Well, things are going swimmingly! I can’t believe 1) how much progress has been made and 2) how much better the kitchen is looking. I was traveling with my entourage this morning and showed up at the house a few minutes after the installers did, so I felt a little bad, but they were nice about it. There were three guys building today, a random electrician, and the project supervisor. We also had a cameo by the company owner via telephone. Highlights were watching the movie Enchanted and a Chicken McNugget lunch.
It would have been strange if I hadn’t had to run out and get something in the middle of one of the building days, and I wasn’t really that sorry to have an errand to run. Fella and Filly liked being at home with their toys after spending the day at Grandma’s house (although the whole time we were home they wanted to go back), but spending some time at Home Depot and Lowe’s was entertaining. I had to buy brackets for the table-height shelf that will be installed below where the breakfast bar used to be. (It’s hard to explain and hard for people to imagine, so you’ll just have to wait for the pictures.) All the pre-stained stuff was too small–it was in the decorative shelf area, and I can’t really blame it for not being industrial strength. What it turns out I really needed is called corbels, which can be located–in unstained wood–in the lumber area. I got these pretty simple arched ones that ought to allow for plenty of knee room. The builders are going to drill holes for them so they make a level surface, and we’ll just stain and attach them before the countertop comes. What I wasn’t looking for at all was a corner shelf, and I found one in a nearly exact color that will be the absolute perfect thing to finish off the cabinets where they demarcate the boundary between the kitchen and the dining room. When we were considering the Liljestad style of cabinets, I was all excited because they had a matching corner shelf piece, but it doesn’t come in the Adel Medium Brown color. I hadn’t thought past that disappointment, so when I found these at Home Depot it was like a gift. The color is a little bit light and a little bit more yellow, but they’ll be behind the cabinet in its shadow, and none will be the wiser. I think I’m going to put my See/Hear/Speak No Evil monkey candles on the shelves (I bought three). I even think the builders are going to be nice enough to hang them!
So when we came back from our shopping, the workers were all at lunch. We were greeted by this:
Day 2, At the Lunch Break
Breakfast Bar Progress
Probably the biggest drama of the day was the Matter of the Dishwasher that Could Not Be Detached from the Wall. They’ve been working around the dishwasher, because they couldn’t shut off the water to it–the whatchacallit valve was corroded in the on position. The problem is that when they were messing with it, they started a little leak. The leak is easy to contain in one sense–it’s slow, but the water drips not only into the pan but also runs down the length of the hose, and the floor is getting wet. The job manager called me to find out the procedure for shutting water off before he called in a plumber, which necessitated a call to the HOA to find out what we had to do, which resulted in a return phone call that said nothing–the water shut-off is for our unit only. The job manager did me the favor of calling and (presumably) scheduling the plumber himself, and that basically ended the drama.
After lunch there was a decision to be made and some confusion. The decision involved my big dreams for the ugly cabinet with the L-shaped shelves’s replacement: We’d planned a stack of three cupboards with doors like some built-in china closet, but the way the cabinets were lining up with the other ones in the room and the giant gap at the top was just looking bad, so I gave them permission to hang the one 30″ cabinet at the level of the others and leave the base cabinet on the floor, with a space between. Luckily, the electrician was still around, and was able to add wiring for one more under-cabinet light. We’ll extend the counter across to that part. If I’m lucky, it won’t turn into a paper trap and Filly won’t pull a fruit bowl or whatever I place there onto the floor. It is a lovely fruit bowl and I’ve always wanted to feature it more prominently, and this would be the perfect spot. Cross your fingers for us!
The confusion was regarding the two tall cabinets that will serve as a broom closet and a pantry respectively. There was an 80″ version and an 88″ version, and I have not quite 89″ of height. When I’d first had the installation company do the official measuring, the company owner came up with a hack for the 88″ cabinet, and when I went to order the pieces for the hack the kitchen guy at IKEA called the company to make sure. The hack, however, was not communicated to the building team, and they were quite heavy-hearted when they called me downstairs to break the news to me (the boxes had been built and could probably not go back for a refund or exchange). But when I explained that there was a hack, they caught on. One more call to the company owner cleared everything up. They cut down the 88″ cabinet to [some height], are adding a 6″ drawer to the bottom and two sizes of doors and it all adds up to [new size] and will be hunky dory. It would have been hunky dory today, except that the pieces for the drawer were too wide and had to be returned. Not a biggie. IKEA had them on hand; I swapped them out during dinner time while the rest of the family ate upstairs. (I really, truly didn’t mind–I had a cinnamon roll and podcasts to listen to while sitting on a couch.)
So the guys worked and worked some more, and left for the evening with the kitchen looking like this:
End of Day 2
Breakfast Bar Progress
What I am really happy about is the insertion of a cabinet facing the dining room. We’ll be hiding the phone in it (the electrician built the jacks) and it will be perfect for placemats. Plus, because the breakfast bar is gone, the kitchen counter will run right across the top of it, and offer a nice big bit of extra prep space. That cabinet is basically done (although the jacks are not):
So at the end of the day, I had Filly upstairs watching Hunchback (Rich themes! It has rich themes, people! And music by Alan Menken! And it’s technically G-rated!), and I was wrapping it up with the lone builder, figuring out when to have the countertop measuring guy come (the next day at 10:00) and he suggested that we hang the now-rogue third cabinet from this alcove that we have. It was a great idea. There’s extra track, and all we needed was one more panel to fill in the edges and to cover the top and bottom with the right color. We already have a spot light at the top of the alcove, with a dimmer switch. A fake plant is all that’s left between me and golden. I’m gonna be golden, baby!
I wonder how much a last-minute plumber is going to cost.