Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 2 - Procrastination Day

Nobody procrastinates better than a Porter.  As much as I hate it, it was programmed into me at birth.  The patriarch of our family, the one who always remains nameless, can take months, if not years to make a decision and by that time whatever he was thinking about has become irrelevant. (Although, if you listen to Rush's song Freewill it has a line in it that says "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice."  That certainly makes me feel better.)  Because of this, I try to set timelines for decisions to be made, don't always make it but I try.  I can't tell you how many times I have lost out on something because I had to "think about it."  I was proud of myself when we put an offer in on the house we purchased a few days ago.  I only thought about it for 12 hours and the following evening wrote an offer.  And it was a good thing I acted quickly because less than 24 hours later another offer came in virtually identical to ours.  The only reason the owners worked with us, we were first.  

Although the house is move in ready and doesn't need much work we, like everyone else who ever bought a house, want to make some changes so we can call it ours.  The easy decision for this house was where to start with our changes, the kitchen.  It is the one room where it is hard demo it after you move in.  Who wants to wash dishes in the bathroom sink and cook dinner in a microwave night after night?
The kitchen doesn't look bad in the pic above but once you get closer you start to see it.  The mismatched cabinet doors, doors hung crooked and nothing lines up is just the beginning.  (And if there is something else ingrained in our DNA it's Porter's hate crooked lines.)  We don't have to talk about the layers of paint and ugly door knobs and hinges.  

Also, check out the wood work above the stove hood.
What is that called?  It doesn't match anything in the kitchen let along the entire house, definitely has to go.  The entire area around the hood doesn't look quite right, I can't put my finger on it but it just looks, well, weird.  

It's a good thing we had almost two months to think, discuss, argue about what we wanted to do with the kitchen.  Actually, there was very little, if any, arguing, we are lucky both of our design styles somewhat match.  We both like the country look with a  touch of rustic and modern influence, probably a little different than most people but I have found examples on the Houzz web site thereby reinforcing our ideas.

The first decision, we must reuse the lower cabinets because the counter tops are new granite counter tops and we like the counter tops.  Next, upper cabinets.  I hate the soffit plus soffits are on their way out and  these are terribly built, full height upper cabinets are what's hot now.  I had a different idea, open shelves where all your dishes are exposed for all to see.  My problem, I wasn't sure how the wife was going to react.  I was ready, I had several pics to show her of kitchens with open shelves.  (By the way if you want good ideas for any room in our house check out the Houzz web site, it's a great place to find new ideas or reinforce your ideas.)  She reacted favorably and the upper cabinets are gone and open shelving in.  The only question remaining, two or three shelves, to date neither of us have decided.

Next decision, to paint or to stain?  I like the idea of staining but I have also always wanted a kitchen with white cabinets.  If we decide to stain then we have to strip the cabinets (we already made the decision to replace the doors and drawers with new so all we need to strip are the face frames on the cabinets).  If we paint then a little sanding is all we have to do.  

I cruised through the Houzz web site looking for ideas and the more I saw dark cabinets the more I wanted to go dark.  
I'm talking about Ikea dark, like their brown black color but the only problem?  Nobody makes the stain and Ikea doesn't sell it but it can be duplicated my mixing two different stains.  I tried it and it works, it's beautiful when completed, at least in my opinion.  

But somewhere along the line, while waiting for closing, we decided we didn't think stripping the cabinets would work out.  We were afraid the stain wouldn't look right, and who knows what kind of wood, if they are wood, they are built from.  So for the sake of time and maybe some convenience, we decided to paint, although still dark but try and match the Ikea brown black color.  

After a few trips to the big box stores looking at paint chips we didn't have much luck.  I finally found a color on line called bittersweet chocolate but once I painted it on a white board it turned out to have more red in it than I liked.  So much for that, time to start over.

Day 2 takes me to the house to look over the kitchen closer and decide how I want to proceed.  I am only giving myself until the next morning to decide because Day 3 I want to start, and must if we want to be complete and moved in by the end of January.

On closer inspection of the kitchen cabinets I see the cabinets are in worse shape then  I originally thought.  I might have to think about this for awhile.  I climbed in the cabinets to check every nook and cranny  to see how the cabinets were constructed, how the granite counter top was fastened down and what was holding up the counter top.  What I found, the face frame of the cabinet was holding up the kitchen sink, which is cast iron, not good, and one of the supports is broke.  When the new counter tops were installed, furring strips were installed on top of the cabinets to bring the counter top height to 36".  The cabinets on each side of the stove were completely different than the rest of the cabinets.  I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle what I think I might have to do with these cabinets to make them look good again.  What all this adds up to is a perfect recipe for PROCRASTINATION!!!

There is no time for procrastination, we start on Day 3.

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