More kitchen progress

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 arrival of the cabinets, and now for the arrival of the appliances and some other odds and ends that have been completed.

Since my last post things have been moving along in my kitchen. The end is near and I could not be happier with the way the space has turned out, and I am dying to cook my first meal in probably 6 weeks. This post is going to be a bit random, of different projects that have progressed, and next time I'll show you details of the lighting.

Let me start with the arrival of the appliances. I was so stoked to see them in the kitchen. To finally have a fridge that has a freezer in it...to be able to have ice in my drinks without having to go down to the chest freezer in the basement and bash a bag of ice on the ground. It was a scary sight to see them being moved into the house though, let me tell you. The movers removed all the packaging and then carried them into the house, through my narrow front door in the pouring rain up my rickety steps. I held my breath. The stove, I was told, weighs about 500 lbs. Amazingly, it survived the trip into the house. It was left in the middle of the floor while it awaited the gas guy's visit for the hook up.

The uppers were installed, in about 15 minutes, while I was upstairs locked in my bedroom with the cats. LOVE EM.

Here is a photo of the kitchen with the uppers in place and, well, at least the fridge in place.

Unfortunately, when there's plumbing involved, there's some cutting of cabinets involved. Made me almost want to cry to be honest. The cuts turned out to be not too bad in the end.

Here is a photo of the corner where the plumber made use of the empty space.

The window was finally installed above where the sink will be. I LOVE it - the view isn't the greatest, but I'll have to do something to the side of my shed to make it a bit more appealing. The best part is the contractor said he could install it so there is a nice 8" or so ledge where I could put a plant or the cats could perch. He did such a great job on the framing. It's already cat tested and approved.

The hatch has been made and installed over the basement stairs. I haven't had a chance to paint it out yet, and we're having a hard time finding a shock or something that will make it stay open (and avoid loss of fingers or tails), but it's looking really good. Imagine it gray.

One last minor item - I found the coolest vent covers at Home Depot that work perfectly so I don't have to attempt to paint any the floor colour.


Arrival of cabinets

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 flooring, and now.....the cabinets have arrived!!!

I was sooooooooo excited for the day the cabinets were to arrive. Since Greentea Design is based in Toronto, I had only seen the cabinets on their website, and got a tiny sample (about 3 inches) sent to me in the mail to help with my countertop selection. Friday was the day....and it turned out to be bright and early. There was a bit of chaos early that morning as I scrambled to get some extra hands out to my house ASAP to help me unload the truck, but was quickly forgotten once I got a glimpse of the cabinets. The unloading only took about 20 minutes (once they got a system going it was easy peasy). I wasn't able to take photos of them being unloaded because it was raining that day. The first photo I managed to take was of all the cabinets stacked in the living room.

The cabinets were left there for the majority of the day because I wanted to get the walls and ceiling painted before getting the cabinets in place (turns out the walls weren't ready and needed more sanding - but we found this out after 3 coats of paint and after the electrician got the potlights working). For several hours the cats had a ball climbing all over them.

WOW - they were packed so carefully. I worked for moving companies for a few summers during my university years and I have never seen anything packed like that. For each cabinet there was styrofoam on the corners, then a box that wrapped all the way around, then moving blankets wrapped and taped (with perfect corners, like how us women wrap presents), and then shrink-wrapped. It was like Christmas morning unwrapping each piece. And not a scratch or mark on any piece. What a relief!

All of the cabinets were ready to go once unwrapped - the base cabinets had their sliding doors wrapped in foam and were placed inside along with the shelves, and the uppers had their shelves wrapped and placed inside also. So all we had to do carry them into the kitchen, place them against the wall and VOILA! Instant kitchen! It was literally that easy. Well, the uppers needed installing of course but because Greentea's cabinets are freestanding, there is really no installation required. My boyfriend and I had no problems moving each piece into place. While the cabinets are not made from extremely dense wood, they were not as heavy as we expected them to be. On that note, they are VERY sturdy and their sturdiness made them very easy to handle.

Here are the first pieces we unwrapped, the pantry. Sorry the lighting is poor but it was into the evening before we were able to get to this stage.

Then we unwrapped the base cabinets and put them in their new homes. (I would typically ensure the drawers were closed before snapping photos but Phoebe had climbed into a drawer and I gave up trying to get her out).

There are the uppers - I considered glass doors but I'm REALLY happy I went with this style to match the lowers. And I can put anything in them and not worry about it having to look nice.

And this is the beginnings of my new kitchen. *huge smile*

There has been some progress since that last photo - but I'll save that for next time.



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 some final sketches Greentea created for me and some decisions I've made. Now for the flooring.

One of the steps to this renovation that I was super excited about was getting new flooring. When I first moved into this house I knew I would eventually knock the wall down separating the living room from the kitchen, and continue the same flooring throughout. Since I love the look of painted hardwood, I decided to paint the existing hardwood in the living room (I detested the oak colour) and get hardwood installed in the kitchen and paint it the same colour. I was so excited to see the tiles go that I had lived with since last December (beyond gross). I'll stick a before photo here as a reminder:

As I mentionned in a previous post, the contractor spent alot of time levelling the floor, because it dipped from one end to the other by several inches.

