Friday, May 27, 2011


meet our demands or the card gets it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the process

10 years of marriage has started to rub off on me. "i'll post photos later tonight" really means whenever i get around to it. around to it = now.  so here's a step-by-grunt account of the concrete counter going in yesterday. when they come out with EmotionVision, i'll add it to this post cuz my anxiety level was through the roof!
The Prep
after much standing around, head scratching & looking all serious-like, Tom prepped the sink opening on the cabinets by making notches for the crappy clips that will hopefully certainly hold the sink in.
he then cut the "channel" where the front lip of the sink will rest

And So It Begins
6 guys, including an Elvis impersonator, start hauling the slab out of Tom's truck. i think Elvis will be performing at Summer Camp this weekend kids!
suffice it to say, this mother is heavy. 400 pounds of concrete + rebar & wire mesh for support.  then begins the easy part, getting it up the stairs!
see how easy? they even had a guy to spare so he just hung out in the sink!  next, get it in the door.
and by door, i mean my awesome double slider. we've apparently got this door for more than the view it gives us. it's our only means of getting lots of stuff in & out of the house!
now all you gotta do is set it down.  oh, and without bowing any of it please, so it doesn't just SNAP IN TWO!
yes, this is where Elvis was especially helpful! and this is where i got really nervous cuz i could see the island flexing. it probably was not a sign of good faith when i asked Terry if this thing was gonna go through the floor.  he assured me it would not. but if it had, our boat would be on par with the Powerses! they have a shower in theirs, & we'd have a kitchen sink in ours.
but they're not done! after setting it down & everyone releasing a collective sigh, they had to tweak it to get it positioned just so. this was pretty nerve racking too as you can't just lift a corner and slide it very easily. you have to be very purposeful about where you pick up on this thing. this is where it could have all gone wrong! and yet? it did not!  they got it into position.
and to get me out of the bathroom & into the kitchen (for washing dishes that is), Terry & Tom installed the sink & my fantastic faucet!
i actually got to use the sink last night & guess what? you turn a knob & water comes out! goes down a little drain! GENIUS I SAY!! although it will be quite the habit to break me from washing the lettuce while i shower. that was rather pleasant in a not-perverse-at-all-way!
there are still some minor tweaks to do though. as nice as the sink basin is, it came with crappy clips that gave Tom a fit while installing. so we're going to have to do a little work under the cabinet to make sure this thing is supported well enough to hold Nacho's weight while bathing.  also, we can't get anything on it for 3 weeks while the concrete continues to cure. thank god Ikea couldn't care less about the environment because i have enough cardboard to cover the entire island & deck if necessary - those hippies eyeing it for tents this weekend will be disappointed!
But Wait! There's More!
that's just the island counter top. we still have the wall counter tops to be installed. those will be bamboo.  Tom told me last week that he thought those could go in as early as this weekend, but i'm thinking middle of next week at best. so hopefully i can structure things at work enough to be there for some of that install so i can get pics.  after that, we move onto the dining area!

Monday, May 23, 2011

what a difference a morning makes

what started out as this...
Now looks like this...
There's still a lot to do like securing the sink, tweaking the position, etc.  i'll post more pics tonight about the process & the 6 guys it took to get it into the kitchen, but couldn't resist posting something quick now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

weekend update

no, this is not an SNL skit.  lots, i mean LOTS! of work got done this weekend. and here is the pic to prove it?
okay, it's late & it's crappy because it came from my phone, but i  DELIVERED!
can't see those? guess it would help if i actually took some & uploaded them.  well i did take some but got busy trying to salvage what is left of my gabion garden. i'll try to post those tonight when i get home.

so nacho got all the base cabs on the West wall finished - with only the top door of the pantry to do. we are holding off on that while we decide if a pull-out drawer is what we want to do.  all "boxes" on the North wall are built but not screwed in place. 

the white cab on the far left of the North wall was originally on the far right (by the small windows).  this was where one of our miscalcs came into place. our Ikea person didn't think an 18" on the left would allow us to open the drawers without hitting the hardware of the corner base cab. so we changed that & got a 15". turns out an 18" will work. so we stole the 18" from the NE corner to verify this. i'll be going back to Ikea Friday to get an 18" cab. so now we have an extra 4-drawer 15" (the cab in the forground) that i'm trying to find a home for & therefore a blank spot on the NE corner.

the big push came Sunday when nacho got the range hood & stove installation finished; he also assembled the remaining cabs that will create our island.   keep in mind we did our usual Sunday breakfast AND went to the Border Collie Trials (let me just say wow!) AND he had to pack to leave for Ind that afternoon AND it was mom's day so we still had to go to his P's.  the man is good under pressure!  we used 12" deep cabs on the East side & typical 24" cabs on the West.  i'm excited about the 2 middle cabs on the East side because those will be the new dog feeding station that this kitchen remodel was really built around.  i'm not kidding people!  when i say my dogs run the house, they really do! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

bathtub couch

crafty indeed!


