kitchen is next in line

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The kitchen cabinets have a new coat of paint, the naked island is still naked and the appliances are ordered.

Now we can go ahead and have the countertops and backsplash installed. “We” means our Angel on site will oversee the install since we are so far away.

This is our new faucet. By Hansgrohe.

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Out of all the faucets on display we both went straight to this one and loved it. Easy choice – coincidently we picked the German brand out of all the others. It must have looked familiar somehow. So renovating Euro Style is possible in Texas!

And of course we were only running around headless during our last trip and forgot to pick it up for the countertop install. So here comes our Angel again. She is wonderful. Otherwise a little mishap like this would turn into a much bigger issue when remote remodeling.

This undermount sink will come to us in white! It has already been delivered to the tileshop for fabrication of the countertops.

update: the sink had a crack. We had to re-order, re-schedule, more delays. The real facts behind remodeling. Those that you do not see in the before-after pictures.

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The placement of the faucet! What a discussion. In the middle of the divider or the middle of the whole sink? Finally we settled on the version with the most alignment, ha, ha. Aligned with the cabinet doors beneath and not aligned with the sink divider. The second version would have meant that you would have had to move the faucet every time you wanted to get the water running without it hitting the divider. And that does not look aligned!

The backsplash, glass tiles. We will use white grout.

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I have to admit, I do not like granite. I know, I know – everyone loves it, the more pattern and streaks the better. I am the opposite, the more busy the counters the less relaxed I will be working in the kitchen. And trust me, I spend hours and hours and more hours in there…

So – the counters have to be simple. We agreed upon Silestone in an off white color with a touch of grey. Excuse the bad quality of this pic with my phone.

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Also, the counters will be thicker than average and no round corners for me. Just slightly eased, almost a 90 degree angle. Like in his picture.

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Have you remodeled a kitchen recently? Did you have unexpected issues to deal with?

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aligning the lines

As  I mentioned before – my eyes need to be able to relax before my body can.

Looking at a place where too many lines are not aligned makes me restless. The least thing you want to feel in your own home. I am no architect and could never construct a house but am saying that there are some architects that can do their job better than others.

My parent’s home is a superb example of how important it is that a house has straight lines and that this concept is followed throughout the house. An electrical outlet aligned with a doorframe or shelf. A window aligned with the door across. The height of doorframes versus window frames. Position of doorknob to light switch. It is endless. Once you got used to that you are addicted.

Unfortunately many of the cookie cutter developer homes do lack this thought. I takes me a while to figure out what is off with a room but then it becomes very obvious.

This house in Texas I would rate a 6 out of a 10. Some changes are possible, others will never be solved. We do our best, we are no builders and money does not grow on trees.

One example were the ornate window frames we had in a few rooms. Easy to be solved. Done! 

Here is our living room built in wall before. A lot of crazy non-aligning going on there. Do you see? Shelves versus mantle, top of cut out versus wall on the left, doorframe in the back hallway on a totally different height, etc. ImageAt first I only wanted to get rid of the arch on top and the little overhang to the left. But the domino effect hit us hard in the living room! Oh, my dear! It was the last built in that we agreed to stay in. “People want that in their living rooms”, we were told. And we wanted to stay within our budget and willing to compromise here – to compromise a lot.

As always one thing led to the other and long story short: All is gone now!

And while at it, we took off the wooden panel over the fireplace and opened up the drywall up until the ceiling.

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Oops, shit happens! The fire place exhaust duct on the right side could not be removed so easily. So we had to close it up again but were aligning the lines! We stayed within the same height than the opening on the left side of the room.

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While at it, the fireplace mantle was made a little thinner, too.

Before:

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after:

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The fireplace is in need of some changes for sure. But no granite for me! Most likely just paint. We already went overboard with the rest of this room…

On a different note: the hardwood floors had been in and out again within 24 hours. Long and frustrating story to be told another time.