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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Kitchen Reveal!

Finally, after weeks of sneak peaks and broken promises, it's here!  The long awaited kitchen reveal!


You've already seen the breakfast nook.  Even with the table half finished at Christmas, the in-laws loved it and sat there all the time.  Even when the hubs and I were trying to cook Christmas dinner.  That may have backfired a bit.

The coffee bar was a HIT.  So accessible, so much storage, so much regarding counter and cabinet space.  The hubs hasn't even complained about having to walk over to the sink to fill up the water container for our combined Keurig/coffeepot from Amazon.  This was a GREAT buy and we use it multiple times every day.

Even with all the time, money and effort put into this table, I smile every time I come down the stairs and see this table.  It is EXACTLY what I wanted.  This is why I DIY - to make my visions come to life.  It's a nice touch of "us" in a rental house, desperately needed.

 Next, let's take a closer look at what sold us on renting this house, the skylight area of the kitchen.  We definitely needed more storage in the kitchen and used the island the owners left behind in this area, to hold some of our appliances and pantry items.

On the table is our tiny Christmas tree, bought from a colleague's daughter for their school sale.  It came with its own decorations and continues to grow since the holiday.  The hubs also has the porch plants wintering in this area, and they have done very well.  Except when Bob sneaks into the kitchen and snacks on them.  CATS!

Behind the island in the window are the clipboards I made in our old place, patterned off of Love Grows Wild's version.  We have our old Blue Apron recipes up there.  We did Blue Apron for about a year or so, when the hubs was "funemployed" and wanted something to do.  It was SO GOOD and he became really good a cooking a variety of things as a result.  We now just order the ingredients and rotate through the different recipes each month.  We take turns cooking depending on who gets home first.  This move has really been good for both of us, though my efficiency/productivity has taken a bit of a blow due to the increased commute.   

These wire cubbies are from World Market, kind of a spur of the moment buy one day when I was shopping for something else.  I have wanted more storage on this wall and these cubbies totally worked.  The homeowners had something similar but more French Country style, which didn't work for me.  Anyway, this holds our sundries, kitchen towels, and paper towels.  The hubs had to reinforce it after we started putting heavier things in it.

Across from the skylight is the "working part" of the kitchen, with the refurbished island, dishwasher, sink, and stove.   The island has really been working hard for us and might need a new sanding and sealing as well as some touch up paint.  I read somewhere that there is special paint for cabinets since they have so much use.  I'm going to have to look into that with my next projects.

This island has so much storage.  It's got three drawers and 6 shelves.  It holds our bowls, foils and plastic wrap, tupperware containers, plastic bags, bottle openers, oven mitts, and kitchen towels.  And it's cute!

The pass through was a problem - from the first day we signed the lease, we knew the cats were going to be trying to jump into the kitchen through it.  Still we wanted the light from the kitchen to come through into the living room and dining room.  So I bought these room dividers from Amazon and the hubs suggested using fishing wire and a curtain rod at the top to hang them up in an easily removable way.  Perfect!

I think I saw these vases on a now defunct HGTV show from one of the Design Star winners.  I found this one on Amazon and bought another on Amazon that is no longer for sale.  One is in the kitchen and one is in the living room.  They are just elegant and simple.

So that's it.  The long awaited kitchen reveal.  Hope it was worth the wait.  This is my favorite room in the house right now.

Here's a few more picture - spring is almost here!

Pedestal Table Makeover

Hi guys,

In the new place, we had a much bigger eat in kitchen area than ever before, at least in terms of width.  I decided our tiny little bistro table made the area look like a vast wasteland of space and began looking around for a pedestal table.  This project is one of those ones that you just keep running into roadblocks and having to find a plan B, C, D, and X.  All the blood, sweat, and tears just makes me love it more though.

I'm being told only "creepers" use Craigslist as everyone has moved to Facebook marketplace or Letgo.  I don't have a Facebook account and since I still work in Baltimore, being able to score Craigslist pieces between Baltimore and Silver Spring has been pretty awesome.  Anyway, I scored this find for $30 on Craigslist!

I loved the lines of the pedestal base but thought it could use some paint on the base and a new finish on the top.  I looked a quite a few Pinterest options, because I really wanted to give the whole area a cozy comfortable eat in kitchen feel.   These are a few of my Pinspirations for the feel of the space and the look of the table!

Shabbyfufu Blog

     I just love those French chairs paired with rounded base!  Much too elegant for my house, but so beautiful!

Do you SEE the finish on this table?!? Beautiful!

Just YES.

Anyway, you get the idea, right?  I was inspired to say the least.  So...I got started...painting the base.  Because that was going to be easier than sanding.

And it was.  Much easier than sanding.  Especially since part way through the sanding, I began to realize there was a problem.

This table had a veneer top.  #$@%#$!@#$.  

After a few days of freaking out, the hubs and I came together and came with a solution.  Either paint the top or add new stainable veneer to the top and still get the dream table.  Option 2, please.

