After a super productive first month in the new house, we have a lot to be proud of. We were hard at work refinishing the floors, replacing the front and back door, removing wallpaper, prepping and sanding walls for paint, painting walls, replacing upstairs carpet and setting up the nursery. For the last month, the progress has slowed from a frenzy to a slow muggy southern evening on a front porch type pace. This is due to the hot Fall days we've (still!) been having, the fact that the TV was hung and most especially, the arrival of Sir Henry. Our time now has been occupied by learning from and loving this amazing sweet boy and our days are filled with napping, snuggles, and the three boys watching football, rather than sawdust and progress. However, we decided (well really, I decided- happy wife, happy life, right?) it was time to pick up the hammers again when it became clear that attempting to cook one handed with a newborn in a half finished kitchen was becoming a serious handicap. So we did the only obvious thing, and made it worse! Troy ripped out the old cabinets and installed our new, beautiful shaker style custom cabinets made by Leroy, a friend of the Millwork Outlet (email Joan at www.millworkoutlet.com if you need a cabinet maker, new windows or any other home renovation products!) Without any hardware pulls or counter tops, this allowed me to finish unpacking our kitchen appliances and dishes to use, but produced new problems. So HDK, Troy and I took an overdue trip to Georgetown and perused the countertop choices there for hours while Henry, prince that he is, helped out by sleeping through the entire trip. We debated for a while about the look we wanted, since I love the look of an all white kitchen with Carrera marble but know that we can't handle that kind of maintenance responsibility. I am also passionately adamant about maintaining the look of an 1919 kitchen in our design and am wary of anything I think is too modern. We finally agreed on a darker, more practical Coastal Grey Pental quartz counter top that was at the high end of our budget but will last beautifully for years and years. It will contrast nicely with the light grey cabinets and with white subway tiles and walls, we'll still have the bright, clean look I love.
Next I lined up a stone fabricator and installer and set about online shopping for a faucet, sink and cabinet hardware. We got the sad news from him that the pretty white porcelain sink that the former homeowner never installed and had left in our garage would not work with the top mount look I wanted, and decided to take the plunge and buy our dream sink. (Yes, we have a dream sink, I know it's weird...) Finally, to imbue another elegant, historical touch, we ordered a copper faucet and I picked up some copper cabinet hardware from craigslist. The sink and counters should be in this week and Troy installed the new windows last Sunday, which have already made a huge impact on the light and feeling in there. I cannot wait to see the completed result look as great as our inspiration photos below. Our kitchen will truly be my dream kitchen, compromises and all, and I cannot wait to cook for my family in it. In the meantime, I cook our meals on plywood counter tops, wash our dishes in the bathroom sink and try not to feel bad about the wastefulness of using mainly disposable tableware. Such is the life of a renovator, and I do not complain, because I know the hard work and mild inconveniences of the present will lead to a gorgeous future home to share for the rest of our lives. In ten years the cabinets will be scratched from little boys' toys running into them and there will probably be spaghetti sauce caked in the subway tile grout, and we will know that we did well!
Here are my secrets for pre-batching drinks for parties. As a former cocktail caterer who has served drinks on mountain tops, in the woods, in horse corrals, backstage at music festivals, and to thousands of thirsty wedding guests, I have some tips for making batched cocktails for events.