Friday, April 8, 2011

Kitchen cleanup

You might remember me saying I was bit by the bug (the spring cleaning one...not a real bug- ew. I just detest bugs and their nasty little twitchy eyes, and brrrr- just sends shivers down my spine thinking about it....) Well, after the laundry room, I tackled the kitchen.

It started small...see, when we got the new stove delivered, the guy said, "you might want to use some soapy water and scrub it down first..." Being the diligent homeowner I am, as soon as they left, I grabbed my trusty blue bucket, filled it with my Mr.Clean + Febreeze amazing smelling soap (I got the Hawaiian Aloha scent, and I tell you what- while I'm cleaning with it, I find myself closing my eyes and imagining I'm on a beach in Hawaii...)

With my soapy-smell-good-bucket in hand, I attacked our new stove. Then I thought, "I should clean the utensil drawer...but dust falls, so I should go to the next drawer as well...."

I pull out the white tray, gave it a nice soapy bath...grabbed all the plastic bag boxes, cleared out all the random things I found (more on that later) and then, for the first time since I think we moved in, I scrubbed the INSIDE of the drawers!

So while the drawers were drying, our kitchen looked like this:
Like my blue bucket? Check out that BRAND NEW STOVE too!! Pretty exciting, hu?!

This might not seem like a "big deal" to some people, but when you think of all the stuff that falls into the drawers in your kitchen, crumbs especially, how often do you really clean 'em out? This got me on a roll. I just kept cleaning because suddenly nothing was "really clean". I'm not exaggerating. Everything. The rim of the drawer box, the front of all the cabinets, the inside lip on the cabinet fronts...yeah, it was awesome! End result, an awesome smelling (thank you Mr.Clean) organized, squeaky clean kitchen and cabinets!

Then I tackled the pot, pan, cookie tray and "all other stuff" side of the kitchen. End result? AWESOME!

While I was cleaning though, I came across strange items that I didn't know where lingering in our kitchen.

Lets talk about the fork shall we? It accidentally came home with me after a GNO (Girl's Night Out) which may or may not have involved the large consumption of alcohol. I'm pretty sure this wasn't supposed to land in my doggy bag, but it did. Now, a better question might be, what the heck am I still doing with it?! I have no idea.

Next up, the Bahamian quarter. Not an American quarter (which we could use here in Ohio) but one from a trip to Nassau. We haven't been to Nassau in over four years. Yeaaaah.

Then the wooden spoon? Not really sure what its intended purpose is. I can assure you I have never used it, I mean, I'd remember that! Looks like something you'd find in The Little Mermaid's underwater locker of human trinkets!

And lastly, the nail. This I actually know where it came from and why I kept it in the drawer. It was given out to everyone at Easter service at our church three years ago. The purpose of it was to show each parishioner something similar to what Jesus was nailed to the cross with. (Kinda heavy stuff, right?) I left it in the drawer so everyday when I opened said-drawer, I would be reminded of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for my sins. (This was the only piece of randomness that went back into the drawer...)

Its amazing what you'll find in your kitchen drawers. And just think, I didn't even get to the junk drawer!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Br-br-break down....

When you watch HGTV, they make it seem as though an entire kitchen was remodeled in an hour. Or, a whole house was reorganized in a half hour (which, is just crazy-talk...have you seen Hoarders?) I wish they'd add little captions to the bottom of the tv show actually breaking down the design process. Something realistic like, "it took a week to narrow down lighting"...

With that idea in mind, I wanted to give you some insight into how a basement remodel I'm working on actually is long things take to get them perfect for the client.

For this basement remodel, I had received the heads up from the contractor of what the client wanted, what their vision was, now it needed to take shape. I met with them on December 23 (just for reference, today is April 1). We hit it off right away (!) and started making selections that night for the project. A huge concern for them was the sound proofing for the home theater. (Turns out, they had talked to 20+ contractors before feeling confident and signing!)

Back to the design breakdown. So after we made our selections, we got a cabinet layout put together, which looked like this:

The clients had made some choices for the cabinetry and wanted me to go take a look and select a laminate top to coordinate. I went out January 5th to see the selections and pull some counter samples I thought would work:

A week later on January 14th, we met to finalize the counter selection, back splash, grout colors and did one more walk through Home Depot (lurv Home Depot!) we ended up finding that night, a kitchen faucet on clearance that was exactly what they wanted (score!) and the new front door lock/hardware they wanted to install before work began. (The new lock was similar to this- it has a keypad which the home owner can program for the contractors to use, rather than giving them a key to their home...and the best part of the keypad, you can also set the TIMES that the codes will work! So if you don't want them in the house until after 8am, you can do that!)

Another week later, on January 21st, we met again to sign off on all the selections we had made (using this great chart which details every selection from paint colors to cabinet hardware to plumbing fixtures to the number of door handles...its a pretty big sheet!) That night I went downstairs and took before photos.
This is the future kitchen area:
This is the future bathroom:
Over here is the future home theater area:

Construction started on January 25th. Every Friday (except when we were slammed with snow, thank you Mother Nature) we had progress meetings; where we got updates from the project manager on what was completed this past week, what is going to be done the following week and how close to the schedule we were. (After all the early Friday meetings, I'd leave and head straight to Dunkin' Donuts!)

After the meeting on the 21st, the next trip I made out to the job site was on March 18th. I was jumping up and down (literally) at how wonderful it looked! When you think about basements, you think cold, dark, damp. Well, not anymore...
Kitchen (check out the cotton-candy ceiling!):
Living area:
Home Theater:

Pretty awesome right? I imagine I was as anxious as the homeowners when I heard that they just needed to install the ceiling tiles and carpeting (which was delivered on March 28th!) and they'd be done! (insert fist pumping)

This past Wednesday morning (March 30) at 7am the project manager and I were out to do a substantial completion walk thru with the clients. I was so excited to see how beautiful it all came out (and even more thrilled to see the happy smiles on our clients faces!) We went through the clients check list, walked around made lists of things that need to be touched up and then I took photos of the beautiful space!
Kitchen (no more cotton-candy ceiling! How cool is the over cabinet lighting? I think they said this weekend they were going to install the tv over the sink and soon have the candy apple red(!) refrigerator delivered!):Notice the back splash looks like steps!Check out that faucet! That's a thing to remember. It doesn't matter if you got something full price, half price or at a garage sale- if you like it, it doesn't matter how much you paid for it! I love the thrill of the hunt!!

Bathroom: The clients knew they were going to do this renovation sooner than later so they made purchases along the way, like the vanity and floor tile. That's another great tip- if you find something along your travels you like, buy it then! I can't tell you how disappointing it is to have found "the one", walk away from it and spend time trying to find it again...(and you never do, of course- that's just the way it goes sometimes!)

Living area:

Home theater: (I know its empty now...but just wait until the speakers are installed, the screen is up and the black leather chairs are in place!) Oh, and check out the BLACK carpet!

There it is! A behind the scenes look at a real-time project time line. While talking to the home owner on Wednesday morning, she said they started interviewing contractors last March (if you remember, they didn't sign with us until December!)

I hope this shines some light on how long it actually takes to get the project done right. If you are a home owner, interview as many contractors as you need to (and don't feel bad about this! Its YOUR home and YOUR money!)

I also recommend working with a skilled designer (hopefully its me, but if not, just work with one who knows how to LISTEN!) Our job as your designer is to take the load off your shoulders and show you the best products for you. Its intimidating starting a major project, but with the right people in place- it goes smoothly!!

Like what you see and want to get started? Contact The New View Group here!