to the garage the first full day home. The second day we tore out all the cabinets. Bill and I did this together. I guess that's one way to stay close.... work together on a big project!
Then we started on the floor.... There was ceramic tile, cement board, vinyl tile, and fiberboard underlayment that all had to be removed. And there had to be well over a thousand nails in the floor! You can see me below removing them. It took days.

Then on Monday the cabinets were delivered and our carpenter and plumber showed up. I won't bore you with the details, but will show the finished product, below. I had ordered the cabinets and countertop right before I left for the west coast bike ride, and shopped for cabinet hardware and lighting fixtures during the tearout phase.

The turquoise tiles on the backsplash are the ones I bought in Santa Fe on the coast to coast bike trip in 2008. I knew I would use them some day, and on all my trips to look at cabinets, countertop and tile I had a tote bag with me containing 4 or 5 of the tiles. I took some down in the basement with me while I experimented with paint colors. While I did not require an exact match I did want to pick up that background color that was common to all 14 tiles (each has a different design). It took about ten tries, but I am happy with the color on the walls (bright aqua with a turqoise glaze). So happy, in fact, that I repainted the adjoining family room to match!

Buying new appliances was a real adventure... We had bought a new refrigerator last year when the old one died. So we went out intending to get stove, dishwasher and microwave to match. Of course they did not have the same models as last year and there are several different shades and sheens of stainless steel appliances. So we signed out the bottom drawer of the stove that we thought would match the fridge, took it home and it did! While home we took photos of the fridge so we could match the handle styles. Of course the stove that matched the best was the most expensive 5-burner gas stove in the store! But my darling husband said "Linda, get the stove that matches. Why else did we do this?" So I did. And the microwave and dishwasher too.

I already had all the Fiesta Ware dishes, but managed to buy some coffee cups to go with what was already there... then had fun picking out the red teapot and bamboo towels.

So it took over a month, after a delay for the countertop to be cut and then a delay for our carpenter to go deer hunting (yes he got a big buck). We finished the day before Thanksgiving and the new kitchen passed the test--we had 9 people at the breakfast table and 7 at dinner, cooked a 28 pound turkey easily in the large oven (lots of leftovers) and cleanup was a cinch. The dishwasher is so quiet that you can't even hear it when you are in the kitchen! Life is good!

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