Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Oh I have to build a wall? Is that all?" or, "How to build a kitchen nook."

Soooo... let's say we wanted to build a kitchen nook (or breakfast nook, I've heard people call them).  Because our kitchen is so incredibly small, the table that we currently had in there--while very small itself--just was in the way!  So, our logic was that we could save space by fitting the table and two benches into the second entry way in the kitchen.  Why have two entrances into the kitchen when you only need one, right?

And let's say we start to build something and realize that it just doesn't quite fit the way that we want it to, and the thing that's in the way is a...wall.  And then you tear that part of the wall down.  Let's just say that.  And then imagine that the story I told you is true. 

Yup, guys.  This is the story of our accidental kitchen remodel. 

During Peter's vacation time (bless his heart), we decided to make our kitchen nook--which was only really supposed to be a wood-working project.  Build two benches and one table, put 'em up and that would be it.  Easy peasy.  Or so we thought.  Before we knew it, we were opening up the wall, buying drywall, mudding, taking down cabinets, putting up shelves, reorganizing everything, and poof!  Kitchen remodel.  And it only took a total of 2 weeks to get it in a place where we can finally cook real food again (we were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a good chunk of the remodel).  I'm sure there's more to this story, but let's go to the photos anyway...

We'll start with the "during" photos.  Sorry, I didn't really get any "before" photos (except for the ones in earlier posts--you can just refer to those if you can't quite remember what it looked like before.  

So here is the first bench that we made.  This is before things got complicated.  We started out so innocently...

Already, though, you can see that cooking was beginning to get difficult.  Yes, that is a screwdriver plugged into the wall above the stove...

This photo was taken a few days later.  I made the table on the kitchen floor because it got really cold outside the week we started building!  Just our luck, right?  (MN folks, I know it wasn't as cold as it was there...I've become a weakling.)

Uh oh, someone looks worried.  And stressed...

Oh, of course.  It was because he was looking at this mess.  This is getting into the last third of our work week.   

Here's the corner we cut off.  It used to be a 90ยบ angle.  I'm pretty proud of the mudding job we did, considering I haven't mudded since I was in high school, and I don't think Peter ever has in his life.  It was not an easy corner.   

Ahh!!!  Where are the cabinets?!?! 

 That's all I have for the "during" photos, so onto the AFTER!!!  These are way more fun.

Table and benches perfectly situated in their perfectly manicured space. 

Taking down the cabinets was not originally the plan.  We were only going to take down the end cabinet, but then the rest of them looked funny.  But these open shelves are so much more attractive anyway!  Hand built by yours truly and Peter.  Teamwork!

The rest of the kitchen.

The pendant light I made out of a strainer we got at the thrift store, baby!

The wide bench backs became the perfect storage solution for our trivet and potholders.  Aren't they purdy?

And there was enough room to create a little shelf next to the stove. 

Disregard the dirty pan.  Gross.

Table, benches and LAMP!  The cushions will be different someday.  We need a break from doing stuff for a little while. 

Knife rack, courtesy of IKEA.  I bought it a while ago, but hadn't gotten around to putting it up yet.  Until now!!!

Different angle of the nook area. 

These shelves are on the opposite wall, which is also where our small round table used to be.  Now, we have ample storage.  I've got to tell you, it is very wonderful to feel like everything has a place. 

Back door (I'm trying to give you all some perspective on the kitchen.  It's so hard to take photos of such a little room.  I need one of those fish eye lenses...

Photo of the kitchen from a little further back. 

OOOOooooo!!! Someone is using the kitchen nook!  (And it's not falling down!)

My attempt at a panorama photo of the kitchen.  Does this help?  I hope so. 

Thus ends our kitchen saga!  This has got to be one of the longest posts I've ever written on here, but it was worth it for sure.  I'll be keeping y'all updated if anything else comes up.  And please forgive me if there is an updated post about the kitchen.  I'm sure I'll be obsessed with the little details as we finish moving into our new kitchen.  I like making things pretty...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shelves, shelves, and more shelves!

I know, some of you have seen the preliminary photos of the kitchen remodel, and you're eager to see more, but hold your horses!  There is still a few things to do, and then I have to write the massive post.  But don't worry, your waiting won't be for naught.  It will be a good one.

But in the meantime, and because I like to post things in chronological order, let me turn your attention to some work that Peter did during his winter vacation.  I was in Minnesota, having a grand old time while Peter was slaving away, building--ta daaaah--SHELVES!  Finally places to PUT things that we own.  No longer do we have to wallow in our own FILTH!  I think he did a lovely job.

Just to clarify, the two sets of shelves were put in A) the second bedroom (otherwise known as the "Study/Practice Room/Studio/Greenhouse/Yoga room/whatever else we can fit in this room..."), and B) the living room, opposite the other set of shelves we finished a few months ago.  Peter also built his lovely table (like mine, also a reclaimed door from Second Chance), cut to the perfect size to fit into the space.  Notice the nice cut corner to allow access to the bathroom.  Mighty fine, mighty fine...

So hopefully that will whet your appetite for just a few days while I get the kitchen post ready...thanks for reading, guys!

Peter's desk and the amazing shelves he built!

My piano in its new place in the room.  Peter's desk to the left, mine to the right. 

The new shelves in the living room.  And what a photogenic Kitty!
Kitty was far too distracting in the other photo.  Here's a closer and more focused photo of the living room shelves.