Still Hanging in the Kitchen – Shoe Storage

My original plans were to breeze through the kitchen area and march right upstairs to get this place done. But sometimes my intentions and my “what if” thought process do battle – and usually the thought process wins.

Like This Time

The main wall is paneled and painted and the clear coats are on – great. But down at the end where the mud room is I have a little alcove area when you come up three steps to enter into the kitchen.Here’s that space a long time ago.The little alcove area is about 12″ deep. My original intention was to put a little table there and call it a day. But then I thought “What will I do with my wife’s gazillion shoes?” I have two pair – my lucky ones you have already seen and one other pair. But my wife on the other hand has ‘countless’ numbers of shoes that all look the same to me and pile up at the back door. We’ve got to find a way to hide some of them.

OK

We’ll think about what we’ll do about the shoe problem, but first I’ll finish this storage area that is 3’X3’X8′. This space is over the basement stairs. I’ll make a pantry or something out of it. First we gotta finish the drywall and paint.

Done – and the casing is added around the opening. I intend to make a pair of doors for this.

After a couple days of research and head scratching, I came up  with this idea. A shoe storage bench. I found the pivoting shoe caddy brackets at Lee Valley Tools. This thing was hard to get right. The sides are 3/4″ plywood and the other pieces are 1/2″ plywood. Stuff I had laying around already. I’ve made up the basic carcass – and my shoes fit. (That’s my other pair).

I then made a front face frame from 3/4″ poplar and an inset of 1/2″ plywood.

The fitting is pretty finicky, but I got it to work. That’s another pair of pivot hinges- just in case I messed up the first pair. They’re made from ABS plastic – I wanted something more substantial, but couldn’t find anything. I thought if these broke I could use the second pair as a pattern and make a set out of wood.

My idea was to incorporate this into a bench. You can sit and take your shoes off and have a place to put them.

I made this so that it can be removed for the hardwood floor to be installed. You never know, I might want that table back as I originally intended.A little more adjustments and it works as intended. It holds 18 pairs of shoes. I hope she doesn’t need any more than that at the back door.

Now we’ll take a break and work on the chalkboard. Here’s the frame I made from an old 2X4 that was removed during renovation. I looked around for a piece of real slate to use, but couldn’t find any.

So I went out to the garage and cut a piece of cement board and gave it a few coats of chalkboard paint.

I’ll add a little picture light and a chalk ledge for this when we get closer to the finish.

Since I now had a can of chalkboard paint, I thought I might as well make this whole wall a chalkboard as well. At least I can doodle while the bread’s in the oven.

And I added another chalkboard painted area above the bench. We’ll just keep going – and hope the “What if” thoughts stay away until we get upstairs.

Hang in there, we’ll get to the pretty parts one day.

 

 

 

The Kitchen Wall – it’s Complicated

We’re finally getting around to finishing the last few walls in the kitchen. And as usual, they can’t be just smooth drywall. Nope let’s make more work for ourselves, shall we?

As usual, I start with some sticks – this is the bottom band.

Since the floor will be covered with 3/4″ oak, I’ve spaced the bottom band up close to the required space.

The top band was then attached to the wall.

In typical MisAdventures fashion, the actual design is finalized with some sticks leaned up against the wall.

You could just attach the wood sticks to the wall – but we’re looking for a more authentic look. I’ve rabbeted the banding and cross pieces to accept the the thin wood wall panel. These are 5mm birch plywood.

So the first two pieces are in and we just continue down the wall.

This is the corner that enters into the sun room.The window casing and skirting is about to be added.

All the windows have sill guards that help prevent any water infiltration. The metal straps attach to the bottom of the window and bridge the sill guards to keep from putting holes in the sills.

The apron for the window is glued to the bottom of the sill and clamped.

We keep moving along the wall – the 27′ long wall takes 5 4X8 plywood sheets.

I used the window to reference placement of the boards and cross banding.

I decided to make a frame from one of the original 2X4’s I removed during the renovation. I’m planning a chalk board here. I have added a recessed receptacle to add a light – as if there’s not enough light in the kitchen.

I had added these marble sills on the two smaller windows back in 2010 – that was 3 kitchen designs ago. I probably would have used wood sills now, but we’ll keep these.

We’ll keep working in here for awhile. Stick around, we might get a kitchen one day.

