5 min read

It's always darkest...

So much to love.
It's always darkest...

...when you're working at night and the place doesn't have very many lights.

But the Tennessee crew heads back south Monday, so everyone is working full tilt to get as much done as possible before then. We're making great progress.

The exquisite feature you see in the lead photo is the new shelving unit and transom window space for the kitchen breakfast nook. It's a take-off on the shelving unit that used to be there:

But now, thanks to Doug's woodworking and Greg's painting, it's a beautifully framed and finished shelf with transom, with the bottom "sill" of the shelf imitating the interior trim of the 1923 windows. LOVE IT.

Getting the glass for the transom was a bit of a goose chase. I started at Frandor Ace Hardware where the only glass they had was too thin. Then to Lansing Art Glass, where they had the right thickness, but the piece they had was scratched. Then to Davis Glass, where I was finally met with success. The glass is presently at my house under the couch to keep us from breaking it before it goes in.

In the light of our garage, I just primed the board that will be used by Doug to make the new legs for the breakfast nook benches. We're reusing the bench tops but need to replace the legs to make the two benches even.

The laminate table top is being replaced by a lovely new piece of butcher-block which we've now stained and polyurethaned under Lisa's supervision:

This will go atop the same pedestal that used to be in the kitchen breakfast nook – a round, heavy metal support. The pedestal has been refreshed with black glossy paint and is looking great as a result.

Just across from the breakfast nook is the structure for the new cabinetry:

This new IKEA unit will add lots of storage space and provide more counter space for small appliances like a coffee maker. Shelves will stretch between the upper cabinets and the whole thing will be outfitted with nice lighting.

Note in that photo above the new kitchen floor! It looks fantastic. So happy we decided to do that. It will really shine once the final trim is in.

Here's how the cabinetry is looking after painting with a light grey (almost white) color by Greg:

This photo, which I just snapped in the darkness, doesn't really do it justice. I'll have better photos for you by Monday, but take my word for it, it looks awesome with the existing ceramic backsplash tile and granite countertops. All of the cabinetry (old and new) now matches. It's all bright, fresh, clean, and professionally painted with great care after the addition of lots of thoughtfully executed molding additions. Above where the stove goes is a new stainless steel vent hood. (The new stove is presently in the living room, or at least that's where it was when last I saw it.) The kitchen is truly a "wow" in progress.

In the living room, thanks to Lisa's efforts and a lot of paint remover, the fireplace looks like brick again instead of being thickly painted in blue:

The brick's finish is now warm and inviting and it will look even better when the walls are painted with Sherwin Williams' "Quinoa." We used that color in the sunroom and it's just perfect for all the original oak molding.

In the upstairs bathroom, the vanity is in! So is the new medicine cabinet. It all looks terrific against the tile wall that will soon also feature sconces.

Plumbing fixtures will also make it look more finished, lol. Today we picked up the towel bars for this and the downstairs bathroom. I think those will go in tomorrow.

I keep forgetting to shoot photos of the totally new downstairs bathroom. But there, too, the vanity has been installed (though not the countertop and sink yet). That bathroom also has a new linen closet to the side of the vanity. It looks wonderful. Today we worked on the grate for the toe-kick HVAC vent under the vanity, among other things. All those little details make such a difference to the finished product.

Speaking of little details, two changes to the three upstairs bedrooms is making a big difference there. We're painting the dark quarter-round base molding white, because it looked strange as a dark strip sandwiched between white 8" base molding and light wood floors. Today, I primed all that in preparation for the fresh molding paint. (The blue tape protects the floor during painting.)

At the tops of the bedroom walls, Doug solved the problem of the ugly gaps between the molding and the ceilings by adding a small piece of decorative trim that closes the gap. Perfect! I also primed that today.

There's so much I didn't manage to document today, including a lot of fresh paint. The kitchen walls look terrific as does the new back bedroom/office and sunroom. As I write, the crew is working on painting the dining room.

Because tomorrow is going to be an epic day of work, I fed the crew an epic-eve sort of feast tonight: roast lamb, baked salmon, ratatouille, rice with basil, salad with a tangerine dressing, and for dessert a chocolate pudding with fresh raspberries and crushed almonds. I'm impressed they can get up and work after a dinner like that, and grateful, too.

Time now for me to finish the dishes and collapse. We start again at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast and more coats of paint.