Posts Tagged 'knobs and pulls'

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kitchen

Soooooooo much has happened since my last post I’m not even sure where to begin. Nothing happened on Wednesday except for frequent visits to admire the counters. Then on Thursday everything began to happen.

running waterThe day dawned early with the plumbers there before 8 am. I was lucky I was ready for them because I’d slept late that day. If they’d been any earlier or I’d slept longer, I might have had to leave them idling on the sidewalk. They began attaching water to the sink and refrigerator, and gas to the stove, and setting up the faucet!!! RUNNING WATER!!!!! I was so excited I took pictures of water coming out of the faucet. 🙂 I’ll say now, although I only realized it much later, that my husband and I are going to need Remedial Kitchen Appliances 101. I couldn’t understand the faucet – how it worked, why there seem to be 2 on/off levers – without assistance from the contractor. Not only did we now have running water in the kitchen sink, but the dishwasher migrated back to the kitchen, away from the refrigerator, so once again there was a wide-open doorway. *grin* It’s those little things that make life so much more comfortable.

IMG_9219.jpgTom came by soon after the plumbers to begin hooking up appliances, installing hardware and all sorts of other “putting things right”. I love love LOVE my cabinet knobs and pulls. That day’s big decision was where to situate the knobs on the various cabinets. I have no experience in this – I’ve never had a new cabinet without some sort of knob or pull. I started the morning thinking that every knob had to be situated in the exact same position on every cabinet. Tom assured me that these were my cabinets and I could do what I wanted. It’s very hard for me to visualize some of these smaller details. I went across the street to see if my neighbor Stephanie was home. She is an artist and has a great eye for placement (we both garden and I often check with her about placement of perennials). IMG_9229Luckily for me she was available and came back to look. She agreed with Tom that I could place the knobs in different areas on different cabinets, depending on where it felt natural to me to open the cabinet. She said it would look fine. Then she did something I would NEVER have considered: she rotated the knobs 90 degrees. Oh. Em. Gee. I LOVED that look. Not only did it give more space between adjoining knobs, but the new angle worked so much better with the tall slender cabinets. We did all of the knobs at that angle with the exception of the 2 roll-out spice cabinets, where a horizontal placement was better (and thanks to Tom for suggesting that). The knobs and pulls are worth every single penny. They are, I believe, hand-made for Schaub and Company: Solid Brass Knob with Violet Oyster, Tiger Penshell and Yellow Mother of Pearl inlays on Antique Brass Finish. IMG_9228 The pulls were a bit larger than I was expecting but that worked out beautifully as well. 🙂 SO HAPPY!!!!

Tom also patched the various holes in the walls and ceilings, left by the knob & tube electrical adventures. He hooked up the refrigerator using an extension cord (since the electricians had not yet been here, there was no outlet for the refrigerator yet). He put in the piece joining the breakfast room floor to the bathroom floor (I thought those were called thresholds but according to my latest internet search they are called “transition strips’). Tom gave me my first class in Remedial Kitchen Appliances by helping explain the faucet, IMG_9222and giving me an overview of the refrigerator. We’ve never had a refrigerator that made ice or dispensed water and ice from the door. So much to learn. He suggested that we run at least a gallon or 2 of water through the door before drinking it and to dump the first few ice bins as well, to clear the lines.

By the end of Thursday, we had running water in the HUGE kitchen sink, a working refrigerator (it worked – just plugged in a temporary spot), patched walls and ceilings and the majority of the cabinets had knobs and pulls! A VERY exciting day!
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knobs and pulls installed

Decisions and a Rare Sighting

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IMG_9072We made a decision about the knobs and pulls for the cabinets. I’m NOT sharing that decision. You’ll have to wait for the pictures. 🙂 I must credit my husband for coming up with a solution to my dilemma. I was stuck on our first thoughts about the hardware, but he changed around our planned approach. I think it will look great.

Big excitement this morning! WC not only showed up meowing for breakfast, but she stuck around to PLAY!!!! While GC continued chowing down, BC and WC chased toys down the hall. I’d love to have a photo of that to show you but I had no idea the illusive WC was going to show. Our poor little WC – here she is, finally adjusting to the new living arrangement after 12 weeks, and I figure there is only maybe another 3-4 weeks before we open the door. IMG_9075ANOTHER CHANGE!!! WC does not do change well.