i had a comment from M that made me decide to post an entry about our Ikea experience to date.
  • Don't try to get it all done in 1 trip:  we made 5 trips in all (i think) to Ikea (Schaumburg & Bollingbrook, IL) to plan & buy. A couple of trips were recon - just to gather info & get ideas. We took a camera because i don't remember what i had for lunch; there's no way i'd remember i was even in Chicago by the time we got home!    it was worth it because we found things several times that could have been costly mistakes.
  • Plan, plan, plan:  between the online planner (which i hate btw) & the recon trips, i felt very confident when we finally decided to put the order in.  oh, & that planner is not the end-all. when you get ready to purchase, you can customize some things that would not be possible in the planner. we had no clue about that & were thrilled when we found out.  but we should have known after viewing our friend Rundle's kitchen - the ultimate Ikea hacker dude.
  • Measure, measure, measure: we ran into a snafu with our fridge that we hadn't planned on. even though it is counter depth, the hinges on top caused us to have to raise all the upper cabs up to accommodate this.  we toyed with multiple levels of cabs, but that didn't look good in the end. oh, & we did not get our appliances from Ikea so that might have been solved if we had. just think about that!  anywho, we raised all the uppers 1" & it looks fine. that rail install system made it so easy too!
  • Pull the trigger:  i could have planned & measured forever & never bought a kitchen. I AM A COMMITMENTPHOBIC! so at some point, stop planning, stop the homework, & make the leap!  they will let you come back (see later)
  • Verify the items are available in-store:  Not all parts are right there in the store. ours were, but our friend's was not so they will be going back up this weekend to get back order items. be prepared for that!
  • Listen to those Ikea folks:  so you have to work with a real person before ordering/buying all this stuff.  did you know they have degrees/certs in design?  i didn't.  makes sense now, but i just thought they were sales people. when we explained that first & foremost, our kitchen had to have a feeding station for the Boxers, they totally got it & that changed our plan right there. they came up with a much more user friendly config to accommodate the Kids.
  • Avoid Sat/Sun if you can: okay, admittedly i was sick with the possum flu, but even well i don't think i'd do my final order & pickup on a Sat. that wait time formula that they post at pickup?  let's see 8min for 1st cab, then add 1min for each line item?  hmmm guess they meant the new math. our order should have taken 1:18 total. it took almost 4hrs.  so be prepared for delays on a weekend or, better yet, go on a weekday if you can!  although watching suburbanites try to figure out exactly how to cram pack their SUV's was entertaining.  
  • Organization pays off:  at least it did for me. afraid we were going to flood while i had all those flat packs in the garage, i spent last Friday hauling all the ones i could upstairs. i took the Build List that they give you & numbered each group (in hindsight i should have used the same #'s that you see on the planner drawing - oh well, that will come in handy for the office redo). anywho, i grouped the FRM (that's the box) and any cover panels together on the floor in the kitchen, writing a number on them to match a number on the Build List. i wrote the same # on boxes that were drawers or shelves (this was not necessary for hardware, dampers, etc.). this allowed Nacho to work quickly (ok, as quickly as he does anything) when putting them together. but it has been a huge help, per him, because he assembles the box, hangs it, then the panel(s) is right there to install as well.  i admit i did it, not to be helpful, but because i'm OCD like that.
  • Expect to go back:  we have already seen 2 cabs that we want to modify. the top pantry & the fridge cab. we're going to put pull-out drawers in there instead of static shelves. i don't plan to use those often, but when i do i want it to be easy. 
  • Take your time & Enjoy!  it's your kitchen & you have to live with it for a while - unless you have the balls to redo it again in 3 years.  so don't rush it & really think about things before & during. i'd rather pay to have it right, than pay for a mistake i'm going to hate for years to come.
Oh, & because it's your kitchen, WHO CARES WHAT ANYONE THINKS BUT YOU! i was very conscious of not really asking anyone for design advice other than Terry & Rundle.  i was picky about when i asked & who i asked. we got plenty of "looks" when people saw my flooring choice & design, and plenty more when we said the cabs were going to be black/brown. but you know what?  DON'T CARE!  THIS IS ME NOT CARING!  CAN YOU HEAR THE SOUND OF ME NOT CARING? NO? DON'T CARE!  it's your kitchen, do what you wanna do!

Monday, May 2, 2011

this one's for the ladies

yep!  nothing says sexy like knee pads down around your ankles!  taken ladies.....and John!

it's beginning to look a lot like a kitchen

it was a busy busy weekend & there's lots more to go.  but nacho got a great start Friday night.  after i spent Friday bringing flat packs up & organizing them (you're welcome nacho), he spent the weekend getting them in place.  he was very impressed with this whole Swedish system!  we made one miscalculation & that was very easily remedied by pushing everything up 1" on the wall - seems the fridge has some hardware on top for the doors & we didn't account for that. who knew?  you do now!
so he got the first set of uppers in place when he realized we'd have to move it all up to accommodate the fridge, but no worries.
and before you know it, he had the first cabinet technically completed.
another thing we never even thought about....those side panels are meant to hang longer than the upper cabinet because most people would have some trim piece across the front to hid any under cabinet lighting. we're going to do a trim piece but it will be in stainless (gee, that's no surprise huh?). so we're toying with the idea of instead of cutting the extra off the side panel, we're gonna float it at the top of the cabinets (see it in the photo?) & run a trim piece around the top so we can do some sort of up lighting on top of the cabinets.  i hate the dead space that you get up there & i can't stand putting stuff up there for decor. martha stewart i ain't!
and officially nacho had the uppers & the West wall "completed" last night. yeah, we still have to secure the side panel for the pantry & get the shelves & doors for it & the fridge cabinet, but i'll call this done enough.  thanks Barry for helping move the fridge.
we did actually put a few things in a couple cabinets tonight. just some silverware, bowls, plates, & glasses. i don't want to start loading things up just yet cuz i still plan to go through & get rid of some stuff.  but i had to get some things out of my laundry room.  can't wait to move the coffee maker out of the bathroom - i'm sure we'll miss that little convenience!
what do we have left?  well, the bottom cabinets along the North wall (in front of nacho in the last pic) & the island.  no, we are not doing uppers on the North wall.  we have a stainless hood & we're going to do a hanging shelf thingy that i will actually be responsible for welding.  no pressure there!
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