Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Almost there......

Wow! It has been a long fun run with the kitchen. A few times it felt like we were sprinting forward to the finish line and then wham, new issue. We got into the attic, well not me the electrician, to run a line for the island vent hood. He found a mess in other areas on his way to get to the kitchen area. We are talking spliced lines without caps, no junction boxes....etc. So we decided to put everything on hold until we could save up some cash to get it all updated and fixed. It is not like we had a ton of stuff left to do but we did not want to finish and then have a fire. I DO NOT want to go through this again, all the issues we had are worth the goal. I apologize for the pictures below. We are STILL trying to locate the camera, so these were taken by my Pantech Burst phone.I don't think they turned out because the flash cover for the back of the phone was missing at the time. LOL

 The garbage can by the doors is being installed in the cabinets.
 This was the day before my nephews birthday.
 I am picking out a stone backsplash. Something like tumbled marble with amber colored glass accents.
 This is the front Living Room area a little bland right now. I am working on digging everything out of closets and other rooms that we had moved all our furniture into.
 I need to replace the blinds on the right window. It was my dog versus the blinds during fireworks.
 The base under the stove is now installed.
Can I just say how much I love these floors?!?! I got more compliments this weekend on those floors and how much they looked like wood.

So here is some of what we have left to do.
1) Finish the trim and crown molding at the taller cabinets and upper cabinets on other wall.
2) Finish a smaller trim and sand down the door to the Florida Room.
3) Pick out a backsplash and install it.
4) Finish trim work in the bathrooms
5) Replace door casing at front door (see dog vs. blinds above) Man that dog HATES fireworks, lightning, beeping noises...anything that makes noise. LOL (Yes we know about the thundershirt and sedatives and they both work, no we do not use them together, sometimes in Florida you get SURPRISE thunderstorms).

I will post more this weekend, my husband was going to look for the camera today.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Progress and Changes

Ok, let's start here. This stuff on the wall use to have a mirror on it. Right now it looks like a rock climbing wall. It is like a tar substance and we are just going to rip it off and patch it.

As you move the camera to the left towards the arch that leads to the Dining Room

The through the arch and move to the right and there was where the kitchen was. :) Lots of electrical wires (out of code), now everything is tucked away and to code. As you can see in the background the two windows, one is lower than the other. We want to bring the low one up to make way for more countertops.

This window will be going up to above countertop height. I will miss the lower part though because it was a beautiful view of the pool.

Two fresh windows, the eyelashes of the room.

That looks much better when you are looking down the room.

The amount of dust was ridiculous.

This looks back from the double doors to the Dining Room where the arch is.
Now for Kilz to prep the new drywall and hide the other colors.

Now comes the color. I know it was red before but I want and need light in this room. When hubbie walked in from work he said "Wow not that is YELLOW." After it dried it looked a lot better. LOL

Back from the arch in the Dining area.

Now about that issue with lights. I want florescents but I did not want the industrial ones that were in the ceiling before.

I found these at Home Depot and fell in LOVE! They put off a lot of light and are perfect for the ceiling.

Now FLOORING. Since I work for a flooring company I get to look at options all day. I love wood but was not willing to commit to it since we have the pool. If you really want to damage your floors install wood near a pool entrance and exit door and bam, swollen floors. Mohawk flooring just started carrying these tile floors called Stage Pointe. It has Reveal Imaging, the picture above is before I go to clean it, the grout haze is still on it.


This looks back through the arch to the Living Room.

The kitchen is Villareal Almond Spice, they look so beautiful in person. We needed something with a little jazz since the cabinets are going to be white.

The kitchen is starting to come together SLOWLY.

This is the step down from the Kitchen to the Dining Room. You can see the decorative listello at the top of the step. On the face of the step we went with the Stage Pointe. This is a close up of the listello. It was a discontinued product we had from another job that had just enough pieces to do what was needed. All the doors in the house have this as a threshhold.

Looking back from the kitchen to the Dining Room.

This is the Hall from the Foyer to the Kitchen.

This is the Master Bedroom door looking out to the Living Room. We did the "wood" floors again in the Master Bedroom.

We decided to tear out the Master Shower as well since we were making a HUGE mess. We took the drop ceiling out to bring the tile up to the 8' ceiling.

The wall tile was discontinued and something we had sitting in the warehouse. Lucky me I have always LOVED this tile. :)
The decorative listello strips are Stone Treasures Caramel Splash 12x12 sheet tiles. We cut them into strips and did two rows.

This was before it was grouted.

Another close up of the Stone Treasure. It has glass tile mixed in with stone.

We tiled the ceiling of the shower.....
and the shower floor to match.

