Kitchen Counter Update

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.… Read the rest

So Lustrous!

I love Farrow and Ball. And, there is no other paint quite like it. I questioned it before, but now I know that it does stand apart from other brands, in a class of its own. It’s not just the color – although that’s pretty damn good too, but the quality – the looks and feels of it on a wall. And I am not the only one who noticed the difference – Sergey did too, which means it really does exist!… Read the rest

Lock, set, and ready

Wheeee. Sergey and I locked in our refinance rate. The clock is set and we’re ready to get this show over with. We have about six weeks until its all done, and in the meantime we have to get all of our documents together, paint away, and get whatever else done in the house that we can to best show it off. We will probably finish right around the same time three years ago when we signed up for this adventure.… Read the rest

Moldings Around Here

I love molding pieces – windows, doors, toe kicks – its true. The VIB came with a good deal of its original decorative woodwork. One of my favorites – the staircase panels. And then there are the door and window casing moldings from 1897.

Even back then they made things pretty standard, as we have been able to salvage a bunch of casing molding pieces that look just like ours from places like the now defunct Brass Knob Warehouse.… Read the rest

Constructions Days 118-121: Bits and Bobs

We are inching along here. I had made a list of everything that needs to be caulked in the kitchen – its actually quite lengthy. I guess I would rather do that than have contractors do less or more. The other big items are baseboards and the last molding pieces to frame the door to the basement. Those should look much better with a coat or two of paint.

But the biggest item over the last week has been plaster.… Read the rest

Construction Days 112-115: Birthday Edition

So we were really really hoping to be done with the renovation in time for Sergey’s birthday. We had even planned a get together for the occasion. you know convenient – celebrate birthday and the end of renovation projects. Well, we weren’t done – despite our contractors’ promises. But its very close – enough to give our guests a pretty good idea of what it is supposed to be.

All of the cabinet pulls (but two – above the fridge) are in.… Read the rest

Shelf Re-do

Ah so the saga of “move kitchen cabinets 4″ down” continues. Besides the dented and scratched counter (which will need an ink & seal touch up) there was also the problem with our shelf beneath the cabinets. That too, had to move down, otherwise I couldn’t use it for any soap or oil bottles.

We could have asked our contractors to do that, but decided that they *might* run away if we ask them to change or re-do one more thing.… Read the rest

Construction Days 108-111

Well the distance between the three recessed lights by the cabinets is fixed.

But the fourth light somehow ended up wildly off the mark. whyyyyyyyyyy?????? why can’t everything just happen right, as if by magic, the first time. see that piece of blue painters tape? that’s supposed to be the location of the fourth light. magic, i want magic!

But overall, we are slowly but surely getting there. As of this morning, this is what our kitchen ceiling looks like:

we have started to move into the kitchen, and its taking us a minute (more like days and days).… Read the rest

Construction days 105-107: too damn high

In every renovation, inevitably, mistakes happen. The worst though, is when you are close to done. Or when something has been there for weeks – months maybe – and you “just” notice it. Annnd it happened to us. We have started to use the kitchen just a bit– the new dishwasher was hooked up on Friday for us (works great!) So on Sunday I thought – hey why don’t I unload the dishwasher straight into our kitchen cabinets.… Read the rest

Construction Days 101-104

Slowly but surely we are making our way to completion. We lost one day of work (Tuesday) this week due to hurricane Sandy, mainly because driving conditions were terrible. Not much to show in terms of pictures – some electrical outlets, some moldings here and there. A bathroom door – hey cool!

Fluorescent lights (3′ and 2′ long) were installed in the recessed opening behind the bench. The plan is to place plexiglass over these in order to diffuse the light.… Read the rest

A Touch of Brass

I have been trying to take care of the small things as we go along in the renovation – like touch ups and finishing touches – because I figure once we declare this thing done, its going to be really difficult to get around to it. This one was super quick – 20 minutes for a touch of brass in the kitchen and half bath, but which make a difference to the eye.… Read the rest

Oiled, Waxed & Buffed

Well we have survived the frankenstorm that was Sandy, without flooding or loosing electricity. Hooray – three cheers! We also got to work from home, since all public transport was shut down in DC. More cheers! Which means that I got to oil, wax, and buff our beautiful island top during my lunch break. And its looking mighty good!

The steps were very simple, and the whole process – including gathering the materials – took just about 30 minutes.… Read the rest

Construction days 99-100(!)

Woot – there it is. 100 days. Mind you that’s working days, not counting weekends, a week-long break sometime in July or a break that we have between the end of phase I and start of phase II of this monster. renovation project. This weekend will mark exactly 6 months since we demolished the kitchen and began our camping adventure. I am ready to be done with that.I can’t say that I ever want to do it again, but I think counting the stress, dust, etc, we took it all in stride (hey, we are still married!)

Now on to progress of the last two days.… Read the rest