Friday, July 31, 2009

Kitchen: Day 26 continued. . .the tile.

I came home after dark last night to see the kitchen light on and all the equipment still there. I thought . . . oh dear, is he still here working? Did something bad happen?

He wasn't there . . . but the tile was:

Lookin' pretty good if I say so myself.

Parking in DC. . . or other cities

I found another amazing site that makes my life easier.

One thing I don't like about DC is driving here. It's a huge pain. Streets change traffic patterns depending on the time, street parking is limited for rush hours and well. . .there's that pesky motorcade I continuously run into (two mornings in a row this week!).

It's so much easier just to toss your car in a garage and walk away. But, then you walk two blocks and see the next garage was half the price. Don't you hate that?

My new fave site: Washington, DC Best Parking.

It tells you all the rates for the garages where you are going. Genius! Oh, and they have it for other cities too!

Again, you're welcome.

*This is not a sponsored post. . .just sharing the love.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Psst. . . I have something to share

While reading one of my fave trashy site ( I saw a banner for "Pronto Home". Intrigued, I clicked. Then, I gasped. It's a site that compiles all the stuff from other sites. Good one. Like pottery-barn, and Tarjey. So, instead of doing what I do and say go to every online site that you can possibly think of looking for the perfect white dinnerware with that ever-so lovely footed teacup, you can search all right there. One place, of all places.

You're welcome.

*this is not a sponsored post.

Kitchen: Days 24-26

Days 24 & 25:


Day 26:


First, going to a concert on a weeknight when expecting a contractor at 7am is not a good idea. He (or she!) will ask you lots of hard (read: annoying) questions that will make you angry and growly.

I had no idea going over subway tile would be so intense. After about 45 minutes I think we had all the details worked out. 15 minutes into the seemingly nonsensical questioning my mind had almost exploded.

There is also a lighting incident going on. The back flood light is still on. So last night (after said concert) I opened the electrical panel and went for one of the kitchen switches . . . lucky 13. Presto - light went off. Aha! Now, I know where it is coming from. So, after a long and ear rattling discussion this morning, it was concluded the light must have been (before I changed the light fixture last summer) a motion detector light that was directly powered with no switch. Hopefully, they will put in a switch tomorrow and we'll get a functioning back light out of this whole deal!

Since the tile work is being done today, I should have some photos to share tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things to come. . .on the house!

DC Rowhouse will be hosting a fiery giveaway next week.

Any guesses?

Stay Tuned. . .

Toeing the line

Well, it's back to regular business with my toe. No break. The bone in the big toe is apparently pretty hardy. Either way, my foot is not so happy. Though, the "chore" of icing it and staying still is certainly an easy thing to accomplish.

Back to painting and priming, and taping, and painting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kitchen: Day 23

With both china cabinets assembled, it's time for the unveiling. I think I'm going to line the top with baskets (my antique crate is up there now). What do you think?

*not the best picture in the world, but the best I could do for now.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kitchen: Days 20-22

On Friday, I finally removed the plastic from the appliances. It was time. Though, I may have broken my big toe in the process. . . more on that later.

Saturday and Sunday I painted the crown molding and the shelves. I built the second china cabinet and even started filling the cabinets with all our stuff. I also got paint on the couch. Apparently I had a little dab of paint on my behind and then I sat on the couch. Google says paint thinner will remove it - I don't know if I believe Google on that.

I didn't get as much done as I wanted (what's new!) but I did use the stove this weekend for the first time (it ruled). As for the toe. . . I wasn't so concerned about it, but the husband was. Then, I did what everyone does and I Googled it (not a good idea) then called my mom (good idea). Both were also concerned. Now, I'm off to the doc. So, the least strenuous renovating activity may have induced the largest injury yet. Super.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Giveaway Winner for Bliss Living Home Pillow

Congrats to Zoe! I hope you enjoy the pillow!

kitchen: Day 19

The joys of running (and draining) water! We have a sink, AND a dishwasher, AND a stove, which means we essentially have the kitchen back.

I ran the dishwasher and could not hear it. I literally had to press my ear against it to tell if it was on. This is a huge difference from the old one which sounded like we hired a toddler pots and pans band every time we turned it on.

Lots of painting to do this weekend. But, the kitchen is not that big so it should go fast.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kitchen: Day 18

The granite came! Certainly the most dramatic addition in the last week. It took two and a half hours for them to install it and they did a great job. The smell however. . .oh my! I don't know if it was the glue, or sealer, or what, but it smelled like nail polish remover. I may have gotten high . . . but I certainly had a headache.

A sneak peek of things to come:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kitchen: Days 16-17

No progress. I would like to say I came home from work and painted and organized etc. But, I didn't. This whole renovation thing is stressful and it uses all your energy.

