A Weekend of Mouldings

So the mood hit and I spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday doing Baseboards and Crown Moulding. I already had all of the materials at home ready to go, so on Saturday morning after a quick AM workout, I turned on some Rom-Com movies and spent the day installing the mouldings.

I started at the easy areas around the den and in to the straight kitchen wall:




I was able to caulk and paint as well. I got about 50% done Saturday, which was way further than I expected.

Sunday I got right back to it. I started the day by touching up the wall paint under the painted mouldings from Saturday. Then I moved to the most difficult wall, the Den’s Window wall. The issues with that wall are:

  1. The wall is semi rounded
  2. The windows literally go to the ceiling

I decided to install the crown moulding straight across the windows. and then just hang the drapes a few inches lower.

Sunday, I was able to get almost everything done. Of course I was 1 baseboard short (as seen in the den leading to the current laundry/kitchen. Hopefully I’ll get to that this week:




I still need to hem the drapes, but fresh flowers are a sign of an almost done room!

After Collin got home Sunday night, we finished installing the last 2 bottom cabinets to prep for the Counter top Templaters that are coming today! After they template its about a week until they install! From there, we have some detail work to finish, but we can actually start moving in to the new kitchen! Stay Tuned!

$26 Pendant Lights

This past weekend Collin had to work both Saturday and Sunday, so I was on my own to get some stuff done! I’m going to recap the rest of the weekend in tomorrow’s post, but I wanted to get these awesome pendant lights up first!

On Friday, I headed to Harris Teeter (Maryland Super Market for you New Yorker’s) for some lunch. While I was there, I headed by the seasonal section which usually has some home decor items like citronella candles, bird feeders and outdoor lanterns. You would be surprised how cute some of the things are! I saw these great outdoor candle holder/lanterns. After full examination I knew I could make them in to Pendant Lights for the kitchen!

Are you having flashbacks to the $18 Trash Can Pendants yet!? I am convinced you can make a pendant light out of anything!

So I grabbed two of the smaller sized lanterns and got started:



They had a glass piece inside that was removable. I took that out, along with the Styrofoam. Then I removed the rope cord:


Next, I just used an 1.5″ hole saw to screw a hole in the bottom of the wood base. I had already bought the Pendant Kits at Home Depot and actually had already installed them to make sure the lights/switched worked when the electrician was here last week.

Here they are all hung up:




I added an Edison Bulb, but need to replace them with a 40 watt instead of a 60 watt so that you don’t get blinded while standing at the peninsula. They still need to straighten out, and that will happen over time as gravity does its thing.

Total Price: $26 ($12 Pendant Kit, $10 Lantern and $4 Bulb)

They are perfect size for the kitchen and I *think* will look great with the counter top and back splash we picked out!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the weekend’s activities and progress! We are getting seriously close to being done and it can’t come soon enough!


A Bunch of Small Updates

This week’s updates are a bunch of small projects that are starting to add up to an almost functioning room! Let’s go through one by one, starting at the beginning:

Outlets: All outlets in the Den and Kitchen have been changed to the pure white one’s from the Almond color before. This is a pretty cheap project ($3.00 per outlet) but takes some time. Easy job to sit and work on while Law and Order streams in the background.

Column: As discussed last week, there was a 5″ gap from where we removed a wall. The two walls that were coming to meet were not the same level, one was 3/4″ different. It’s really hard to explain, but the important part is that there was no way to drywall over this area and make it look seamless. So I decided to build a column, same as before. This will mimic the front living room, be stained (eventually) and make the gap in the room look intentional. Here are the before and afters, before moulding:

Vent Hood Installed: We ordered this Self Venting hood from Amazon. I just followed the directions to install and left the wires open for when the electrician came back to finish the electrical hook-ups.

Final Upper Cabinets: I also installed the final upper Cabinets, and 18″ Glass Cabinet to the right of the Vent and a small 6″ Shelf Cabinet that you can kind of see in the below picture:

download (13)

Electrician: The electrician came back to complete the install of the outlets inside the cabinets for: Dishwasher, Disposal, Microwave. He also hooked up the vent hood and finished installing all outlets around the room and for the other appliances. No exciting pictures for that one, but it is nice to have functioning outlets in this space.

