100. The Not-final Kitchen post

See that 100 up there before the title? I’ve spent the last few weeks wondering what I was going to write about for my 100th post. Big time writer’s block? Afraid of a number? My WordPress statistics tell me I’ve already written 100 posts, it’s just that two of them weren’t numbered. I started the numbering system after the first few posts, because originally? This blog was for me. For us. So we could keep track of what we’d done on the cottage. I wanted an orderly progression of ugly, uglier, better, beautiful. (And heaven knows, something needed to be orderly in my life.)

For a long time, I thought my 100th post would be the Final recap of the kitchen. The Biggie. 100. The Complete Cottage Kitchen Renovation for Less than $10,000.

We did stay under budget, but there are still a few things left to do, and I can’t write a final recap post when the kitchen isn’t final yet.

But I can do everyone’s favorite — Befores and Afters! (Is there anyone who doesn’t like before and after shots???)

70s kitchen

Before.
You can see the sample flooring, but that was the expensive stuff — we bought simple Armstrong VCT.

New old door $35 from Habitat for Humanity. Hardware $45 from Construction Junction.

New old door painted Blooming Grove (Ben Moore) from Habitat for Humanity. The lovely creamy white color is Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk

IMG_2896

Before…

And the same space now…

You can see that the subway tile doesn’t yet go around the corner. And there will be appliance shelves above the tile. Oh and real electric outlets…

This is a close-up of the soapstone countertops and sink. You can read about our soapstone love affair and adventures here.

Even after some nicks and dents and scratches, we still love the soapstone.

This...

This…

…to this!

…to this!

This corner below made it into the recent post about the orange phone. (You can read that one here.)

IMG_1695

corner with fridge

We don’t have any before photos of the little pantry that we demolished — it was just to the right of this door below:

But we do have a lovely shot of the hole that we found when we took out the wall. These next two pics are of the same space — about 16 months apart… I made the first picture small on purpose — no one wants to see how awful it really was.

hole in the wall

Discovering this was one of the low points…

The chalkboard was my Christmas present...

The chalkboard was my Christmas present…And the peninsula covers that hole nicely. The butcher block wood is Sapele from Hardwood Lumber Company in Ohio. You can read about it here and here.

From this above photo you can look in and see the almost finished dining room. You can see that the trim isn’t finished around the door, the crown still needs to be put up (we just finished the ceiling this past weekend!), and the mirror between the sconces still is leaning against the fifth wall… But yes, life is good.

Dining Room before

View of Dining room into kitchen

and what it looks like now.

Just a few Post Scripts: Some of the walls you see aren’t there any longer — we took out some half-walls here and there. The only things kept from the original kitchen were the windows, the light with a pull chain above the green door, the fridge, and the built-in cupboard. Oh, and the pantry sign. We’ve still got art to hang, and finishing touches to do, and now that I see the bushel baskets on the fridge, I think they have to go… But it is Apple Hill Cottage after all, so they’ve got to find a place somewhere…

99. Going, going, gone

It wasn’t too long ago when I wrote about this lovely chandelier and wished it gone from the ceiling!
Ox yoke chandelier

Mr. H.C read the post and kindly obliged two weeks later. But first there was electric work to be finished in the attic.
New chandelier
Have you seen these new bucket ceiling lights? They are all the rage in Europe. I’m sure you’ll be seeing them at your local Ikea soon. (Yes, we buy Kilz Primer by the five-gallon bucket.)

Then there were ceiling boards to prime and paint and nail up; but at the end of the day weekend, this is how the ceiling had changed. Presto. Change-o. (Well, not quite that fast…) A beautiful new old ceiling light.
Schoolhouse ceiling light

And I can’t resist one more view from the living room into the kitchen:
Schoolhouse lights

You can tell that the ceiling doesn’t yet have its final coats of paint, but we just couldn’t wait to see it without being yoked to that old chandelier.
Ahhh…. Life is good.

97. The Table’s Tale

I think I might have been the first item they purchased for the cottage.

I was reduced to being sold for $35 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Washington. It was absolutely humiliating, but they were very delighted. She wrote about it in her second post 2. The Sanding Queen, dated May 30, 2012 and called it a great deal. I shudder to think of it.

This is what I looked like the day they bought me. Table--before

Yes, I admit I was no beauty anymore; I was a bit down and out, but I had solid black wrought iron underneath, and at one time I was imposing. (Imported from Europe, but I don’t like to brag.) Plus, I lived Large. Lots of people could squeeze around me, say grace, shout about the mashed potatoes, spill gravy, slosh coffee, and just, well, eat, drink and be merry. I was a table that said Home.

I heard her say that she was just going to paint me and let me be a shabby chic table;  I don’t know what that means, but I am no Shabby Chick! I put all my hopes on the man; I could see he was a carpenter — all those tools! He could appreciate nice looking wood, even if I was just a fancy veneer over plain pine.  Everyone has a veneer, right? And my heart and covering were both good solid woods. (And I do have great, curvy legs, if I do say so myself…) When the man got out his sander I was a bit nervous, but he was easy on me and I came out looking like this:harvest table

A bit pale maybe, but definitely not shabby! Suddenly I’m feeling sort of Pottery Barn-ish.

work tableI tell you I was thinking, Yes! Now I’m home and there will be real meals again! And then I was covered up in layers of plastic tablecloths, sheets, and tarps, and it was back to being a work table for two more years! Even though They Said they were going to fix me up, I was  beginning to lose hope.

Then she uncovered me, moved me around, and started with the sandpaper on my legs… I wasn’t sure what to think about that pot of green paint she had with her. I thought that whole paint thing had been taken care of already. I made her bump her head a few times before I decided I kind of liked that silky green paint on my legs…

Table

But still they hadn’t done anything to keep those gravy stains from permanently damaging my new complexion. When they finally moved me in place, I tried my best to look like I needed a vacation to the islands or somewhere sunny. Alas, all they did was give me a fake tan. But that oil rubbed on my skin did warm me up, and three coats belonging to Polly somebody have just brought out my inner glow.putting poly on table

At least they have fixed up the walls I’m sitting beside. Talk about shabby? Oh, my! And those little lights above me are very sweet — they can be dim or bright depending on their mood, but we all have our little quirks, don’t you think? I think we’ll get along fabulously.

Am I not beautiful?

Dining room table and breadboard

What concerns me now is the chairs she might surround me with… I don’t want to tangle legs with mismatched Duncan Phyfes or lazy benches or painted-up shabby chicks. And no bistro chairs, please. What is a redeemed table to do but worry about the company she keeps? I think several upright parson’s chairs would do quite nicely, thank you.

dining table

“Eh,” she says, “you’re getting a bit uppity don’t you think? I don’t need La Table telling me what to do!”

table and green legsBut may I quote Better Homes and Gardens here? The dining table is “a substantial piece of furniture that sets the tone for the entire room…”

“Ahem!” she says. “I saw another table just like you today for sale at Construction Junction for $45, so don’t go upscale on me!”

Forty-five dollars?

Hey, bring on those cheap shabby chick chairs…