It's not finished, but it's usable, and the rest is touch-up.
With all four walls configured the way we wanted, doors and window, and the bead board installed everywhere, wiring/plumbing/heating/lighting figured out, it was finally time to make the space pretty.
Paint and organization.
Turns out the bead board only looks really good when it's brushed, and it needs two coats even when using the expensive and thick paint-and-primer-in-one new fangled latex. Read: lots of brushing, tired hands and arms.
And then the shelves, shelves, shelves.
I hate cabinets. Things get lost in them, you can't see what you're looking for, they're too deep, they shrink a room...
No matter how social the home kitchen is getting nowadays, it's still at its core a work space, where tools should be easily reached, and well organized. I go in for shallow shelves, hooks for specific tools, where you can see and grab anything you need while you're working, and that's where we're headed here.
Shelves above the counter next to the sink for every day plates/bowls/cups/mugs etc.
Shelves in the future reading corner for cook books and other food related reading materials.
Using the simple hungarian shelf design, tweaked with tapered verticals, and shrinking shelf sizes as they near the ceiling.
That bright reflection of the setting sun is from the uninstalled copper counter top leaning against the wall.
After a $2,500 quote for butcher block counters, we looked for alternatives. Alexe really likes how the copper check out counter I put in the BTC has aged, so we decided to flank the sink in the same material here. (Everything to the right of the stove will be wood, a warmer, more relaxed space where a stool can be pulled up and homework can be done across from whomever is cooking.)
That piece of copper is big and thick, and somehow Clay at Valley Sheet Metal only charged us $108 for it, formed and everything.
Kapow. Don't mind the dirty dishes in the sink.
While the dish shelves are oak and stained/urethaned, the book and pantry shelves are simply pine, sanded and profiled around the edges with a router.
And in between all of these little, but very fulfilling steps, there've been good times with the family.
My handsome boy, who the other day while we watched a rugby game as a family, (first sporting event we've ever sat down and watched on a screen,) he asked us if the purple letters on the yellow wall at the far end of the field said rugby. They did.
The rock star.
On a family walk, the kids started picking flowers, then delivering them to the houses of all our friends. Since they know everyone, it meant we stopped at almost every house we came near. Luckily most folks weren't home, and they were left surprise piles of flowers and weeds on their door mats.
Annaliese had her annual pediatric checkup last week. I took her up to Oxford for a quick appointment, (zero wait but an hour for the urine test, blood test, eye exam, etc.,) and we packed all of our Oxford errands into the same afternoon.
First: Healthy as a horse, height: 91st percentile, weight: 61st percentile, body mass: 31st. She may need glasses in the next couple years, (won't that be adorable!) so we'll keep. an. eye. on. that.
We did the box store run for things we can't avoid the box stores for, and then we headed to the furniture store to continue a long running hunt for a new couch or two.
This was one of the funnest times I've spent with my little girl.
It started with the bean bag. Then she tried every other piece of furniture, in a very size-able show room. I tried most of them with her.
We didn't find the comfy couches we're looking for, but this adventure was enough to wash away the brain fog that box stores give me.
Friday evening we headed over to our friends' house with a big bag of crawfish and a cooler of beer, and while the kids raced around with their friends, we kicked back and enjoyed an end of the week un-wind.
This girl may be a cool hipster, with her designer glasses, flannel, and Crappie Festival t-shirt, (mine, actually, she's stopped wearing her own clothes,) but those are ice cubes in her beer...
And that's a whole lot of enthusiasm at the tire swing.
Ah, the kitchen, It's amazing how much time we immediately started spending in the kitchen the moment it was usable. The new fridge is in place and looks great. I'm sure it'll turn up in some future picture.
I was finally able to break out my birthday present, the Cuisinart and the case of peanuts, and make my own peanut butter. (Bit of a stickler for peanut butter without sugar or random oils in it, impossible to find around here, so my girl bought me the tool and the raw materials to make my own!)
In the last few days we've made banana bread, cookies, nachos, beef stew, tasty salads, grilled cheese with cabot extra sharp cheddar, waffles and pancakes, and all sorts of other favorites that we've gone without for lack of an inspiring kitchen space. I was even reminded that we'd been out of spirutein for a while, and now that's been remedied.
Yes, I still have a bit of ceiling to paint, a few doors to build, but this is the first space in the house that feels right, right enough for forever.
That line puts me in mind of all the tasty cheeses in the fridge...