Category Archives: Kitchen

Updated Kitchen Lighting

Bradley installed a new light over the kitchen sink for me.  While he was at it, he wired some under-cabinet lighting into the same switch.  We have really missed the under-cabinet lighting that we had at our old house for the past three years living here.

I don’t have a before picture, but the light over the sink was an ugly florescent tube light that was attached to a board behind a faux cabinet panel.  The faux panel is still there – it gives a nice connected look to the cabinetry – but we now have a pendant light hanging down from behind it.  It is exactly what I imagined for the space.

I’ve also been working on painting the downstairs a warm grey (SW Requisite Grey at 75%).  The color left by the previous owner (Behr’s Gobi Desert) was too gold with a red undertone and looked really bad with my new dining room chairs.  Our next project for this kitchen will be adding a backsplash.

For comparison, here is a side-by-side before and after shot:

 

Progress Report: Year 2 in Review

We started out year two in what we call our forever home by having four large pine trees and four large Sweet Gum trees cut down.  The pine trees were buckling the driveway and the sweet gum trees, in addition to their annoying gumballs all over the yard, were in decline and needed to go.  That project took two days and the cost came in at $2300.

Sweet Gum Trees

Pine Trees (1)

We also checked off a couple of boxes from our home inspection.  There were two vent boots on the roof that were cracked, so we had those replaced at a cost of $200.  Also, our electrical panel was an electrical hazard, so we had a new one installed.  At the same time, they added an outlet to our foyer and were able to get the stairwell light to work using the switch at the top of the stairs.  The electrical work came in at $1848.

Cracked Vent Boots(Cracked Vent Boots – No after pictures)

Electrical Panel

As our anniversary gift, we had sun tunnels installed in the den to allow more natural light into the room.  That upgrade came in at $1470.

Sun Tunnels

We had a few minor plumbing and HVAC repairs that came up – the repair costs came in around $550.  This included repairing a leaky drain in the guest bathroom tub, replacing a leaky faucet in the main floor bathroom, and replacing the contactor in the upstairs HVAC.

Faucet

Smaller projects around the house included adding curtains to the master bedroom and Bradley’s office.  I added chairs and tables to our front porch to make it feel more inviting.  Bradley changed out the fluorescent light in the kitchen for a new polished nickel track light.

Master Bedroom2

Office 0715b

Porch Chairs1

Kitchen Light1

We also moved the full-size bed into the spare front bedroom and put a queen-size bed in the guest bedroom.

Third BR 0715a

Guest BR 0715a

We continue to make progress pulling out unwanted overgrowth in the yard.  I was able to add more Daphnes behind the Drift Roses to the right side of the front porch shrubbery bed.  In front of the garage, I added two Miss Scarlett Illiciums on either side of the Gardenias.  My mom planted daffodil and tulip bulbs along the driveway as well.  Before we know it, we will have flowers popping up throughout the year.

Illicium

Looking forward into 2016, our big to-do list item is a master bathroom remodel.  We discovered a leak coming through the kitchen ceiling back in October.  It turned out to be our master shower pan leaking.  We have had several contractors out to get quotes on a small remodel, and we will begin moving forward shortly.  That renovation will probably exclude any other major projects around the house this year, barring any unexpected repairs.

I hope to finish pulling out the azaleas that are floating in the middle of the front yard without anything to anchor them.  And since I didn’t get to it last year, I hope to paint the shutters navy – December’s Eve by Sherwin Williams to be exact.

Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen Light1

We spent the weekend putting up a new light in the kitchen.  I say weekend, not limited to a simple switch-out one morning like I expected, because like so many house-related projects, things are rarely ever that simple.  The fluorescent light that came with the house, which is never the kind of light you want, was not top on my priority list to change out, because you know, money.  But after changing the bulbs about two months ago, it still would not turn on half the time.  I had searched high and low for something that would work in our narrow kitchen – ideally I would put in recessed lighting and call it a day, but again, money.

Here is a before shot of the kitchen with the original light:

Kitchen Light Before

I settled on two different options and let Bradley pick from those two.  He likes the functionality of track lighting, but I cringe at the aesthetic of them.  The light we bought is basically a track light, but the look of it is a little more to my liking.  I wouldn’t use it in a total remodel, but it does the job for now.  The Kichler Lighting 4-light fixed rail directional light in polished nickel:

Kichler-Semi-Flush-Mount

 

When Bradley took down the old light fixture, we discovered a significant amount of drywall damage beneath it that the new fixture would not cover.  After discussions, we decided that rather than incurring the further expense of drywall repair, we would opt for the less expensive option of using a ceiling medallion.  Not ideal, but we aren’t looking to remodel the kitchen until after we create a laundry room and remodel our bathroom.

Of course even with a medallion, there were rough spots and discoloration on the ceiling that would still be visible, so that led to sanding, puttying, sanding some more, and then painting the entire ceiling.  Basically, a giant rabbit hole.

The only other modification we made was based on reviews of the light fixture online.  Many people complained that the halogen bulbs get very hot, which is a complaint I have had about the ones in our vent hood.  I was able to buy a six-pack of LED bulbs to use in the light fixture and the vent hood to cut down on the heat that is produced.

Kitchen Light2

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Progress Report: Kitchen

I’ve been dragging my feet, but I finally buckled down and painted the kitchen last weekend.  Because it was red when we moved in, I wanted to prime it before painting, so that meant double the cutting in around cabinets, three doorways, a window, chair-rail, crown moulding and countertops.  I consider myself pretty good at cutting in with a steady hand and patience, but it does require being in the right mood for such tedious work.  I used the same paint that I used in the den, which was color-matched at Sherwin Williams to the living room/dining room color – Gobi Desert by Behr.

My plan is to add a coat of Dover White to the cabinets this Spring.  It seems like whoever painted these cabinets before only used one coat of paint and probably no primer, so the wood color is coming through.  Unfortunately, it just makes all the cabinets look like they are dingy and yellowing.  I did already change out the drawer pulls for some cup pulls that I had from my kitchen makeover at the old house that ended up not fitting the old drawers.  We have a new gooseneck faucet for the sink and a vent hood for over the range that will be installed soon.

For the time being, I will probably just use the wooden folding table in the breakfast area and figure out some chairs for the space.  I think I would eventually like a new dining table, and we can use our current one in the breakfast area at that point.  Until we are ready for a full remodel, the only thing left to do is choose some window treatments and maybe some decorative accents.

The very red before:

Half Way There – Kitchen Update

The top section of our kitchen cabinets are painted and the doors are re-hung with new hardware.  I purchased all of my brushed nickel knobs and pulls from ebay after finding their selection to be better and prices to be much lower than Home Depot.  At this point, it is hard to know how I feel about the new paint without being able to see the completed picture, but no matter what I ultimately think, it will be better than the honey Oak and there is no way I will be repainting.  I enjoy the results, but not the process!