The granite comes TODAY! So, tomorrow's update will have some good pics.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kitchen: Day 15

I allowed myself to sleep in, because frankly I didn't have too much on the agenda. While I had high hopes for painting and assembling, cleaning took precedence. Although I had taken time to sweep, there was construction dust under the cabinets, boxes to be organized and oodles of trash to dispose off. Four large black trash bags were full by the time I had finished.

The good and bad part of having the new shiny dark wood flooring is it's ability to draw you to the dust and debris upon it. A drop of water can make a mark you can see when your eyes skim the floor from across the room. It certainly forces me to keep up with the swifter if nothing else.

The granite folks are coming by to install on Wednesday and the kitchen contractor returns on Thursday morning to hook up the sink, dishwasher, and continue with the other tasks.

I can't wait until I have a sink and dishwasher again. We gave up in paper plates as we ran out and just didn't have it in us to get more. So, washing the plates in the bathroom sink began. Not as easy as one may have thought it would be. Just a few more days of it left. . . we hope!

Lovely Things

This weekend, I almost exploded thinking about all the money we've spent lately on the kitchen and how that means not buying new things for a while. So, I made of list on amazon of things to buy in the future, as well as some of the things I adore for the kitchen. You can check it out on the right hand side of the page.

What are some things you love in your kitchen?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kitchen: Day 14

The third Saturday without a kitchen. The third Saturday of waking up before 7am.

We had a lot on the agenda today and needed to start early. I had scheduled a zipcar for 7:30am to haul the demolition trash (counters, pipes) to the Fort Totten Transfer Station. So, by 8am we were loading up the Honda Element and heading out on the road. If you haven't been to the Fort Totten trash station, it is nothing to fear -- other than the smell. As far as I can tell, it doesn't have an address so you need to follow the directions. Someone will great you prior to the entrance to ask what you have and check your DC driver's license. After that, you head to the proper place, throw your trash in the correct bin and you're on your way. While I heard you can wait a while in line, we went early and there was one in front of us.

I headed back to the house and dropped Dan off so he could meet the granite people who were coming to measure. Then, I headed to IKEA for the Seize the Day sale. Because, the china cabinets I wanted were 50% off!! I figured I would head their early and it wouldn't be a problem. I was wrong! Very, very wrong. There were tickets, lines, crowds, mania! The store opened at 10am and by 10:20am I was loading my two cabinets into the car. Thankfully only one other person was near the cabinets I wanted because there were only 8 or so in stock. I was happy to get them at such a great price! They don't seem to be on the website anymore, so it looks as though they might be discontinued. Since they were the only cabinet I found to fit the space I needed, this was a lucky break.

Back at the house I unloaded the cabinets and hopped back into the car to head to Home Depot, thinking the whole time I have no desire to be at a hardware store or IKEA again anytime soon. I got what I needed and headed home again to put a cabinet together. Two hours later. . . one cabinet was done. . .and so was I. At least for that day.

Kitchen: Day 13

True to form, Day 13 provided no progress. Stupid 13. Since the base cabinets were set the day before the kitchen guys won't be back until the granite is set.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Giveaway: Blissliving Home Pillow!

Isn't this linen pillow lovely with it's embroidered brown tiles?
Wouldn't you like to have it?

You CAN! Thanks to our generous sponsor Simply Desks, I'm giving this 12 x20 Blissliving Home Tangiers Brown Pillow away to one lucky reader. If you are in the market for a new desk check out their great selection.

Leave a comment on this post by Midnight on Thursday July 23rd. I'll choose the winner at random and annouce it here on Friday July 24th!!

Kitchen: Day 12

The base cabinets were set, and the granite people come Saturday. The plumbing problem set me back two days, which is not as bad as I expected.

Looks like I cannot put a door on the small cabinet next to the stove for various reasons, which is fine. I had to come home early yesterday because I forgot to unlock the gate and my kitchen guy couldn't leave through the front door since he didn't have a key to lock up behind him. I was beyond annoyed about it . . . so was he. So, when I saw the little cabinet I said my inside conversation outside:

Me: Um...what am I suppose to do with that? I can't put wine in there since it's right next to the stove.

Kitchen guy: Put mail in there?

Me: No.

Kitchen guy: Some people put little figurines in there?

Me: Do I look like the type of person who collects figurines and displays them in tiny cabinets?

Kitchen guy: No. No you don't.

Me: I'll figure it out.

So, yeah, a little testy. I also hope he didn't go home and dust his shelf of tiny figurines cursing my name.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kitchen: Day 11 . . .more plumbing work

There were two problems with the water main valve: It would not turn properly, and we could not locate the street site to shut it off from there. I found all my neighbors though.. . . yay? I waited for the plumber to show up and fretted about how much this was going to cost. His phone estimate was $450. Yikes. But, isn't it always just a little more than they say on the phone?