Baseboards: I started baseboards in the Den, but didn’t get very far. We still need to get moving on that and Crown Moulding. Everything is purchased, but I have to be in the mood to do that job. Maybe this weekend the mood will strike, maybe…

Counter Tops: We spent some time last week shopping for Counter tops and comparing a few distributors in the area. We have decided on a granite that we think is going to look great! We went with granite mainly due to cost and functionality. It gave us what we think is a great color scheme while staying in budget. Also, I may be crazy, but I’m really over the white on white on white kitchens. So we are keeping ours pretty warm and traditional, but with clean lines. The granite guys are coming on Saturday to template for the counter tops and turn around time should be pretty fast following that!

This weekend Collin is working both days, so I have a long list of things to get through. Mouldings, Mouldings, Mouldings and possible custom Vent Hood (Super excited about this)!

Overall, there is no way we are having a functioning kitchen by Memorial Day (original goal), but we should only be about a week or 2 over. Once Counter tops are in, the plumber comes back to hook up appliances and sink and we can move right in to that new Kitchen!

Weekly Updates

Happy Thursday Everyone!

I wanted to pop in for a quick update today. In the last post, I mentioned we were having a no-reno weekend and, for the most part, we stuck to that! My sister came in to town and we ate our way through the city and watched a million girly movies. Collin spent the weekend golfing with his brothers and dad. He got home on Sunday morning around 11. We decided to grab brunch together before heading home to get a little bit of work done.

On Sunday, we spent about an hour getting the sink cabinet installed along with putting together the rest of the cabinets that were still in boxes. After that, we moved some of the appliances in place so that we could finally get a look at how the kitchen would be laid out.




It might look like a disaster to you, but this is real progress my friends!

I did make a mistake on one cabinet and ordered a desk height cabinet instead of a counter height. I have reordered the replacement and it is en-route to us. We plan on spending some time over the next week finishing the cabinet installs and securing everything in place.

Last night we hit the granite store to start that process. I’m going to do an entire post next week on that decision, but the take away is that they are coming next Saturday to measure for install, so we need to get these cabinets completely installed by then.

Finally, this weekend the plan is to work on mouldings in the den and switching out all of the den outlets that are almond colored to white. Also, I’m going to try to figure out something with that Column/gap in the wall. I need to build something out since the two walls (left and right) are not level. They are about 3/4″ different, which is weird, so I will have to customize something.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!


Cabinets, Appliances and Rolling with the Punches

I woke up Monday all pumped and ready for Cabinet delivery. The floors had gotten finished on time, the house was semi clean and ready for what I knew was going to be a ton of cabinet boxes. I was feeling prepared.

Until, I got the knock on the door. The delivery man nicely informed me that they do not bring the cabinets inside for you, they leave them on the sidewalk.

I was home alone, with no dolly or any type of assistance. Then when he started unloading the truck, I really started to get concerned:


This was pallet #1 of 2. Kill me.

Collin offered to come home from work to help, but I thought I could do it by myself. I spent the next hour or 2 bringing box by box inside. On some of the bigger ones, I had to actually open the boxes and bring in piece by piece because I couldn’t carry the full box alone.

It was terrible, I was sweaty and miserable and our house was a disaster. But it got done.


Next, I started putting some of the cabinets together. If you can remember back to this post, we decided on RTA (Ready-To-Assemble) Cabinets to save money, about $2000.

I had nightmares that the cabinets were going to be very difficult to put together, or show up with a million pieces. I was pleasantly surprised after opening the box to find the hinges and doors already attached. Everything basically slid together and then was secured with a couple of screws.

So far, we have gotten 13 out of 15 cabinets put together (averaging about 30 minutes per cabinet of assembly time). If that totals out to 8 Hours of assembly, it is well worth the $2000 savings.

The issue we ran in to, is that we are running out of space to build and store the cabinets. So Tuesday night we started to install the uppers, to free up some space below.

To install the upper cabinets, we measured up 54 Inches from the floor and drew a level line straight across. 54″ is the base cabinets and counter tops height (36″) plus the back splash (18″). If you add in the cabinet height of 42″, we are at exactly 96″. That gives us a little wiggle room to install crown moulding (98.5″ Ceiling Height).

