not unlike the Energizer bunny…

…we’re still going. Punch lists were compared this afternoon, and work on those should continue tomorrow. I also asked to have mesh installed on the outlet side of the vent to prevent animals and insects from moving in under the flap.

Mystery stain on the floor.
Paint finish damage.

The kitchen is usable, but once the backsplash is sealed we can really start moving in. Once it’s complete and the pendants are hung, I’ll post a side-by-side before-and-after, but in the meantime:

View to window from family room.
View to former nook from family room.

it’s not finished, but we drank Champagne anyway

When Jason told me they should probably be done today, I commented that it was good timing, because today is Phil’s birthday, to which he responded that they would definitely be done today. The beam and paint touch-ups look great, and the disposal was hooked up. Here is my punch list of what’s left:

touch up cabinets/hood

level refrigerator

center light fixture over sink

seal backsplash

check faucet drip

touch up around ceiling light fixture and fan

fix stain on the floor, spot on the floor, and finish on the floor (from dishwasher installation damage)

seal nicks in granite

install bulb in the hood

finish installing shelves in the cabinet

have extra granite cut and polished (haven’t heard anything about this since I suggested it be done free of charge)

make sure hood vent has a screen on the outside

The kitchen was cleaned up enough today to make it usable; so Phil got both his hot shower and his home-cooked meal for his birthday. The first thing made in the kitchen was a Gateau Breton, served after a simple orzo salad with Champagne.

Gateau Breton
Finished beam.


so close…

The backsplash was grouted today. In addition, the peanut gallery spoke up and said I maybe-should-have-considered-a-little-bit having them redo the mosaic, to make it fill in the space where the cut tiles are above it. That would entail adding one more row of 2″ tiles along the top two sides of the mosaic and pushing the pencil out around the top, essentially to make an 18″ mosaic instead of a 15.5″ one (grout has to act as filler). BUT, would it look a little too high in the space if we did that? I suspect it would need to be lowered about 0.5-1,” and that would throw the entire backsplash design off, because the bottom tiles are cut at the same level all the way around. So it would only work if the mosaic could be enlarged in its current space. Otherwise, we love it the way it is. If anyone has an opinion, NOW IS THE TIME TO SPEAK UP. Comments welcome.

Backsplash of self-doubt. It should be noted that the design was worked around my request of a 15" mosaic.

The beam was stained again today, and is an improvement over yesterday.

Some red color was added to the beam stain. Touch ups needed.

Paint touch ups are in progress; a big paint bubble was scraped off the wall to be repaired and areas around the dining room door where the tape removed paint were prepped.

Paint repair.


Door repair.

The new faucet handles and strainer were installed today. The cross-style handles completely change the look of the faucet.

Bronze strainer and cross faucet handles.

So the list remains: paint touch-ups, cabinet touch-ups, granite sealant touch-ups, holes-in-ceiling touch-ups, hook-up disposal, level refrigerator, ask about space in wall next to beam, center light fixture over sink, make mosaic decision, clean and seal backsplash, check faucet drip, clean residue off oven, install floor transition between kitchen and dining room, straighten center light fixture, clean countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Pendant light fixtures are still on backorder until mid-August.

What happens with this space at the end of the beam?

I do have a working dishwasher, and can start washing dishes at any time.


t-1, not holding our breath

Sunday morning we woke up to the familiar pattern of warm-lukewarm-cold showers, and discovered the hot water heater circuit breaker was off. We’ve turned it on 4 times, and I called Jason this morning after the second day of chilly showers. As of 3:45 this afternoon, the electrician tested and found power to the circuits is fine, and it is suspected that the hot water heater (new in 2008) elements are out. I got home at 4:15, and no one was here working on it, and no word since. I did agree that it was ok not to call an after-hours plumber, but am disappointed in the general lack of urgency in the response.

Backsplash tiles are installed, but not grouted or sealed.

Tumbled stone backsplash on the bar.

The light was installed over the sink, and I swear I never noticed that the former one was off-center, but it needs to be moved to the left about an inch and raised about 1/4 centimeter.

Sink sconce. Should be centered over the faucet.

The refrigerator needs to be leveled and adjusted, and they will probably remove the shoe moulding on the floor next to it in order to do that.

Leaning to the right.

The beam stain is ALL WRONG. The plan was to match the cabinets as close as possible but the color went on as matte black on the knotty areas of the wood, just awful. I noted this after the bottom and the kitchen side of the beam had been done, and the painter came back over to help his assistant apply paint thinner to try to remove some of the color. We spent the majority of the day out of the house to avoid the VOCs. This is how it was left at the end of the day.

