Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kitchen Renovation

We're planning a major renovation of our house, so haven't done much about many of the things we dislike in the house. Our anniversary was two weekends ago. Many years we've spent the weekend away somewhere, but for a variety of reasons we didn't plan anything for this year. Instead we decided to do whatever we felt like.

So Saturday morning we were sitting on the couch watching tv. The view from the couch frames the pendant in the kitchen. I've never really liked the pendant. It's not that I don't like stained glass, it's just that this particular rendition doesn't appeal to me. While ignoring a commercial I looked over at the light and turning to Amy innocently asked "If we were going to replace the light in the kitchen, what would you want?"

Amy thought for a minute or two and replied "I don't know, should we go look at lights?"

So began our minor kitchen renovation. I don't remember why we decided to remove the pendant before going shopping, but remove it we did. As it turned out the wiring for this light went through the fake beam into the ceiling's drywall. So down came the beam, which turned out to be a whole lot easier than we expected. The beams are another item on the list of things we don't like in the kitchen. Since that beam was so easy to remove we decided to remove the other 6. About an hour later all that remained of the beams was a pile of wood in the living room, stripes in the paint on the ceiling, holes in the framing above the cabinets and patches of bright orange paint and orange striped wallpaper on the other side of the room.

Off we went to look for new light fixtures. After two circuits through a nearby lighting store we identified a ceiling fixture (to replace the square fixture pictured here) and a sconce (to replace the pendant). The sconce was going to require a 4-6 week wait, but the ceiling fixture was in stock, so we left the store with just the ceiling fixture and headed for the large orange big box store to look for something to replace the pendant. We located a pendant we liked at the big orange store, picked up some additional supplies and headed home with our purchases.

It was getting late, but excited about the new fixtures we decided to replace the ceiling fixture. With a worklight from my shop providing ample light we removed the ceiling fixture and installed the new light. Once I got the right combination of wire nut and electrical tape on the connections we had a beautiful new light. Tired, hungry and getting grouchy we decided to finish up the work on Sunday.

On Sunday we turned our attention to replacing the pendant. The wiring from the old light disappeared through a 1 inch diameter hole in the ceiling so out came the keyhole saw to enlarge the hole. Once the hole was big enough I discovered that the junction box for this light was about 2 inches above the drywall and the wiring wasn't actually in the box. This didn't really surprise me but did make me shake my head. We'd acquired a new junction box so I fed the wiring into it, and secured it to the studs (acquiring a lovely blood blister on my thumb in the process. I whacked it with the hammer I was using to persuade the box into the hole.) With the new box in the correct location even with the drywall, we assembled the light, secured it, wired it up and turned the power back on.

After a little cleanup - nails out of the old beams, lumber to the garage for later disposal, fixture remains into the trash, floor swept and mopped our spur of the moment renovation was complete. We are very happy with the changes and I'm still wondering what took us so long.

Icy Tree

We've had a mostly snow free winter, at least until today - yucky snow /sleet /rain /ice storm. A couple of weeks ago we got about 1/2 inch and the dogwood in our front yard ended up coated with ice. I love the way trees look when iced over, although I know that it's really bad for the trees.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thursday Challenge - Cute

My nephew clowning for the camera. I thought he looked like a frog, but he said he was a dog.
See more at Thursday Challenge.