dil·i·gence:careful and persistent work or effort

Proverbs 13: 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

When 'good enough' isn't

Remember back in April, when I declared the kitchen project 90% done?  Well, apparently 90% was good enough, because that's where progress stalled the rest of the spring and much of the summer.  But eventually, "good enough" became super-annoying-weight-on-my-shoulders-when-will-this-kitchen-ever-be-done.  And, that's when I got serious about finishing that last 10%. 

Let me see if I can bring you up to speed on what has changed since then.  Almost immediately once I painted the bead board backsplash in the grey-beige color I had used on the top half of the breakfast room, I knew it wouldn't stay.  It was kind of Country Meets Country.  When I was really going for Country Meets Modern.
Plus, because of the U shape of the kitchen and because of its location smack in the middle of the house, it still doesn't get as much natural light as I wish- even after we removed the top half of the wall.  So, at times it's kinda dark.  And, once I added the dark-ish paint on the backsplash, it was just too dark.  But, I lived with it for a while to make sure it didn't grow on me.  Sadly, it didn't.  So, even though I was smart enough to paint the backsplash before installing it, I still found myself painting it again once it was installed.  Huge bummer.  4 coats of semi-gloss white later, and I'm much happier.
 As if painting and re-painting the backsplash wasn't bad enough, I quickly remembered one of the reasons I didn't go with a shiny, clean white for the backsplash in the first place:  the light switches and outlets.  They were bone.  Personally, I'm a bright white kinda girl.  I love me some fresh, white molding, and I definitely prefer white outlets and switches.  And, while I was willing to live with the bone outlets paired with the greige backsplash, they would never work with a white background.  So, along with repainting the backsplash, I had to also swap all of the switches and outlets.  How many could one small kitchen have?  Our teensy, tiny kitchen has 4 light switches and 7 outlets!  Swapping these out wasn't necessarily hard- just time consuming and a task that required extreme body contortions since the jutting out upper and lower cabinets prevented me from getting the angles I needed for the job to be simpler.  But, after a week of tackling a switch or a plug or two per evening, and I had them all swapped out.  And, looking fine if I do say so.

Well, all except this sucker.
This guy has been a major thorn in my side.  He is a GFI, and he (along with the 83203343496756 wires hooked to him) refuse, and I mean REFUSE, to fit back into the box.  I will eventually be having another session during which I hope to convince him to get back in there, but in the meantime, we just focus on not electrocuting ourselves.  :)

I think part of what caused this project to drag on was the amount of finishing work there was.  I'm more of a big picture DIYer.  That's why I love painting and hanging things on the walls:  the gratification is almost immediate.  I found the painting and caulking and nail hole filling and sanding and re-painting, etc, etc that the beadboard backsplash required to be almost torturous.  I found so much gratification in the actual installation of the beadboard, but then I felt the finishing work was just a drag, frankly.  I knew it needed to be done for the project to be complete, but I really found no pleasure in it.

That being said, I have to say I am super proud of the molding I decided to install below the half wall.  I hope to some day have something much more interesting topping the half wall:  some old hunk of a barn beam would be awesome.  But, for the meantime, I decided to make it look as good as possible with a piece of stock wood that we cut down and stained.   In order for it to look finished off, I decided to add some cove molding around the underside.  I managed to get it done using a cheap-o miter box and saw from the home improvement store.  And, while I will admit that mitering a 90 degree angle was more challenging than I would have liked, we got 'er done, and I think it looks super finished.  It's a detail that I am glad I did not overlook.
 So, let's see:  what else is on the kitchen to do list?
  1. Strong-arm the GFI outlet back into the wall.
  2. Paint ceiling in kitchen (which continues into dining room, living room, and all the way down the bedroom hallway.  Don't expect this to get done anytime soon.)
  3. Borrow a miter saw (preferably one that comes equip with a knowledgeable operator familiar with complex angles/cuts) to cut this corner molding, because frankly I am at a loss.
I think that's it!  So, perhaps we can call this thing 97% done now?  Here's some eye candy, because, frankly, I think I can live with 97%.



1 comment:

  1. Emily- What a lot of work you have done- but it looks SOOOO nice. I just love the white- much better than the color you had there before. I'd say you were pretty much done- xo Diana