Its been 3 months of debris and dust.....finally its time for all the new finishes and fixtures!
After 3 months of demolition and new construction we're finally getting to all the exciting finishing details at Gails' Kitchen. Just when it seems like things are moving along at a snail's pace, suddenly you hit a point when everything starts to come together quickly with visible progress every day. Its like Christmas morning each time I visit the site now!! While the contractor's been working on the new construction I've been finalizing a few design details like the fireplace surround, ordering light fixtures, sourcing some new stools and finalizing the hardware selections.
A couple of weeks ago we purchased the Ikea cabinets which were delivered next day - and I have to say this will be my LAST Ikea kitchen order unless they're willing to pick it for me. What you're seeing above is only half the order (there were 2 more carts, 5 in total!) that we had to physcially pick off the shelves ourselves load onto carts, haul thru the warehouse, thru the cashier and then to the delivery desk. Its absolute insantiy!!! Not only did we risk losing a toe or breaking our backs - this stuff is heavy its just plain dangerous for customers to have to do this. The entire process takes about 2 hours and backs up the checkout lane for EVER. This kitchen is beyond a reasonable size to attempt to purchase from a self serve warehouse and its not much bigger than most of the kitchen they have on display in the store. I don't recommend anyone attempt this unless Ikea changes their procedures back to the way it used to be (they used to just give you a piece of paper to take the cashier). For the record all the other customers in the store that day who witnessed this caravan of carts stood in awe and vowed they'd never buy an Ikea kitchen if this is what it involved. So I'm done complaining to them about it, I'll just stop buying them.
My absolute favorite part of any job is when the primer goes up. I LOVE to see the new space painted entirely white, in many cases its the only time I get to enjoy the beauty of the whiteness of the space before the clients 'colour' goes up! Personally I always think the spaces look better in white,,,, but hey,,, its not about what I want because its not my house.
When the hardwood flooring arrived on site I handpicked all the boards. I specified a character grade wood that has lots of knots but which also means you can get lots of variance in the appearance with some really odd ball pieces thrown in there too. With this much character in the wood its important that the boards are thoughtfully placed or it could look like a dogs breakfast, so I sort them into 3 piles of bad, good and best. Instead of tossing out the 'bad' boards I have the installer use them in areas where they won't be visible like under all the kitchen cabinets, under the appliances and under the sofa.
I sampled 7 shades of yellow paint before we could find one that we were happy with. Yellow has to be one of the trickiest colours of all to get right, it doesn't help that I'm not a yellow person but I appreciate my client's attraction to it. We applied each of the samples on three different walls and not only did the yellows look drastically different on each wall, the same colour often looked totally different on the same wall. Looking at all these samples above, except for the two whites the others looked nothing like the paint samples in hand, NOTHING. From left to right, bottom row we have; BM Creme Brulee, BM Creme Fraiche, BM Affinity Soleil, F&B Cream, F&B House White, BM Cotton Balls, BM Spanish White (LOVE), BM Ivory White (LOVE). Top row is a second sample of BM Creme Brulee which looks nothing like the sample on the far left. The homeowner didn't pick either of the ones that would have been my first choice but she's madly crazy in love with the one she did pick!
I was so excited a couple of weeks ago to meet the Coppersmith at the house and review samples of antiqued, hammered copper. He'll make the copper patina to our exact liking and then he'll use it to build us a custom hood canopy exactly like my design sketch - I can't wait to see it!!!!
But before the Coppersmith left the building,,,,,I lured him into the family room and pulled out my design sketches for the fireplace and asked him if he could use that same copper to make a surround for the new fireplace. No problem he said, piece of cake. Now, that's the kinda response I like to hear!! So he'll be back to measure for the surround as soon as the gas fireplace box is installed.
Nothing gets my heart beating faster than found treasure,,, and an enthusiastic contractor. : )) My clients are currently living in one of their own rental properties during this renovation and in the garage of that house we found stacks of antique wood boards from the previous owner who was a woodworker. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these beauties piled up in the junk pile. With their live edge and the gorgeous wood grain my mind was realing thinking of all the different ways we could use these. I sketched up a detail for a sliding barn style door and Tom's going to have these boards made into an oversize door panel, and then,,we'll use the rest to make the mantle for the fireplace.
They started installing the base cabinets on Wednesday....
By Monday we'll be ready for the counters to be templated.
Meanwhile the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are off getting sprayed a perfect shade of white. Check out this post for all the details we have planned, and check out this post for step by step process of how I have Ikea cabinets custom sprayed (note this is not a DIY project!).
Stay tuned for more updates over the next 4 weeks as this dramatic kitchen, family room transformation comes to completion.
All Photos: Carol Reed