I’ve been sick. It’s been a good two years or so since I’ve been really sick and then this winter hit and down I fell into a rabbit hole of germs. It started in the beginning of December when Rob and I got this weird 48 hour stomach thing. Then the day after Christmas, probably the flu, for two weeks. Then the week after the GRAMMYs. My voice is still hoarse. Seriously, I am ready for spring and fresh air filled with the smell of hyacinths and daffodils, and walks downtown in a t-shirt, and vegetable plants peaking tender green leaves out of the soil. Nashville just dug itself out of a nasty ice storm that left inches of slippery mess on the roads. While working from home I watched multiple cars spin out during the day, right in front of our house. One of the neighbors told Rob that three or four times in the past a car has run the stop sign and hit a car in what is now our driveway. Lovely. All day long I just prayed the folks who don’t know how to drive in snow or ice would get the heck off our road and get stuck in their own driveways. That’s right, people, hitting the gas and spinning your wheels as hard as they’ll go will not help you regain control on a slippery surface.
In the meantime, amidst illness, holidays, and days not spent in the wood shop, the kitchen has been slowly taking shape. Once the electrical work was finished, it was time for drywall. The studs were covered and Rob built an archway between the kitchen and dining room.
Then there were the ceilings…plaster…old plaster that was poorly applied, cracking in spots, and just unsightly. We were originally going to do a plank ceiling in the dining room, which I think would have looked lovely, but it would have eaten into our budget and taken a lot more work than simply installing drywall over the existing ceiling. We rented a lift from Home Depot and got to work. We started by finding the studs and marking chalk lines as guides for screws.
This was not a fun job. The rooms were out of square, so even though our lines were straight and the measurements were accurate, there was a lot of frustration finding the studs and then cutting slivers off the sheets with a razor knife. I felt so bad for Rob. I don’t know how his arms didn’t fall off.
Once the ceilings were in, we hired someone to help with the drywall mud (spackle) and the sanding to make everything smooth. This was really helpful in finishing up a messy job that was dusty and miserable. The ceilings and the walls look so nice and smooth, it makes such a big difference! We used Curio Grey and plain old sunny Ultra Pure White on the walls to brighten the space.
Once the paint was dry, the floors were ready to be installed. Let me tell you about the floors. We were originally going to use the old hardwoods in the house by sanding them and then painting them grey. However, due to the black adhesive that covered the original wood, we opted to tear it out and replace with unfinished hardwoods that we would then sand and paint. Rob headed to Southeastern Salvage to pick up the unfinished hardwood, and they had some really beautiful prefinished oak that was 5″ x 3/4″ with a light whitewash on it. The price was right at $3.49/sq ft and we realized it would save us a ton of sanding, cleaning up, painting, and general mess, along with approximately two weeks of time. This is also the price we would have paid for unfinished hardwood at Lumber Liquidators, so I am beyond relieved we didn’t go that route. So is Rob! Even though the color isn’t the grey we were originally planning on, this goes with the theme, looks a bit like light driftwood, and works well with the cabinet color we chose.
We stapled the thermal underlayment to the subfloor. Then, Rob nailed down some long boards in the middle of the arch as as guide for the direction in the kitchen. Slowly but surely, the floor went in and by the end of the day, we had something to walk on.
I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the floor in, we can begin installing the cabinets. Once the kitchen layout is in, we can have the countertop vendor come and make the template. Then the dishwasher can be hooked up, the sink and plumbing can be functional again, and we can finally start cooking! This is happening!!!