Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Packing full trash cans, library books, and unwashed towels

tomorrow is packing day for the move.

And, I still have dirty dishes and dirty laundry.  Each day I spend so much time taking children to summer activities to keep them from underfoot, running errands/meeting tradespeople to prep the current house for sale, arranging address forwards and such for the move, taking kids to the doctor/orthodontist/dentist, tending sick kids, being sick myself...those poor guys have to come here and pack my mess, which will arrive as a mess at the new place.

I know how to pack and move, and I've done so beautifully and organized before.  So I don't have to do it that way again.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I bought a kitchen (with a house around it.)

For those of you following my hand-wringing indecisive kitchen remodel saga, the drama has come to abrupt end. I found our dream house for sale a couple blocks away, and I bought it.

Let's compare my new kitchen to my old wish list.

Size? current kitchen is a 17'x8.5' galley New room will be 20x25, and will be kitchen, dining, and sm. family area.
The new-to-me Kitchen is the same 17'x8.5 galley as my current one. Except, one side of that galley is mostly island open to family room and backyard.

Kitchen will be against 17 foot-long wall. Looking into cost of moving sink & dishwasher to island so i can look at family area/ backyard windows instead of 17-foot-wall.
The new-to-me kitchen was remodeled in the late 1970s. Without moving they footprint of the kitchen, they moved the wall between the sink and the backyard. Bravo.
beautiful city loft kitchen I admired was 22'x10.5' And this kitchen is totally different.

Things I definitely want

and got:

  • Lots of natural light
  • rectilinear.  Put your french curve away.
  • Full-size oven.
  • gas cooktop.
  • pantry space for my shelf staples.
  • Place to keep 25 or 50 pounds of flour on hand.
  • larger fridge.  Or, at least easier to get into.
  • handy place for broom, dustpan.
  • nearly got:
  • Dishwasher to right of sink.
  • it's on the left.
  • Appliance garage so my kitchen aid stand mixer is handy.
  • There's this sort of unabtrusive long cubby with electrical outlets, where I can line up my small appliances, but have plenty of counter space in front, and there's not so visually in the way.
    and not at all:
  • pull-out trashcan/recycling holders to the left of sink.
  • I'll have a trash can out, and not near the sink.
  • command/control center in the room, for family scheduling, bills.  
  • Not sure where I'll have this in the new house.
  • Large, deep sink.  Stainless steel works.
  • It's an ordinary sized-stainless steel sink. Unexpected bonus: there's a second prep sink at the other end of the counter.
  • Storage for my big pieces: soup tureen, party drinks bucket, pressure cooker
  • There might be, but I'm not sure.
  • Somewhere to place my ubiquitous bowl of fruit.
  • On the counter somewhere I'll find a good spot.
  • Vertical storage for cookie sheets/cutting boards.
  • for all I know it's there. But maybe it's not.

Things I might like:

  • open shelving to store tomatoes, onions, and winter squash.
  • Double-size fridge/freezer.
  • Somewhere to stick the laptop when I use a recipe straight off the internet.
  • Double oven.  So vegetarian food cooks separately from meat food.  Or dessert bakes concurrent with dinner.

I got the double ovens. Convection.

I'd like it, but the appeal is not universal:
  • I need a place to hang my huge white board. Can't think if I can't draw.
  • crazy thought: smart board.

Perhaps in the adjoining family room. Haven't decided. No place in the kitchen though.
Openness. I never wanted a kitchen/family room combo, but I'll do anything to get my kitchen into the back of the house.  Counter-height islands look lovely in model homes, but there's a mess on the counters every night when we eat dinner.  I'm wondering about half walls, not counter height, to conceal the makings of dinner.  Possibly higher than bar height.
The sink overlooks the family room/backyard windows, but otherwise it's pretty much a galley kitchen, tucked visually away from the adjoining spaces. And I like it.
Cabinet ideas: --Not into exotic woods, or even apparently expensive woods cherry.  Though wood is nice.  But I'm open to non-wood. --Modern probably means flat front. However, floating panels were invented to keep cabinet doors from warping so flat-front wood looks a bit contrived to me now. --bamboo? --those stripes of wood framed in metal Jennifer put in at City Lofts --Those cabinets like Jennifer put in the bathrooms in that other City Loft (I took picture) --Not espresso. I've seen so many espresso cabinets, I've decided it's 2008. --my friend's Arclinea kitchen is beautiful.
The lowers have wood or wood-laminate doors, and are mostly drawers, which is very prescient in a late 1970s remodel. The uppers are painted off-white cabinets, same color as walls (no luan paneling in new-to-me house, sad.) I didn't poke around with the cabinets too much, as they were full of someone else's stuff, but my sense of the few drawers and doors I opened was of dependable quality.

Brown is my favorite color. The handles are that metal groove the length of the panels--not the long bar pulls I really like, but am a little tired of seeing everywhere.

or Granite.
and/or some stainless steel.
love marble, but don't see it in an Eichler.

And currently, the kitchen counter is, wait for it...TILE??!!

Hate to work on tile.

Therefore, almost immediately, I'm replacing the counters with manufactured quartz. Must pick color: gray cement color, or something else.

will be the same throughout the house.  Probably tile.  Current kitchen is tile, fwiw.

Entire first floor is brown 6x6 tiles. I love them: low key, nearly indestructible, style-appropriate. Do Not Want, at this point. --Pot filler. I don't like pasta, though I'm making it once a week. --Don't like glass doors, since things inside the cabinets are a bit of a jumble. --Especially don't like open shelving, because without cabinet doors we get dust. --Second prep sink. Just don't get it. I don't think I want the kitchen big enough to justify it. --Second dishwasher. I was against this before, but I am getting a little seduced by the idea.
Everyone told me to want a second prep sink. Well, now I have one. I wouldn't have paid to put one in, but it's out of the way, and maybe I'll become a believer.

I'm going to set it up as a drink-of-water stand.
Extravagant ideas:

  • gaggenau hood. Because removing smoke and odors is a priority. I love a great exhaust fan.
  • I've got a downdraft hood on a JennAir *gas* cooktop. Hopefully, it will be up to the stinky food I love to prepare and eat. Oddly enough, I have gaggenau ovens.
  • 48-inch double oven range, with six burners and grill. http://www.us-appliance.com/vgcc5486gss.html
  • I have four gas burners on the cooktop, placed closer together than is usual nowadays or usual with expensive cooktops. But they're gas! Which is the main thing! My husband was looking into inserting a Wolf cooktop, but venting it would be a challenge. I can't go up and out through the ceiling, because there's a second story to this house. If I pipe it sideways to the exterior wall, I have to go under my big Eichler beams, and lose the cupboards in the way. I'm really excited about cooking on gas again. I might have enjoyed this extravagance, but I don't regret losing it for what I'm getting instead: No full-house remodel.
  • Farmhouse sink. In stainless steel?  Probably prefer undermount.
  • The sink is fine. But it's not even undermount. Don't know if it can be undermounted when the new counter goes in. How tacky is it to overmount on a quartz countertop?
  • Sink without ring around the drain.
They're cool. But I won't think of it unless reminded.

It's amazing we found a house that fits our off-beat needs, with a kitchen I'm feeling pretty delighted about. Looking forward to settling in and cooking, in less than a month.

And, so grateful I won't be living through a remodel during my children's school year. I feel RESCUED.

Monday, June 7, 2010

that tile

you always forget the name of?

Atlas Concorde Fibra