I paid off the balance on all the appliances yesterday. In doing so, I wiped out the rest of the renovation fund. 🙂 Of course, there are still bills coming in. Time to find another rainbow with a pot of gold.

This week we are expecting the electrician and maybe the plumber to come in and do some work. I think that the electrician will be installing the under-cabinet lights and outlets. IMG_9071The plumber might be doing the radiators, I’m not really sure. We’re expecting the bistro table to arrive on Thursday, and also the appliances to be delivered on Thursday. Still no word about when the counter might arrive. I picked up some slate cleaner and sealer so I can start seeing which tiles I want in the front hall. I need to try cleaning what is there, and then test the sealer on the new tiles I am NOT planning to use. I’m hoping those 2 activities will help me choose which tiles I should select to replace the old tiles with holes from the radiator.

By the end of this week, the kitchen may have a very different appearance. 🙂

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Oy

The expensive cabinet knob sample arrived today. It is sensational. Yes, we will be ordering 24 of them. I will need to find pulls that match. And that do NOT cost $70 a pull. The knobs are stunning. Perfect. I knew they would be. Sigh.
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Rethinking the Hardware

IMG_9048Four of the sample knobs have arrived. While I really like 2 of them, I don’t like them for my kitchen. There is still one more sample due from my first batch of samples, and it’s possible that one will be okay. But I think that as much as I like the 2 stone ones in the bronze setting, they will “argue” with the pattern of the counter. I may end up having to wait for the counters to be installed before I can make a decision.

brittanicca goldOn the one hand I think it’s a bit silly to be obsessing about the knobs. On the other hand, for what I’m spending on this kitchen, and for how much time we (and our friends) spend in the kitchen, I want everything that I see to be pleasing to the eye. I don’t want to look at something and think “I could have done that better”.

1st choice knobAnd so I went and ordered a sample of the $70 knob. That knob is actually $86 on other sites, but the place I found it has it on SALE!!! Right. As I look at it I think that I would not want all 35 cabinets and drawers to use that knob anyway. We’ll see if it looks as good when it gets here. If it does, and I still love it, I will hunt for a pull that will work with it. I’m hoping I can find a suitable pull for under $70. 🙂

I’m also rethinking the tiles for the front hall. I’ve already received 2 different boxes of slate, neither of which really matches what is there now. I sent off 2 emails today to see if I could get a reasonably-sized order of some gorgeous copper red slate. The problems there are cost, size of the tiles, and the fact that when you see something in the light of day, it does not always look as good as it did on the website.

Lots of Progress

I have a room that is beginning to look a lot like a kitchen! It’s been a very productive week. On Monday they came and measured for the counters. A friend had suggested that maybe we’d want the bay window seat in the breakfast room to have the same top as the counters. IMG_9044I suspect it will (1) cost too much and (2) make the window seat too heavy to move to get to the radiator underneath, but we did have it measured and we’ll wait for a quote. We don’t have to move that window seat all that often, so if there is sufficient material left from the slab being used for everything else, and if the quote isn’t exorbitant, it may be our next change order. *grin* I’ve had a lot of them. We did get word later in the week that it will be longer than a week to get the counters made. Apparently they are back-ordered, and they ship from Minnesota. There will be a delay of 2-3 weeks for the counters.

My husband feels very strongly about the seam in the counter, as in he does not want any seam. 🙂 We all agreed that we would shift the sink over if it meant getting rid of a seam. IMG_9041We already broke with the concepts of symmetry and centering with the sink anyway. It “should” be centered with the bay window above it but that didn’t leave me sufficient space to the left of the sink for a dish drainer. 🙂 Although we ARE very concerned with the appearance of this kitchen, ultimately it has to be about functionality as the foundation. We are supposed to be contacted by the counter people once they have the slab so we can come up and see it before it is cut, and decide where to place the templates for the cuts. That way we have some say in both the seams AND the pattern that will be on the largest counter area. Our quartz selection is Cambria Brittanicca Gold, which has a marble appearance, which means there are waves of color, not one single constant appearance.

