Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Will work for food (preparation room)

Its Day 77 in kitchen-less captivity. SEVENTY SEVEN. Earth was created in 7, but God did not use IKEA cabinets.

We've come a long way since the last post, even with a Mexican vacation in there. This has been a period where it was best to leave the house unlocked and open for the various plumber, electrician, tile installer and/or drywall hanger who may or may not show up randomly. I made sure the house plans I drew up were littered throughout the house in my passive aggressive attempt to say 'I'll make you do it again if it doesn't look like this'.

Before we left for vacation we were able to install the insulation (Mike installed and I stapled) and we hired someone to put up the drywall because life is too short to hang your own drywall (and wallpaper in my opinion).

That's when we got this delivery:

Which is 1,000 square feet of Brazilian slate, which I thought would take up the whole driveway, of which it took up about 10 square feet.
The tile guy started by putting down a layer of Schluter Ditra, a crack isolation membrane that allows the subfloor to move independently from the slate. This is the bright orange you see here:

That's Freddie- our diligent and patient installer. He has 5 kids so ya, he kinda has to be. After 4 days he was done:

I had spent a few weeks laying out our kitchen cabinets using Ikea's online tool, thinking through every side panel, skirt board, and drawer divider a hundred times over. I felt confident that my trip to IKEA to finalize the order would be doable over a lunch break from work (with time left over for Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce). 4 hours and 8 meatballs later I had a clean order! Thanks to Tara, one of their kitchen pros, I only had to make 3 subsequent trips back to exchange things I had measured incorrectly.

Thats Tara and I. She sat patiently with me as I waffled between locations for the pullout trash can and which drawers should house cutlery vs cooking prep utensils. And she didn't care that I changed my mind afterwards.

Our kitchen came to us in 84 boxes and packages:

Time for vacation! While we were gone our pretty painter Annie finished off the walls and ceilings. It was ready for cabinet construction by the time we returned and so mike and Kirk got to work:

And now, just 2 days from getting our countertops installed, this is how we're looking:

Wow, wow wow!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kitchen Unconfidential

What's been cookin at the Caponi's lately? Not a whole lot,  we've been without a kitchen for the past 28 days. No stove, no sink, no dishwasher, refrigerator in the garage. The room formerly known as the kitchen has been a big open hole in the house that Lil has claimed as her personal getaway (from whom? No kitchen makes for a moody mommy and daddy is scary in general but more so with power tools and sledge hammers in hand). 

This post has a lot of pictures, I want full record of this mess so that when it's all said and done, I won't cry over spilled (coconut) milk because at least I'll have a floor to spill it on.

First necessary step in a kitchen reno: relocate the relocatable items preferably far from the renovation area. In our case we didn't have much choice, the family room was most convenient and a big piece of tarp acts as an effective divider between chaos and, well, slightly less chaos.
kitchen pro tem
mood stabilizers
bookshelf = pantry

Then you start tearing everything apart!!
First thing chucked was the wall between the kitchen and dining, which at one time looked like this:

but after this:

looked like this:

 Then the floors and plaster and wood paneling were out:

Kirk & Mike

Graeme and Aiden come for back up
He laughs so he won't cry

I wasnt just the project photographer, people. I assisted with demo, carrying waste out, and extracting about 27,428 nails out of the wood. I might be exaggerating, only a little though. This is a Mike thing, he insisted all nails be removed so they can be properly separated and recycled. He has made over $100 recycling, which has offset the dumping costs so kudos to him (and to me, I grin and bear)

As I am reviewing these pictures it's hard to miss Graeme being a goofball. He is just a mini-Mikey afterall:

Brother-in-law Kirk has been a pivotal player during this renovation. His expertise and willingness to help has guiding the entire process and we are eternally grateful! He engineered and installed new joist support spans and blocking for the floor. Countless hours have been spent, band aids administered, and poker games missed (gasp!) as he worked through many days and nights to provide a stable subfloor for our home.

Now get back under the floor, we've got some plumbing lines to run!

This is where we're at today:

Future mudroom ,and hall

Mudroom. The side entry door will be relocated to where this window is. Cabinets and washer/dryer will line the wall at right.

Kitchen - sink will be under window

Kitchen - range wall

next I'll tell you about my experience with Ikea, where our cabinets are coming from. 



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Razing the roof : Let's get some lipstick on this pig!

As an interior designer I have tendencies towards ignoring the exterior. ESPECIALLY when it comes throwing some major coin at it. Enter Mike and his all too practical approach to our project. He decided that before we make any further attempts to spruce up the inside we needed to prevent the outside elements from destroying everything. I know, hope does not spring eternal in the Caponi mindset. FINE, we'll get a new roof - but it's going to scream 'major design forces at work inside'. 
We decided on a standing seam metal roof for a number of reasons: 
A of all: it looks really good
2: it has a 30 year warranty and is super duper sturdy
For those reasons  among others it was spendy! But our MO for this house is 'quality first' - we're not interested in doing things over and over and over again. The next roof going on this house will be paid for by future chumps who pry this house from my cold dead hands.

