Our kitchen is coming together, thanks to the incredible workers we have. My husband, my uncle and my dad have each had their hand in it, while I’ve merely dipped a pinky into the big pot of work that is this room. My dad provided design, muscle and materials like our reclaimed boards and surplus moulding via Millwork Outlet. Troy put in after work weekday shifts installing tile, trimming windows and spent an entire weekend painting, cutting and installing the first ceiling boards. We ran out of boards in the lengths we need, so that project is on hold pending the re-order. My uncle is sheetrocker extraordinaire; mudding, taping and sanding to perfection, along with coming up with a beautiful build up to cover the gaps between the top of the windows and the start of the wall over the big windows.
The hardest part of the process for me has been patience (it looks so good I can’t wait for the end result!), battling dust during the wicked colds that have plagued Henry and I for the last couple of weeks, and rearranging our schedules to be out of the house to make room for work. So basically, the guys made this really very easy on me. I did set a few of the tile sheets one night after I convinced Troy that I needed to have bragging rights over the wall and that the process would be a good bonding experience. Overall, my street cred as a remodeler is at an all time low, but my kitchen is at an all time style high.
Designing our kitchen has been an ongoing challenge for me though. Like most remodelers, we have struggled to balance the typical constraints of time and budget and our very big dreams. I often hear from my friends, and from customers at my previous gig at our family business the Millwork Outlet, that it is difficult to imagine what the materials and designs they have chosen will look like when completed. This makes the remodeling process stressful. They are wary of trying things and uncertain about their decisions.
I don’t have this particular problem, but I have an equally expensive issue. I’ve been cursed with a visual mind and it is very easy for me to picture how things will look when I have a new idea. I can look at a material and can immediately picture it in 3D on my walls. I can picture so clearly what the project will look like finished, that I get super excited (and a little bit impatient) about it. So much so, that I sometimes downplay the amount of work or money it will take to get to the beautiful end result. The phenomenon is like a constant mirage in my mind’s eye, only instead of water in the dessert I’ve got a shimmering image of shiplap and subway tile, perfectly pristine but just out of reach.
This has led to some expensive decisions, like adding tongue and groove painted white boards to our entire ceiling, and bringing the kitchen ceiling up to the full height of the living room. While Mr. Kelly would call these moves unnecessary, he agrees that they look fantastic, and I am lucky enough that he entertains my delusions of grandeur. And thankfully, the final result is nearly in reach now.
Our list of final projects has dwindled to: finish the build up around the 3 windows, finish the wood ceiling, install the new lighting, grout the tile wall, install floating shelves, paint walls, install new doors, and clean up the pantry. My next update will be the “after” pictures!