The soft area in the floor has been pulled up and repaired. IMG_9028I can still feel the difference in floor level underneath but it is a firm change, not a soft one. I think it will be okay. The trim has been put on the doorways and the pocket door is installed.

There was an issue with the door trim. I am learning a lot of new terminology with this project. I joked with Don (the foreman) that I will have to do a lot of studying before the final exam in September. Every bit of wood around the door (or window) has its own special term. I now know that the little bit of wood trim sitting on the BIG door trim is called “back band”. 🙂

IMG_9032The wood in our house is American chestnut, something I believe I mentioned during the demolition stage of this project. It is very very difficult to get chestnut wood anymore. There was a blight that struck the American chestnut trees back around 1905. It wiped out billions of chestnut trees. As I type this, I realize this is actually a bit odd, as my house was built around 1923 – where did they get all the gorgeous chestnut in my house? Ah – the tree was still around until 1950. The good news for the chestnut tree is that it is being brought back with a resistance to the blight. It has been cross-bred with the Japanese chestnut. We were quite insistent that the chestnut trim on the doorways to the dining room and the front hall be saved and reused.

One can insist but often life has its own plans. The chestnut trim was removed and stored in our garage. IMG_9030A lot of other things were in the garage also, and there has been a lot of activity in there. It was time to put the trim back this week. Unfortunately, some of the pieces had broken, and pieces were missing. They would have to build new trim out of new wood. Ideally of course we’d want chestnut. Unfortunately for us, chestnut is not yet plentiful and so it is expensive, and not as easy to obtain as other woods. And this is where I began my education in wood grain.

My husband was more upset than I at this news. My perspective is that the kitchen is changed so radically that as long as the wood gets stained the same color as the chestnut that was still usable, we’d be okay. He felt that the grain made a difference. Don and I discussed this and I asked if there was a readily available wood that had better grain than the default pine that gets used everywhere else (the pocket door, the trim on the floor – skirting!!). IMG_9031Oak has a more detailed grain than pine, closer to chestnut in appearance, and is available and not as expensive as chestnut. I made one of my executive decisions and said – use oak. I’m quite pleased with the oak, which is good, because I hadn’t realized that we’d lost all the dining room door chestnut. The onus is now on Matt, our painter, to get the proper stain for all the wood trim. He’s excellent at that and we’re used to mixing stains to match chestnut all over the house. You really can see the difference in the grain between the oak and the pine when you see them next to each other, as with the pocket door. I’m glad my husband put up resistance when I described the situation. I think my only issue with this might be that I wish the workmen had mentioned to me that there were other woods that would look better with the chestnut, as opposed to saying that the stain would take care of it. Even I with my untrained eye can now tell that wood grains are not equal and pine against chestnut is NOT the best approach.

IMG_9037We have a wood threshold between the dining room and the kitchen, and the threshold from the kitchen to the basement stairs is complete. We are only missing a threshold from the breakfast room to the bathroom, and I said that could be metal. Ultimately we need to redo the bathroom also (thanks to a diabetic cat and a dog trained to use pads indoor instead of having to be walked). I LOVE the pocket door – I am soooooo HAPPY to look there and not have the window blocked and to have the clean lines of that simple door. I can see that I need hardware for it. Which reminds me….

I did mention my expensive taste in cabinet knobs and pulls. I’ve ordered several samples and they’ve begun to arrive. Good thing I ordered samples. One of the ones that looked most promising came and it’s totally wrong. One is okay, not loving it, but it’s okay. The ceiling fan has come as well but that won’t be installed for awhile, so no link to show you it in advance. 🙂 And we DID order the funky bistro table. *grin* Sorry, Debbie, but while you sit there drinking coffee with me you won’t have to actually look at it. Now we are hunting for chairs that might work with the table and the room.

We are probably looking at a completion somewhere at the end of August, at least for the contractors. Matt is on vacation then so he won’t be able to do his painting and staining until September. I KNEW it would never happen in 10-12 weeks. 🙂
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