Beam needs work.

There are several small scratches and nicks on the cabinets that need to be addressed, but this one bothers me the most; it looks like someone tried to fix a gouge in the hood and made it worse:

Hood flaw.

Seems like a lot to do before final clean-up tomorrow.




weekend update

Hunter (cabinet and now backsplash installer) was in early this morning to work on the backsplash. I didn’t expect the cut pieces around the top of the mosaic, but I did stress that I wanted it to be symmetrical. It’s growing on me. I hadn’t considered all the elements that go into making a detail piece work.

Backsplash mosaic.

He said it would be finished on Monday, if he didn’t run out of tile.

Here's where he ran out of tile.

The Pelanne’s worked in their yard in the blistering heat, pruning the lower branches of our fruit trees. Next year, we’ll try to net the plum tree so that we actually get some plums.

Tree haircuts.

Fridge to another dimension, backsplash install

Another feat of dimensional physics was accomplished today when the refrigerator was somehow manipulated into position. I’m pretty sure they had to open a portal to another dimension, and would not be surprised to see Zool from time to time when I open the fridge.

Refrigerator and microwave in the nook.
Custom cabinet created a space for the microwave.

We didn’t get a counter-depth refrigerator because it didn’t make sense to pay an extra $1000 for a smaller fridge. We held off on ordering cabinet panels to hide the side of fridge until it was installed, and now I’m not sure there is space for panels. We’ll see what they can do, otherwise I’m sure we’ll get used to seeing the grey sides.

To panel or not to panel? Note the view into the dining room; plastic sheeting was removed.

Backsplash installation was started today, another source of on-the-spot questions and decisions (where to center the mosaic, width and color of the grout, etc). It will continue over the weekend.

Tumbled stone backsplash.

cabinets finished, appliances delivered

Cabinet crowns were finished today, and a portion of the beam was stained to test for color. If I had been smart, I would have looked for some cool reclaimed timber to wrap the beam with and left it raw. Next time.

Crown and beam.

The rest of the appliances were delivered, though installation will be another day.

Refrigerator. Monochromatic Stainless Steel is just a fancy term for grey.

New faucet handles have been ordered! Backsplash is scheduled to be installed tomorrow and Saturday. Clean-up is still scheduled for Tuesday.

6 more days

I was told today to expect final clean-up day on Tuesday of next week (a week and a day behind schedule for those keeping track).

We are still working on correcting the faucet handles, and it was agreed that we shouldn’t have to pay for them. It took more effort than anyone expected, but the dishwasher is in place with about a millimeter of clearance to spare for the drawer to open.

A feat of engineering. Or maybe just chiseling.

The beam was wrapped in clear pine to be stained. Maple was considered, but was much more costly.

Pine beam.

I pointed out a couple of scratches on the granite that need to be resealed.

A nick in the middle of the garnet. Probably from the clamps they use for transport.

I have the option of having my cooktop cutout filed and polished into a usable piece or two of granite. Jason told me  that the charge for the basic level would be about $100. I suggested that since M&M Granite botched up the faucet holes, it would be a nice gesture of them to offer to do that for free. He thought that sounded reasonable and is going to look into it.

I see two lovely serving boards.


Carol Lee donut for breakfast.


measure twice, cut once

Plumbing was subcontracted out to John’s Plumbing for final sink and dishwasher installation. And oh the sadness. My beautiful faucet does not properly fit my sink. There are two issues. The entirely preventable and thereby infuriating issue of the holes in the countertop not having been drilled in the proper locations to accommodate the lever handle next to the sprayer, and the lever handles not quite properly lining up.

Measure twice, cut once.


Right angles or bust. Not acceptable for a faucet that costs as much a pair of Louboutins.

The solution I came up with is to try the cross-style handles that will fit this faucet which should fix both problems. The levers were my first choice, but the alternative involves going back to square one with a new slab of granite. Ewing is trying to order them locally, stay tuned.

The oil-rubbed bronze strainer that was ordered for the sink wasn’t the right style to accommodate the disposal; so that has to be exchanged, but in the meantime they installed the stainless strainer that came with the disposal. So the sink is comically functional.

The dishwasher did not fit into the cabinet space, so the cabinets had to be adjusted (with a sander, I think) for that to fit. The thinking is that the granite installers removed a filler piece when they placed the counter top, causing the space to be compressed under the weight of the granite. Perhaps a refresher in communication skills would be beneficial.

Dishwasher debacle.

The cabinet and shelving under the beam were installed today as well as the cabinet hardware.

Drawer pulls.