Ideally each separate facet of the kitchen should probably have its own separate blog post, but at this stage of things (read: pregnancy) it’s easier to just throw everything together in one blog-posty pot, stir frequently, and serve while still warm.
I’ve talked about the plan for open lower shelves, and I’m pleased to announce we’re still fully intending to follow this plan (and still excited about it, which is a big deal, too.) Jeremy has cut down the joists that were pulled out of the ceiling during the first stages of the remodel, putting them into appropriately-sized pieces for framing, and we’re planning on using those to build the shelves.
I am really excited about being able to use the wood that was already in the house for another remodeling project, and especially a project that’ll be in the same space…just a little lower, of course.
The cabinets have gone through many mental incarnations. I think I’ve considered every color possible for them. Eventually I chose the color for the walls thinking I would use the same color for the metal cabinets–then the type of paint we were going to use changed–as did the number of colors available. (We went from having the cabinets painted at an automotive shop to possibly using implement paint and doing it ourselves, which took the options for colors from hundreds to approximately twenty-two, none of which were particularly appealing.)
I won’t bore you by writing down every color I considered, but before we threw out the metal cabinets altogether, they were probably just going to stay white.
With the open shelves now being made out of our Douglas Fir joists, we tossed around the idea of just leaving the wood sealed and unstained, but I think we’ve settled on a white wash for them, both to tone down the wood look but to not completely mask the look of the wood, which is actually a very pretty color.
the countertop conundrum
We’ve gone in circles over the countertops in the kitchen. Am I the only person in the world that despises kitchen countertops? Is that a strange thing to say? I really hate how they are so expensive, yet so seemingly impractical for kitchen use. We had granite put in the kitchen in our last house, a lighter grey color that I really loved until we realized that the sealer on it was doing absolutely nothing to stop the stone from soaking in everything that was spilled on it, from grease to ketchup to coffee to whatever else. The counters next to the stovetop were stained several shades darker than the rest of the kitchen counter in less than nine months.
It turns out that you can pull grease stains (and other stains) out of granite by applying a mixture of plaster of paris and acetone, and the process is every bit as irritating (and smelly) as it sounds. But that’s what we did, and we had a company come apply a super-duper sealer with a lifetime warranty that worked pretty well–but the whole ordeal was enough to put me off granite forever. #neveragain
Laminate would have been an OK choice for durability, I guess, but I didn’t want to go through all the trouble of planning what would hopefully be our “forever kitchen” and then put laminate in it.
I wanted white countertops–or as near to white as I could get–and other materials, natural or man-made, didn’t seem to be able to hold up against staining on a light-colored countertop. Even supposedly maintenance-free countertops like quartz didn’t seem to live up to the hype–I found story after story of homeowners who installed white quartz and were dealing with staining just a short time later.
We opted for pouring concrete countertops and doing it ourselves–I was hoping we could get white concrete to work–and if it was going to stain and patina, at least we were spending hundreds as opposed to thousands on the surface.
Concrete has been the plan now for months (though a couple of other things have been briefly considered, it always just came back to concrete) until anxiety about weather and experience and the ability to finish them before the baby comes completely derailed my resolve. (It’s Beatrice’s fault.)
I actually found a tile I loved on sale at Lowe’s–in reality one of the ones I hoped to use in our future bathroom remodel–and reasoned it could be used as a countertop. Tile is hardly en vogue, but it is interesting and affordable and probably still more stain resistant (with a dark grout) than most other things we could have used in lieu of concrete. We could possibly even do it for less than the concrete would cost us, a fact to which Jeremy begrudgingly agreed, though he said my particular tile choice would make the Colloquium look like a Mexican restaurant.
While we were hemming and hawing over the tile option (and I was searching for other patterns of tile online) I found another design I liked–the tile on the floor of course–and the countertop in the room pictured was covered in a wood inlay.
So we’re circling ’round once again, and planning to use wood we already have to make a kitchen countertop. I’m very pleased with this, seeing as it’ll be simpler than concrete, more affordable than tile, and will hopefully be able to be done before Beatrice arrives.
Back in June of last year, we bought an antique buffet at an auction to use for our vintage sink. This week, Jeremy and my father-in-law modified the buffet to fit the sink and set it in place. I won’t detail the process here (I’ll let Jeremy write that post, since I wasn’t able to watch) but here is the sink in its new cabinet.
The buffet works very well, but it was something of an ordeal to convert it for the sink. After a bit of discussion, we decided not to use the Victrola cabinet for the island sink. It was only necessary because of the metal cabinets, anyway.
Almost all of the shelves in the kitchen and living area have been installed and sealed. We lack the two to the right of the stained glass window as the brackets need to be redone (you can see the gap in the tile where the shelves will go in the picture below.) Tiling has started between the shelves by the fireplace, too, which is so exciting to see! The antique front door we bought has also been installed. How I love that extra light!
In the photo below you can also see that the lights above the sink are up and working. Hanging them took a bit of finagling, and that’ll get its own post here before too long, too.