Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Great Thou Art

The last time you saw the great room it didn't even have a floor.  Now it has so many new things!


When we moved out of the Brewery, we sold all our furniture except our table (although we tried) and our bed (which got moldy and died anyway).  So we got to buy brand new furniture for the first time ever!  We ended up buying two new chairs from Restoration Hardware.  These were literally the first quality piece of furniture we have ever owned.  I was tired of buying cheap furniture and having it only last a year before it started dying.  


We also got the Karlstad couch from Ikea, which we rarely sit in because of how awesome our chairs are.  Look at that ridiculously large plant.  When we moved into my parents house last July, my mom started watering it (crazy) and it grew to twice its size.  I ended up repotting it into a woven Ikea plant basket.

The black square in the middle of the back wall is a fireplace with no surround.  Hopefully that comes soon...


We recently brought in Titus' dresser from our old bedroom, which was no longer needed for clothes with our new amazing closet.  This side of the room needed more weight since it only had one chair, and this seems to have done the job.  It currently holds the only decor I have ever unpacked.


The rug is from World Market.  It is soft and colorful and awesome.  The AMAZING painting resting on the back of the couch was done by me.  I'm such an artist.  Oh and yes, we are using TV trays as side tables.


I still need to paint the french doors in the dining area.  Unfortunately, I never feel like it.


We started to add built in cabinets on either side of the fireplace.  They are Ikea Abstrakt cabinets like our kitchen island.  The cabinet with the TV above it has a piece of butcher block randomly sitting on it.  We will be adding butcher block to the other, as well (instead of an exercise step).

Hopefully the next steps in here are building the fireplace surround and finishing the built ins!  Someday trim and baseboards...

Sources:
Recliner:  Restoration Hardware Churchill in Vintage Cigar
Other Chair:  Restoration Hardware Sandringham in Vintage Cigar
Storage ottoman:  Target
Pillows:  One Kings Lane and Gift from Titus
Build in Cabinets:  Ikea Abstrakt White
Rug:  World Market
Ceiling Lights:  West Elm spray painted gold

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Moment You Have All Been Waiting For

Looks like it is finally time for you guys to get a kitchen update.  You might remember the plans we started with from way back in November.  As we told you, we had already purchased the kitchen cabinets (at the 20% off sale) at that point.  When the house was far enough along for us to move our stored, flat, Ikea kitchen in we were left with this...


Tiny flat kitchen cabinets, and a lounger for me to rest on while assembling them.  While Titus worked on installing our hickory floor far enough that we could put in the cabinets...



I assembled all the cabinet boxes and left them downstairs.


When the flooring had been installed far enough, we brought the boxes upstairs to attach the feet and level them.  We bought the cheap plastic feet, which probably still gives Titus nightmares.  The cabinets are also anchored to the wall, and they seem sturdy so far.


I labeled all the cabinet locations based on the map that Ikea gives you of your design.


We installed the 88" tall double oven cabinet first, so that we knew we would get the right spacing from there to the corner that we needed.


We then installed the 15" cabinet above the 88" one and attached the cover panels.  Apparently the paint on these cover panels is VERY thin because they are ridiculously easy to scratch.  Nothing like the actual cabinet doors which are not easy to scratch.

We then attached the upper cabinet rails.  These are genius and I don't understand why all upper cabinets do not hang this way.  You level and screw the rails to studs on the wall.  Then, you just hang the cabinets on them using special hardware and the cabinets are magically level and attached to studs and you are so happy to be alive.   Ikea is seriously brilliant with their hardware.


After the rails were in we put up all the uppers with great ease.  Actually the super high cabinets were kind of a beast because they just barely fit below the ceiling.


Then, we brought in our most beautiful appliances, which were ordered on Black Friday 2013.  Luckily, they were severely backordered, and the local Sears was happy to hold them for us even longer until we were finally able to install them in June.  Everything is from the Whirlpool White Ice collection except for our cooktop and microwave.  The fridge and dishwasher are almost an iPod like finish with stainless handles.  The oven is glass front with stainless handles.  

