Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kitchen Obsession - Part 2

Ok - sorry I had to leave so abruptly last time.  Time got away from me!

So let's see, the next project I would like to show you is my "fake it til you make it" version of the distressed wood island in the inspiration photo.  For those of you who have not seen it or just want to get lost in its beauty all over again, here it is...

Ahhh!  Love it.

Well, I don't have a true island like this one, just a peninsula.  And I didn't want to completely rebuild anything, just cover what is currently there.  Additionally, I wanted to ease into it.  Wasn't sure how much of a commitment I wanted to make in case it didn't turn out the way I had planned.  Jeez, I obviously had many conversations with myself over this whole thing.  Got a little sick of my internal dialogues after awhile.  Anyway...I decided to start with the end of the peninsula.  The part that is most visible from the family room.  The rest of the peninsula that could be covered is only visible from the kitchen dining area anyway.  Here's the "canvas".  More on that crazy dishwasher later.  That's a completely different story.

You can't really tell from the picture, but the end panel is slightly recessed, giving me about 3/8" to play with.  Not much, which really limited the kind of wood that I could put there.  I wanted to try Stikwood, which are real wood panels that are thin with an adhesive back that are created specifically for decorative wall installations.  Exactly what I needed.  However, it's crazy expensive because you can only buy in larger quantities.  I would have had to spend about $300.

So I started checking out everything I could find.  Real distressed wood, "distressed look" engineered, laminate, pretty much anything they have online and in stores.  Since this was more of an experiment, I decided to go with something easy to work with and inexpensive.  The winner was an adhesive vinyl plank from Lumber Liquidators.  What??  Not at all what I was planning on, but it is actually a decent looking product and the price was right!  $20 for the entire box, which leaves me quite a bit to spare.  It even has texture to it and you can't tell it's not real unless you get right on top of it.

 Instead of a permanent installation, I decided to start with cutting another end panel - exactly like the one that you see in the before pic.  That would be a "backer board" for my wood so that I would not have to permanently attach the wood to the unit.  If I didn't like it or got tired of it, I could just take it off!  Yes!

Once I had my backer board cut to size, all I had to do was start to lay the planks.  I chose a diagonal pattern, which is a little unexpected and draws even more attention to the area.

The most amazing part is that because these are so thin and pliable, I literally cut the excess off with a pair of scissors!  No sawing necessary!

Once they were on and I was happy with the result, I put the panel in place and attached it with a nail.  Yep, one nail did it.

I have to say I am pretty darn happy with it.  Much of it gets covered with the trashcan, but it's still a very impactful feature and I often find myself admiring it when I am sitting in the family room.  Mmm, so pretty!

I do need to go back and use some stronger adhesive on some of the pieces.  Because the dishwasher is adjacent, the heat from that sometimes loosens the glue and the planks fall off.  No worries, I'll just use a stronger adhesive and they should be fine.

What do you think?  More lovely kitchen details coming in Part 3!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kitchen Obsession - Part 1

Hi friends!
If you recall from my last post, I mentioned being quite consumed with several projects around the house this summer.  As I'm sure you can all attest, these types of things never quite go as quickly or as easily as planned.  There were several hiccups and delays - and this wasn't even a full renovation. Just a "cosmetic refresh".  But, I think I am finally to a place where I feel happy with it - at least the things over which I have some control;)

So, let's go back to the starting point.  When we first moved in, we were working with forest green "faux marble" laminate counters, the current white cabinets, tan walls above the chair rail and lovely floral white and green wallpaper below the chair rail.  The's 90's in all their glory.  The flooring was and continues to be the bane of my existence, white tile with white grout.  Seriously??  Why would you do that in a kitchen?  The one room with with dirtiest floor in all of the house!  I have hated it for 7 years now and will continue to hate it, but we have about 300 sf of it and can't afford to replace it.  So, I am trying to find a way to live with it/ignore it.  Yeah, right.  It haunts me.

I set to work transforming as best I could, with the first project being the counters.  We spent a chunk and went with quartz, which I still love.  Then I taught myself to tile and did the simple backsplash shown below.  The wallpaper came off and I painted the whole space a rich red, which at that point, made my heart sing.  I also removed the window treatment hardware and installed rattan blinds inside the frames.  Simple and classic.

Ok, so fast forward to a year or so ago, and I am getting antsy for some change in the kitchen.  I was itching for something fresh, a little eclectic and a way to boost the architectural features without spending a boatload.  Then I saw it...the dream kitchen.

 I could picture myself walking through that door and whipping up a cake or soup and salad, while my friends sat at the island sipping coffee.  Heaven.  I mean, look at that oven hood and island finish!  And the grey and white with wood accents is stunning.  My wheels turned to...what if I won an HGTV kitchen sweepstakes and could completely change the footprint of my kitchen?  I knew exactly what would need to be moved to achieve the same look.  Then, I snapped out of it and asked myself how I could fake it. Then, I set to work.

First up, paint.  Let me tell you, grey is hard to get right.  The big pics are coming later, but I am very happy with the result.  A medium grey that grounds the room a bit since there is so much white in the cabinets and flooring. As I was painting, I realized that I kind of liked the white below the chair rail, so I decided to teach myself how to do a board and batten effect.  It's fairly easy to do, cost effective and really elevates the architectural integrity of the space.  The boys and I made it a summer project.

We started with measuring how we wanted the battens spaced, taking into account the outlets, windows, etc.  I think we ended up with about 14" between each.  We purchased unprimed lattice from Lowe's and I had the boys measure out the lengths and cut them with a miter box.  They did a great job.   

Next, we used our spacer stick to place our battens and tape them in the place.  I then borrowed a friend's nail gun and compressor.  Wow!  What an amazing rush being able to knock out a project so quickly.  It took me about 1/2 hour to nail all of the pieces in place!  Last was caulking the edges to give a finished, professional look.


After all the construction was completed, I really struggled with what color white to paint it.  I tried several samples and finally landed on Natural Tan from Sherwin Williams.  I chose it to help pick up the slight bisque color in the floor tiles.  I still don't love it, love it, but unless the floor were darker, I don't think I ever will. Ce la vie.

I have become quite long-winded this post, so I will sign off for now.  Stay tuned for phase 2, coming soon!