2:32 p.m. — Friday, August 5, 2005
Oops. So I guess the little Ranch Web site hasn't been updated for a while. But that doesn't mean we haven't been hard at work!
One of our major recent accomplishments? Ordering our kitchen cabinets! Yes, in two to three weeks, we will be the proud owners (and installers) of these beautiful American Woodmark CHERRY cabinets:
I posted this very same picture way back in April amid my dream kitchen rant, never figuring we'd actually be purchasing this very same kitchen.
With a very different layout, of course.
After many, many redesigns of our kitchen (seriously...many...maybe I'll post all the sketches some time) and going back and forth about every possible arrangement, we finally decided on a PENINSULA. After all, that's what the kitchen was designed for. We took our measurements to Home Depot and after a few hours of working with the wonderful Kitchen Designer recommended to us by our neighbors across the street, we had what we thought was finally going to be our dream kitchen.
Well, we were mistaken. After arriving home with our plans in hand and smiles on our faces, we took another look around the kitchen at some things we hadn't quite realized at Home Depot. The kitchen was originally designed for a peninsula with a CORNER sink (if you look at the blueprints), so that's where Roland plumbed the sink. On the CORNER.
And we in turn placed electrical outlets and switches over the counter away from the CORNER sink, which places them DIRECTLY behind the faucet in the redesign above.
So OK, once again our kitchen design plans weren't going to work. We went to bed a little frustrated that we had to redesign the kitchen's layout yet again, but woke up feeling optimistic that we'd get it all worked out.
Our Home Depot kitchen designer was similarly optimistic. He quickly moved cabinets around in his nifty little program and showed us how much cabinet space we'd be losing if we did indeed plan our peninsula kitchen with a corner sink.
So he suggested we go with an island design. I promise you this was NOT my suggestion! He thought of it on his own and I only happily agreed =) Sure we knew the placement of the electrical boxes in the ceiling for the intended peninsula pendants would have to be moved or finagled somewhat, but that's a lot better than moving a bank of three switches & a set of outlets and re-running the plumbing to the kitchen sink from the basement to accommodate the non-corner-sink peninsula design from the night before.
Funny how "hard" work can become "not so bad" when compared to something else... ;)
So onward we trudged towards a new kitchen layout — the one I had been pining after all along— and FOUR short hours later (I kid you not), we were looking at the design of what would actually in all reality finally be our new dream kitchen.
Here are a few more views:
You can also view our complete Kitchen Cabinets set at Flickr.
So we're very excited that a wonderful new kitchen will finally be a reality for us. We are both taking off a week of work to install the cabinets, and we've already received word that we may have a few helpers for a couple of days. We are very much looking forward to that.
11:38 p.m. — Tuesday, August 9,
So you think you've got a lot to do? Well, last month — in preparation for a workday that never quite happened — we put together a list of everything left to do on the house. Yes, EVERYthing.
This was by far the largest to-do list we've made since starting work on the house. We're both big fans of lists, but usually we keep them restrained to the tasks at hand, such as "Take out the garbage, do the dishes, make the bed, tile the bathroom, trim the hallway..." and so on.
But we're feeling pretty good, and in the grand scheme of things, we really don't feel like we have so much left to do. Especially in comparison it to what we've already accomplished. It's funny listening to people talking about what a huge chore such and such a project is, when we usually have three of those such projects happening at home as they speak. Wasn't I just talking about hard work not looking so hard when compared to something even harder?? I just nod and smile.
So to inspire ourselves to finish (and to inspire everyone else to come help—*wink, wink*), we've made THE LIST.
We will continue to update this list and cross off items as we go.
Feel free to leave comments — especially if your comments pertain
to certain projects on the list that you feel inspired tackle yourself...we
won't stand in your way ;)
1:23 p.m. — Wednesday, August 17,
At the moment, Ryan is in the kitchen installing our new kitchen cabinets. They arrived bright and early Monday morning before either of us left for work, so we stood around grinning like fools, watching as they were brought in. It's left quite an impression on our newly-decluttered kitchen, as well.
After a supplies run to Home Depot Monday night, Ryan installed one cabinet before bed. This is Ryan we're talking about here, so of course he wanted to start as soon as possible.
First, he drew the upper and lower cabinet lines on the walls (disregarding the fun chalk line maker I had just purchased).
He intersected them with another set of lines marking the studs. Then, he screwed a couple screws into the wall on the upper cabinet line, which he would use to rest the upper cabinet on once he got it propped against the wall.
That made his assistant's job much easier ;) My boy, always thinking, he is...
Meanwhile, I was off investigating the cabinets and resisting the urge to rip open all the boxes like it was Christmas come early (they're much harder to move around and sort through once they're opened), but we took a close look at our pull-out spice drawer.
Ooooh very nice. And duckie approves.
We discovered that the framing in this corner behind the cabinet must be a little weird, because the studs didn't seem to run all the way to the ceiling. (Studs were behind the screws in the bottom half of the cabinet, as they should have been, but not behind the screws on the top half of the cabinet, directly above with the lower.) This caused a little irritation for Ryan, who did not want to put more holes than necessary in our new cabinets.
Tonight, after a trip to the mall for a new cell phone belt clip and a walk around Wal-Mart to try to spend a gift card (thanks, Seth!), Ryan got to putting in more cabinets. This time, he got two more in before calling it quits.
Getting these three upper cabinets level and lined up took some finagling and shimming, but it's perfect as far as I can see, which is excellent because the rest will be hung off either side of these. It seems Ryan's days working at the kitchen shop (and learning so much during construction) are really paying off!
I'm such a lucky girl...dream kitchen, hot handyman...
2:00 p.m. — Thursday, August 18,
We haven't posted a photo of the front of our house since the winter, so we figured it was about time for an update. Enjoy!
12:09 p.m. — Friday, August 19,
Is there a way to stain grout on a tile floor that has not yet been sealed? Will it stain the tile, as well??
Here's a picture of the tile we put in our 1/2 bath downstairs:
It looks beautiful next to the newly-refinished hardwood floors (more on that later). These are 2"x2" hex tiles on 12"x12" sheets from Home Depot at about $1.50/sq ft...not too bad considering our powder room is only 5'x5'.
We meant for the grout to be dark gray, to contrast nicely with the light tiles and highlight the tile variation. But the grout ended up drying much lighter than it should have. Now the whole floor looks like a sea of beige.
Here's the before:
Here's the after:
See what I mean?
I went to a tile store and they showed me this bottle of stain that cost about $40 (almost as much as the tile itself). They didn't have the right color in stock, so that gave me some time to think about it. On the one hand, I wouldn't have to seal the floor after using that product, since it was epoxy-based, but on the other, I worry that it might stain the tiles in the process, which would REALLY be bad.
Has anyone ever had experience staining grout? Is this a good solution, or is there another? Any ideas would be appreciated. Either shoot me an e-mail (leah @ raisetheranch.com - without the spaces) or leave a thought in the guestbook: