Kitchen (Ours)

When you have two baths and one kitchen to renovate, life becomes overwhelming. That’s when you need a quick win. At least I did last month. For example, the previous owners had a penchant for a country/gold/brass decor, which Tig and I do not share. For example, the butler pantry cabinets in our unit have brass knobs; the linen closet had porcelain pulls with flowers on them.

Luckily, I found these in a drawer when we first moved in.


Continue reading “A quick win - glass cabinet pulls” »

My to do list never ends. The previous homeowners had the kitchen redone about 7 years ago. It’s decent, but definitely not our style. We can live with it though. However there was a problem with the tile backsplash. Apparently the installer used grout along where the tile backsplash meets the countertop. Definitely a no-no. Over time, this area expands and contracts, thus cracking along this line. That’s why it’s called an expansion joint. So today I fixed it, and replaced it with silicone caulk.  By the way, fixing something around the house is an AT assignment, but we’re always fixing things around the house.

putty knives for scraping

Continue reading “Touching Up the Kitchen Backsplash” »

This past week, we lost three Cure days because of our trip to DC for a friends engagement party. Even with the few extra days, we probably would not be able to finish it. Our kitchen is larger than the average one in New York City. It would take more than a week to clean out every nook and cranny, fitting it around work, house projects and other activities. One of the first things I did was change the butler’s pantry back to dinnerware/glassware storage.

butler's pantry

Continue reading “Week Two: The Butler’s Pantry” »

Our main kitchen drawer was a mess of utensils. We searched for premade organizers, but the cabinet depth is unusually shallow. Tig was determined to make something himself. So he designed and created this organizer.

kitchen drawer organizer

We also made a shopping list of items that would improve our kitchen, such as a magnetic knife rack, a lightweight folding ladder, a much smaller microwave oven (ours is huge) slim undercabinet paper towel holder and some servingware. Now that they’ve been identified, we will purchase them over time for a mini-makeover.

After several nights of chaos reorganizing the kitchen, we wrapped up on Saturday. First, the windows got a good washing (I don’t think we’ve ever washed them). Now Tig keeps commenting, “The windows are really clear!”

cleaning the windows

Continue reading “Week Two: Kitchen” »

A house needs constant maintenance. And it wears on you. So when you can get a fix done in a few minutes (see disclaimer at end of post), it’s a relief.

One of our cabinets in the butler’s pantry had this sticky latch.

sticky latch

You can see in the picture that it does not spring out the way it is supposed to (it’s stuck in the open position). It also gets stuck the other way, when the latch is closed and it practically takes a wrench to open it.

Continue reading “5 Minute Fix *” »

We’ve been talking about doing a major hell-raising kitchen renovation in about 5-7 years so that we have time to dream, plan and save money. In the meantime, the kitchen needs a mini-makeover. For a while, we’ve been tolerating its appearance, rationalizing that it was functional and spacious compared to some of our previous kitchens.

But things we tolerate also sap us of our energy and vitality, like a slowly dripping faucet. This morning, I made notes on all the things that bothered me about the kitchen. Let’s take a tour:kitchen stove

This corner of the kitchen is pretty set, there’s not much we can change about it.

Continue reading “Kitchen Mini-Makeover” »

I needed a little inspiration for our kitchen mini-makeover, and found it in Country Home magazine’s May 2007 issue. Titled “How Swede It Is“, the article features a Minneapolis couple who completed a kitchen addition using a mixture of budget (IKEA) and high-end items (marble). The owners drew from the wife’s Swedish heritage to create this light-filled kitchen.

Continue reading “Kitchen Mini-Makeover Inspiration” »

After identifying what really bothered us about our kitchen and picking out a photo for inspiration, we’ve compiled a to-do list. The list is broken down into large tasks - tasks that would shut down the kitchen’s operations - and smaller items we can do over time while still enjoying the use of our kitchen.

Major Tasks

  1. Skim coat, patch and paint walls with Devine Vanilla (essentially cream colored). Hopefully this one change will dramatically brighten up the kitchen. The only exception to the white is in the china cabinet of our butler’s pantry. I wanted to choose a light green color…wish me luck in finding the right one!
  2. Remove the upper cabinets around the sink. Repair and patch the backsplash tiles affected by this change.
  3. Reinstall the sink with a fresh batch of plumber’s putty and seal around with silicone caulk. No cost, just time.
  4. Fix the faucet; we suspect the the faucet is clogged with calcium deposits. Also a no cost solution.

Continue reading “Mini-Makeover To-Do List” »

The mini kitchen makeover starts.

upper cabinet needs to go

The upper cabinets got the heave-ho. That part was easy. First I removed the upper crown molding, chipped away the caulk surrounding the wood, then unscrewed the cabinet from the wall. If I had more foresight, I would have gotten a helper to stabilize the cabinet as I removed the last screw that was holding it in place (the cabinets are quite heavy). Unfortunately, I was alone when the cabinet quickly dropped to the counter. No harm done, though.

Continue reading “How To Sneak Electrical Work Into Any Project” »

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