Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Spicey Mini-Project

November 2010
As work continued on our kitchen, we started to think more about storage solutions in our little space.  One thing we needed to deal with was our growing spice collection. In the past, we have always lined them up on the top of the stove in an orderly, if not super elegant formation.  Our new stove does not sit close enough to the wall to allow this to continue (ie. they kept falling behind the stove which lead to frequent cursing).  The solution was to line them up on the window sill above the sink, which was also not ideal.  I decided we need to buy a spice rack, the only problem was there aren't a lot of spice racks.  Who knew?

The only spice racks I could find were made for the counter top, definitely no room there, or else were super modern and didn't quite match our kitchen.  Next, Josh and I thought about building one, which seemed a time consuming and frustrating solution.  Luckily, things can happen when your not quite looking.  We were at IKEA buying a bookcase for the office and it occurred to me we would need to buy spice jars that were all the same size.  After buying 24 spice jars I thought... what if we just bought some shadow boxes to put them in?  However, there were no shadow boxes that were the right size, yet, there was a small planter box that did seem the right fit.  We brought three home and held them up, perfect fit!  They were deep enough to hold the jars but slim enough to not block the window.  We painted each box (4 coats in total) and screwed them on to the wall.  A little bit of caulk (cause what project doesn't involve some) and some touch up and for $43 bucks we had a complete and custom spice rack. 

Another kitchen project completed!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dishwasher Debacle Day 2 & 3 & 4

September 2010

Fast forward 5 hours after the countertop install and we have the dishwasher in place, and the sink is set... however we have no plumbing.  No worries, it should be a quick number to split the water supply over to the dishwasher and run the dishwasher waste into the sewer line... right?  It's a Wednesday and I decided that as a 'gift' to Josh who had been pulling some long hours at work that I would have my friend Gordon come over and help me get everything working by the time he comes home.  You see I can be nice everyone once and a while!

Gordon showed up at 5:00pm and quickly alerted me to the fact that this was NOT going to be simple.  Our amazing new-to-us sink was significantly deeper then our previous harvest gold number.  A whole 9" deeper, which now means the waste line is far too high in the wall, urgh.  So, he rips a hole in the wall under the sink and he explains he will need to cut into the sewer line put in a new T and cap above it.  I am all for it, but another snag, our sewer line is not your modern day PVC pipe.  It's galvanized steel, so now he is cutting it with his drummel wearing goggles and spraying my kitchen with sparks at 6:15pm.  He also needs supplies, new supply lines, a new elbow for the waste line, etc.  He leaves at 7:00pm.  This was the point I thought we would be toasting our working dishwasher over a beer. He comes back at 8:00pm.  8:15 Gordon is on his back under my sink re-plumbing my entire wall.  He finally gets the sink hooked up and it appears to be draining properly.  Next, we find out the faucet that came with the sink is busted and leaks, we need new o-rings. Josh comes home to a hole in our wall and a quasi functional sink. It's 9:00pm.  Next we try and run the dishwasher.  It's not draining properly, it needs to be re-balanced and secured to the countertop for stability. Gordon calls it a night at 10:00pm. I am sure cursing me and my house.
The next morning I purchased a new faucet on-line (upside-- I get to buy some new bling that looks AMAZING) and manage to score the item on Overstock for 50% off.  I decide for the next 2-3 days we can live with a towel wrapped around the old faucet handles.  Two days later, the cabinet guys show up to finish the cabinets and help us re-balance the dishwasher and screw it in place.  We ran our first load of dishes 3 months, 2 weeks and 3 days after we purchased it.  No sweat right? 

So for those that have been following, this is how you can take a $600 dishwasher and spend $1,000 installing it.  Although in all fairness this included: all new countertops, a new sink, a new faucet and cabinetry-- but lesson learned. Well mostly, we learned Gordon is a good friend and we cannot be trusted.  I have also included a picture of the new counter on the other side of the kitchen.  As you can see we still have to install a backsplash, add trim to the underside of the countertops and touch up paint.  But we had working appliances so it felt like a win after a bunch of fails.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dishwasher Debacle Day 1

September 2010
If you have been following my blog you will know that we decided to buy a dishwasher for our kitchen, without having a) a place for it b)electrical for it c) a general idea of whether it would even work.  I mean honestly how bad could it be?  We did have a large two door cabinet to the right of our sink and we had always planned on removing it.  So, after three months of owning our dishwasher and watching it sit in our dining room we decided to tackle the beast.  A couple of weeks earlier we had the electrician add a new circuit and outlet under the sink.  Then, Josh removed the existing cabinet and we dragged the dishwasher into place.  At this point, problem number one occurred.  Dishwashers are designed for current standard cabinets, our lovely 1920's cabinets are original and built-in and of course not the traditional depth of modern day cabinets/dishwashers.  Thus our dishwasher stuck out an inch past the counter top.  Wonderful!

But okay, this was not a huge issue, we already knew we were going to replace the counter tops, but it meant that our new counter would now stick out from the cabinets an extra inch then normal, which we were okay with.  However, it would have to take a weird jog to line up with our dining room door.  Not my favorite moment but we will have to chalk it up to character.  Our amazing friend Deana had managed to score some free laminate in town that was a second (although we have never found the supposed flaw).  It was a great neutral charcoal color and would go great with our white cabinets.  Josh's boss also donated a stainless steel sink that had been sitting in their shop for years after being pulled out of a clinic. 

Armed with our free items we paid a cabinet installer to make us new counters and box out the sink and dishwasher cabinet to accommodate our new bling. We figured from there we could take on the rest....