Wrapping up Day Two re: The View From the Athlete’s Kitchen, and there are some significant changes to be seen around here! Namely, the dividing wall between the kitchen proper and the butler’s pantry is outta here. Even though we anticipated it, it’s still pretty remarkable how the removal of a such a small wall seems to have things entirely. We were relieved to find very little wiring within said wall, and we were able to remove the entire thing right up to the cabinets, as seen in the lower right below. We’ve gained additional floor space (every square inch counts!!) as a result.
I’d say that the end of Day Two also marks the completion of the ‘easy’ portion of the work – while it creates the most obvious changes, removal of large surfaces does not require much fine tuning relative to say, wiring new lighting, squaring cabinets or installing a backsplash. Still, it’s fun to look at the Before and Ongoing during this phase, and I’ve included the relevant photos from today below.
Speaking of backsplashes, they are the subject of our first category dive-in on this project. There are bottomless choices for backsplashes, and since like the counters they really stand out in the kitchen, the process of finalizing them is a high stakes situation, visually speaking. The good news is that even in a showroom with literally thousands of options, 95-99% of them will *not* work for a given kitchen. It can really help to keep this in mind when you first set out! The challenging part is that you’re still left with a solid handful that could work, and how do you know which one is best? More challenging still is sticking with it when you’re waist deep at the tile store and you start to wish someone could just take care of it and pick out your perfect favorite option. (Admitting, this is a champagne problem. At the same time, if you don’t take these decisions seriously, you will end up with a disappointing look with money sunk and more required to fix it, if that’s even an option at that point. So it’s best to just dive in and treat this like an important issue, if only because mistakes are costly but a job well done is a good investment. Also, because you deserve to enjoy your living and cooking space!) Alas the backsplash fairy will not appear no matter how tedious things turn – unless you hire a decorator, which is not necessarily the hoity-toity team member he or she may seem since the person will save you time, usually has access to deep discounts and can help avoid aforementioned costly mistakes. Still, we are sans decorator.
To add mayhem to the backspash madness today, I visited Heath Ceramics, a several thousand square foot studio/showroom/shopping mecca of kitchen and home mashups. Even though there are exactly *two* tile choices there that are viable options for our project, it was a serious exercise in time management not to spend possibly hours exploring the store. Here’s a teeny glimpse of what I mean:
As fun as stores like this can be, on a kitchen project day with deadlines, environs like these can be deadly. So as not to take the fun entirely out of the process, and because I’ll be honest I could not resist, I budgeted a ten minute stroll throughout the store after learning everything I needed to know about our two choices – availability, lead time if additional material was needed, if grout is supplied or must be sourced elsewhere. The secret to staying on task and on time actually lied in not picking anything up as I circled the space. If I find myself thinking about the store in the future, I’ll find time to visit on a separate browsing occasion. And probably without my camera – I attracted a small following of sales associates as I continued to take snapshots, and I sort of get it – perfect merchandising is its own art form!
My other stop today was the polar opposite of the perfectly curated Heath experience, an all-function lighting store where no wall or ceiling space was left untouched by one lighting option or another. Like backsplashes and countertops, only a few lighting options will actually really work in a given situation, but that’s where the similarities end. I’ll address lighting another time soon.
Before and After-wise, check out the galleries below to see our in-house progress today!
What Was Accomplished:
- Removal of dividing wall between the kitchen proper and butler’s pantry.
- Removal of sink and remaining countertops.
- Purchase of recessed lights for ceiling, plus dimmers and switches.
What Was Learned:
- The unidentified duct over the former ovens was not functional and was removed entirely, so its potential blockage of the new fridge is a non-issue.
- The wall between the kitchen and butler’s pantry did not have significant electrical wiring to cause an issue, and we were able to remove it entirely.
I hope you are enjoying this series so far! Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to hear about.