Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lo and behold... LIGHTS!!!

We've been having a lot of difficulty finding the perfect light fixtures for the kitchen, hall, and bathroom. The kitchen was especially hard because what can possibly complement our beautiful mini black chandlier? Even though the bathroom was my domain, I asked KT what he liked. I was really tired of all the bathroom fixtures available. Surprisingly, he suggested the hollywood vanity lights!

Something like this: (Black Swan was such an awesome movie! It left me a little disturbed.)

I totally didn't even considered this. Growing up, we had this in our bathroom. I thought it was a cute idea so I went for it.  I ended up getting something like this:
It doesn't exactly have the same feel we were going for but we're tired, it's been weeks. We installed it and called it a day. I'm going to revisit it sometime further down the line.

We were much more successful with the hall. We first picked out this fixture:

It looks really cool.  It reminds me a little of the old industrial look. We really liked the style but I just wasn't sure if it belongs. 

One day after everyone has gone home, we decided to throw in the towel and go to ikea for some morale booster. It was there that we found the perfect fixture!!

LO AND BEHOLD, Our Perfect Hall Light!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend #5 - Hooray, the Cabinets are DONE!

Finally, the cabinets are done!! 

We hung the cabinet doors back on the cabinets.  =)  I still have to pick out the knobs and handles for these doors and drawers. 

Here's the Before:

Here's the After:

So, after all this has been said and done, we learned why it was so important to get all the grease off the cabinets.  At first, we thought it was just because the paint needs a clean surface to stick to, to prevent chipping and peeling, etc.  As we were examining the doors, we discovered that the residual grease that we had missed has bled through the paint.  Tried as we may with the degreaser, deglosser, and the sanding, we were unable to get all  the grease off the doors.  The hardest areas were the grooves and edges.  Luckily, they're not too noticeable.  Overall, this was a great makeover, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What about the Floors?

As I have mentioned in a previous post, KT have decided on whitewashing the original hardwood floors in the living room. 

Maybe something like this:

Or something less transparent like this:

We were hoping that we would find these same hardwood floors in the kitchen under the vinyl floor currently there now.  Instead, we found a plywood subfloor.  It looks as if more sheets of plywood were nailed on top of the subfloor so that the kitchen floor is actually sitting a little higher than the living room floor. 

We did not want to put down traditional flooring - hardwood, tiles, laminate, etc.  We wanted something out of the box.  Something creative, and of course, within our $500 per room makeover budget. 

KT was wondering if we can pour concrete for the kitchen floor - he was going for the industrial look.  At first I didn't think it was a good idea because the kitchen is turning out to be more chic and no where near industrial.  But as I considered it some more, I thought it would be a great building block for the finished floor that I realized I wanted - A polished glossy black floor. 

Something like this:

I did some research and found that I can use a high gloss black epoxy sealer on top of the concrete to make it shiny.  I was in love with this idea.  When I pitched it to KT, he was totally on board.

I thought pouring a concrete floor would be fairly simple and inexpensive.  I remembered as a child watching my dad pour the concrete steps/pathway for our house.  He made it seem so easy.  I did more research to find out what it would take to make an interior concrete floor.  There were many people online with similar ideas; however, I soon discovered there were many problems with this project as well.  Most concrete needs to be poured AT LEAST half an inch thick.  I'm not sure if the existing joists in the house will support the weight of the concrete slab. 

Also, as I was reading forum discussions, many people said that concrete should not be poured on top of wood because wood moves too much (expand and contract due to heat) and will cause the concrete to crack.  (Our trip to home depot confirms that when we spoke to one of their employees knowledgeable in concrete work). 

There were some suggestions online to use decorative overlay instead of concrete.  Overlay can be applied very thinly so we wouldn't have to be too concern with the weight.  I had tunnel vision for those black glossy floor.  I decided I could piece together all the suggestions online to make something work and was willing to risk the concrete cracking.  We pulled the trigger and headed over to home depot to buy all the supplies we'll need for my very risky project.  That's when we discovered that concrete, overlay and underlay, is not so cheap.  On top of that, they didn't have the self leveling concrete I was looking for.  I had to finally admit that this was a dead end. 

We reconsidered the traditional flooring options but nothing came close to what I had in mind - except for the black granite tiles.  Those things cost $5 dollars each tile.  Even for our tiny little kitchen, it would cost twice our budget to put in!  I was feeling a little discouraged and offhandedly said I'm just going to paint the plywood black and make it work somehow.  As I kept saying that, I started thinking that its not such a bad idea. 

We went home and I started my research.  Boy, was I surprised to find so many people online doing the same thing!  I especially LOVE LOVE LOVE what Carrie did with her floors over at www.lovelyetc.com. The floor she painted would look perfect in our little kitchen. I'm considering doing something with the same border and a stencil that will match the damask design we're using for our cabinet liners.  I have to decide soon because we're starting our floors this coming weekend! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weekend #4 - More Painting, More Cabinets, More Recessed Lightings

I'm a little behind in documenting our home make over.  About two weekends behind.  So two weekends ago, on Saturday, Dad came back to cut more holes for the recessed lights and Philip helped patch up the holes.  There's Monster in the background looking out the window.  And there's Mom watching KT pull up a corner of the kitchen floor to see what's underneath.  

We were hoping to find the same hardwood floor from the living room underneath the vinyl floor but no such luck.  It was just layers of plywood subfloor underneath. We left it alone for the time being as we consider other options for the kitchen floor.

Philip and Diana spray painted the kitchen door hinges and screws black.  They primed them first so the paint will stick to the metal.  The black hinges are an inspiration from the black chandelier that we're going to put up in the kitchen over our dining table.

This shelf from the bathroom looked really old and worn out.  So we painted it white and it looks brand new!  Almost.

After everyone left for the day, KT and I stayed behind to paint more coats on the cabinets.  If you can't tell yet, these cabinets are our Everest.  Three weeks of painting cabinets and waiting for it to dry and painting some more.  It feels endless.  So as a pick-me-up for us at ten o'clock at night, we decided its time to put up our mini black chandelier in the kitchen and pick out the cabinet liner.  

We decided on the damask pattern.  It's the black and white pattern in the lower bottom left cabinet.  

On Sunday, Sam and Jackie came over to help.  They helped paint this bathroom that looks a little lavender.  Diana and Philip and Mom painted a coat of primer the day before.  Jackie and Sam finished the job and painted this bathroom white.  

Next, Sam and Jackie painted the hallway outside the bathroom.  This is the last area that needs to be painted.  YAY!!  Thanks guys!  The paint job looks seriously professional.

I lost count on how many coat we painted on the cabinets....