25 July 2009

Life Happens

I thought I should get back in here and post an update! This blog has been a bit on the back burner as my personal life has taken priority. I delivered a healthy baby boy on Friday, July 3rd, making us now a family of four. Then, previously healthy baby boy developed a serious infection at 2 weeks old (pretty much all infections are serious when you are two weeks old). It required him to be hospitalized for five very difficult, emotional days. All is well now, so hopefully I am back on the regular blogging bandwagon.

During all this drama of my personal life, the GC of my kitchen remodel project has been absolutely stellar. He kept things moving forward and kept an appropriate level of communication with me: he held off on any decisions that required my input, but he quickly made all other decisions, sending me exceedingly short emails with summary. (He knows I like short succinct emails, for status.) At one point, he even had contractors here on a weekend to make sure certain things were functional by the time we got home from the hospital. I couldn't have asked him for anything more.

The quickest way to give an update on the kitchen is to show you some photos. I took these just an hour ago. I'm labeling the kitchen as 85% complete. It's fully functional now except for the recessed easel area being incomplete, and most cabinetry still lacking pulls. All appliances work (we haven't tested the griddle yet as it requires seasoning first). Just about every cabinet box still does have, however, obvious work remaining, items such as crown. I didn't photograph the nook area because that is where the contractors are storing all of their tools (on the table there) -- so not much to photograph.

02 July 2009


I had never heard of "neuroarchitecture" before, but saw a brief mainstream article about it today. Put aside the fact that this is sourced from CNN/Oprah -- I think, this is pretty interesting.

Mood, memory affected by your home

01 July 2009

Moving right along

Our house has been a busy hub of contractors lately. Most days of the project, we have one trade, maybe two, onsite. For the last few days, we've had perhaps 3-4 different trades onsite and a veritable sea of people (6-7) all plugging away. Activity is a good feeling.

Lots of uppers, including our wood hood/vent, have been installed over the last week. The wood hood was the first real cabinetry "oops" of the project. It was designed by the firm, approved by me, and subsequently built about 3" too short. The vent liner hung down 3" exposed beneath the box. Somehow all of us missed this in design. I had really struggled in designing this area -- trying too hard -- and the lead designer at the cabinetry firm finally hit upon a solution that I really liked. Anyway, we changed the design of the wood hood so many times that this probably contributed somewhat to the mistake -- the final design solution was simple (thankfully) but we certainly went through many iterations to get here.

There have been a few other minor cabinetry issues, but this was the first one that required some sort of immediate and significant resolution with input from multiple parties. It is not only a very large box in a prominent visible location, but it was also a dependency for HVAC and other connections, and had very strict clearance requirements for appliance installation specs. We were able to resolve the issue by cutting into the floor of the cabinet above, and nesting the smaller top of the vent into the upper cabinet. I was very happy with the solution because (a) I really like the proportions and location of the wood hood as it was designed, and (b) I have no concrete plans for the storage above the hood anyway. Losing 3" there is no big deal to me at all. It was much more important to me to keep the design ratio of the four door sizes above (two of the four doors are installed in the photo) and the proportions of the hood cover itself. (See, sometimes I do choose form over function!)

Our banquette is also mostly installed. I am so very, very happy with how this area is turning out. The dimensions were hard to figure out during design, because there's no easy "standard" for banquettes such as there is for tables, chairs, counters, aisles, etc. I went and sat in a lot of restaurant booths with tape measures. I also checked out a lot of different table styles with tape measures. Every one inch really makes a surprising amount of difference.

The banquette is turning out to be quite a cozy and inviting area. It just feels good to sit there. And man, I have a TON of storage in those benches! Way more than I expected.