To remind you, this is the jewel of Sherwood Forest as it existed:

And during installation:


The color is dark bronze - which is a really dark, cool toned brown. You may notice that the sparkly new roof exasperates the ugliness of the rest of the house. Future exterior improvements are planned and include: painting the brick an off-white (a la Nana's house), new windows & front door (including a proper landing), replacing the cedar shakes with something the woodpeckers will ignore, and major landscaping.
 We also took care of the A-frame, it's ready for the next tree to fall on it:



Now that thats over with, back to the inside. 


 Let's just say we're gonna have enough firewood to last the life of the new roof.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Before and Afters

I love makeover shows because of the before and afters. We can finally share a few of ours:

Family Room:

Projects included: removing carpet, draperies with valance, iron stove in fireplace, and built-in bookcase to the right of the fireplace (so electrician could wire up TV). Sanding and refinishing wood floors, patching cracks in ceiling and walls, and painting it all (Annie).

Dining Room

Projects included: removing carpet, bi-fold doors, & sconces; sanding and refinishing wood floors, patching cracks in ceiling and walls, installing pendant light fixture (a relic from the church Mike was baptized in) and painting it all (Annie).

Master Bedroom:

Projects included: removing carpet, wallpaper (with help from Mamma & Papa Garland), draperies, & fan; sanding and refinishing wood floors, patching cracks in ceiling and walls, installing new fan, and painting it all in a delicious greeny blue (Annie).

Guest Bedroom:
Projects included: removing carpet (with help from Mamma & Papa Garland), draperies, & fan; sanding and refinishing wood floors, patching cracks in ceiling and walls, bleaching a old moldy portion of the closet, and painting it all (Annie).

Oh my goodness there is so much more to do. Next project is the roof, so that Mike doesn't have to tar it again (we haven't had any leaks since!):

We're going to leave this project to the professionals.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A man, a dream, and an A-frame

It's been awhile. 
We have been busy just living in our project and while there have been small blog worthy notables that have occurred here and there the longer I went from my last blog the more of a challenge it has been to post! Now I know what Harper Lee felt like after penning 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and never writing again, and how One Direction must feel after their one hit smash (that's range for ya!).

So I will do my best to illustrate the most dramatic of events that happened in the past 10 months, it's been all about the A-frame.

When we last left off, the A-frame had been brutally and unfathomably vandalized. We put it out of our minds because we had a much larger task at hand: the house. Once the dust settled and the callouses healed Mike got his second wind and set out to fix his man cave.

He had a vision. 
He cleaned out the broken glass, the 5 large drums of powder dyes ($300 dumping charge), the cedar shakes that had ripped off during the pillaging. He framed up a circular opening and installed a 5 foot glass table top someone gave him as a window. Fresh plywood went up on the slanting walls. We had a clean slate to start something new, something better than we or the A-frame and maybe even (dare I say) humanity itself had ever known.

Then the tree fell. The flippin tree fell directly on the A-frame. We sat there on the sofa watching as it crashed in slow motion just to the right of the roof's peak . Mike was eerily calm.

At first he figured he'd have to take the whole darn thing down and start from scratch. But in true Mike fashion he decided to work with what he had. He re-framed, re-supported, and re-ally work his butt off to get it looking better than it had (and more structurally sound).

It's a work in progress (much like it's mother house), but say's Mike to the A-frame in the abbreviated, mutilated, and completely out of context words of Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain:
 'I can't quit you!' 
This too shall pass, we've been challenged before (read all previous posts). 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Please don't feed the dust bunnies

This mess is a place!
Today we cleaned, until I broke the faucet and we had to turn the main water off to stop the flood. I was ready for a break anyways. Thanks to Mamma Caponi for her help cleaning the kitchen. Was contact paper in cabinets en vogue at some point? Why why why!?

I must say this place is beginning to resemble something livable

Good thing cause we sure are living here!
Does anyone have a microwave they want up get rid of? This is one thing we are lacking- at one point we had 3 in our position and now we have none- I cannot bring myself to buy a microwave! Lemme know if you have one collecting dust bunnies somewhere.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We have lift off!

That is how I should be feeling, but we're in the middle of a house renovation hurricane and we're moving in! Picture one of those nutty weathermen gripping their microphone for dear life, hairpiece flapping in the wind, desparately holding on to the pier while a tsunami of destruction crashes in the background. Now add in an earthquake and locusts....... you get the picture. If you are questioning my logic to select this weekend for the perfect storm of moving and renovation I will remind you that we are paying two mortgages (well technically 4, but thats not the point) and have been since November. There is no money tree and I actually thought twice about chewing a whole piece of gum yesterday when I could stash half a piece away for today (Nana- I make you proud!). We've GOT to get out of Mike's house so we can rent it and I can chew my gum frivolously as I am accustomed to.
Thank goodness I 'gotta guy' who did most of the heavy lifting related to moving. Infact I only took in a few lampshades (and managed to drop one). But I was a little woosely from layering on the final coat of poly to the family room:

Remember this:

We've come a long way