1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Finally on the Same Page

Last night we sat down and came up with a plan for the kitchen. Now, you might be thinking, "Hmmm, wouldn't it have been better to make a plan BEFORE starting the work?"

Maybe you would be right, but that's not the way I do things. I get impatient and charge forward, only to get bogged down midway. Usually this haphazard non-plan leads to us undoing and/or redoing some of the work. But at least this way, the work has begun.

Darwin is the opposite from me (in this and many other ways). He will think about the project and plan out every detail and hesitate to buy or do anything until all the details are worked out. Which means he never starts the project because - to some degree - you can't find out how things will work until you jump in.

So I get frustrated and step in with my bull-in-a-china-shop mentality. Darwin joins me because he is afraid I won't do it perfectly.

In this way, we balance each other out, and together we make one almost-normal person.

We have reached the point in the kitchen renovation that we can no longer flail around in my preferred fashion. Last night, the issue of the countertops and backsplash were looming large.

I have all along been advocating wood countertops. Darwin has all along been strongly against them. He said a man he works with has wood countertops and told him they look horrible now, scratched and gouged and scuffed.

I said that kind of damage is what gives the wood character and would make the countertops look like they belong in our old house. Our wood floors have withstood 103 years of being walked on and still look great and full of character. And it's not like we do a lot of cooking anyway.

Then - nothing short of a miracle - Darwin changed his mind. Suddenly, he was all for wood countertops.

So that's decided. Now we just need to find someone to make them for us. We also need to find out if wood countertops come with a built-in backsplash or not.

We decided to use beadboard panels as the backsplash. Darwin suggested we paint it green, which I think is a good idea.

I made up a list of the work and the order we should do it in. We're all set.

Darwin is borrowing his dad's good table saw tonight to trim down the cabinet doors, and his dad is letting him keep a second table saw that needs a little work. Did I mention Darwin was a member of the national champion small engines team in middle school?

If things go well, I think we can have the cabinets painted, molding installed, and doors rehung by Feb. 6.


Jordana said...

My kitchen has wooden countertops! You really will wind up with a kitchen like mine. :) We didn't put them in, so I can't tell you anything about that part, but I can tell you that they are well sealed and not scratched up and yucky looking. We've had them for about 2.5 years (when we bought the house) and I guess they were installed about 13 years ago.

I'd be happy to send you a photo of what ours look like, if that would be useful to you.


2:53 PM  
Kristin said...

Wow! We're kitchen twinkies. Do you have any pictures? I'd love to see your kitchen, especially those countertops.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous said...

We wanted a rustic look in our "nightmare home" so I bought a book called "Concrete Countertops" by Fu Tung Cheng. (about $20 on half.com) I read it about three times over the last 2 years and finally took the plunge and made it this year. The total cost was about $400. About $250 of that was a variable speed grinder and some diamond pads bought new on Ebay. The concrete ($12)and additives ($40)were minimal in cost and the melamine used for making the mold was $60 or so. It took a week to pour, cure and grind/polish but looks like stone now that it is done. It's concrete so you can't really screw it up too much. Polishing and grinding get a little messy though. You may want to check it out as an option. I am going to do one fireplace hearth and the bathroom sink counter with concrete now that I know what I'm doing. The grinder got used to sand the steps and edges of our floors so it was well worth the $150 it cost. You can even use it to buff the car!

Gary (same guy with the above cabinet cut outs)

8:39 PM  
merideth said...

Gary! I'm dying to see photos of your countertops! Your post has gotten me all intrigued about concrete for our countertops...give us some visuals man...:)

10:55 AM  
Anonymous said...

I have put this up so that you can all Ooooo and Aaaah at my first ever concrete countertop. Just cut and paste it to your browser. There is a link to the house website (which is quite extensive) from there in case you haven't seen it before. I had very little experience in home remodelling before we bought this place and I am very much alone in doing the work. It was a very ambitious first project but I think I have it under control now.



1:14 PM  
Anonymous said...

Gary - Those look AWESOME! I can't believe that's concrete. Not what I was picturing in my head.


You and Darwin sound exactly like Teague and I. I'm the impatient bull too..... I like to always be moving forward, which is why we have about twenty projects started instead of going methodically from one room to the next like Teague would prefer.

We also had the wood countertop discussion - only, Teague wants wood and I thought it wouldn't be durable enough. Then I changed my mind and decided I like the idea, but probably can't afford it right now. Since we have about eight projects to tackle, the countertops are on the backburner anyway. Are you doing it butcherblock style?

~Mindy (http://www.onesmallspark.com/home/)

2:02 PM  
Kristin said...

Those concrete countertops look amazing! I've seen shows about them on HGTV. I can never figure out how they don't end up looking like normal driveway concrete. Is it the polishing?

I also like the no-upper-cabinets thing. You have a very cool kitchen, Gary!

Mindy, I don't even know what kind of wood countertops we'll do. We haven't gotten that far! We asked about them at Lowe's a few months ago, and all they offered was two shades of very pale butcherblock. I'm looking for something in a warmer color.

Still need to do more research.

10:47 AM  
Beth said...

SO impressed with the concrete countertops.
Off to find the book now!

2:09 PM  

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