When the appliances were in place, we taped out where the island was supposed to go based on our original Ikea plans.  This was really fun, because it was the first time we would actually feel how big the distance between the island and perimeter cabinets was.  


Titus and his dad build a base for the island cabinets instead of using the feet, so that they could be secured to the ground.  The center boards were put at locations where the edges of the cabinets would land on so the cabinets could be screwed onto the boards.


To get the cabinets the correct height, Titus added some 1/2" or 1/4" sheeting to the base after it had been screwed to the floor.


We then added the cabinets which turned out to be a real beast.  When assembling the cabinets it is very difficult to get everything exactly square which was what made attaching them all together difficult.


With the island installed, we were able to see that the space between the cabinets and the lake side is large enough to open the dishwasher and still walk past, which rules.


And the distance between the island and the fridge wall is even larger.  It is pretty much the exact perfect distance to be spacious but not too far.  I think it is about 48".  Slightly closer at the fridge, which is recessed but still sticks out a bit (unlike this picture).


I was super pumped when I could start installing the drawers and doors.  I had orded Lewis Dolin Bar Series pulls and handles in brushed brass.  I felt like the brass would make the Ikea cabinets look less Ikea like and more fancy like.  I ordered larger handles for larger drawers and the pantry doors.  I ordered the small pulls for the rest of the doors.


I love them so much I could cry.






However, it turns out I love them much less on the island cabinets which are a much more modern style than the perimeter cabinets.


I had installed the pulls in the middle of the raised panel perimeter cabinets which was a good choice, however, installing them in the middle of the flat panel Abstrakt cabinets was a terrible choice.   You can't see it in this picture, but the far right cabinet above is where the microwave goes.  Below the microwave is a large drawer.  On that cabinet I installed the handle near the top, which actually made the entire island look better, so I'm decently happy with it.


The gray cabinets is still where the handles really shine, though.

Enough of the handles.

Fast-forward through FINALLY getting our DuPont countertops, and adding all of the cabinet fillers and doors, to our present day, almost completely done kitchen...


We are just missing a a couple filler including a small filler piece between the top of the fridge and the cabinet above it.  I think a lot o people actually just leave it like that, but we have about a million scraps of cover panel we can fill this with whenever we have free time (approximately 3 years).

You may also notice, I painted our windows white and black.  The lights above the sink were made by me.  I had found similar lights on Wayfair and other locations, but the price was WAY out of budget, so I just ordered some parts and made them.  If you're lucky maybe some day I will post a tutorial...





Our green too tall stools from the Brewery made it in the move.  They are still too tall, and I would still like new ones, but we are still probably not buying any for a while.


Ooo and I made that light above the table as well.  That one already has a tutorial that I followed here.  Oh and I totally macramed that neon pink plant holder.  The lighting in some of these pictures is weird.  Clearly I'm a camera expert.


If you forgot the layout of the house, the stairs that go downstairs (which now have a whole railing!) are right off the front door and the kitchen.  Our bedroom is behind the kitchen.  And the closet you see next to our door is a mini 12" deep closet that HAS SHELVES!  It actually has a door now too!  No doorknob, but those are a luxury people.


Oh and our sink is so good.  It is gigantic and fits a whole jelly roll pan (silly name) flat on the bottom of the left sink, which is really a necessity of life.  It actually came with grates for the bottom which make it even more awesome, and the drains have miniature buckets in them which catch all the food particles and easily lift out with a cute little bucket handle for emptying.  The sink is Ruvati from Overstock.  It does look a little gross in this picture, but it looks normal stainless steel in real life.


The glass cabinets have our pretty dishes.  Like our fiestaware, some wine glasses, and our Pottery Barn glasses that I love.  We also got some LED under cabinet light, which I find not terribly useful, but our electrician highly recommended.  Maybe in the darkness of winter they will magically become useful.  Or when my eyes are old and glossed over.


