29 May 2018

The Final Touches... Hopefully!

The granite was delivered... A day I was anticipating heavily. It seemed like all work was paused until that granite arrived. You can't put in the backsplash without the granite there, or call the electrician without the backsplash in since there's outlets over the tile, or work on the plumbing if the sink isn't in yet, or finish the final paint without everything else being done. So once the granite arrived, I thought it was smooth sailing! It was a little rougher than planned, but watch as we maneuver our way through the end. 

Black granite, gorgeous!

Polishing up those sides

Cutout for the cement farmhouse sink

I think I forgot to mention this a while ago, but I had a panic moment where I thought the granite and installer were coming the next day. I last minute thought, why wouldn't we put these amazing tiles extended into the bathroom? It would be such a shame! And put in a vanity with a granite top now that we have extra from the old backyard kitchen?! But we hadn't previously agreed on it with the landlord, so Patrick and I decided we would pay for it. I made it all happen in a day, where we ordered tiles, the tile man came and laid them, I drew up a quick frame, called the carpenter and had him build the basics of the vanity, and went out and bought an under-mount sink we had seen earlier. 

There was also this wall-mount faucet that I had seen before that I really wanted, and when we went back to get it, I could not find the store anywhere. A lot of places look similar and I thought I was going crazy. Turns out, the store had gone out of business and cleared out the day before! There was a number on the door, and we called, and searched down this man who still had the faucet I wanted, exchanged some money for it through the car window in an alleyway in a weird neighborhood of town. It felt like a pretty scandalous faucet deal. We had the plumber come and install the faucet, got the whole bathroom ready to go for this granite to just cut and seal on top the next day. And the granite and installer didn't actually come that day. 

But when he did come, he sure did cut that old granite! 

And there's the under-mount sink! So while they were cutting the stone, My landlord Claver and I went out shopping for more lighting since the electrician was coming the next day. 

This is us in the store figuring out if I could buy 3 lights and put them into 1 canopy. Everyone in the store was watching and thought I was a design wizard to come up with that. They were making me feel way too cool. 

But I mean... ;)

Claver and I also bought the backsplash tile that I'm in LOVE with and laid it out to see-

Yes please!

Now back to the granite. While we were out buying fun lighting and tile, my friend and carpenter JB was out buying wood to make thick chunky wood beam legs for the counter overhang so that the granite could be installed on it. You'll see it later. After all the cutting and polishing, the pieces started going into place. 




Can't forget the faucet hole!

There's the bar!

All the lights got installed, and granite in place. It ended up being a late night.

I love this picture of our landlords. I think it looks like they work at a cool hipster coffee shop. :)

Counter sealed to sink, and water is working! 

The next day while I was gone, the rest was finished and sealed. Including the vanity! 

The big island!

This side too

Sliding that stove back in!

And then I received pictures a little too late of the backsplash-

Dun Dun Dunnnnnn 👀

It was pretty sloppy. Also they were pulled forward about an inch thick of cement away from the wall, instead of just being flush with the wall, and not cut straight at all. So everything stopped, and even though we had everything planned to move in that weekend, work would have to wait until we lived in Kigali... Meanwhile back in Rubengera- 

We sold our beloved island, and watched it being whisked away!

We cleared out all our stuff. A pretty big task. I don't know how we collected this much in one year. 

And made room for a raging going away dance party in our empty house Saturday night.

Bye Rubengera! We love you!

02 May 2018

Kitchening is hard.

So once the cabinets arrived, the kitchen started to come alive! However one small annoyance, was I wanted to move the plumbing to be centered under the window. The way the kitchen used to be, the sink was to the left of the window, and when you tried opening the window on the left side, it would hit the faucet. So I planned to center everything. This just took forever. I think there was stalling because no one else but me wanted to do it, or thought it was necessary. ;) And then once the pipes were moved, we built a huge cement farmhouse sink around it. So that just means that the right side cabinets just had to sit in the middle for a while instead of being pushed into place. Here's that whole fiasco! First- the old kitchen arrangement:

The new kitchen with cabinets patiently waiting to be pushed into place. ;)

Digging a hole through the outside of the house to move the pipes and center the plumbing. The outside of the house did sacrifice here for that centered farmhouse sink.

Filling in the lines with some paint!

And now that the pipes are under the window, it's sink time! First they dig into that wall more...

And a wood frame mold for the cement is built.

Rebar is placed into the wall, and into the mold.

And cement is filled!

Our beautiful sink! ;) 

Now I know I made this seem really simple, but it's actually pretty complicated. Luckily one of Patrick's co-workers is a brilliant architect and organized the whole thing for us. And now, here is the sink:

That thing ain't budgin'!

So now we get to slide in our cabinets right?!?! Oh not yet! The sink is so heavy it needed legs to be supported. So that means we have to cut our cabinets to slide around the legs. Not as easy as you'd think either! 

Oh wait, what's that??

They're in!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!! The kitchen felt so much bigger! 

Starting to feel real. 

Meanwhile in the Backyard Art House, we were deciding what to do with the state of this "kitchen." We decided instead of replacing the old warped and damaged cabinets here, why not remove everything, including the granite top, and just place the old cabinet from the Main House kitchen back here!

So we extended the backsplash, and lots of strong people carried the huge cabinet back there to put it in place. They cut a hole for the sink, and cut holes in the back for plumbing, and voila!

Now the kitchen back there is even bigger, and we will use the old granite for our bathroom vanity! Back to the Main House.. How about some smaller touches? 

White grout instead of just cement.. makes a huge difference!

This backsplash tile.... a last minute find, but I think it will MAKE the kitchen.

Sampling it out. Verdict is.... HELL yeah!!

The big missing piece? You guessed it- countertops! They were delivered...

And installed in the following blog. ;)

Thanks for reading!