I've already mentioned in brief that the beautiful (and free!) tiles Bop had offered couldn't be matched. What I didn't tell you is how difficult a time I had in the half hour following that discovery. I'm already overwhelmed by this entire process, and a great part of the reason for that is there are too many decisions. Too many choices. I know, I know. Call the wah!mublance. A bit of context: I spent a painful hour and then some looking at pulls and knobs on the internet this afternoon, scrutinizing and price checking and zooming in, and am not one whit closer to knowing what hardware I'm going to buy. My brain is wobbly. Well, wobblier than the norm.
Back to tile. Since the store was unable to match my sample (one was close in tone, but nearly a quarter of an inch larger), I knew I'd have to buy new tiles. Which meant I'd have to select another style entirely. *ulp* After pricing and then very quickly ruling out the gorgeous but exorbitantly expensive larger tiles, we (and when I say 'we,' I mean Edward Norton's less successful and somewhat seedy - but very nice - brother and myself) moved on to the less stately models. And here's where I went a bit crazy, my friends. Edward Norton Lite pulled several samples that matched the color of what I'd brought in. And I? I chose another color entirely. That's right. What I had was brown/beige/sepia-ish. What I ultimately chose was cream/taupe/grey-ish.
I'd made two major decisions in the course of half an hour: smaller tiles, different color. I was feeling pretty good about myself. As I followed Lil' Eddie N to the counter to settle up, he looked over his shoulder at me. "What color grout do you want?"
I burst into tears.
No, I didn't. But my soul wept, and my despair was plain for all to see. EdNo Jr. took pity and brought out a container of grout samples. He selected three and set them against my intended stone tile. I pointed. "That one?"
"Perfect," the lesser Norton assured me.
Then I gave them money, and on Wednesday I'll give them even more money and by Friday I should have a floor.
~*~ The End ~*~
But really, kids. The important thing is that I made decisions. Tile and grout. I chose them both. I am mighty.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Electrical stuff! We first met the Leshinskis last year. I was trying to find the journal entry, but I'm terrible at tagging accurately and/or consistently. poo. Long story only slightly less long, we'd had a problem with a leaking washing machine AND a spotty, sparking dryer. Simultaneously. On a weekend. The washing machine guy who was supposed to come bailed, but Jim and Tuney showed up and worked wonders with the electrical stuff. They're an amazing team. Watching them work was a delight - a choreographed dance of snipping and splicing and wiring and banter. When we decided to do this crazy kitchen thing, we knew they were our peeps.
They're not bargain rate, but their work is rock freakin' solid. Clean, safe, fully inspected (that's included in the price). They put in about seven hours today. In that time, they:
~rewired the entire kitchen
~removed as much of the old wire as they could
~terminated lines that were not easily removed
~installed a new circuit breaker specifically for the kitchen (so they didn't have to wire underneath the length of the house to connect to an already veryvery busy circuit breaker)
~figured out why our post light at the end of the driveway was wonky
~mapped out what switches will go where, and installed the bases accordingly
~installed a heap o' bases for outlets
~left whips for the under-cabinet lights
~commented upon the adorableness of Esme
~installed the bases for the inset lights (they won't put the lights themselves in until we've (re)insulated and sheet rocked
~got the inspector here today, which means YAY!, we can officially put up new sheet rock
~installed an exterior outlet
~were a joy to work with
Not many pics from today. I wanted to get Jim and Tuney, but I felt silly asking them. Mayhap next time. In the meanwhile, enjoy their handiwork.
The wires behind the old sheet rock were in bad shape. Old, poorly installed, and/or nibbled upon by mice. Now we have nice, clean and non-nibbled wires. This is the future home of control central. I'll be able to control the outdoor light, the ceiling fan light, the high hats and the inset light above the main workspace (y'know, the place with the banana) from here:
Inset lights! My kitchen will actually be well lit! I haven't had a well lit kitchen since I lived on the Upper East Side, and that's only because it was in a hallway. And that's only because that hallway had a decent light fixture.
This is what was behind the old cement and metal rod back splash. Old bricks and a pipe vent. The wire, best the L's could figure, was for some sort of vent fan, long since gone.
What's with the crazy light?
can it be?...
It's the Angel of Renovation! Has she/he come to make my decisions for me? To show me the way to simple yet exquisite and affordable cabinet pulls?
Apparently not. "LOOK ON ME AND DESPAIR! p.s. don't forget to recycle."
And that's it for today. Tomorrow Bop will insulate, install sheet rock and - maybe? - paint. I'm just going with plain white for now. Most of the exposed wall that's left will ultimately be covered in some sort of back splash. Then the Leshinskis come back and install the inset lights, the outlets, and the switches.
Also tomorrow: the plumber! WooooOOOOoooo!