Initially the contractor was going to purchase unfinished hardwood to lay in the kitchen. But when he went to pick it up, he said there were alot of knots showing and was worried it would show through the paint. So he went with finished flooring. And he purchased boxes of various colours that were leftovers from previous customer orders, so it only ended up costing $1.99/sq.ft. When they started laying it, we all got a kick out of the different colours and thought it looked pretty cool.

As you can see in the last photo, because the floor involved some layers to get it level, the kitchen is now a little step up from the living room. The contractor put a nice curved finishing piece on the edge.

I had a dilemma for a while about what colour to paint the floor. It was between white and gray. I ended up choosing gray because I just can't imagine dealing with the fur of 6 cats and the dirt I create on white floors. I would lose my marbles. I went with Pigeon Gray by Benjamin Moore.

I didn't want to use floor paint from Benjamin Moore because each coat needs 24 hours to dry and I had to live in the house with the 6 cats during the painting. Also, I had asked for the cabinets to be delivered on the 14th, and the floors and ceiling weren't ready until late afternoon on the 12th. I asked at the store what I could do that was faster than floor paint. I was told I could just use regular paint and varathane over it. I figured I'd give it a try. And now that it's done I'm regretting my decision for a quick way out. I started with a primer, which doesn't seem to have stuck very well to the hardwood. At Home Depot I asked what I should use as a primer and obviously I should have either sanded first, which I had no time for, or bought a better primer.

After 1 coat of primer I put on 2 coats of the gray, then 2 coats of varathane. Here are the floors after the first coat of gray (in an eggshell finish).

Here are the floors with all 5 coats applied.

They do not seem to be as durable as the floors in my office where I used Benjamin Moore's floor paint. There are also streaks from the special brush used to apply the varathane (but I didn't sand so this is my fault - although I didn't sand my office and there are no brush marks). I think next time I will find a temporary home for the cats and myself and use durable floor paint. For now, I am too tired of painting to deal with it. I'll see how it goes, and eventually I'll probably slap a coat of floor paint over the floors if they get scratched up. In the meantime, I'm going to sit back and enjoy them, because the gray turned out fantastic and exactly what I had in mind.

Next time, a post about the arrival of the cabinets. One word - INCREDIBLE!


Awaiting the cabinets

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 more demolition and some of the progress with the walls going back up and plumbing/electrical. Now for some final sketches Greentea created for me and some decisions I've made.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my cabinets - and today is the big day! This is about 2 weeks later than initially scheduled, but when you they are coming from the other side of the world, you need to factor in the possibility of issues arising on their way over. The delay in my cabinets was due to the Olympics, as they were held up at a port due to extra security. Totally understandable. Then Greentea contacted me to let me know that my cabinets were arriving a bit earlier than anticipated and if they could be delivered on the 6th of this month. I panicked initially. I knew the construction in my kitchen would not be completed by the 6th and because my house is so small, I would have nowhere to store the cabinets in the meantime. I asked them if it were possible for them to be delivered on the 14th instead, which would give my contractor and myself enough time to complete the space enough to be able to put the cabinets in place. (Turns out I am barely able to make this happen). The guys at Greentea were more than happy to hang on to the cabinets until I was ready to receive them. Unexpected things can happen but they are able to work with their customers to solve issues like the timing of shipments and such. I am so grateful they were accomodating because my house would be in complete chaos otherwise. This has been such an awesome experience dealing with Greentea and I've got to give them props for this. They couldn't be nicer and I'm going to be very proud to have what I know will be a stunning kitchen.

Ok, enough of the warm and fuzzies. Mike, who's a whiz at sketching up kitchens, sent me some final sketches of my kitchen and I was SO excited to see what the finished product will look like. It's one thing to have an idea in your head but to see it with all the finishing touches is amazing. I love technology! Greentea's ability to do sketches is a fabulous feature that is incredibly helpful for their clients, especially those who are new to renovations and designing a kitchen (like me). So without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to what will be my new kitchen!

There are a couple items in the sketches that show some of my final choices to things I was unsure about. One being the dining table. Greentea had initially suggested their narrow Maru dining table:

It's gorgeous wood (reclaimed woods from century-old Korean farmhouses), narrow (which I am having a hard time finding ANY narrow dining tables) and wood match the cabinets beautifully, but because I like to mix up styles, I decided to go with something a little different. But I can't find anything. So my boyfriend did some googling and he thinks we can build a pretty decent table. My contractor is getting a friend of his to cut and plane some planks of wood for us to use. It'll be about 7 feet long and 2.5 feet wide. I'm not sure what to do about the legs but maybe just some simple straight posts would do the trick. Then I want to paint it either white or grey. Things have been so crazy that we haven't started this project yet. Unfortunately I only have 2 hands. Here is an idea of what it will look like:

Nate BerkusZege

I have also decided on a backsplash. Several people suggested using the same material as the countertop and I've decided that I really like the simplicity of this and will keep me from losing my mind trying to chose tiles or something else. It will be about 3 or 4 inches high and run the full length of the base cabinets. When I went to the shop where I got my quartz to ask about this, I was told it wouldn't be a problem, and it would cost about $250 installed. YAY! Sounds good to me! Here are some examples:

Lastly, I posted the other day about some purchases I made at the Third World Bazaar here in Ottawa. I think these will be a great start to accessorize the space (my living room as well).