Backsplash, table and more decorating

This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about a few more completed items and some finishing touches, and now for the backsplash, dining table and yet more decorating.

Last Friday the backsplash was installed. I was excited to not have to see the unfinished edge of the countertop finally, but the result was very disappointing. I decided to use the quartz of the countertop and have about a 4" high piece installed along the back of the countertop. The guy that installed it showed up and started bringing in these really short pieces of the quartz which had me a tad confused. They were not the length of each cabinet section. Turns out there were 6 pieces, each one exactly half the length of each cabinet section. Meaning there was a seam down the center of section. Then I watched him silicone everything in place, and then tell me he was all done. I said "HUH? You aren't going to fill in those seams??" He says nope, they just silicone backsplashes. ALLRIGHTY THEN. He left and I called the shop and was told that they had told me they were going to use offcuts. I wasn't told the whole story then if that was the case. I said it looked totally unfinished and the seams weren't filled in. Turns out in the new year they will order a slab of the 3/4" (which is what I had wanted but they didn't have enough of so they used the 1 1/4"), and redo it. I can live with it for now and hope to see a proper backsplash next month. So these photos show the seam, and hopefully one day soon I can show you what it SHOULD look like. (Luckily with the kitchen counters dressed, it's not as noticeable).

NOTE (end of March 2009): I waited and waited and never heard from the countertop folks, Planet Granite. So I called, about 15 times over 2-3 weeks and finally spoke to the owner. I was told they'd have to wait until someone orders quartz, which hardly ever happens, and I think they expect me to pay more money for the strips to be cut in the correct lengths. It is now the end of March and I still have the same backsplash as in the photos below.

It's just before Christmas and I finally have a dining table. It's actually not completed yet but it's useable and I'm very excited about that. I can now eat meals not hunched over my small marble table that was WAY too short to eat at. Also, the kitchen was designed so that I could use it as a second office because the office at the back of the house is cold in the winter and I wanted to be able to work at the dining table and watch the TV in the living room. My contractor built it, and suggested a pedestal base, which was a BRILLIANT idea because you don't see legs from the living room and the top looks like it's floating. It still needs a couple pieces to make it more sturdy because it's quite tippy right now, especially when the porkier of the cats jump from the counter onto it. YIKES! (I should mention as I'm sure some will notice, that the table is warped. My contractor made it in a hurry and then brought it over and it warped quite a bit in the cold/heat. As a result he won't charge me for it...but I'll give him something because it is usable).

I decided to do something on the wall to the right of the stove. I installed one of my stainless shelves I had used in my last house, and then tried a couple pieces of art. I really wanted to use the African (?) painting I got at a flea market for a few bucks, but I think it's too big. I snatched one of my Tretchikoff prints from my chick wall and tried her and I think smaller is better. If you guys have any ideas or want to let me know which you prefer, I welcome your feedback.

I love the marble table I was using as a temporary dining table (it used to be in the corner of the living room), so I thought about trying it under the window between the living room and kitchen. The cats love it there so they can perch and look outside. Underneath it is Cheeks' favourite spot because there is a furnace vent there and he's obsessed with heat.

The hatch is now working with some shocks or whatever they are that my boyfriend ordered from a car parts shop. It works like a DREAM. I may use his camera one day to film a little video of it in action. LOVE THIS.

The other day I went to a local Asian and mid century shop to look for items for the kitchen and living room and picked up a coffee table, small cabinet, lantern, mini bench and dried flowers. Just enough to spice things up around here.

Thought I'd add a few photos of how the kitchen looks now. Love it. Cannot tell you how much. A dream come true. Just in time for Christmas. And happy holidays to everyone who has followed along in this process with me.


Some finishing touches

This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about the countertop installation, and now for a few more completed items and some finishing touches.

The kitchen is SLOWLY finishing up, and since some readers have been asking where things are at I took some photos the other day around the space and my living room as well. But first I'll show some things that were finished lately. First up is the valance my contractor made to hide the under-cabinet lighting since the cabinets are basically flush underneath. He found wood with a grain and stain that perfectly matches the cabinets. I asked him to do it simple with squared edges and it blends so well.