 

 

 

January Round Up – the good, bad and ugly.

Greetings fellow renovators. I thought I’d drop by and post a quick update on what’s going on at the MisAdventures renovation. There was some good, some bad, some ugly and some plain stupid.

1-feet-upWe’ll start with the ugly – as in my shoes my wife tries to throw away, but I keep fishing them out of the trash. Hey, they’re my lucky shoes, OK? You can see a peek in the Kitchen over my chop saw – but that’s for another post. But I did get the paint on the ceiling and all 22 lights installed in there.

2-top-view-tv-cabBut we’ll focus on that cabinet in the sun room with the retractable screen. Here’s looking down on the plywood top we want to cover with a nice piece of local hardwood. So I made a cardboard template and took it to a local craftsman that has a sawmill.

3-cherry-top-startAnd he popped out a nice Indiana Cherry top, complete with a hinged door for the TV lift. The front is 6/4 1 1/2″) stock, the back part and the hinged lid is 3/4 stock. Great.

4-top-installedNow the stupid part. I needed to get this wood sealed right away  – to keep the twisting to a minimum. No problem – I just grabbed a can of Waterbased clear coat and gave it a good seal coat on all four sides. Done – not so fast, stupid. (That’s me, not you)

5-first-finishYou see, a waterbased finish on cherry is like motor oil on a hot fudge sundae. It might look good from a distance, but you’ll notice something’s not quite right when you get a little closer. The waterbased finish left the cherry looking bleached out and flat.

6-paint-stripperSo we prance right out and get some of this stuff. It works great, and much less toxic than traditional paint strippers.

8-sanding-the-topA couple hours off my life, and we’re back to bare wood. No fun.

9-more-sandingBut no, it doesn’t end there. I laid on a coat of wiping oil made from boiled linseed oil, varnish and mineral spirits – and it looked great! Well, except for all of the scratches my scraper left behind. So this is the second full strip and sanding job. I then made another mess using some fast dry varnish – so another sanding job was needed. I finally ordered some wiping varnish from Rockler called Arm-r-Seal that lots of guys seem to use on YouTube – we’ll see how it comes out when I try my 4th attempt. I’m too old for this stuff.

10-tile-instalSomething did go right in the month of January. I finally got the tiles that I had made installed in the pilasters of the bookcase.

11-tile-detailThe stoneware tiles have a Lupine flower design and were made by Terra Firma tiles. This plant was native to Indiana, but you don’t see them very often here. I plan to have these in the garden outside the sunroom eventually.

12-rh-light-boxNow here’s something that went bad – and then good for a change. I had ordered a pair of Restoration Hardware Library Sconces to go over the windows in the bookcase. I ordered these in 2014 – but they were never checked. So the first of January  I decided to get them out to install. The box said it had a Polished Nickel Double sconce inside.

But I got one of these instead – A table lamp? Well, the package was a different shape than the other one. OK, let’s open the other one.

15-broken-library-lampAnd of course it’s the right one – but broken. Well, that’s just dandy. I have a Restoration Hardware shipment that was sent in 2014 that has one broken light and one table lamp. It is now 2017 – you do the math. But I have a Trade account with them so I sent an email and explained what I did (and didn’t do) and what do you think happened?

16-rh-library-double-sconce-installedThey picked up the original packages and sent replacements within 3 days! No charge! So these are now installed on the bookcases.  Now you know why I have so many RH lights in this house.

 

Fireplace Freestyle Fiddling #4 It’s Mantle Time

I know this is a long drawn out series – but there’s more components than average to this build, due to the flanking bookcases.

1-checking-the-taperThe tops of the bookcases are slightly sloped intentionally – and because of this the side panel will need to be tapered. First a level is placed on top and the gap is measured for the taper. This is how much we will remove from the bottom to make the top level.

2-trper-jigI use a tapering jig, but you can use a homemade version just as well. This will add a slight taper to our side pieces.

3-squaring-the-sideOnce we have the pieces cut we then need to square the sides to the window casing. I used a framing square and shim out the side piece so everything is now square.

4-tapered-sideA piece is cut for the side top reveal.

5-side-paintedAn additional piece is cut to wrap around the front of the marble top. It is then painted before attaching.

6-mantle-roughNow we’re ready to make the mantle. This is a 5/4 (1″) X 10 clear white pine board. I just set it up to get an idea of the overhang.