Once he showed up he went right to work. Turns out the knob was the problem and in 10 minutes he had the water off. So, it was only $150 for the service call. That made my morning a little more pleasant, but I'm still grumpy about the delay. I hope I can get the kitchen guys back ASAP so we can get things rolling again.

It was all going too easy. . .wasn't it?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kitchen: Day 10

I was ready by 7am. Because I am good like that. At 7:20am my contractor called to say they were running behind. No biggie. But, I had to hang around until 9:15 while he wrote up all the changes we had discussed so I could sign off. Still OK. Just as I was leaving he asked where the water main shut off was. I had do idea. We searched, and searched. I frantically got in contact with my tenant so we could look in his place. Thankfully it was in there. But, we couldn't get the valve to close. Which means, no sink plumbing could be moved, the lower cabinets could not be set and I had to move my granite people. In other words, project halted until I can get a plumber out there to fix it. Grrrrr.

I finally found a plumber who could come out Wednesday morning. Let's hope he can fix it. I'm sure it won't be cheap. It also means another day of having to be in the tenants place, which just feels invasive -- but it has to be done.

I came home and was not too impressed with the work that had been done. I guess I was hoping more would be accomplished, though I know a lot of time was spent trying to find the water main.

Lastly, we have been trying to find the switch for the flood light in the backyard. I came home today and it's on. Now I can't turn it off.

Here are today's pics (see the kitteh?):

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kitchen: Day 9 - the cabinets start!

Another morning greeting contractors at 7am. I have to say, I was a little more nervous about this one. There are a lot of moving parts in putting this kitchen together and I need to articulate every one of them . . . at 7am. They showed up on time and seemed ready to go. I was not. A little groggy and a little under-primped, I did my best to review all the pieces for the next hour.

Then, I left them to do what they needed to do and went to the office.

I came home and was pleasantly surprised to see this:

But, there was still plenty of boxes. . .

Tomorrow should show great things!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kitchen: Day 7 & 8

The good news was that all our deliveries were coming before noon, leaving the later half of the day for running errands. The bad news was they were starting at 8:30am, which meant I had to get up early. But, in doing so, I took a better picture of the floor:

I also worked on cleaning up the front yard and considering it took 3 hours, it was a good project to do while I waited. . . and waited.

The cabinets arrived first (this only shows about 1/3 of the boxes):

Then, the appliances:

Having a fridge again has taken a little stress off since I don't have to head to the store everyday for groceries and ice. The new floors made the delivery a little anxiety provoking though as I waited for one false move and a huge scratch to ruin my week.

After all the deliveries we headed out to Lowes to buy the tiles, crown moulding, shelving materials, and some electrical fixtures. By the time we came back to the house and settled in I was exhausted.

Sunday I had a lot to accomplish so I headed out for Home Depot at 8am to pick up some mulch, flowers, paint, and a miter saw to finish the baseboards. Dan mowed the yard and we cleaned up the deck and patio which had been covered in saw dust from all the demo and floor work. We finally moved some furniture back into the living room which made it seem a little more "normal" on the first floor again.

After a few more errands, the weekend was over. . .and Monday was upon us. The cabinet guys were coming and the real work was to begin.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kitchen: Day 6

After three days the floors would finally be completed today. The guys showed up around 7am and told me they would be done by 1pm or so. I had to run home from work at lunch to approve the floors and give them the final check. With my seal of approval...the floors were finished.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kitchen: Day 5

When I greeted the floor guys in the morning they informed me they would stain the floor by the end of the day, would put the finish on Wednesday. It was pretty satisfying to know that my floors would have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to set before the delivery of the appliances and cabinets came on Saturday.

I came home to a pungent smell and lovely stained floors, though still rough without the polyurethane on them.

It was hard to get a photo that showed the floor without being too dark due to the flash. Here is the one that showed the floor the best:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kitchen: Day 4

The more I thought about Monday's activities on Sunday night, the more panicked I became. Not only was I sick, but I had floor guys showing up between 7 -8am and a plumber coming between 9-11am. Had I scheduled them too close, would this cause a problem? Could I get out of bed and deal with all of this? Since I know all the ins and outs of the project I was the one who needed to tell them exactly what to do and be around to answer questions they had.

When the morning came and my alarm rang at 6:20, I was not pleased. I gingerly got ready and felt relatively OK. I sat in a chair downstairs beginning at 7am and waited for them to arrive as I checked all my e-mails and browsed trashy celebrity gossip sites. At 7:20 the truck pulled up outside. The two guys came in and we talked about the project and went over the little details. I explained to them that the plumber was coming (maybe as soon as 9am) to move the gas line so if they need to work in there beforehand, to start there.