Trim was installed along the base of the cabinets because my contractor made sure they were perfectly level and had to put some shims underneath in a few places which could be seen. I was unsure of how it would look at first but it's growing on me.

Then there is the hatch over the basement stairs. It's been painted, and a hole has been cut for all the cats to go down to the litter boxes. It was hilarious seeing them climb in and out once it was cut, checking it out.

I also got the contractor to completely frame out the box he built over the upper cabinets so it looked more finished and now that it's painted out it doesn't stand out so much.

My boyfriend (and I) were going to make a dining table out of wood that I would paint, but my contractor offered to do it since he had the proper tools and so far I've gotten the top and I'm still waiting for a base. He offered to build that too, and suggested a pedestal style which I think would be perfect to keep the space open. This is the table top placed on top of my marble side table I'm currently using as a makeshift dining table. (Check out the girth of Felix! I'm starting to worry at the rapid rate of his porkiness). And as some of you may notice, I bought a second Panton chair, and 2 more chairs which you'll see further in this post.

That's all the progress to date. The backsplash is being installed tomorrow, and the shocks to keep the hatch open will be installed this weekend. I've got to contact my contractor how's been MIA for a few days now but I'll forgive him due to the insane weather we've been having.

Now for some photos I took around the kitchen and living room. Most of what you see are existing pieces I had and I'm sure this setup will change weekly. I'm thinking about a piece of art on the wall to the right of the stove, or maybe a couple stainless Ikea shelves, but I'm leaning more towards art. My living room needs alot of work to get it meshing with the kitchen but funds are dwindling so I may have to be VERY creative in there. The yellow chair for sure needs to either go upstairs or get a coat of black gloss. That's just a couple of my ideas...

Countertop installation

This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about the completed lighting, and now for the countertop installation.

Choosing a countertop was quite an adventure. I had a particular idea of the look in mind and was searching for something that wasn't going to break the bank. I ended up going with a quartz called specchio white that is exactly what I wanted and for a great price. I am so happy that I went with a light coloured counter because it brightens up the space so much. I think it looks incredible against the cabinets. The material I chose has lots of grey and silver flecks in it that sparkles. SO PRETTY. As usual, I took many photos and in this case I took some during the installation process as well because I found it fascinating.

To start the installation, my contractor had to cut a hole for the sink. I found this to be too painful to watch so I quickly snapped a couple photos and proceeded to stare out the window whilst cringing in agony.

This next photo is the first piece (there are 3) simply set down on the cabinet. Looking good already!

The second piece was set down and after lots of chipping away at the wall behind it, the installers realized how wonky my walls are and had to take it back to the shop to cut some of the right side off so it would fit properly.

When they came back and got everything in place, they worked at filling in the seam between the 2 pieces that join. They were so meticulous, getting everything lined up and completely flat. The whole process (minus the time they took to go back to the shop) probably took 2 hours. In the photo below you can see the edge of the counter and how thin it is. I wanted a really thick profile, so they joined two 3/4" slabs to make the front profile 1.5" thick. (They had it in 1 1/4" thickness as well but they didn't have enough to do my counters).

Here are some photos of it once it was installed.

They also siliconed my sink in place, which might I say looks fantastic.

Here are some photos I took to try and show the detail in the quartz, and the edging that they they did a SUPER job on. You can hardly see the seam anywhere, and if you can it's because your eyeball (or camera lens) is stuck up against it.

That evening I was so in awe of how the kitchen was looking at that point that I went and pulled out the kilim I had bought for under the dining table. A perfect fit!

Once it all set for 24 hours, the plumber was able to install the faucet which I think is just so pretty. I really do love single hole faucets - such a clean look. And I finally got around to painting out the window frame - which was supposed to be centred over the sink but ended up centred over the cabinet. No big deal - hence the placement of the vase as a distraction.

P.S. For those folks in Ottawa looking for a countertop, check out Planet Granite. Sue was an absolute pleasure to deal with and was very accommodating.

NOTE (end of March 2009): I take back what I said about Planet Granite. They WERE a pleasure to deal with UNTIL they installed my backsplash which I was completely dissatisfied with and to date, they have not fixed it. They were impossible to get a hold of, and after calling them about 15 times and I finally spoke to the owner, nothing has been resolved. (Oh - and Sue no longer works there).