Right now we are done with the shower, have some of the lower cabinets in the kitchen and painting done. I will post those in a week when we get more done......signing off again for now. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Decisions, decisions....

I love design, I love every aspect of it. My issues are that I have a hard time sticking to one thing. With the Internet anything is possible. You can search for hours on designs, colors, features on any room of the house. For now though I am focusing on two rooms, our Master Bath and Kitchen.

So for the kitchen I am having to decided some things:

Cabinets- What color? What material? What design on the front? What handle or pull on the doors?
Countertops- What material? What color? What finish on the edge?
Sink- What material? What design? How big?
Cook Top- What company? What color? What features?
Range Hood- We know we need an island hood since it is viewable from all side. What company? What color? What features?
Lighting? How many lights? What type? Recessed, drop lighting or good old florescent?

We are reusing the fridge, double oven and microwave for now, they are practically brand new and "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

As you can see we have many decisions to make. So let's start from the top.

Cabinets- We have already decided we both love white. It is classic and will go with us throughout the years as design changes. I love how it can go from traditional to farmhouse to classic with just changing the drawer and cabinet pulls. The face of the cabinets will have a raised design, again something that will stay with us for awhile.

This is from the Timberlake Cabinets Andover Series Thermofoil White

We are leaning toward thermofoil but may change. This is an article on the pros and cons of thermofoil.

Countertops- Now I have RESEARCHED and RESEARCHED my heart out on these. Think about it, you put your food on these surfaces and you need to know what you are buying. Not only that but on some materials the maintenance is ridiculous. If I have to reseal it every few years or worry about radon emissions I don't want it. I grew up with laminate and have no issues with it. My parents house had this 70's style mustard yellow mixed with other colors countertop. It was all the rage back then, it lasted 28 years. They got there kitchen redone and my Mom's only request to my Dad was make sure you get laminate. I personally would not mind it but I want a certain sink and we will discuss this later. So I looked over everything recycled materials, natural stones, engineered stones, concrete, wood, metal, tile (since I work for a tile company) and glass. After buying Consumer Reports Kitchen and Bath and reading articles on the Internet I found Engineered Quartz to be the best. You can also get Natural Quartz but it requires more maintenance.  Best article for research online it this
There are quite a few companies to choose from

Cambria® I think I may go with this company they are made in the USA!!

So if we go with the Cambria here are my favorites so far.

Cambria Bellingham

Cambria Burton Brown

Cambria Brecon Brown

Cambria Aragon

Sink- I have loved Farmhouse sinks for a long time now. Now they are popping up everywhere and I can't get enough of all the different designs, materials and colors. You can get them in stainless steel, stone, stone fire clay and copper. Then you can get them with a single or double bowl, there are pros and cons to both. I decided to go with the classic white apron sink 36" single bowl. This one is from signature hardware:

To complete the look I love bridge faucets, this is from signature hardware as well. I would get it in the Oil Rubbed Bronze though.

Cook top- We currently have an older smaller cook top and were trying to decide if we wanted to just reuse that. The dilemma is that they will cut it into the countertop. If we pay someone to cut the countertop we only want to do this one. The current one we have in a 30" model. We were looking at the 36" models, more cooking space. At first we though we would just go with the downdraft models but we can not find one with a charcoal filter feature. They all have to be vented to the outside. They make over range hoods with charcoal filters but we will not need one since we already have the roof capped to vent outside, this was where the old one was. The issue was that we did not want to put cabinets back over top so it would open the kitchen more. So we decided to go with a hood and since you will be able to see it from all the way around it would have to be an island hood. Back to the cook top, I already have the double convection oven from GE Profile and not that all my appliances have to say one company name but I like their cook top. If I had the money I would go all Electrolux (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) or Viking but the budget rules. I was going to go with the induction cook tops but after reading about them you almost have to learn to cook all over again. They heat up very fast and sometimes too fast you have to be ready to go. They are very popular in Europe and have hit the mainstream here lately. They use to be very pricey but they have come down a lot. The other issue is whether or not your current cookware will work with induction. The best way to tell is with a magnet, since induction cooking works with magnets. Cast Iron and Stainless Steel work the best, the rule is if the magnet sticks it fits. If you want to know more there is a great article on How Stuff Works.
If I did go with the induction cook top I would choose the GE Profile 36" Induction Cook top:

However, the budget is king and I am going with the GE Profile 36" Cook top

Island Hood- As I said above the Island Hood is they way we are going. I wanted something with clean lines and nothing obtrusive. So I found this range hood from, can you guess, signature hardware. It is the Compass Series 36" Island Hood. I love the glass part so more light can get through. It contains four dimmable 35-watt halogen light bulbs to illuminate both sides of the stove top. It also has two reusable, dishwasher safe aluminum filters. I love easy peasy care for filters, they can get nasty and greasy fast.

