The Kitchen – Part 4 (we’re almost finished, seriously.)

So, remember my latest self-imposed deadline … well, we didn’t quite make August 25 … but we did get the kitchen pretty much completed this past weekend!  I’ll say we were officially finished on August 28 (minus a few odds and ends that don’t count).

For starters, just so you know, as a pre-cursor to the kitchen details … I want my kitchen to look lovely. Something about the look of white marble countertops, with white cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, and white appliances … it makes me swoon. But, our kitchen is not quite airy and grand enough for me to have the previously described swooning, so we’re going with the white theme, but black countertops and stainless appliances. It’ll look good, I know. Originally, I was going to try and just paint … you saw the initial color swatches on the wall here – none of them were good.  But, after much more deliberation, more painting samples of color on the walls, mixing colors with whites to tone them down, and a brief period of “I’m just going to paint it all white because I have no idea what else to do and can’t find the color that I see in my head” (ladies – we all know that this is true – you see things in your head and try to will them into reality) … I found my inspiration … so, ladies, keep making stuff up in your head, because sometimes it does work!

A combination of these rooms:

Now, back to the work … Let me. Tell you. The walls in this room are weird. I mean some are wood, some are plaster, and there were stains on them that I couldn’t quite figure out. Gross.  So, to diminish the visibility of said grossness, I wallpapered, and then painted.  Yep – you read that right.  But I did it in a way that hopefully new home-owners won’t hate me for.  I used Graham & Brown Beadboard style paintable wallpaper – and it worked like a charm.  It took me a few hours to put it up (and it was soft and easy on flat walls; just ripped and tore around outlets and corners, but overall – great!).  Then, I gave it a couple of days to fully adhere before painting.  It was nice because it was being painted the same color as the trim – so barely any cutting in and it went rather quickly (so glad we planned it that way!).  I only wallpapered about 2/3 of the way up the wall, then we installed rail to finish that off (like the first picture above!).  I wanted a color in there, since most of the rest of our house is painted gray (like the first picture above.).  We chose to go with a green to pull the accent color from the LR/DR into the kitchen (like the second picture above!).  It’s called Retro Avocado (a bit darker/less limey than the second picture above.).  And, the wallpaper was SUCH a good idea because it took almost 4 coats of paint just to cover the green part of the wall (only did 2 coats on the wallpaper).  Most of the green was painted on primed, new drywall from when the contractors built our new, non-hobbit ceiling.  But, if you look closely, you can see how the gross walls still looked crappy even with 4 coats of paint (paint & primer in one, actually) … but with the pictures up there it’s not too visible unless you know what you’re looking for (and I’m not going to point it out to you!).  The wallpaper saved us an immense amount of time painting and cutting in (the worst, let me say that again – the worst).  And gives the kitchen a much awesomer look and feel.  It looks so good – with the white cabinets, white walls, rail …  And, to top it all off, our kitchen looks bigger and taller now!

Countertops and new sink (hopefully) coming this winter/spring.  New stove & fridge probably have to wait until spring/summer (unless one of them or both crap out before that (here’s to hoping!)!).

And, it’s starting to look pretty good in here. It’s a good start. Actually, it’s a really good most-of-the-way-finished start. Painted cabinets, check. New cork floor, check. New baseboards, check. New matching door molding, check. New pulls on the cabinets, check. Painted walls, check. Blinds hung, check. Countertops, sink, stove, and refrigerator … coming later.  The only thing left to do is hang the aluminum tile backsplash behind the stove … I ordered the tiles, and they have arrived, and are sitting in our dining room in two very small boxes … and I swear its going to be done soon because I’ll be damned if this kitchen remains ‘unfinished’ for another month.

Putting the wallpaper up …

Painted wallpaper

After a couple coats of paint.

Other notes …

We cleaned all of the cardboard boxes out of our garage … and took them to the recycle bin down the road.

We got new LR rugs.  I know. I know.  This is the third time.  BUT … the ones I originally wanted, yet couldn’t pull myself to spend $250+shipping on … went on clearance (yes, I kept an eye on them for over 10 months, knowing if they went low enough, I would buy another new set).  They look better still – much more pulled together, and much less Target dorm style.  YAY!

AND, since the paint was out … I painted the ceiling around our DR light fixture.  It should have been sanded and cleaned up before I did it … but it was Sunday afternoon, and I was worn out and being lazy, so I said – “Painting it so there isn’t the big dirty circle on the DR ceiling is better than nothing.”  And, I was right.  Usually am.  (That was a joke, kind of, I mean, yes it was a joke.)

Also, Pat finally got his home theater … speakers, TV, blue-ray, and all that other stuff that goes with it … We aren’t quite finished cleaning up the office/misc. room stuff from the den, but when we get there, I’ll post some pics.  (Secret – I actually enjoy it way more than I thought I would – movies, video games, everything just looks and sounds better on his set-up!)

Also, just a little note about what we’ve been up to (instead of working on the house) … It was Pat’s birthday a few weeks ago.  We decided this year to forgo birthday presents and instead choose overnight trips for that weekend.  Pat took me to Louisville, KY – stayed at a modern art boutique hotel downtown, had a great dinner and drinks, and a fantastic time!  I took him to Indianapolis, IN.  We went go-karting (for real, not like bumper cars!), ate at Morton’s Steak House, and stayed in a train car hotel.  It was totally fun.  The go-karting was awesome – we’ll be going again!  The food was amazing; it’s been on TV for the spicy shrimp cocktail appetizer – it’s the only app they have and it’s well worth the trip to Indy (along with the steaks).  And the hotel was cool – our room was an old passenger car that was converted into a hotel room, on actual tracks and all.

We also lucked out, and there was a super huge gaming convention in town that weekend, which gave us PLENTY of entertainment during dinner and drinking … we sat next to a guy wearing chain-mail at the restaurant (he said he had problems getting it through airport security!).  And, we got to sit across from a very first date at the martini bar (they met at the convention), which is always entertaining!  (Side note – we’re both dorks, and both really like board games and Xbox and all the like … but some of the convention-goers play in a whole ‘nother ballpark!)

So, we’ll officially be at our 1 year home owning anniversary in 2 weeks.  I plan to post a HUGE before and after that weekend … I’m excited (as I’m sure all of you are too) to see the progress over the past year.  Maybe I’ll even get those tiles up before that?

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