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March 21, 2006

And We Have a Coffer and Light (one really long light)

The first day of spring and we got the first working light in the kitchen.  More on that later.

A lot has happened since my last entry.  For one thing, we tore out a wall in the now multipurpose room to reveal the plumbing and the electrical so that we could install the washer and dryer in a more convenient place. Our original plan was to stack them in the corner, but with the help of our friends Jill and Ray we decided to position them across the room. Should be less overall impact and providing utilities was much easier and (I hope) somewhat cheaper.  Here are the photos...

 

First you take a big hammer ...

 

Temporary home for the old washing machine. In good time this will be replaced with a new washer and dryer and everything will be wrapped in a cabinet.

This is most ... but not all ... of the contents of the kitchen and this room before we began the remodel.

   

In addition to making some progress on the multipurpose room progress is also being made in the kitchen proper.  However, most of the work of the last week or so has been out of sight -- foundation work and, particularly, plumbing and electrical which, as near as I can tell, involves highly paid people crawling around on their hands and knees. As far as the "multipurpose room" goes we are refraining from calling it a laundry room because it is too much a part of the house and our daily living in it for that name. Besides, we do want a desk and bookcases here.

The big deal in the kitchen was that Joe roughed in the ceiling detail ... see pictures ... and put in the light fixtures.

This detail mirrors the island and is intended to turn the beam into an interesting design element ... we'll see.

Everyone says it will look better once the ceiling is sheet rocked.

In the above pictures you can also see the lights (many) that dot the ceiling, They are all florescent courtesy of Title 24 -- the new California environmental building code. Unfortunately, no one knows much about florescent lighting and the manufactures have a very narrow range of product to choose from.

And here is the one (so far) working light. What you can't see is the fact that the bulb sticks down about 2 inches below the level of the ceiling. I hope that we have the wrong bulb for the fixture. If not, I don't know what we'll do .... maybe post signs around the room reading "Don't look up!!"

The structure to the right is the old sink ... faked in so that we can wash dishes in the middle of our demolished kitchen.  That is also the approximate center of the island. Joe has been terrific about making the remodel as painless as possible. He left the sink, stove, and dishwasher in place as long as he could, so we had the use of them for a week or two more than if he'd just torn them out in the beginning. He also kept the washer and dryer hooked up until he could move them to their new location, then attached them to the new plumbing and electrical lines, saving us schlepping to the laundromat.

Two  "Ah Shit" moments occurred today ..the aforementioned "long" light bulb problem and the discovery that the microwave convection oven we wanted (really wanted) would stick out over the counter about 8 inches!  If it didn't fall down, it would surely look like hell.  Turns out the cabinets are only 12 inches deep, standard for cabinets, and the microwave is pushing 20 inches deep -- and probably should have an inch or two behind it for ventilation.

We've considered putting it in different places, but neither of the alternatives -- to the left and the right of the refrigerator -- seem to work. To the left it screws up the pantry and looks bad.  To the right it's hidden ... good! ... but interferes with the opening of several cabinet doors ... bad!

I spend an hour looking at microwave web sites ... without turning up a good solution.  Arrrrrgggggg!!!!

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