For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Renovation - June 29

We are getting closer to the end. Yesterday and today brought us a lot closer to the finish line. Our new refrigerator was put in place and a green panel replaced the cabinet that was in the original design. I am kind of glad the other refrigerator didn't work out because this one looks so much better.

In addition to the main refrigerator, we have two refrigerator drawers that we will use for beverages next to the bar (which isn't installed yet).

The hood was installed yesterday. It is made by Faber. I liked it because it isn't big and bulky like some hoods are. It has 4 bright halogen lights and 3 fan speeds. It vents to the outside.

The faucet was put on the kitchen sink at the end of last week.

The steam oven is in, but they are having some issues with the trim kit that are yet to be resolved. Here is what it looks like inside. There is a container (on the right) for water and many steamer bins to hold the food.

I can't remember if I talked about the induction cooktop by Miele. It heats up the pans using magnetic energy, so we must use pans that are magnetic. But otherwise, it is very similar to electric but has the favorable qualities of a gas stove. There is no warm-up time for the burners. You can adjust them instantly to a new temperature, like gas, and when you turn off the burner, it is instantly off. In fact, you can put your hand on the burner after it has been on high and you only feel the residual heat left over from the pan. Only the pan heats up, not the cooktop. This is nice because food cannot burn onto the burners. Here is a link to watch a demonstration:

Also installed today were the Shoji screens in the dining room to hide my entire wall of storage. They can glide back and forth and nest behind one another. I think we will have a small tv inside so we can watch the news in the morning when sitting at the table, or when doing craft projects and things.

Annie finished painting the musical staff that my dad made and we hung it on the wall in the entry way. We also hung the picture that we bought in Middlebury in April on the wall in the dining room.

There is a roll-top hiding a cubby with outlets and a phone jack that we will use to keep cell phones and things that are charging out of sight. I really want a clean, uncluttered kitchen.

And a cabinet with vertical storage:

Here is my trash and recycling bins (I used to recycle in a paper bag under my sink)

And a personal favorite - the baking center. I am short so I find it hard to roll out pies and cookie dough on the counter. I used to use my kitchen table, but our new table will be wooden (instead formica) so I needed a lower counter area. But I didn't have room for a really large island. We designed a pull-out baking counter that extends the low counter-top for baking and pushes in when not in use. The cabinet below the counter is on wheels. I love it! It actually extends much farther than the picture shows, but it is not finished yet and we cannot extend it all the way, but you get the idea.

That's all for now! Annie and I are headed to the William Sonoma Outlet in Wrentham, MA later in the week to look for odds and ends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Renovation - June 22

Today was a big day! The counter-tops
arrived! We picked out white quartz Silestone. What a difference it made in the kitchen! We also took the plastic protective covering off the windows. The lights are all working now, and WE HAVE A TOILET downstairs again. The small door pulls are on the rest of the cabinets too. The plumber comes tomorrow to connect the sinks, disposal, and dishwasher. We are still waiting for the rest of the appliances to be delivered. They say either tomorrow or Thursday.

I will be away for the rest of the week taking Kerry to her orientation at the University of Vermont, so no more updates until Saturday. But I will be busy in Burlington looking for things to decorate our new space.

The vessel bowl is not attached yet, but it looks like this. And the toilet is shown below.

We got a black quartz top for the cabinets in the dining room area because we wanted it to look less like a kitchen in there. The door pulls are very minimalistic here too.

The wrought iron music staff and corner shelf were in my father's basement. I found them last year when we were cleaning out his house to be sold. He made them many years ago when he owned a wrought iron business (before IBM). They were all rusted, but my daughter Annie spent the afternoon yesterday sanding the rust off and she painted them today. We will use them somewhere in the kitchen/dining room and will remember my dad, who made this whole project possible!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Renovation - June 20

The 2nd coat of polyurethane was applied to the floor at the end of last week. There has been a delay in the arrival of the new refrigerator. I am hoping it will come on Monday. I believe the countertops will be installed on Tuesday. But in the meantime, I will show you a few of the things that are yet to be installed.

The kitchen sink is a beautiful 16 gauge stainless steel sink by Julien. It will have a door on the side wall of the sink to store sponges and things out of sight. That was big selling point, plus it is a really heavy weight stainless with a beautiful finish. I fell in love with it when I saw it. We got a one-bowl rectangular sink with pretty sharp corners - a contemporary look.

The ovens are all Miele Masterchef. We will have a double oven, a microwave, and a steam oven.
The cooktop is the 30 inch Miele induction cooktop which will be located in the island. We will have a hood over the cooktop.

And I just ordered a mirror for the bathroom from West Elm. It is not really contemporary, but it has an interesting look to it. I think it has dark brown trim, so I might have to paint it to go with the black cabinet, but I will wait and see when I get it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Renovation - June 14-15

This week the electrician was here to do the rest of the outlets and ceiling lights and to install the ovens. The carpenter put all of the trim on the walls, installed the pocket door in the bathroom, the transom window above the ovens, and the pulls on the cabinet doors. We had an issue with the refrigerator doors. We had purchased an electrolux refrigerator and the doors protruded much more than desired so that when they opened they were hitting the cabinetry. We decided to get a different refrigerator to solve all of the problems, and we bought a Miele built-in instead. We have to wait until the end of this week for it to be delivered. But now the cabinet above the refrigerator is useless because the Miele refrigerator is a lot taller. There will be a decorative panel above the refrigerator instead of a cabinet.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Renovation - June 7-9

The kitchen is really coming together this week with the installation of the cabinetry. It is now possible to envision the layout and get a feel for how much walking space there is around the island. It is much more spacious than in the old kitchen. I couldn't even open my refrigerator door all the way without it hitting the island! Now I can open the refrigerator door and still have room for people to walk by!
Here are some pictures.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Renovation - June 1 - 4

This was the week for the hardwood floors to be installed/repaired/sanded and the first coat of polyurethane applied. This was all done by Wednesday afternoon. The odor was pretty bad Wednesday night, and we opened up all of the windows. There is now hardwood in the dining room and bathroom in addition to the already existing kitchen and family room floors.

This morning, Nutmeg delivered all of the cabinets so they are here when they begin installation on Monday. I LOVE them! Most of the cabinets are black with horizontal grain with the exception of the oven cabinets and around the refrigerator. I chose Benjamin Moore Split Pea for those cabinets. I thought they would break up the blackness and also provide a pop of color. They really look nice next to the black. Also, the top cabinets on the pantry wall have brushed aluminum frames with frosted glass inset. So the only black in the kitchen is below the countertop.

Here are a few pictures!