Before and After: Kitchen

By Jenia
Category: VIB Chronicles

Long overdue. But better late than never, right? The space is not 100% complete, but it looks fantastically close to being done. The one thing we never got to was painting the french doors. I wanted black frames. But there is so much prep work required and so much room for error I decided to put off until we were back from our adventure. So three cheers to how far we have come! (and future success).




Resources in case you’re interested:

  • Heated floor mats: Thermasoft
  • Floor tiles: Luxetile
  • Paint: Farrow and Ball Cornforth White on the plaster walls; Whitewash on the brick; Benjamin Moore Advance Cloud White – moldings and door.
  • Ceiling tin tiles: tiles salvaged from now defunct brass knob warehouse, cornice from
  • Cabinets: Ikea Applad
  • Hardware: Liberty Artesia line in Sedona Bronze
  • Countertops: Ikea butcher block stained with India ink and sealed
  • Island countertop and under-cabinet shelves: reclaimed wood form the original joists that used to support our house
  • Dishwasher: Whirlpool for Ikea
  • Refrigerator: Fischer Pykel
  • Vent Hood: KOBE Insert range hood 700 CFM*
  • Microwave: Whirlpool 0.5 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven
  • Faucet:  Vintage (by the way of now defunct Brassknob warehouse)
  • Sink: Blanco Precis
  • Over-the-island Lights:  West Elm
  • Bench: Custom design and build
  • French Doors: Weathershield
  • Powder room and Basement Doors/ Hinges/ Lock set & handle: Community Forklift for the first two, Loading Dock

* I would not recommend the venthood that we got. It functions beautifully, and i love that it is an insert. But it is very loud.  Next time, I will spend the extra to get a quieter fan.

Kitchen Counter Update

By Jenia
Category: VIB Chronicles

Sooooo — we had have these beautiful countertops in the kitchen. Originally butcher block from Ikea, we stained them jet black with ink and then invested a lot of time getting them sealed. I had done a lot of research and apparently quite a few people out there have a luck with Waterlox, which is great to use because it is food-grade safe. But bad news for us, I probably didn’t do a great job sealing them. I don’t know – maybe I was sanding too much between coats? All I know is that I did about 9 or 10 layers and less than a year in we were getting splotches.Plus every time I would clean the counter I could tell some ink was coming off, which meant that the seal wasn’t working that great.

Since we have tenants moving in, we want to get everything in tip top shape, and that would include the counters in particular (no need for new kitchen to fall apart). I did a little digging in the basement and found a varnish that is used for bar tops. It might not be food safe, but that should most definitely be plenty water proof. And I don’t ever use the counter directly for food prep, so we are good on that front.

I stained the little bits that were getting splotchy with the same ink, and sealed this puppy up. So.much.easier than waterlox done in under 5 minutes. Also, instead of brush I used an old pantyhose, and it worked beautifully. And just six hours of drying time instead of 24. And all that’s needed is 3 coats. (I am going to do 4 just to be on the safe side.) I love how nice and shiny it is now. And hopefully it will stay this way for a good long time.

Over and out. Next up, kitchen before and after reveal.

Closing up shop

By Jenia

This is it. Our last week at the VIB for a good long while. To go out on a good note, I have a few fun updates on the kitchen. And one of those is not even an update, but a whole big before and after!!! Yep, I am finally going to do it. But before we get to those bits an update on the tag sale. Huge Success!

We actually ended up being at it for two days. I am not sure if any of you blog readers came out, but we had very good turn out, we sold a bunch of stuff, and made almost $200 almost $400 (new count!) — and that’s when we weren’t really selling furniture, but just small bits and pieces collected over 7 years in D.C.

A note on getting the word out about the sale. We did an announcement on the blog, neighborhood listserve, craigslist, facebook, and twitter. But you know what worked best?!

Actual on the ground advertisement. We took some chalk to the sidewalk all over the neighborhood, and most people who came by were like, we saw the arrows for the tag sale and decided to check it out. So word to the wise:

Chalk it up!!!