Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Kitchen Chronicles: A tale of 2 (or 3 or 4) lights.

Ding Dong. Oh hi there! Long time, no see. Why don't cha come in and have a cup of tea!

Oh, do be careful not to trip on the dozens of blankets and plastic sheets covering our floors.

Hope you don't mind sitting on a tarped up couch? You do? We can go relax on my bed then. It's really the only plastic-free seating we can lounge on while drinking our tea.

Speaking of which, it's just going to take me a few minutes to locate it in our 'pantry'. Yes, you're right 20 minutes is a long time to spend looking. Maybe we'll just go heat up some water with lemon.

Oh drats. I completely forgot that I don't have the ability to heat up water. Why don't we just go grab a drink from the hose outside and laugh at how neglected my yard has become and what a great neighbor I am then.

The good news is that we are at ground zero and it is only down hill from here. Most people would look at this mess and think "golly, they have a lot of work ahead of them". And those people would be correct, but they would be wrong if they think we have more work yet to come than we've already done. You see, our lovely old tile floor was not only hideous well installed (therefore impossible to remove) but it lay silently for years upon a second plank of subfloor that also needed to be removed. And they didn't want that floor going anywhere fast so they not only stapled it down, but screwed and glued it. It took a will power unlike any we've had to conquer before to keep plugging away at it, but once it was up the cabinets, electrical and plumbing were relatively painless work to remove. So the true test of our skills are about to be tested: our patience.

I've already had to lay the law down with our window installers after more than a week of delays (the new windows are going in tomorrow!) and I'm just hoping that the cabinets and counters fall into line nicely.

And while a few delays have only given me a little time to focus on the finishing touches and some retail therapy they have also given me too much time to second guess my lighting choices.

Originally I'd planned to do all recessed lighting, with the exception of over the peninsula/breakfast bar. I wanted to create some interest and do a series of hanging pendants. So I ordered 3 of these cute little mercury glass fixtures.

Then I decided that they were a little too dainty for our cape cod/commercial kitchen. So I picked up 2 of these slightly larger cottage-y pendants from Ikea. Plus the $50 price made them a fabulous upgrade.

But then I decided that perhaps they might be a little too predictable. Lovely? Absolutely, but maybe too expected. Plus it occurred to me that with a metal shade it would give only downward lighting and it might feel too much like a pool hall in the evenings.

So in the end I still have them all on hand to make the final call when I see the cabinets in place, but I also ordered this factory-like fixture from Restoration Hardware. It is not even close to being the deal that the Ikea lights are, but I love the unique shape and style, it's flexibility to extend or retract, and the touch of darker metal. I feel that we should have just a handful of darker touches to mimic the floor color and tone down the white cabinets and counters.

But like most girls with a credit card that is poised to be swiped, I was swayed to add to my order by finally getting a fixture for the front door. We have accommodated the hideous brass fixture there for long enough and I decided it was hightime to kick it to the curb.

I'd been eyeing the giant lantern like fixtures for quite some time. But some little inner voice told me "don't do it!". And it took every ounce of strength convince myself that I need to stay focused on the kitchen. I can worry about the front door later.

No more than 30 minutes later I sent up a prayer of thanks to the Karma gods that told me to turn down that light because low and behold a nearly identical one was staring me dead in the eye at homesense. On clearance for only $80 no less!!!!!! So while I splurged ever so slightly by switching up the kitchen light, I saved over $800 in the end by not buying the front door light. Plus I'll have a fabulous new fixture greeting everyone as I show off the new kitchen, just like in my dreams.

And that part that really makes me smile is that I actually prefer the finish of mine, in a polished chrome that matches my table lamp at the front door, over the oil rubbed bronze of RH's version.

The electrician will be here on Monday (along with our cabinets!) so I am crossing my fingers it will be up then and I can share "the best find of my life"-glory I will be experiencing.


Ali said...

Way to go on getting that tile out of there! Great job! Now you are getting to the exciting part! Can't wait to see the new windows, cabinets, and lighting installed! This is exciting progress!

~ Ali

Nancy said...

omgoodness... I have no idea what it would be like to be able to have to worry about electricians, and cabinet installers and getting it all scheduled... We (two old people!)are doing our own renovations on a 70's L-shape Check it

I can't wait to see your kitchen. I love all your white and wish I had the nerve...and the non-messy husband to have all

Douglas said...

It's going to look fantastic! Thanks for showing the between pics....I know it's irritating to have that to show, but what a change! Thanks for taking us on the journey with you. Looking forward to the pictures of the lights! Marissa

Emily Joyce said...

A test of patience is right! I'm sure it will be all be worth it in the end! The white walls and light fixtures are lovely!

Melodie said...

I am shuddering just thinking about your floor removal. I dealt with something similar a few years back and it was miserable work.

I spotted lights very similar to the mercury glass ones you liked, but I couldn't figure out where the heck I'd ever use them! lol

Keep the updates coming, can't wait to see your progress.

Anonymous said...

Gosh that floor removal sounds like nothing short of nightmarish! But I'm glad the absolute worst of it is over; as you said, it's all downhill from here, and the only tests will be of your patience. :)

I love the photo montage story you have going in the first part of your entry; I was giggling at my desk and weirding out my coworkers, hahaha.

The new porch light looks amazing, and such a total steal. I love it when good things like that happen!

To The Moon and Back said...

Oh dear...I remember those days. Can't wait for the big reveal (which I haven't done yet).

Shauna said...

I love that extendable/retractable light!! Great pick!! Can't wait to see the finished room (as I'm sure are you guys). :)

Now I must leave blogland and get back to my world of constant reno's.

laxsupermom said...

Terrific find with the HomeSense light! Can't wait to see which light(s) you end up going with for the kitchen.

Janis@Home Style Interiors said...

Holy Crapola you guys have done a ton of work. Looking forward to watching it progress............btw I got the same light at Homesense here in Ottawa a few months ago..........I sprayed mine a matte black since it had more of a mottled finish. I also had it installed without the glass..............LOVE the result.

LindsayAndrew said...

Oh my, your post made me laugh out loud, and I got a pit in my stomach for you... We are in the exact same situation, but we finally got our kitchen appliances back in and our lawn watered... We are still missing a bathroom door and plumbing fixtures. We bathe out of a PVC pipe sticking out of the wall.... Oh man! Glad to see someone else in the same boat!

Pretty Little Things for Home & Life said...

I've been eyeing up these at Homesense for 2 weeks now. But I'm not as you to have such high ceilings.... But I am thinking it's time to replace the builder basic one in the stairwell. Anxious to see how yours looks hung!

Jen of MadeByGirl said... about construction. We did that once in our first place - but we were so excited to get it done, we did 90% of it in 3 was crazy, but worth it. Im sure yours will be too. Just expect the unexpected at times....

Nicolle said...

I neeeeed that light...I'm doing a a kitchen re-do of my own..Ive been going back and forth about taking my lighting that I picked out for over my sink...because its polished chrome but I can only find a lantern light I like in oil rubbed bronze/wrought iron...guess it's time for a little trip to Canada..thanks for the post!!!

Kim said...

just found your blog by googling "china cabinet redo" love it! then i saw the light fixture in the box from homesense, and I thought "I just saw that at homesense and picked it up" then I thought "Homesense is only in Canada, its called Homegoods in the US" So I have to ask where are you??? I'm in Montreal. I will now subscribe, I love your house!
Kim from

Kim said...

Homesense is in Canada, where are you??

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