I ordered this veneer from a great seller on EBay.  It was enough to cover two tables my size and I was going to need the backup, as you'll see.  I wanted something with enough grain to show through a light stain but not dominate the table, so I chose the white pine.  It came in a few days.  I couldn't find the hubs thick utility knife until after I finished cutting it with a subpar smaller pencil sized utility knife.  I figured I could sand off the rough edges once it was attached, which was correct.  But there were a few things I didn't count on.

The hubs had used veneer before for a number of different guitar projects, so I was comfortable taking his suggestions for how to attach and smooth out the veneer.  Except he didn't inform me until after the fact that he had never used veneer with a paper backing, exactly the kind he had advised me to buy.  So we found out the hard way not to use wood glue and a roller on paper backed veneer unless you wanted 8 billion air bubbles.  He then advised me on a few ways to detach the hacked up veneer from the table so I could lay down a new veneer piece, none of which worked.  I basically had to hand peel it off and then sand down the glue until it was smooth enough to try again.

Take 2.  This time I contacted the EBay seller and asked for instructions on how to lay down the veneer.  They sent me instructions along with a few You Tube videos (I liked this one the most), all suggesting use of contact cement to attach the veneer and a paint scraper or similar tool to smooth down the veneer.  The second time, everything worked perfectly, until I accidentally cut off a small piece of veneer from the table edge because of the terrible small utility knife.  Whoops.  I figured I would deal with that later.

Below pictures are from the WRONG way to attach paper backed veneer using wood glue.

Veneer applied with contact cement.  Perfect.

On to staining.  Using the Pinspirations above, I settled on Classic Grey Miniwax stain for the table.  Super easy to apply.  Two coats gave me the EXACT finish I wanted.  I added three layers of Polycrylic to finish the top and the bottom after doing some touch up paint/stain.  BOOM.

This finish was PERFECT.  But I still had a few problems.  The accidental cut out of the veneer AND the table edge that wouldn't sand down and would be too difficult to veneer and stain.  After painting the edge gray to see if it could blend into the rest of the table a little, I decided to go with the hubs plan of cutting the table edge off.  Which worked pretty well.  So he's back on the good list.

So you can see my last remaining problem in the above picture.  That chip off the veneer edge that was messing up my otherwise perfect table, now that the edges were smooth.  I began looking into and trialing a number of products, including metal window edging, polyurethane flexible trim options, and metal flashing.  They all required intensive time and did not leave a professional look to the table because of all the cutting/fitting/filling/clamping required.  I think I probably spent $100 on different ideas that the hubs and I wanted to try and they all failed.  Still, we were able use the table as is when the in-laws came for the holidays.  EVERYONE tried to sit at it all the time.  Super useful, super cute, and super hilarious.

Still, once they were gone, I wanted to finish off that edge.  So I kept searching for flexible molding/trim options online until I came across one on the Home Depot website.  I was looking at the Q/As and saw that the manufacturer had put their email on the website to provide further help for a customer with a custom order question.  So...I emailed the manufacturer, Flexible Millwork because I didn't want to spend more money on products that weren't going to work.  The manufacturer replied right away and clarified that the in stock over the counter non custom product they had would absolutely work for the project.  And guess what?  It was half the price on their website in comparison to Home Depot.  SOLD.  Take My Money.

I bought the 1 1/8 by 1 1/8 corner molding.  I thought it might be too big, but because the two sides overlap, it was really close to the 3/4 amount I needed to cover the torn edge and the entire side of the table.  It did have a bigger lip than I wanted, but it kind of gave the table a bit of a bumper, not in a bad way.  I decided to take my time getting it clamped to the table, about 1/8 of the table at a time, because I REALLY WANTED TO FINALLY FINISH THIS PROJECT WITH NO MISTAKES.

I painted the molding white because in all of my failed attempts, the white edge looked the nicest again the stained veneer.  I also taped a line just next to the edging for "spillover" white paint from the edging.  See, I'm learning.  Almost done!

Here's the finished product.  To complete the look, I added this rug from Home Depot on sale for under $100, this adorable settee from Houzz that we added new taller legs to from Etsy (vertically challenged, ha!), and my good old Ikea dining room chairs, now with grey covers.  That whole teal fabric no sew project didn't work out.  My cozy comfy adorable breakfast nook is DONE.  Finally.

Oh yeah, because we have limited cabinet space in the kitchen even though the eat in area is massive, I decided to exile the hubby's coffee stuff to a cute little coffee bar in the corner.  We found this already distressed dresser on Craigslist (seriously, I don't care if its shady, I'm all in!) and the hubs resealed the top to make it waterproof.  He added these small baskets from Amazon to the side for more storage, his idea.  We put the coffee pot up there along with a cute little sugar and cream saucer and some K cups.  ALL of the hubs coffee and tea essentials fit in the drawers.  He's very happy and I've regained some cabinet space.  WIN WIN.

I think you've seen 50% of the kitchen at this point.  But still, I will do a reveal hopefully later this month.

Bye for now,