Thursday, June 25, 2015

Let me 'splain... no... let me sum up...

We have been busy folk, the gal and I, here in the Post-it Note cottage;  Spring held all sorts of adventure and travel and mess.

Summer promises more of the same... except much MUCH hotter.

It's entirely too much, really, to cover in one post, so I have decided, after months (and ahem... months) of deliberation and then impressive amounts of inaction, to split the posts into parts.

And so I give you... Summing up... Part 1:

The one in which I demolish the cottage kitchen or... When LIFE imitates ART

Once upon a time, before the Miss and I moved into the little Post-it Note Cottage, the kitchen looked like (brace yourselves)...




It was in a very sad state really, but on the UP side...  ripe for renovation!
I bought a fridge and moved my favorite center island in, but other than that,  PREEETTTTY much left it as is while we lived in it.  (Before any MAJOR changes, I like to see how I use the space... plus and also... the ol' piggy bank needed fattening after the purchase of the cottage.) 

SO we lived... and saved.

Then, as so often happens 'round these here parts, life imitated art.  In the late fall of 2014 I began work on a mystery/romance by Melinda Leigh called Hour of Need.

The heroine of the story renovates her old farmhouse... literally and figuratively as well.

The narration was progressing along just fine really until that fateful voice break where I ripped down the cornice thingy above the sink...

I just took a pry bar and hammer and tore that thing right out.

Then, because I was on a roll, and because if Ellie Ross (our gal extraordinaire from Hour of Need) can do it... so can I, gosh darn it all...  I turned off the main breaker in the house, removed the old lighting and installed two vintage industrial lights I found at a salvage store and the larger, center island fixture I found online and had shipped speedy-fast-like to the cottage door.

Before I knew it, voice breaks became very, very busy... and also EXTREMELY dirty.  Tiny slate tiles replaced the old linoleum backsplash and because the cabinets, while old, were custom made and in good condition, I sanded the varnish (and years of GROSS) from the top cabinets...

and went hunting the paint recommended by the folks over at YOUNG HOUSE LOVE (I seriously want to live with them) but was, instead, guided toward a cabinet paint by Muralo in TIMID WHITE (how FABULOUS is that NAME for a white that is almost but not QUITE white... a slightly blushing softer white... in addition to living with the folks over at YOUNG HOUSE LOVE, I want to name paints when I grow up).

After purchasing bare wood cabinets found at a going out of business sale in town, I found sorta' matching trim to nail to the sanded old lower cabinets and then one snow day, I enlisted the weather-stranded Miss and we painted those lower cabinets BRIARWOOD... a lovely sagey-grey color.

(We didn't actually reattach the cabinet doors right away because in my excitement, I failed to note that my particular type of cabinet back needed special hinges... so for Christmas dinner, I just sort of... shoved them onto the base... causing several to clatter, embarrassingly to the floor in the middle of the festivities... sigh.)

I know... for some of you, the weird trim and the top cabinets in one color and the bottoms in another is entirely too much AHHHHH! but for ME, I wanted very much to make sure that my kitchen redo looked as if it had always been... rather than newly renovated... so the mismatchiness of the cabinets was just fine by me.

We enlisted some manly help (thank you manly PAUL...) to build the "butcher block" countertops (and in fairness, to cut the mitered edges of the trim and hang the cabinets too)... the counters are not, by the by, butcher block... do you know how EXPENSIVE ACTUAL butcher block is for the LOVE of the CHINESE YEN?!?!  THESE counters are made from clearance unfinished hardwood flooring that is glued and nailed to the old counters, cut out around the old cast iron sink, trimmed with hardwood planking and finished with FAMOWOOD GLAZE COAT.

For Christmas, we were given a gift card and used it to contribute to the purchase of our new gas range... HOOHOOTY!

I really completely and totally LUSTED after and desperately wanted a soapstone countertop for above the washer and dryer... (it has to be said that I was terribly UN fond of the washer and dryer in the kitchen UNTIL I realized the absolute practicality and convenience of having them there... now I'm willing to sacrifice VISION for EASE)... anyway... moving on... )

Soapstone, even a DIY slab is UBER pricey, and so, when, while googling "favorite movie kitchens", I learned that the "soapstone" counters in the movie "Something's Gotta Give" were really chalk PAINTED furniture grade PLYWOOD finished with wax!  OH MY GOSH... I just did THAT...

The Miss and I popped some hardware on the cabinets (my favorite is the FORK drawer pull on the silverware drawer) and VOILA... Zee NEW KITCHEN!  It isn't perfect... but then... neither are we... ;)

NOW... if only I could get that SILLY AMARYLLIS to BLOOM, darn it... BLOOM!


A little BEFORE and AFTER action...





The audiobook was released in the beginning of December and I didn't finish all the everythings in MY kitchen until March or so... but there it is... How Melinda Leigh inspired me to renovate my kitchen.

Next up... Summing Up Part DEUX... or the one where I kidnap the Miss and DRAG her to California.