Oh look you can see our microwave and the cabinet below with the higher handle location.  If only I had done that on the left drawers.  Still good.  We are going to put a cover panel around the microwave cabinet as well in our leisure.  Having the microwave in a base cabinet rules.  The only better place would have been in a pantry if we had a closet sized one.


It took me a long time to not fear the gas cooktop.   It is the first gas cooktop I have ever used, and I always feel like I am going to start on fire.  It smells like camping.



We didn't want to get a hang-from-the-ceiling hood, which would probably make the room feel smaller, and wouldn't have been centered and other things we didn't like.  So we got this Jetson's pop up hood, which for my terrible cooking skills has worked out just fine.  I hear a lot of people tell me how much they don't like theirs and such, but ours works for us just fine.



Next to the oven, we have a pull out cabinet that stores our mixer for easy access.  I still have to lift it onto the counter, which apparently a lot of people hate, but luckily I am ridiculously strong.


The upper drawers of that cabinet store our spices.  We added the Ikea spice holder.  The best thing about Ikea is their perfectly sized accessories.


And that is all.  I just love it so much.  Oh and we have like a billion unfilled cabinets.  So room to grow.  The super tall cabinets are not humanly reachable (our ceilings are 9').  We store stuff we rarely use up there, like a giant coffee maker and a three hole crock pot.  I have already had one tragic fall off of a chair from trying to reach the uppers though, so there is that...  Still though, you guys, so good.



Source list:

Gray Cabinets:  Ikea Lidingo Gray
White Cabinets:  Ikea Abstrakt White
Fridge, Oven, Dishwasher:  Whirlpool White Ice
Window sconces:  Made by me
Sink:  Ruvati
Faucet:  Delta
Range Hood:  Sears Outlet

Monday, June 16, 2014

Exterior Update

I haven't given you guys an exterior update in a long time.  Last I left you guys knew about our giant front yard sand pile... Which is still there.


We had our beautiful Marvin Integrity windows in Ebony.


Our garage floor hadn't been poured...


But now it is!


As is our front step!


We lived for a long time with a temporary front door and some sheeting.


Until we FINALLY picked out a front door and garage doors.


Our garage doors are Aspen ridge in Oak with Colonial windows from North Central Door.  The oak grain is not very visible which makes me a bit sad, but they are just garage doors so whatevs.  Titus got a couple garage door openers online which are hilariously quite.



As for the front door, it was a bunch of back and forth.  First, we wanted the fiberglass Craftsman.  But then, we heard that fiberglass is bad in Minnesota because of the fluctuating temperatures.  Then, we were told it should be ok because we have an overhang over our door so it won't get much direct sunlight.  Then, we thought about getting a steel full light front door with metal blinds between the glass.  Then, we heard that said blinds were huge conductors of any temperature it was outside.  Finally, we went full circle back to the fiberglass craftsman door and it is as beautiful as I thought it would be.  It sill needs to be stained and some trim work between the door and full light sidelights and transom but it is still lovely.


We also bought some siding.  We had planned on going with LP Smartside in just the primed lap, however, Titus found a prefinished color at Menards almost identical to the color I wanted to paint the siding.  AND Menards was having  huge sale on their siding, so getting the prefinished siding was LESS than our estimate for the primed siding from our contractor.  Yay for not having to paint a whole house!


Titus and his dad started the siding last weekend.  We got the 12" lap which makes it go a bit faster since it has more coverage and it makes the tall boring south end of our house look less tall and boring.  And the boys didn't die on the sandy hill on their hug ladders!  Win Win!


We also got the prefinished LP 4" trim in Snow White for around the windows and below the gable end.  The gable ends will get LP's shake siding in the same Biscayne Blue color as the lap siding.

Source list:

Siding:  LP Smartside 12" lap  --  Pre-finished by PPG in Biscayne Blue
Trim:  LP Smartside 4" trim  --  Pre-finished by PPG in Snow White
Garage Doors:  North Central Door  --  Aspen ridge in Oak with Colonial windows
Front door entry set;  Schlage Century handle and deadbolt