Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sorry, Not see you go (and other passive-aggressive titles)

Hey you guys!!  It's finally happening...the Great Kitchen Renovation of 2015!!  I can't even BEGIN to tell you how excited I am to say goodbye to my current kitchen.  Before demolition begins next week, let's take a (very short) tour of my (very small) kitchen, shall we?

There's a small window each day when my sink doesn't look like this.
It's elusive, and hard to catch.  Consider yourself lucky if you've ever  seen the
bottom of the sink.

There are many things about this kitchen that just drive me BATTY.  At the top of the list?  No dishwasher.  Unless you count this guy:

Christmas Card 2014 Outtake.  He's alllll mine, ladies.  Back off.
(What a good sport he is, right?)

Right up there with the lack of a dishwasher?  This stove:

Why is it so BIG?
(The Office has forever ruined us with, "That's what she said," jokes, hasn't it?)

It's huge...40 inches of mammoth hunk o' electric metal.  This beast is being replaced by a beautiful gas convection slide in range with 5, count 'em, FIVE burners.  Dave is very excited about this fifth burner.  Whatever floats your kitchen boat, babe.

Next on my list of annoyances is my lack of useable counter space.  This is all I've got.  Twenty seven and a half inches.  TWENTY SEVEN AND A HALF INCHES.  Let's move on.

White, on white, on white?  This kitchen delivers.

Oh, this guy?

Despite the small stature of this fridge,
an amazing amount of food still manages to get lost in the back of it.

Yeah, he's an apartment sized gem.  Can't replace him without ripping out all of the cabinets on this wall, though- they're one continuous built in piece. 

We've already discussed the flooring issues in my last post, but let's see a quick picture for old time's sake, shall we?

Absolutely disgusting.  I am embarrassed.  Completely embarrassed.

Hasta la vista, baby.  You're getting the boot.

RIP: 1949-2015

See ya!

Up next?  New layout plans!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Peeling Back the Layers: Part Deux

We're starting the one month countdown to the kitchen renovation- it's finally happening and I can't wait!!  And because I can't wait, I started some DIY demo this week while Dave was out of town.  At least this time I was kind enough to give him a heads up (as well as tell him how lucky he was that his wife just saved some dough on demo costs).  I'm nice like that.

Yes, I consider DIY to be therapy.  Potato, potahto.
Notice the absence of questions on Dave's end, and my ignoring
of his response.  We're such a good team.

So who remembers when I started picking apart the floor behind the fridge to see what was back there?  No?  Check it out...I wussed out and didn't peel back all the layers.

Anyhoo,  as I'm ordering all of my materials for the kitchen, I really need to know ahead of time what I'm working with down there (the FLOOR, people, the FLOOR).  I've got two scenarios:

1. I rip up all of the floor layers and find beautiful wood floors that just need a little TLC to make them shine. (fingers crossed, please, flooring gods!!)

2. I rip up all of the floor layers and find 66 year old plank subfloors, which will require installing new wood floors.  (Yes, naysayers, I'm doing wood in the kitchen.  And I plan on splashing grease and spilling food on it.  If you think I'm doing travertine tile in the kitchen, then plan to start calling me Tarek el Moussa and give me my own show on HGTV  (hardcore HGTV'ers will get that reference...the rest of you...meh.) )

If Scenario #1 happens, I'll be in heaven.  If Scenario #2 happens, I've got a plan. 

I have oak wood floors in every other room of my house except the bathroom (yay for no wall to wall carpeting!).  Side note:  I watch too many episodes of House Hunters where people say they want a house with carpet because it's "cleaner".  WHAT???  Carpet is the most disgusting thing on Earth for people who like a clean house, and for those who have allergies.  I look at carpet, and feel like I can SEE the billions of microscopic organisms just squirming their way into the corners and under the furniture.  Gives me shivers.

My apologies to you if you're a fan of carpeting.
I. Just. Can't.

So.  Because my oak floors are now 66 years old, they are aged and dignified.  If I try to put brand new oak flooring next to these, it would probably look ok, but I'm not going for just ok.  I need character, continuity, and beauty.  So if I need to put in new wood floors, they'll be new to me, but they won't be new- I'll be buying salvaged flooring from an old house. One advantage of living in a large metro area is there are plenty of opportunities for architectural salvage materials!  I've got two places on my radar if I need them:  Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit, and Reclaim Detroit.  Both work with local non-profits to train and employ those needing job assistance in the Detroit area- I'll gladly give some of my renovation money to great groups like these!

Pardon Our Dust...

In order to do some flooring archaeology, I decided to tear up the side entryway rather than the whole kitchen floor.  As I didn't have any muscle to help, I thought it might be better to start small! To give you a point of reference, the side entryway connects the kitchen to the basement, and leads outside to the driveway- a pretty standard setup for a mid-century bungalow.  I actually had my fingers crossed that maybe, just maybe, this side entrance may have some neat-o tile, but alas, that was not to be, which leaves me little hope for the kitchen floor.  Here's what I did:

The floor as it's looked for 7+ years.  
I spent around $75 shortly after we moved into the house in 2007 to put down some "temporary" peel and stick tiles to cover up the god-awful gold 70's vinyl.  Almost 8 years later...

Do the two step.
I started with the two steps that go up into the kitchen...that gold vinyl is starting to rear her ugly head again.

And there she is.  Breathtaking.
It takes my breath away, and replaces it with vomit.

Oh look.  A blank stair with nothing good underneath it.

Well, let's start near the door.

More vinyl.  That is now covered in ridiculously sticky residue.

At this point, I had to throw two scrap towels on the floor in order to walk on the floor- my feet would have been stuck otherwise.

Those towels are now toast.
Sorry, towels.

No beautiful tile or wood under here.  Sigh.
Correction: Luan board is only spelled with one "n".
Apparently I have the girly version in my house.

It's crowbar time.

This took some wiggling, and sweating.
Not to the oldies, though.
More to the cuss words.

I wasn't joking.  Those towels are STUCK to that glue.
Also, ghost hunters might say that the white orb to the left is
my faithful house ghost, Anna.
Heyyy, girl.'s another layer of flooring!
Filled with staples- even more amazing!
(sarcasm abounds.)

Every. Four. Inches.

I secretly kinda like this floor.
Ok, it's not such a secret.
Too bad it's filled with staple holes!

Oh yeah.  There's another layer under there.
And it's probably filled with asbestos.

So, here's where we leave it.  With a layer of flooring covered in staple holes (I pulled out over 100 staples.  It's a miracle my hands even work to type today!), tools all over the floor, and the toe of my toasty slipper peeking into the picture.

I don't have any amazing "After" pictures, and I'm not giving you a sneak peek just yet into my kitchen plans.

Deal with it-there will be plenty to see in March, and I can't wait!!