Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tile sources

Someone asked where we got the accent tiles, and I should have known to post that after the pain in the *** it was to round everything up.
The small 3/4" accent tiles are glass, and they came from Hakatai. Check out their gallery - it makes me swoon! They will send you a sample board for a few $$ (which was really helpful) and then they sell the tiles in loose bags by the pound for only about $5 or so per bag, which was all we needed.
The 6 Art Nouveau tubelined tiles are from New England Art Tile Co. You can get them on Ebay but they're in Maine so we went down to pick them up. I think they are building a new showroom? Great price & great style.
The subways are Daltile, we got them from someone else who didn't need them, otherwise it would've been out of our price range. But they're not that expensive, really. We also checked out Subway Ceramics, they are the Mac Daddy of subway tiles and if we could've afforded it, they would have been the #1 choice!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We're calling it: Kitchen DONE!

Okay, so the kitchen is not quite, quite done, but we decided to call it after the tile backsplash went in. Crummy little teeny tiles - why do I insist on torturing myself with difficult, ridiculous 'touches'? Every other remaining task is about an hour or less, the list could be written on a post-it, and nobody who comes over thinks it's not done. Those seem to be the conditions for done-ness. Ken will be grouting the backsplash in the next few days, and the door for over the stove is just waitin' for the last coat of finish to dry.

So, I don't remember if we posted this, but when we started the kitchen, we wanted something food-y to mark when we started and when we finished. We took 2 identical boxes of cornbread mix & ate one when we started, then wrote on the other box "FINISHED __________". We filled in the date the other day, and ate the bread! (We also needed a quick dinner after a long day shoveling, etc - Dinty Moore & Jiffy cornbread - it's America's Favorite - yum. What is more Maine Winter Post-Shoveling than that?)

Favorite part of the kitchen: I think it's a tie between the CLEAN, FLAT floor and the open shelves. Eddy's favorite part is the empty peanut butter jar.

So, Happy Holidays, and now that we have a teeny speck of time off, we might just get some real work done soon!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back (almost) splash!

Alright, time for a less-embarrasing title than the previous post, especially for any folks who've opened the blog at work (sorry!).

So this weekend we started the rest of the backsplash tile, with the goal of putting in the bottom row. We're trying not to overdo it right now - it was pretty intensive kitchen work for a while, and we need a slow-down before the next project kicks in. However, it was going so well that we put in all the subway tile, and now just have to fill in with the multi-color strip (maybe next weekend?). But it looks so much cleaner now that the amazing technicolor wall isn't flaking off all over the place! Ahhh, the satisfying glossiness of new tile.

In our old apartment, our knife rack used to be right next to the bathroom, and it was kind of an interesting placement. This spot is much more sensible (as is the whole new kitchen in this house), but just a tiny bit, I miss the cheesy-horror-movie, Psycho-esque implications of gigantic knives next to the shower. Not that Psycho was cheesy, that was a quality classic film for sure. But Vertigo was better, no? Any votes for The Birds? ...anyways, yahoo for tile...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We got boobs!

I bet we get a lot of hits off that title! It's really quite inocuous (mom!).

Ken's parents found a very interesting vintage salt & pepper shaker when they got their lakeside camp - it is in the shape of a woman lying down, and the salt is one of her (ahem) breasts, while the pepper is the other. Well, needless to say, the set (literally and figuratively) has become one of the family prized possessions, and much coveted by all. I mean, how campy can you get?

So imagine my surprise and delight when I saw the very same set in an antique store here in town for a meager $10? Of course it had to come home with me. I'm not certain what the man minding the shop thought of me (these? he asked, pointing at the cute house-shaped ones right next to Miss February), but I didn't care. Ken absolutely flipped out and made me immediately agree that they are to be prominently displayed in the kitschen - I mean, kitchen. Well, duh. They're vintage after all. And yellow is one of our kitchen accent colors. No brainah.

Anyone know the history of these? I'm sure they have a cult following, and we'd love to hear more.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


All we've been doing lately is creating oddball bits of trim to finish all the weird last pieces of things. So here's where we are:

Done 1: The wine rack*. This was a teeny bit of space behind the antique base cabinet we reclaimed. Apparently older cabinets were not as deep as newer ones, so we had ~4.5" of dead space behind the unit. Can't waste space now, can we? So we planned to put in a winerack thingy. Trouble was, we couldn't wait to do it and we installed the cabinets and countertops first, then had to engineer a way to cram a skinny thing into a skinnier spot. Solution: attach narrow cleats to 2 pieces of plywood, nail/screw to both sides, then jam a 1x3 (trimmed to correct width) in between them in back to hold them apart at the proper width. Screw through that too. Luckily the drawers of the cabinet come out & leave an OK work space. Then set shelves on the cleats and finish out from the front. Note to self: do things in order next time. Works great, though! Today we added the last 2 teeny-tiny bits of trim (top and bottom, to hide some cabinet bracing ugliness) and filled nail holes. Touch up paint and it's officially done!

Done 2: The microwave cabinet (all but the door). We built this handy-dandy cabinet/pipe chase for the ductwork above the microwave, to hold uglier or bigger cookbooks and tall skinny things. It's all painted, cased, and trimmed out, just waiting for the door (which we successfully cut the pebble glass for ourselves today). By the way, even though 3 different glass shops wouldn't cut it for us ("Old glass always shatters", they'd say), we did it our damn selves with no problem. Just had to use a lot of 1 bys for support and clamping. Ha-ha.

Done 3: The WINDOWS, yes, that's right, the windows. All 3 of them. The most difficult, tedious, and rewarding part of every project - the windows. They look mighty fine too. We saw a window in the "Bungalow Kitchens" book that had a wood sash and painted trim, and that was the inspiration. These are stripped, re-glazed, repaired, re-painted/stained/finished, and have the sills and storms all stripped & caulked. We also had rounded up the couple of bits of missing hardware (shade brackets, a couple of the brass stop adjusters, and locks) and cleaned those brass beauties up too. And a shout out to JC Penney, who still will let you order custom sized, old-fashioned roller shades for a decent price. Yes, they're vinyl, but it's a kitchen. Needs to be easy to clean! You can order them online & pick up in a store, which is awesome.

What's left: we have touch up painting, cap for wainscoting (all painted & ready to install), tile to set, and thresholds to sand & finish & re-install. Next spring I'll strip the cellar door and then the kitchen is 100% done. Excluding the door stripping, we will indeed be totally done by X-Mas. Yes, there's a little tear in my eye as I write this - only a few kitchen posts left.
* we never have much wine, therefore it's a wine/saran wrap/water bottle rack. Anything long & skinny! It would look best with someone else's lovely wine collection in it, though.