Soon after they arrived they began smashing and removing the ceramic tile in the kitchen. I have never before heard a sound so loud. I huddled in bed as the sounds rattled the house. I can only imagine how mad the neighbors were. At 8:58am, the plumber and his apprentice showed. They floor guys had just finished removing the tile and it all seemed to be working out. The plumber took 3 hours to move the gas line. Not because he had been working for 3 hours. Because he had to run back to the shop and get a piece he forgot. But, in the meantime, the floor guys worked on the fireplace surround and everything seemed to be on track.

By 3pm, the flooring guys were packing up and a good deal of work had been accomplished for the day.

Here are some pics:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kitchen: Day 3

Saturday night we finished packing up the odds and ends to move upstairs. I reluctantly agreed to head out to dinner (instead of ordering pizza) and we left the house around 8:30 to grad a bite and catch the tail end of the fireworks. Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore stomach and rested on the couch for a few hours before we began hauling the rest of the furniture upstairs. My sore stomach turned into a full blown stomach bug which was not a pretty experience. Moving furniture while feeling deathly ill did not make for a pleasant Sunday. But, we got it done.

Kitchen: Day 2

After a long day on Friday we headed out to dinner and stayed out a little too late. Waking up on Saturday morning was not joyful. My friend Matt had offered to come over in the morning to help us take off the tile counter so I wanted to make sure to move all the cabinets out by 9am. I woke up at 8am and Dan and I started hauling the cabinets onto the tarp in the back yard. They really were not that heavy but they are large and hard to move down the stairs. Here are some photos from the day:

8:30am: unhooking the sink

As I was unhooking the sink Dan ran out to get some ice for the cooler. It only took me about 15 minutes to take out the plumbing. When he came back I told him the sink was now out of commission. Five minutes later I heard water gushing in the kitchen. Dan had dumped all the water from the cooler into the sink. Habit is hard to break. While it wasn't funny at the time, it's pretty funny now. After he cleaned up the water. . . he dumped the old tonic water down the sink too. Oh my.

9:30am: lifting out the sink (to make sure Dan couldn't pour water in there anymore)

12:00pm: Matt and Dan looking over the empty kitchen after everything was removed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Kitchen: Day 1

Here you go: Day 1 in all it's glory! It will mainly be photos for a while until I can muster the strength to digest all that is happening and fill you in on it.

After 11 hours, we stopped for the day. I was extremely tired, but overall it was pretty smooth. Our contractor came alone Friday morning and mentioned his crew had all taken the time off for the fourth but he still wanted to come and get the appliances for us. I watched as he single-handedly muscled them all out the door and somehow got the fridge up and into his truck. I have no idea how that happened.

Here are some photos of the day:

7:30am: the kitchen "before"

8:30am: after the appliances were removed

9:30am: getting some breakfast before at Eastern Market before embarking on the day

10:30am: at IKEA buying the cabinets

11:00am: There they are! All 88 cabinet pieces!

2pm: Finishing taking down the stove hood and the upper cabinets:

6pm: Day 1 complete

Thursday, July 2, 2009

There is something very wrong about this

Two brothers (21 and 24) own an amazing house in NW. Check it out here.

Wake up and smell the appliances?

I've spent last weekend cleaning, organizing, and clearing out the kitchen cabinets. We'll wrap that party tonight. Tomorrow is a big day. They take away my precious hateful appliances. I checked with the contractor on the time he would arrive. His response: between 7 and 8am.

While on the one hand I am thankful for getting it out of the way early, I am also not looking forward to jolting out of bed at 6am to frantically shove my A-1 sauce and frozen blueberries into a cooler before they take my fridge away.

I have the same feeling now as I did before I would run a road race. It's a combination of adrenaline, butterflies, and terror. You know it will be hard, hope it will be fun, and pray it will be rewarding.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Choose your own adventure: Kitchen Renovation

This weekend, I wandered into the Restoration Hardware outlet and found myself appalled. All the nice pretty things were bent, dented and horrible to look at. Which is how I feel about renovating sometimes. The in-between is not always the best as keeping your spirits up. So, how often do you want to see the stages of the kitchen renovation?

Kitchen Renovation Updates
Just the before and after
Before and after with some sneak peeks along the way
Updates on the major steps
Twice a week updates
Everyday updates! free polls

Injuries Obtained

  • Sprained Toe/Foot: 1
  • Blood Blisters: 2
  • Splinters under fingernail: 1
  • Bird Shit on me: 1
  • Eye Injuries: 3
  • Burns: 0
  • Falls off ladder: 0 (this is because we don't have a ladder yet)
  • Headaches: too many to itemize
  • Broken Bones: 0
  • Bandages Needed: 5
  • Electric Shocks: 2
  • Stiches: 0
  • Bruises: way too many