Well.  Things got a little hectic there for a while, but now I’m back…where did I leave off?  Ah yes, kitchen demo and pre-move-in…which looked a little like this:
Before1     Before2     Before3

After getting rid of that horrible 2×2 ceramic tile countertops and backsplash, the stone guys went on their merry way with accurate field dimensions so they could fabricate our stone (ie: cut it to the right size & fabricate the edge pieces).  This is how the kitchen looked after the countertops & backsplash were demo’ed, and they had put down the rough top (that long piece on the end is waiting for an end panel; since we were doing new countertops anyway, and we had the space at the end of those cabinets, we decided to extend them & add a wine fridge!)…


In the meantime, our painters got to work on the cabinets.  They moved quickly, sanding and then spraying several coats of primer and paint.  Luckily the house is very close to our apartment, so it was easy to stop by every night after work to see the progress.  The painters started on Thursday, and by Monday night (they worked all weekend), much to my surprise, they were pretty much finished.  And what a HUGE difference!  Finally, I could start to see my vision coming together…I couldn’t wait to see the countertops and backsplash go in!  Here’s a little peek at the painting progress…


Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long…the countertops were installed on Wednesday, and my stone guy (and friend), Claude, sent me some photo updates throughout the day, which was good, because I could hardly contain my excitement at work!  Walking into the house that night, I just couldn’t believe the beautiful gray quartz countertops I was staring at were OURS!  This was OUR kitchen!

Progress5     Progress6

Of course…nothing we do is exactly easy.  Something always manages to go wrong, so here’s where the record scratch comes in.  Way back in November, I had ordered a couple samples of glass tile for the backsplash from Amazon.  It was  a really gorgeous tile in the photos, and I was excited to see it.  Well, after our whirlwind Florida trip for Thanksgiving, we returned and the samples still hadn’t arrived.  This made me nervous, as we were due to move into the house less than two weeks later, and I was determined to have the kitchen finished.  I ran out to Lowes and Home Depot to get as many “acceptable” backsplash samples as I could find, and while we were happy with the one we ultimately chose, it wasn’t the one I had always pictured.  Alas, we were running out of time, so we went back to Lowes to buy the 34 square feet of tile that was needed.  We finally arrived home, after our Lowes run took slightly longer than expected, and what was waiting in the mailbox?  Yep, the glass tile samples from Amazon.  I was afraid to open the envelope, because I didn’t want to like them.  I opened it anyway, and when I saw them, *MAY* have uttered some words that are, as my father would say, “unbecoming of a lady”.  Ben asked what was wrong, and I showed him the samples.  He may have repeated the words I had uttered seconds earlier.  We knew this was the tile for our kitchen.

This all happened on Wednesday…a week and two days before our intended move-in day.  So, we knew we had to act quickly.  A rather inconvenient factor in this whole situation was that the tile company is located in the Vancouver area.  As in, Canada.  If you’ve ever ordered anything internationally, then you’ll know it’s not as easy as overnighting a package across the border.  When US Customs is involved, things happen on their schedule, not yours.  But, I spoke to the guys in Canada, and they said they could guarantee delivery by the following Wednesday, so we went ahead with the order.  On Wednesday, I gave instructions to Claude to make sure his guys signed for any packages that arrived during the day.  He was as anxious to see the tile as we were, as he wanted to make sure he had the proper materials for the installation on Thursday.  Well, he called me Wednesday evening and said there was a UPS notice on the door, which said something about a COD.  After several frantic calls to various UPS departments, I learned that somehow, they were requiring a payment of $30 (PER BOX, I later learned–there were two boxes) via money order or cashiers check (turns out it was a Customs charge, that not even the tile company knew about).  So, even if I had been there to receive the package, I would not have had a money order or cashiers check ready.  So with that…backsplash installation was pushed back a day to move-in day.

I made arrangements for UPS to leave the boxes at their distribution center so I could pick them up Thursday morning, and MAYBE still have time for a half day’s work on the backsplash.  In a nutshell, someone at UPS only held one box, while the other box was sent back out for delivery.  So, two money orders, much confusion & frustration, and many hours of waiting for the UPS delivery guy later…we had all of our tile.

In the end…we had to make a few adjustments to our expectations, and have the movers work around the stone guys, but everything did finally get moved in, and the backsplash got installed.  It was just went a little differently than we had planned.  But by this point, 7+ years into my architecture career, I should have known to expect something like this happening!

And now…the final product.  Our gorgeous new kitchen, completed over the span of about eight days total.  We really couldn’t be more pleased with the final result–the layout, so far, is working great for us, and it’s STILL fun to arrive home every night and just stare at it.  It’s ours.  All ours…

Here’s a comparison before & after…this is before the kitchen was completely finished, but you can get a feel for the transformation…
Before & After

And, here’s the finished product, new appliances & all (more about those later!)…

Kitchen5     Kitchen6     kitchen 2

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1 Comment

Filed under House, Kitchen

One response to “onward

  1. Love, love, love. That tile was totally worth all the hassle!

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