Next we used a scrap 2×4 and installed that so that the top edge was at 54″ high. That became our ledge to hold the cabinets in place while we secured them to the wall.


Then I held them in place, while Collin screwed them in to studs with 2.5″ Cabinets Screws.

We started in the corner and worked our way around the room. There are only 4 Upper Cabinets going in, and the pantry. The last upper cabinet needs to wait to be installed until the Fridge is in.


I got home early on Wednesday to clean up and prep for the Appliance delivery. I spent about an hour moving everything from the front living room to the back of the house so that we could keep the appliances in there while we finished the kitchen. I was once again fully prepared for the appliance delivery, until…

The Appliances wouldn’t fit through the front door. Seriously, why do I even try to plan things out?!?

Thank God for the nicest movers ever who literally walked our refrigerator down the block, down an alley and to the back of our house to be able to bring it in through the back door. It fit by 1″, and that was with all of the doors and handles removed.

This meant that the appliances were delivered to our new den:


When Collin got home from work, we put together a few more cabinets and rearranged some of the furniture in both rooms so that we had a place to sit, watch TV and still be able to install and move cabinets around.



This weekend there are no plans to work on the house. Collin is going out of town and my sister is coming in to town. Honestly, the time off from reno will be a welcome break for a few days. We have been non-stop for about 2 weeks with 12-14 hour real work/house work days and could really use a little low key weekend.

Next weeks goals are to get the cabinets installed. Once that’s done, the electrician and plumber head back to connect everything. Only thing left is counter tops (Haven’t Decided on this yet) and back splash. I think we might be on track for a Memorial Day finish, which will be a miracle if we hit!


Hardest Working Weekend to Date

Guys, It’s Tuesday and I’m still exhausted from this weekend! We got more done than even I could have imagined. We were on a bit of a time crunch since the Cabinets were being delivered on Monday morning, so let’s back track a little to see where it all started:

Lets head all the way back to Thursday. Thursday night Collin had work, so I spent the evening priming and painting the Shiplap wall. I used a brush and a small foam roller. It took about 3 coats. I also painted the trim around the windows:


Friday night, after we got home from work, Collin and I immediately changed in to our working clothes and spent about an hour or so sanding the ceiling. Collin sanded with the stick sander While I followed behind by hand to make sure everything was super smooth.

All ready for Paint:


After sanding, we were able to get a coat of paint on the ceilings before bed! When we woke up Saturday morning, we did have to put a second coat of paint on the ceilings, but they looked great and our drywall was by far the best we have ever done:


After the ceiling was painted, I edged and Collin painted the walls in the back den and around the kitchen window. Of course, we ran out of paint, so couldn’t finish the kitchen wall. The paint is the same color we used throughout the house, Glidden’s Tawney Grey lightened 50%:


We spent a little bit of time cleaning up the den and kitchen. After that, we were getting started on the floors.

The first step was stapling down the underlayment. We just laid it out, and hit it with a few staples to keep it in place. Next we laid out the first row until it was level and nailed that in with our nail gun:

download (10).jpg

Once that was in, we could work on clicking in the rest of the floor. Collin had to go to work at 2:30 PM, so Anastasia came over to help me install. We didn’t get as far as I had hoped. Basically, since we are trying to install this throughout the whole first floor, we kept having to creep further and further in to the living room (which we weren’t planning on doing this weekend). We had to call it a night around 5 PM since we didn’t have the correct materials to level out the living room floors.

Instead we headed out to dinner and I kid you not when I say I was in bed by 8:30.

Sunday was a tough wake up, our bodies were killing us, but we had a big day and only 24 hours before the cabinets got delivered, so we hopped out of bed and grabbed some egg sammies before heading to Home Depot. At Home Depot, we got the plywood pieces that would allow us to keep installing in the front living room and some other supplies.

When we got home, Collin installed the plywood to level the floors and then stapled down the underlayment. We got to work installing the closet and around the fireplace:


Once we got past the entry way to the new kitchen, it was smooth sailing and the rest of the floors went down in about an hour:



After the floors were laid, I got the chandelier hung in the Den and we set it all up! The room still needs crown moulding, baseboards and window treatments, but it is totally cute and livable! I’ll leave you with this pretty after picture before I go through the disaster that was Cabinet delivery in tomorrow’s post!