Monday, December 24, 2007

    Cooking In Our Kitchen

    I just wanted to try out a post using while I make a lasagna for Christmas Eve dinner in our new kitchen and listen to In Rainbows.

    We'll post more about how we got here as soon as we decompress a little.

    posted from

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007


    As Kersten said in an earlier post, I chickened out on the concrete countertops. Time was running short, and trying to learn a new technique on such a tight schedule was giving me panic attacks. Instead we opted for the Numerar countertops from Ikea (pronounced "eee-kay-ah" in our house because it's more fun that way).

    Because the walls are as far away from being square as you can imagine, I had to scribe the ends and cut them at strange angles so there wouldn't be any gigantic gaps between the countertop and the wall.

    Once the cuts had been made I dry-fit the countertops in place to make sure that everything fit right before moving on.

    Now it was time to cut a gaping hole in the countertop for our sink. We had originally intended on doing an undermount sink, but with the change in countertop and the nearly impossible task of finding an undermount that would fit our 30" sink base cabinet, we ended up with a top mount also from Ikea.

    Making that many cuts to the countertop made a big mess.

    Final step was to fasten the countertop to the cabinets and call it a day (except I probably kept working until really late)

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    We are in

    But so far from unpacked.

    More later (including pictures).

    Friday, December 14, 2007

    Concrete confession

    We're not doing a concrete countertop.


    Now that I've got that out there, this is what happened — we ran out of time. Making our own concrete countertop would have taken the better part of two weeks. We were ready for a countertop about a week ago, concrete would have taken longer, and I wasn't about to delay our move-in date of TOMORROW — GASP! — because we really need our own space during the holidays. I hope you all still love us.

    Some day — some day soon, we hope — when we are running on more than a few hours of sleep and when Tai hasn't been up the night before until 4 a.m. installing a tile backsplash, and when I'm out from under a bit of stress from quitting one job and starting another and selling a car and packing up our life in the middle of it all, we will show you pictures of this place. If I don't say so myself, it's looking mighty fine. Even without a concrete countertop.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Suck it, electricity

    I put up the bedroom ceiling fan ALL BY MYSELF the other night, and I didn't shock myself once.

    It went from this....

    To this (if you can even tell what it looks like from this picture)

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Your call

    I wonder if I look as tired as I feel.

    Remodeling elves

    We couldn't have done this process without all the help from our families. We've mentioned Tai's rock-star dad on this blog many times before (see subfloor 1, subfloor 2, tile) with even a picture of the fine gent here. We interrupted his Saturday night with a desperate call for help wiring our dishwasher and garbage disposal. He graciously responded by crawling around on our floor for several hours:

    My mother bravely trekked downtown in the middle of the season's first blizzard to help us paint some closet interiors. The hall linen closet and the living room coat closet both now have paint thanks to her.

    The brothers-in-law helped put down the bamboo, and my grandfather spent two back-breaking days under our kitchen sink trying to figure out our antiquated plumbing. Bless his heart — he is SO tired of doing our plumbing. He's also been housing us since mid-August, so I'm pretty sure he's sick of that, too!

    My dad and little sister even got in the action by priming on our kitchen walls and front door. My dad made an encore appearance to prime the bathroom baseboard (ah, our lives are so glamorous!). My mother and grandfather made a much-needed dump run for us, which is why you haven't been treated to a final photo of the old toilet in an odd setting — they got the honor of throwing it into the dump pit. I got word this morning from my mother that she ironed and hemmed our bedroom and office curtains for us ("It's curtains for you..." was her exact phrase). And Daniel and Lacy gave us a jump start on our kitchen cabinets one very cold night just before Thanksgiving.

    So, this is great. When I grumble about living in Utah (see: the last three years), it's usually because I've forgotten what a benefit it is to live near family. Help with our remodeling project is just a small reason why I'm constantly reminding myself that we are indeed lucky to have all trillion of them nearby!

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    The Great Salt Lake

    We've been able to see this city's titular lake from both condos, and this is a high-energy song from one of our favorite bands (I gifted myself their new album for early Christmas). We're short on high energy these days (so. so. tired.), so pick-me-ups like this have been priceless. As we get down to the little details that will really make this place feel liveable, it's been hard to keep up enthusiasm. We are so close.

    The window coverings have been a tricky part of the remodeling process for us. We have four floor-to-ceiling windows, one each in the kitchen, living, bedroom and office — Wendover residents could tell what we're eating for dinner. We hadn't bothered with blinds during the bulk of the remodel because if you're interested enough in us stripping wallpaper, painting, laying bamboo and cutting baseboard, knock yourself out.

    Since this is a short-term place for us, we weren't willing to drop too much green on blinds. Enter Ikea (you knew that was coming, didn't you?).

    We're quite pleased with our system. Show's over, neighbors!

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    From the "what Lowe's had" category



    Tuesday, December 4, 2007

    It took a few minutes to sink in

    We're adding quite a bit of storage to this kitchen by ripping out a pantry closet and adding space where a pass-through between the living room and kitchen used to be. When Tai and his father worked on framing and adding drywall to that corner of the kitchen, they specifically measured out a spot for a tall Ikea cabinet that we knew would add a lot of space to a tight room.

    Fast forward a month. As Tai tries to muscle the cabinet into the cubby hole, it's apparent that something is horribly, horribly wrong. The space was built to be 30" wide and the cabinet is 29 7/8" wide, so it was too tight and the old wall on the right not being square made for an impossible fit.

    The sad solution was to pull off the new drywall freeing up about 1/2", shove the cabinet in there and hope that we'll have time to repair the damage before moving in.

    Lesson learned? Always leave a little room to maneuver.

    Monday, December 3, 2007

    An angel named Becky

    We hit a snag in our enthusiasm last week and decided to spend a couple of nights shopping for stuff for the condo instead of killing our knees with more baseboard work. After we hit up a few places (I can offer solid recommendations for inexpensive Salt Lake-area appliance shopping now, fyi), we ended up at Lowe's in Murray on a lark. We never go there; we try to avoid shopping in suburbia in general.

    We are reformed. Because of this woman:

    ...who is the friendliest, kindest appliance saleswoman we have met. Such a joy. Also? She sold us a kitchen oven/stove combo for one-third of its retail price, meaning that we got a stove worth three times our budget.

    We bought a microwave-hood and a dishwasher from her, too. The microwave-hood combination came with a little snack:

    It's all beginning to come together quite nicely.

    As you can see, part of what we worked on this weekend was putting doors on the cabinets. The color is off in these pictures because the doors come with a protective layer of plastic. Once you remove the plastic, you have to immediately wash the doors and then let them "cure" for 24 hours without touching them. That will be the last thing we do before putting on the handles.

    But the kitchen is really starting to look like a real kitchen.