Welcome to homelifescience. This is a fun blog where we talk about science, our travels, and neat house ideas we like to do. We are so excited to share with you the ideas that we have found.

Tuesday, December 31

Kitchen Remodel-Phase 5- The Center Island of DOOOOOOOM

Ok, so it was not so bad, but how many times do you get to write DOOOOOOOM  in a heading (plus or minus a few OOOOO's)? That should be on a bucket list somewhere. When we went into the remodel, we knew we were going to make a center island. When we were purchasing cabinets at IKEA they had no words of wisdom on how to do it. I goggled around a bit for some tips. I found this website and this one too that I thought were helpful. Really it just boiled down to just do it and make it work. Since we put in a floating floor, we decided the best thing was to put the floor in and place the all of the cabinets on top it. It would keep it down, all at the same height, and eliminate any bad looking edges. It just means that people better like our floor for a long time. Its a 20 year life span so it should not be a problem.

The island has a countertop length and width of 4 feet by 5 feet (about). This gives us an overhang on the far two sides of about 12 inches allowing us to create a breakfast bar. We wanted to keep it small though as our whole kitchen and house is very "tight" but still wanted the open feeling of a center island. The island helps bring together the kitchen, old dining room, and the living room.

To start with, we wanted an island that had storage on both sides. We selected two cabinets that were 12 inches deep with lots of shelves to hold things like fancy glasses and specialty cooking items. We butted these up to two cabinets that were the standard 24 inches deep facing into the kitchen. We built the IKEA cabinets.
We built a frame on the floor out of two by fours. This allowed us to attach the cabinets to the frame and the frame to the floor. We will cover the evidence of the frame by nailing over it with toe-kick.
To keep the cabinets stable while we worked, we would attach one to the floor, then attach it to its next door neighbor. It helped keep them steady, but it did mean we had to remove screws a couple of times and readjust!

Once we had all of the cabinets in, we adjusted them until they were parallel with the floor grain, otherwise it made the whole kitchen look loop-sided. We put a plug into the cabinet closest to the fridge, but dropping a hole into the floor and bringing up wire. We got a nice little remodel box to hold the electricity that does not interfere with any of the drawers.
To cover the sides, IKEA sold us two smaller appliance panels. Now the trouble with this was that they did not actually cover the whole side! Too short. We decided to use them on the side with the electrical plug as it would make it easier to put in the hole for the box. To make up for the two short, we used a T-mold for a matching floor to fit between the two pieces and make them the right length. You can kinda see it in the picture below. It looks a tiny bit different depending on the light. 
 For the other side, rather than having a seem facing out, Erik cut one of the bit appliance panels to the right length and attached it. Its nice, doing that actually saved us about $100 from using the two panels, plus it looks nice that there is no seem.
 For hardware we got some nice handles from Lowes. We got bigger 4 inch handles for all of the drawer pulls and smaller 3 inch handles for the cabinet doors. Here is a picture from Lowes.
Brainerd 3-in Center-to-Center Satin Nickel Bar Cabinet Pull
So now we are just working on getting it all in and done. I will have some final pictures coming in soon. Right now we are trying to deal with a sink. Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 29

Kitchen-Phase 4 (I think, we are now in a blur of kitchen work)

So here we go again, its been a month of living with the kitchen in an odd state of flux. Soon though (as in tomorrow) they come to put in our counters which means I finally get that kitchen sink back. Do you know how hard it is to clean dishes in the bathroom sink? That lovely little bathroom sink that everyone likes is way too small to clean a pot, gets backed up with food, and it is just weird cleaning pots where I clean my teeth. :) I think I may have died if I had to go back to pioneer days. I thought I was tough, but my kitchen remodel has taught me that I am soft. Hahahaha.

So anyways, here is an update. We got the cabinets and floor in and they look wonderful. It was funny, we saved two boxes of our flooring way back when because we knew one day we would redo the kitchen and it was perfect. We had to use every last board but we made it work. We now have one nice floor through out the living areas. I am so proud of all the work my beloved has done. It is tough working full time as a teacher and then come home and have to work on the house. It has taken us longer than we thought because it was harder than we thought. Super well worth it though!

Here are some pictures of what we have done since the last update:
We choose these lovely Adel Cabinets from Ikea. I have used Ikea cabinets in my classroom and was super impressed on how well they handle the kids and science equipment. I have had them in class for two years of abuse and they still look great with no scratches. Can't say that about much of anything else in my class. We are hard on stuff. :) We went with a brown because we wanted a nice homey look. We liked the white, but I worried that it looked cheap. We had to make two trips to IKEA. So the picture we had from their program had the right sized cabinet, but when we went to put it in, we had bought a smaller one? Somehow the IKEA helper had changed it to a smaller size. It's ok, we went from two glass doors on the upper cabinets to the left to three cabinets with wood doors. I kept hearing from everyone that they are easier to clean than the glass. 

 To make the cabinet above the fridge, Erik had to build a contraption. Since I am terribly short, we wanted the cabinet to be the same depth as the fridge so I could get into it. Erik built a frame for the cabinet to sit in and then nailed it to the wall. We then attached the side wood panels to hide the fridge. The cabinet then just slides into its slot and looks great.

I was put in charge of putting insides into all of the drawers and cabinets. This lazy susan was quite the trial to put together. It was really heavy and everything had to really line up. The trick is to crawl in the cabinet, lay down, and then put the top piece in. The bottom piece required prayer and some luck. Got them in though. They kinda rubbed on the inside wall, but if you adjust them by tugging on them they work better and stop rubbing.