Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Monster That is My Kitchen is Slowly Being Defeated!

Things are starting to come together for the kitchen.  We finally got our design taken care of for the cabinets and we have pretty much decided the color for our counter tops.  DIY is hard work but in the end, I'm sure it will be worth it.  So, to recap... This is what our design is going to be:  cream-colored bead board (wainscoting) on the walls above the galley portion of the kitchen, open nutmeg-stained wooden shelving on those walls, nutmeg-colored Shaker cabinets down below, and moss-colored Corian-style countertops.  The floor and backsplash are going to be slate colored. 

I think Toddy is planning to make one of the counters butcher's block for me.  I LOVE that idea as cutting boards drive me nuts.  He is also planning to move our fridge to the end wall of the eat-in part of the kitchen and is putting a cabinet on either side of it so we will have 2 more counters--3, actually because there will be a counter where the fridge was.  A blessing in a galley-style kitchen, to be sure!  I can't believe how hard he is working to make this happen.  He told me that he wanted to get me a new kitchen for his retirement gift to me but I was a bit skeptical.  But, I shouldn't have been surprised--he's always been a man of his word.

The garden...We had hoped to start setting out some of our cold-weather seedlings such as cabbage, broccoli, kale and collard greens but it has been too cold and too wet.  We are going to use our little rototiller that attaches to the weed-whacker to try and "fluff" up the soiled we rototilled a few weeks ago.  It rained so much that the soil got packed down.  We're going to look into renting a piece of equipment that when you pull it behind the 4-wheeler, it creates rows.  I know there is some proper farm name for it but it slips my mind at the moment! 

Todd attended his first beekeeping class on Friday night and found that most of his fellow classmates were right around the same age as him.  He found the class very interesting and also found that he has a lot of reading material for the class.  We now have to plant some more "bee friendly" flowers in the yard to keep our little friends happy.  I already have a huge butterfly bush which always attracts a lot of bees but apparently, we need more.  So, we picked up a few seeds last night for some zinnias and cosmos and a few others.  If anyone knows where I can find seeds for "Bee Balm" please let me know.  Toddy's teacher told him that lavender is one of the best bee attracters out there but since my niece is allergic to it, probably not a good idea.  Send any bee flower ideas our way!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kitchen Demo continues...

Kitchen demo continues!  We finally got all of the upper cabinets down from the right side of the kitchen and now we are working on rebuilding and improving that space.  We went to Lowe's tonight to buy wainscoting to cover up the chainsaw--er, marks--on the wall and the paint to make it pretty.  Our walls are currently a taupe-ish color so we chose a light cream for the wainscoting.  The plan is to get new lower cabinets (Shaker style, in a nutmeg finish), new counter tops, wainscoting, and open wooden shelving like you'd see in old British kitchens. 

The benefit of open shelving means we can keep things better organized AND we'll have 3 shelves instead of the 2-shelved cabinets we had before so we'll increase our storage as well.  It's been awhile since I saw a pic of my "dream" kitchen in a coffee table book about the author Rosamunde Pilcher.  She's one of my favorites--she wrote "The Shell Seekers"--and I loved all the pics of Cornwall, England.

The next step is for Hubs to sand the wall and for me to paint the wainscoting before we put it up on the wall.  Then, we are waiting for our design/estimate from for our lower cabinets.  We basically sketched out and measured our kitchen and emailed them the info.  Within a day or so, the guy will send us a diagram of the new kitchen and an estimate.  These are real wood cabinets and they are the kind that have a "stopper" to keep the drawers/doors from slamming shut.  It takes about 2 weeks for you to get your cabinets and a 10' x 10' kitchen with everything from doors to handles runs about $1800-$2400--depending on the style of cabinetry you choose.  Once we get our new cabinets delivered, we are going to rent a machine that will strip all of the nasty old floor tile up for us (about $65 for a 1/2 day) and then we are going to lay the new floor tiles before putting in the cabinets.  The new tiles are called Vermont slate (fitting, to be sure!) and they will match the slate backsplash we chose from Lowe's to go below the wainscoting.

Toddy really wants to switch the sink and stove (they are across from each other in the galley part of our kitchen) and move the refrigerator over to the cabinet-less wall so we have more room for cabinetry.  We'll probably have to call in some reinforcements/professionals to assist.  We'll see we have enough time to complete all of this before the family arrives for Toddy's retirement party!