So that is where I am at right now. I have already selected the tile for the floors and tile that looks like wood for the Living and Dining Room. I have also selected the Master Bath wall tile, listello and shower floor. I will show you those later. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kitchen Remodel

Wow! Is it almost the end of February!! These first two months of the year have been so wonderful and blessed. Hubbie and I still have great jobs and still have a roof over our heads and food on the table. We were starting to save for the kitchen remodel when fate jumped in.

Let me back up a little, we bought a foreclosure and knew it needed work. We bought this house because it is in a nice neighborhood, I literally grew up in the house next door and the school system can not be beat. Our goal along the way was to ONLY pay cash for any updates. So far we have done the following:
1) Replaced the old roof
2) Pushed out the walls from the walk in closet to make it bigger.
3) Replaced the solar heater for the pool
4) Replaced the heater for the Jacuzzi
5)Rebuilt the kitchen pantry

As I said before we were saving for the kitchen and ALL the flooring in the house. When like I said above FATE took over.  The kitchen is from the 70's and the cabinets had been painted over and over and over.  The drawers are so worn out and there is no storage space at all. There is a wall sticking out that needs to come down, I know it was supposed to be a breakfast nook, but it is soooo not needed. There is a dining room on the opposite side. The ceiling is lower in just the kitchen and I know it was all the rage in the 70's but not anymore.

So back to the story, I was getting ready for work and walked through the front Living Room and noticed a small puddle on the floor, we have dogs so I was thinking drool. I wiped up the mess and moved on with my day. My hubbie was off that day and he called me at work to say there was a big puddle in the dining room. Our dining room and living room step down from the kitchen area.
I told him maybe it was the dishwasher and to shut the water off under the sink. When I got home there were towels on the floor and we were now looking for what was causing that nice waterfall on the step down. I called a plumber and he we have used him before and he immediately found that the copper pipe behind the wall had sprung a leak under the sink.  As you can see below he dug out the wall and replaced the pipe.

Then we pulled out the washer next to the sink, it must have been an ongoing leak because there is mold growing up the wall behind that.

This is behind the dishwasher, that is mold and dirt and water. Lovely, I swear I am a clean freak, I do not live like this.

Now you see why I wanted to replace all the floors. This tile is about 20 plus years old, very glossy and slippery and just UGLY.

You can see where the water has started popping tiles. This is good, less work to remove the tiles.

From the step down you can see the tiles pulling away.

The water came out 3 tiles from the step down and without the towels there would have one further.

The plumber called a water remediation team to try to get them to help dry it all out. A lot of the walls in the area already had water wicking up the walls.

These fans are to dry out all the water under the cabinets. They had to drill holes around the bottoms to get the rest of the water out.

This machine had tubes going into the holes to dry out under the cabinets. All of these were in our house for four days. They were so loud!!

That other tall machine is a dehumidifier. They had three of these in the house and oh my stinkin' heck. Every morning I woke up SO thirsty! My sinus passages were DRY and hubbie said he felt like he took 6 sinus pills in one shot. I have a box of Puffs Plus with lotion tissues next to our couch in the Great Room, they were dried out. By the last day I was praying the yellow meters would not show water so they would take them out.

Luckily the insurance company is replacing the existing cabinets and a lot of the floors. So whatever they are not paying for we are trying to do to save money. My wonderful brother-in-law, Marvin, helped me take down the upper cabinets.

Above the cooktop as in the picture above, there was a row of cabinets. We are not going to put those back up, it opens the room more. The drop ceiling as well is going next.

The wall on the right, behind the ladder is going as well. The french doors in the background lead to the Florida Room. I LOVE that room, I have Girls Night Out parties in there.

This is looking from the florida room side towards the Dining Room

We just had the insulation blow in 6" deep and now this area will have to be redone. Once the ceiling goes.

See how much more open it will make it.

This is from the Foyer Hall looking to the kitchen. The window looks out to the pool area.

See the wall in the background. Next time it will be gone. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

The double ovens I had installed when we moved in. I work for a flooring company and a builder we worked for was redoing their model center. This was just installed and they wanted the other model oven. This is the GE Profile with convection. They sold it to me brand new for $400.00. I had it sitting in my parents garage before we ever bought this house. Every house we looked at I looked at the kitchen first to make sure it would work. This house had a single wall oven built in, we ripped it out, re-framed the wall and installed. I can not live without this toy.

I will kep you updated, this weekend we are taking the rest of the cabinets out and hopefully the wall and ceiling are going next. Luckily the wall is not load bearing otherwise my plans would have to be changed.