7-back-band-cutI decided to make a back-band to go at the back of the mantle. I used a router to add some detail to the top and then cut the three pieces. Here I’m test fitting the cuts.

8-mantle-sides-joinedThe three back-band pieces are glued and nailed together, I then joined the front mantle to the side pieces with a biscuit and glue.

9-mantle-glue-upThe mantle and back band were all assembled as a one piece unit to keep everything flat and straight.

10-test-fit-mantleThen the assembled mantle was test fit into place.

11-painting-back-bandThe back band is finished and a hole was drilled in each side leg of the mantle. I made the side mantle top slightly narrower to make the joint easier to finish and not have to be concerned about the joint separating.

12-mantle-wiringWiring from a wall switch is run under the mantle to both sides of the fireplace for the final test fit.

13-sillite-receptaclesThe wires were for these. Called Sillites, they will allow us to plug in Christmas lights or other decorations on the mantle.

14-attaching-the-mantleOnce the wiring is run we can finally glue and attach the mantle.

15-mantle-in-placeTime to start sanding and finishing.

16-fireplace-side-detailOne more detail is added to the side of pilaster to mirror the design in the sunroom.The paint is BM Ice White in Impervo enamel.

17-shell-detailI’ll sand and paint this a total of four times. I start will 100 grit and finish with 400. It is tedious, but when it’s finally done you can feel the difference.

18-sillite-receptacleThe Sillites have a cover when not in use.

19-finish-paintingSo you think we’d be done – but nooooo – we still have to finish the original details on the bookcases – and slide the fireplace in there.

One more post on this thing and I’m outa here – promise.

 

Blog Envy – a counter top story.

OK. I’ve pretty well had it with my fellow bloggers.

Every day I read countless posts about your new wall paint and/or wallpaper removal. I hear of your agonizing deliberations over floor tile and curtain fabric.

Frankly I’ve had enough!

Well, really – I’m just a tad envious. I love looking at your blogs – liking them and commenting on some – well, OK – a lot of them. After all, you’re my main source for stolen design ideas. Being unable to work on my renovation for the past three months due to my ladder accident, I have lived vicariously through your triumphs and failures. But reading about your latest design ideas or seeing your beloved before & after photos – well, it leaves me feeling – well – a little inadequate.

What’s a guy to do? My posts are so far (except for one bathroom) little more than stud walls and plywood floors – holes made and cabinets without doors. I’ll get it done, but I wanna join the blogs with the pretty stuff.

So I’m pulling out the only pretty thing I’ve got so far for the kitchen – the counter tops.

This was a story in itself. I feel so sorry for my wife. She’s married to one obsessive dude. The quest for counter tops was a year + ordeal. I wanted something more in line with marble, but with a more durable surface like granite. I have this thing for natural counter tops, so that left the man-made stuff out of consideration. Looking around the web and every design site I could find I settled on a material called Quartzite (link below). Not to be confused with quartz counter materials, those are made from quartz stone and resins to make a really nice counter top. Great material – but as stated above, I have a thing for natural stone counters. I checked in our town, and with every fabricator (this was in 2011) no one ever heard of Quartzite (they all kept insisting I meant Quartz – the man made stuff). I knew a few road trips where in my future.

So the quest began – fortunately (or unfortunately from my wife’s perspective) we live at the very bottom of Indiana – across the Ohio River from western Kentucky. This location is perfect to get to the larger cities that might have some Quartzite. From home, Louisville is 2 hours away – Nashville 3 – St. Louis is three and a half. Chicago? Why just a quick 6 hours away!

Gas up the car – we’ve gotta look at some counters.

Needless to say it wasn’t pretty. We made trips to all of the above – multiple times to multiple stone warehouses. Some were clueless, some knew exactly what I was talking about! See honey? It really does exist! I swear I have the most relaxed wife. She just doesn’t care that much about looks. (Could this be why she married me?) Give her a stove that works and a roof that doesn’t leak – and she’s fine. Not many women like that – I bet. But we sure don’t argue over design ideas – and that’s a good thing.

Finally on our second trip to Chicago I found it! The quartzite mother load!

And in the rows upon rows of slabs I found this.

