Sunday, April 8, 2012

understand yourself.

Dear Self,

Heyyy. Happy Sunday. -Or, as you ought to have figured out by this point, TOTALLY FRUSTRATING ANNOYING Sunday! Like, seriously, how many Sundays of projects gone wrong will it take for you to recognize that mayyybe Sunday should be devoted to anything BUT the kitchen?!

Please go eat jellybeans and take a nap, or play outside in the windy sunshine.


Restful Sundays 4-eva,


So, yeah. I even tried to take it easy today - I was only going to finish up the doors. That meant finishing painting a few of them, finishing the moulding on a few others, adding hinges, adding hardware, and re-attaching them. I did manage to get through most of that.

Then...the hardware.

I scrapped my initial plan to use the generic pulls that I've seen everywhere lately - namely, everywhere in IKEA.

It just wasn't doing it for me (even though I'd already purchased the builder's pack of 20). So when I was at Lowe's for the 32899th time earlier this week and stumbled on these, I decided to make a switch.

Similar, but unique - and they're pewter, which I lurrrve. Not super-lurving the matching knobs, but I'm only using four knobs anyway.

Once I (finally) made a decision about where to use knobs vs. pulls (knobs for drawers, pulls for doors: that's my decision, and I'm sticking to it...for now, and unless someone else can convince me otherwise), I began marking spots for drilling the holes. I was hoping J.J. could drill the holes, since it's hard for me to make holes in the drawers/doors - only because I've already invested so many hours in making them clean and pretty and non-holey. I ended up not being able to use my handy-dandy hardware hole guide to make the hole marks, since the moulding got in its way (major bummer). So instead, I started with the drawer fronts, since all I'd have to do was measure the dead middle of the drawers and make a little mark. 

Easy enough, right? Right. Then all J.J. had to do was drill the hole. Easy enough, right?


First, I realized that the screws that came with the knobs and pulls aren't long enough. Mehhh. I set off on my now-nearly-daily surprise trip to the hardware store. (Not sure how this daily/twice-daily trip is still a surprise to me, but maybe I'm just a slow learner.) The local one was closed (Easter...who knew?), so I trucked it out to Home Depot - mostly because I wanted to vet their hardware selection and make sure there weren't any knobs that were more my style. There weren't, which was probably a good thing at this point...one less decision to make. I grabbed a box of longer screws and some more half-round moulding (because somehow I keep running out of moulding, even though I swear I measured the necessary amount correctly the first time) and headed back home.

...Where J.J. promptly drilled a too-big hole, and where I promptly discovered that my 1-3/4" screws are about a quarter-inch too long. SON OF A MOTHER. Then J.J. and I got into a fun fight about how to measure things, he stormed outside to channel his rage into digging up dandelions with our special weeding tool (it's really therapeutic and addictive, actually), and I cleaned up the kitchen and calmly decided to torch it later today.

I am definitely feeling the kitchen burnout at this point. The first few days were all sexy and exciting, what with the deconstruction and the major painting. Now? Now I can spend hours and hours working on stuff, only to have the overall look go from this:

To this:

Also known as: pretty much the same, except maybe worse and even farther from being finished. (Or further from being finished? I never know.)

I've run into some pretty major obstacles that I'm still not quite sure how to fix. There are three major ones:

  1. There are about two inches of dead space on either side of the range. May not sound like a lot, but trust me, it does NOT work, either aesthetically or functionally. I've thought of every potential solution - filler pieces, a wider range, ignoring it, returning the range to its original spot, etc. - but there are secondary and tertiary problems associated with each of those solutions. Not only that, but it turns out that having the range butting up to the fridge surround (well, butting up to about two inches of dead space and then the fridge surround) also isn't aesthetically or functionally pleasing. It's better to have counter space on either side of the range and to have your pot handles be able to move freely (they hit the fridge surround on the left). It's looking like I'm going to have to add a slim base cabinet in between the range and the fridge surround. Still leaves us with a weird issue on top - there would be dead space between the last upper cabinet and the fridge surround - but I think that can at least be filled in. I don't know. No clue.
  2. The floor area where the range used to be - where the IKEA-hacked dresser and the trash cabinet will go - is potentially uneven. When we removed the old base cabinet, we discovered it was attached to the subfloor, so it left an approximately half-inch-deep rectangle of random subfloor. The IKEA hack is currently 35" high from the linoleum. The trash cabinet is only about 34" high, for some reason. So we've got some major unevenness going on that could really mess up the countertop. It's going to be a matter of either building some cabinets up a little or removing an area of linoleum, but I don't want to remove any linoleum (there's a very good chance that there's an asbestos lining in there somewhere...and who knows, maybe the asbestos is already leaking out of the hole in the linoleum. Is that how asbestos works? By leaking?).
  3. The wall where the copper backsplash used to be and the ceiling where the wavy decorative crown moulding was...they're sort of disastrous. Full of gouges, holes, and some weird stuff that looks and acts like the inside of cardboard (falls apart, rips easily). J.J.'s dad spent a couple days trying to even it all out, and he did make it more even, but it's still bad. He said all we needed to do was sand down the cardboard-eque areas and paint them, but...I think he's wrong (shh). That stuff is not paintable wall. I primed it anyway,  but it's bad news. I may need to call a painter to figure it out. Or it may be just fine with a backsplash over it. But I conveniently forgot to plan a backsplash, so I don't have any ideas for that.
Whatever. So much for "just" having the doors re-attached today. They're still in half-painted, half-moulded, half-hinged pieces all over the front room of our house. I've also totally failed at building a drawer for the IKEA dresser, and at attaching the trash cabinet mechanism to the trash cabinet drawer.

Which leaves me, once and for all, at the conclusion that Sundays are not for kitchen work. This is not ideal, considering I have weeknights and weekends to work on the kitchen, but eh. Whatever. Seriously, I totally understand those HGTV shows where a professional has to go in and finish some major remodeling project because the homeowners gave up halfway through. I could easily re-attach the doors (well, not easily, apparently, but maybe potentially) and just live with my kitchen the way it is right now.

Someone tell me this will be worth it when it's done!!

P.S. Source for all hardware pictures: www.lowes.com


  1. so, if im reading your blog correctly, what youre suggesting is that when i finally own my own home, i should buy a place that needs a fixer-upper kitchen and commit to fixing it do-it-yourself style? i can see this is such a fun, confidence boosting, short-time-commitment type of thing. im in! ;)

  2. You forgot about how it really cements your spousal relationship. There's nothing like inherent mistrust in your partner's DIY skills to make you question whether you should have taken on such a project (kitchen reno/marriage/what have you). ;)



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