|Some of our garden goodies|
|Easement garden in May.|
|Easement garden in June.|
|Corner garden in May.|
|Corner garden in June.|
|Instant lawn (Not really instant, believe me!)|
In the meantime, the concrete contractors finally showed up the end of May. The results of their two long hard weeks of work: New drive way, new front entry that is now handicapped accessible and it is also water free even in the heaviest downpour. I love ournew sidewalk from the driveway to the patio in back. No more tripping over the old concrete block walkway or sinking into the mudhole under the gate. The new patio is elevated, stained and sealed, awaiting the new walls for a sunroom, and the new sidewalk culminates in a ramp up to the new patio and back door of the house. If either of us needs it, we are ready with attractive ways to get into the house without having to negotiate steps.
And now we are in the midst of the kitchen remodel. We decided to leave the bones of the old cabinets in place, but just give them a facelift. It took two weeks for phase one: new countertops, subway tile backsplash, new sink and faucet, and new floor. The floor preparation took nearly all of the time to complete, but it was so important that it be done right. It involved a re-do when the first leveling compound application failed to adhere to the concrete slab underneath and half of it had to be removed and more prep done to the concrete before the second application of leveling compound could be completed. But the new floor was worth it, I think.
This past week, I worked right alongside most days with the workmen. I was stripping the most dreadful wall paper I have ever seen, only to find that there were 3 to 4 more layers of old wall paper underneath it. The bottom-most layer was a layer the 1970's avocado green and harvest gold paper that had yellowed with age. It proved to be the easiest layer to remove. We also discovered that the one nice, unbroken expanse of wall was once a half-wall/divider (like the ones with the turned spindles in the opening) that someone had simply plastered wall board over, and the taped and mudded to become a new undivided wall. Interesting stuff, this old house's bones.
Ken then helped me hang the new wall paper, and it is amazing how much nicer everything looks already. I didn't have to hang huge pieces, because my intentions are to have beadboard and trim installed to break up the large areas of plain wall, and crown molding to hide all the other little wall paper glitches and irregularities. Right now, the cabinet doors and drawers are all off, and we are experiencing the convenience of open shelving. The woodwork is at the cabinet maker's shop for stripping, filling, sanding, priming and painting and installation of new brushed nickel knobs and drawer pulls. The drawers will also get all new glides, so that I will finally be able to open a drawer without it either jumping the track, or falling onto my toes. I'm hoping for the cabinet parts return late next week. In the meantime, we have a new range hood, and new kitchen island just waiting in the garage for installation. It will be so exciitng when all the finishing touches are finally in place.
|New kitchen countertop...but not in the kitchen, yet.|
|New countertop and subway tile backsplash.|
|Cabinet doors: going, going, gone. (Note: new floor.)|
|Ahhh, new sink! (Didn't know how much I would miss it, until it was gone.)|
|Nasty old wall paper on its way out!|
|Wall paper gone! (Except for where it will be covered by new beadboard and trim.)|
|Working on the new wall paper.|