Do you come here often? I want you to come home with me. If I was in a bar – I’d be buying this hot slab drinks all night long.

counter-1Only one problem – she’s taken. As were her two friends – Married! – all reserved by the same big time Chicago designer. Got any more? Nope.

Crap.

So back home we went – well, we had to make a couple of stops at fancy fashion related stores for Francia. I guy’s gotta sacrifice, right?

A week later we got a call – the slabs I was lusting after were getting a divorce. Yep, they were breaking up with that big time designer because his clients were just unsure – and the hold date was up.

Do you want a slab? “I’ll take two” I said. Well, you need to come up in the next day and select the two you want and pay for them – or we will put them back in the bar (I added the last part). “Can’t we just pick them by the photos?” No.

So I told my wife that night that I just wanted to – you know casually take a trip the next day – you know, just to get away from work and spend a little time together.

“Where do you want to go?” she asked. Um, I don’t know…how about Chicago? I like that little Thai restaurant – we could go for a late lunch.

Six hours for lunch? I know, pretty lame – but she went with me anyways. Sometimes guys are so transparent.

So the end of the story we got the slab above and this one too.

counter-2It’s called Bellavita Quartzite

Bellavita QuartziteIt says so right there. You can get lots of Quartzites and learn what the heck it is from these guys.

MGSI Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois

The slabs are in town, sitting in our fabricators lot for the past year – and it looks like it will be there till 2014, but I’m determined to have them laying horizontal in my kitchen one day.

Don’t worry girls – I’m not a one night stand – I want a long term relationship.

Enjoy your week.

6th and Final Mudroom Build…for now.

I know those that follow this little diddy might think that I pooped out on this little renovation project. Au contraire my friends. I’ve been working like a maniac to get some things buttoned up for the winter. You’ll see in some of the following posts. One thing I have yet to do is rent the 24′ box truck to drive up to Shoals Indiana and pick up 10,000 pounds of Indiana limestone to jazz up a couple of walls on this place. I didn’t tell you that? Oh, I’m stripping all of the aluminum siding off the house and putting up cement siding and limestone. Crazy? You bet. Why, here’s a little sneak peak – to let you know I haven’t become a slacker.

Now where were we – oh, the Mudroom.

Here we are ready for the new counters. Everything is finally in place. Last time that sink base comes out.

Here’s the start of the counter install. I chose a white cashmere granite. It picks up the tones in the floor and works well with the wall colors. The wood supports for the counters are screwed to the studs behind and on the sides of the appliances. I used a laser level to get a good straight line for the supports.

Here are the workers from Cutting Edge Granite. Gerald Embry over there is great to work with. These guys fabricated the sink cut out twice. I was not aware that undermount sinks usually leave the lip of the sink exposed under the counter. I didn’t like this, and they cut another smaller opening for the sink for no additional charge.

Here the counters are in place. The sink base front is painted ceiling white – it looks a little peach against the bright white appliances. I’ll paint it white when I finish the doors.

Here’s the Delta Leyland Faucet added. I wanted to drop the sink top down to a normal level of 36″, as the tops of the washer and dryer are 40″ from the floor. This was just too tall for my wife to use and I didn’t want to have to integrate a step drawer in the bottom of the sink cabinet.

Here’s a close up of the sink, faucet, soap dispenser and fiber optic garbage disposal switch. I went with the fiber optic switch because of the simple interface and the fact that one touch lets the disposer run for twenty seconds and then automatically shuts off.

This is a  Kraus 23″ Sink This is a 16 gauge stainless steel sink. Remember the larger the number the thinner the metal, so many sinks are now made 20 gauge, so this dude is very, very sturdy. It’s 10″ deep, so it has some room. I didn’t go with a really deep laundry sink because I think my wife will use this to clean garden vegetables more than she will use it for laundry. Using the 10″ sink allowed me to add the garbage disposal, so when she cuts roots and pre-preps the vegetables the disposal will come in handy.

OK – we’ll leave this mudroom for awhile. We’ll revisit when I have time to make the doors for the upper and sink cabinets.

But we still have that sunroom foundation drama to cover – so that’s up next.Then there’s building the sunroom – adding 250 pound windows, a interior stair tear out and rebuild. A master bath, closet, and bedroom renovation. A full exterior renovation including that limestone previously mentioned.And some other stuff.

Gee, I hope all of you are still alive by the time I finish these posts.

Stay tuned…