Kitchen & Living Room Progress

While we've been trying to focus all of our free-time and efforts outside, we have spent a few moments here and there trying to chip away at the kitchen.  It doesn't look like much since I last wrote about it, but we've actually made some good progress in here.

This is where we left off on the last progress report:

If you remember, we took out that wall and had a structural beam put into the ceiling (something we hired out) and then we put up new drywall and started mudding the joints.  After hours spent mudding ourselves, we realized that we just weren't that good at the whole process and it was taking us way longer than it would take a professional, so we decided to pay someone to finish that up.  Plus, we had an area between one of the beams in the den that was hastily repaired (we think there was water damage from the a/c unit in the attic that had to be fixed some time ago) and then covered with popcorn ceiling texture, which hid it's horrendous defects.  We had our guy mud the new joints and also do a skim coat over that repaired area.  It took him about five hours within the span of two days...something that definitely would have taken us hours over the span of weeks.  It was well worth spending the cash.

Anyway, enough talk about drywall mud, here's what the kitchen looks like today:
They really, really wanted to get in on the picture.  :)

What's the difference between these two pictures?  

A whole lot of little, finishing work.  The cabinet ends and the back of the peninsula got wrapped in a thin veneer and the nail holes filled in.  Anthony reinstalled all of the crown molding around the pantry cabinet, the wall on the other side of it, and some over by the back door and it's surrounding walls.  We had to move around some of the wood paneling around so, in order to do that, all of the trim had to come off.  Now that it's back up and nail holes are filled, it's all ready for paint.  

Our chandelier* looks to be sold out at the moment but this one* is almost exactly the same (and judging by reviews, is probably easier to put together...ours was a little bit of work.)

The back of the peninsula is basically a low wall of the original 2 x 4s that were all cut down after the beam went in.  We covered it with the same veneer as the sides of the cabinets.  We used the veneer because it is so thin and we wanted the peninsula to be inset from the wall.

The line of 2 x 4s actually extends all the way to that back, perpendicular wall, so to make the peninsula look like it sits in from the wall it spans off of, we attached some 1 x 2s to the front of each 2 x 4 behind the wall on the right of the peninsula to build it out and then attached the wood paneling to that.  (Sadly, I don't think I took one picture of the process but luckily, it's not a common thing.  If you're needing more info, email me.) 

After that, we nailed a primed 1 x 4 (a 1 x 6 that Anthony ripped down to 4" in width) to the end of the cabinet to create a fake end to the wall.  If we hadn't have done that, it would have just looked like the pantry cabinet was sitting at the end of the room with a backing of wood paneling...weird.  Now it looks like it's sitting up against the wall, which it always was but never looked like. 

We still need to cover up that last little bit of the peninsula there but we're waiting until we install some supports for the new countertops to tack that on.  (P.S.  I always get questions about where we ran the gas line since our range is in the middle of the peninsula.  That copper line is it!  It runs from the back of the range, through the 2 x 4s on the back of the peninsula, and up through that back wall to the attic.  P.P.S.  If you're needing a gas line installed, call your local gas company to see if they install them first.  Chances are, they do.  We called a plumber first and they were going to charge us $600 vs. the $200 the gas company charged us.)

 In some of the pictures above, you can also see that we cut the corners off of the *temporary* plywood counter top.  We're playing with the idea of corners right now - we're 100% positive we don't want corners sticking out on either side as they would be if the counter was a big 'ole rectangle - but we've been on the fence with how much to cut off and whether we should have straight diagonal cuts or a big round edge on each side.  Technically speaking, the diagonal cuts will be easier when making the concrete counter tops but rounded edges might be more unique.  Time will tell...

Speaking of the counter top (sort of?), a few weeks ago, I scored some Breuer counter stools on Facebook Marketplace after a long search for counter stools.  There's a tiny story that comes with them on Instagram.  Even though our temporary plywood counter top leaves much more to be desired, it has been really fun to actually get to use the peninsula the way that we've dreamed about for so many months.  

And gosh, we love our new chairs.  I didn't know if we'd end up with stools with a back or backless - it just depended on what I found in our meager budget - but I'm now convinced that, if you've got the room, backed stools are the way to go.  It's really nice to be able to sit back.  Ours need a few repairs to the caning but they're 100% usable right now and we'll get to that just like everything - eventually.  :)

One more thing and then I'm done talking about the kitchen...I've really got to stop typing so I can get back in there while the kids are playing and knock another thing off the to-do list quick - wiping down the ceilings.  Yippee!  

I took this photo before we moved in:

We had been tossing around the idea of whether or not we should take this wall out and I thought, "Hey, why not get a picture just in case we do because it'll be cool to see an after photo without the wall."  I don't think I usually have that much foresight but in this case...

It is pretty cool to see, even though we're not even close to being finished.

Still to do?  A lot...obviously.  Next on the docket is pulling out the paint - we're going to paint the ceilings in the kitchen, living room, and breakfast nook, paint the trim and ceiling beams in the living room, and then paint the wood paneled walls.  Then, the hood vent needs to go up over the range.  We also want to add some decorative trim to the peninsula, install a pull-out trash can in the lower cabinet on the peninsula's end, get those concrete counter tops made, and install a backsplash on the sink wall.  The cabinets will get painted and then down the road some, new wood-look tile floors are going in.  The room will be unrecognizable from the day we closed on this it should be because it is 2020, not 1985.  ;)    

The walls in the living room are going to be painted China White by Ben Moore (it's a super pale greige and we get it mixed into Valspar paint - get the code here) but the color of the counter tops and cabinets plus the backsplash tile are still TBD.  Decisions, decisions.

Until they come to fruition, I'll be over here focusing on how much we've accomplished so far.  

Like it usually does, paint will pack the punch we need to really show progress but really, there is so much that's happened since we moved in.

Anthony and I were talking about how good it is that both of us are okay with living in a very much in-progress house.  I mean, we've been using a plywood counter top filled with knots and now covered in stains for months and we're both totally fine with it.  Yes, it's hard to be patient when you can see the finished product (well almost considering I've thought about the cabinets with a thousand different paint colors) in your mind but with our little budget forcing a DIY process (which we love...I don't want it to sound like we loathe that we have to do it this way), we are happy to wait and live with ugly all around us until we can change it.  If it isn't our kids helping us grow in patience, I guess it's our house.  Haha!  

We will take it.

Happy almost-weekend!

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  1. Ahh, I know first hand how much time all that little stuff takes, it's so tedious! But soooo satisfying when it's done.