Tiles down. Gray grout to be applied tomorrow. White paint finished, mostly. That light fixture will go, we'll be getting a ceiling fan, which should be nice in this weather. Still a long way to go!
Last week was so busy I couldn't blog. The Simple Man laid the floor, a tile very deliciously named Rialto Terra. I have spent most of my life never seeing my name outside "Terra Cotta" (gardening pots and tiles) and "Terra Firma" (old maps), and now my name is impossibly hip; it's on anything and everything eco-conscious and chips and God only knows what else. It's very disconcerting. Anyhow, then I primed and painted the walls ULTRA. BRIGHT. WHITE. Yes, you read that correctly. I was hesitant about going this white, but my eldest was adamant. "Mom, this one is CLEANER. BRIGHTER. AIRIER. YOU WANT THIS ONE!" I cannot argue in Lowes with a 9 year old while my two year old is trying to eat grout powder and hide in a bidet. We purchased a no VOC paint and primer, both by Olympic. The primer didn't smell until you put your nose right in it, and even then it was mild. The paint was definitely stronger, but even then, if you walked out of the room, you couldn't detect any odor at all. I was really pleased because I wanted no VOC paint, but I didn't want to pay sixty dollars a gallon. While I painted I think the whiteness overwhelmed The Simple Man because he kept mouthing "insane asylum" at me and shaking his head. I refrained from a lecture on sensitivity because, well, he lives with me so he kind of knows what he's talking about. And he's building me a new kitchen. And I was happy.
I think I'm really going to love the white.
View a gallery of subway tiles in kitchen here
I also want white subway tiles for the back-splash. This presented a conundrum because our base cabinets won't be fitted into the wall, so do we tile the whole lower wall or just the foot or so of back-splash? I poked about on the internets, but all I could find was that it was better and typical to tile all the way to the floor behind the stove since it can be moved. So we decided to tile all the way down to the floor across the whole wall because it seems like it would look ridiculous to see a 12 inch span of tiles half way up the walls. Of course, after we made that decision, I saw several kitchens (mostly in Europe - all free standing) that had back-splash tile to the floor behind the cabinets. We were also a little worried about the subway tile because it's common in bathrooms, but I found a lot of great pictures of kitchens that use it, so I think it should be alright. We'll be using very white grout also; I saw some with darker grout, but dang if that doesn't look dirty to me. We haven't bought it yet, so if you can think of any enormous reason why this wouldn't be a good idea, please feel free to chime in.
The cabinets. Gah. I went to Ikea to drag my exhausted self around their Swedish exuberance and I just can't get into the kitchen cabinets at Ikea. There were some I liked, but to be honest, I imagined my kitchen to be free of textures and materials not found (fairly) directly in nature. We'll forget the liquid nails, cement board, and five gallon buckets of joint compound and focus on what my family will actually be running their fingertips along in the end. I wanted wood, rough linen, earthen tiles, glass - I did not picture laminate. It's a laminate lament. I might have to cave and get them; it's basically what we had planned when we started, but we'll see. We still have a bit more to do before thinking about it becomes crucial, and even if the kitchen is ready for the cabinets, I have an island I can move in there for counter space and my makeshift sink - so that gives me some time to think about it.
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Other happenings around our house? Our neem tree has exquisitely tiny white flowers blooming on it, and the scent is heady and exotic. It's similar to lily of the valley but with an intense, but light, green note. Our entire front porch is olfactory heaven.
The Simple Man has a miniature pomegranate tree. It was poorly looking all winter, being inside and everything. The moment the weather warmed he put it outside and now it has these amazing buds/flowers all over it. I'm not sure we'll actually get edible pomegranates, but it's look alone is worth it.
Made my own mayonnaise. This was more out of a desire to placate a hungry horde and cover up my inadequacies in grocery shopping than some foodie wish. BUT . . . this is the third time, and it's so easy, and inexpensive, and yummy that I've just stopped buying it. ETA: The recipe I used is from the fabulous and local (to me) Food In Jars blog. Many delicious canning recipes on there. I differed from the recipe in that I whisked my eggs with about a Tbsp. horseradish mustard. Nom. Nom.
Each year my neighbor, whose entrance adjoins mine, has this hydrangea bush that explodes in the most perfect, purplish blues. I've sadly killed about six of my own, hoping to recreate her magic, but now I just enjoy hers.
The delight of finding wild raspberries in the wooded park near our home. It was particularly awe inspiring to the toddler to find food in the "foyest" - she didn't want to leave.
Knowing that this small, pale, lavender coloured flower is going to be an eggplant sometime soon.
Our mint is flowering. Looks wonderful. It's amazing how incredibly lovely fruit, vegetables, and herbs can be in the various stages of their life.
And that is that. We hope to be finished by August, or at least mostly finished. We're both heartily sick of the kitchen, though we know it will be worth it, and I am about tolose my mind with all the mess it's made! Want to get back to normal!