Kitchen Update; Progress, mistakes, and waiting

Well, we are at the end of the first full week. We have all upper cabinets in place, the plumbing work is done, including the relocating of a gas valve and gasline to the clothes dryer that we forgot about, the additional cabinets are ordered, cabinet hardware is backordered, and we are sitting around waiting for things to happen.

Look, doors!

It wasn’t all that easy. To replace the water valves at the water meter required the city turning off the water, which was made really difficult by the fact that, back in 2003, the city hired a company to replace the sidewalks, and they paved over our shutoff! Our city’s DPW cut a notch in the sidewalk and put in an extension for the shutoff, but it took a while, since they are all on half-staff due to budget cuts. It actually took me four days to get an appointment to even have the water shut off in the first place!

But we got it done, got a new water meter – the old one was leaking – and everything is back in place. Now we are basically waiting on the people who will help us finish the job. mr husband and I decided to do what we do well, and leave the rest to the experts. When we had the “great flood of 2010” the flooring was replaced; we want the same guys to come back and fix it now, where the new cabinets are shorter than the old ones were:

It’s one of only two changes to the layout of the kitchen.

We also hired a craftsman to do our crown moulding. Working at a museum, I get the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people, and one of them was Erich Wasner of Authentic Restoration Detroit, whose company specialized is restoring gorgeous old homes without destroying their character. I met him when he and his wife, Jackie, purchased an old foursquare farmhouse in the town where I work and began a sensitive restoration of the 1918 home. Even though I don’t have an historic, century-old home, Erich and Milan will be installing our crown moulding!!!

We chose these knobs, but could only get six of them so far.

So as we wait on the floor guys, we postpone templating for the countertops, which is actually okay, since I decided to return two of our 12″ bases for ones with 3 drawers, and they had to be special ordered. Also, we had to order a new ceiling light, because we didn’t take into account the fact that the new cabinets are 6″ taller than the old ones, and this happened:

That’s not parallax – you really can’t open those doors without hitting the light!!!


So now mr husband is planning to frame in the space above the pantry. There is a furnace air return up there, so he has designed an open-work mission-style screen of hickory to close in the space and give it some character. You may wonder why its open in the first place: when we built the pantry, 12 years ago now, the attic stairs extended further back, and we needed to drop the top of the wall so the stairs could open. A few years ago we replaced the pulldown attic stairs with a smaller unit, moved it forward, and now we don’t need that clearance. It is a little weird to have the attic access in the kitchen, but this was the utility room, if you recall, and we are kind of stuck with it. Just don’t look up!

Today we returned to Public Lumber in Detroit for some hickory to build the screen. While mr husband is fashioning that, I took a “break” to cut the grass and put together a new bench for the front porch.

Its acacia wood with an oil finish. I like the design. Sorry it is so dark, but the sun is quite bright today.

Rowley dog, my constant helper. Doesn’t he look better? He’ll be getting groomed tomorrow. He still smells a little like skunk…

So we are plodding along, installing under-cabinet lighting, washing dishes in a washtub, cooking in the toaster oven. Last night we had dinner at the casino with some friends, and caught this picture from the parking deck:

Detroit skyline. It was a pretty night with a storm coming up.


About claymire cottage

I'm a museum curator who lives with a wonderful husband, Rowley the golden Retriever, and 2 cats; Mr. Cookie, and Mabel the Magnificent.

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