Posts Tagged ‘renovation’

Counter vs. Bar Height

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Today is another peek into the home we’re remodeling with a design dilemma we will be tackling soon, this one is the debate between counter and bar height for the kitchen peninsula. This ledge is more of a stuff collector than practical dining surface, a dinner plate doesn’t even fit but I imagine it was designed to be that way on purpose in the original plan.

I do get the ‘divide the spaces’ look achieved with the bar height in this kitchen which looks out into the shared family room and breakfast nook space, but the narrowness of the wood shelf on top is odd to me. And say hello to the lovely vinyl wallpaper I have the pleasure of removing later this month.

counter height wall

And then there’s the sink nestled in the angle which I can’t even think about moving (the cost! the headache!) since all the plumbing to the dishwasher and sink is inside this pony wall and we’re working with a slab foundation. I’m not a fan of the layout of this kitchen, I am a U shaped kitchen lover and this one isn’t like that at all. But since we do plan to replace the cabinets/counters/sink down the road I think that will satisfy so I’m going to work with the footprint as is. (That tile/carpet combo is also leaving this month, more on that soon.) 

So it raises the question of keeping the higher breakfast bar as it is now but extending that upper surface with new countertops and corbels, or do we cut down the wall and extend a new countertop out in a single plane as one large surface to unify it all at counter height (my preference).

At first I was concerned about the sink if we cut down the wall thinking “there will be the splashing of the water everywhere!” but I realized plenty of well designed kitchens have islands or peninsulas with sinks at counter height.

counter height peninsula

john maniscalo architecture

   

counter height island with stools

teddy edwards

   

peninsula with waterfall edge

texas construction company

  

blue kitchen cabinets counter height stools

summerhouse interior design

   

counter height sink island bhg

better homes & gardens

  

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The Joy of Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Monday, July 7th, 2014

It’s always necessary to do the ugly, messy work before you can get to the pretty. We hate it, but we know it’s true. Before you can add the furnishings and window treatments and pillows and accents you’ve got to establish a clean foundation to build upon and doing so is never ever as fun as styling and arranging, but it must be done.

Enter the battle with sprayed acoustic texture otherwise known as the dreaded popcorn ceiling from the 70s and 80s. It’s everywhere in the house we bought and it must be removed. The process is messy if you do it yourself, somewhat costly if you don’t, but necessary for me in a modern home and one that adds value if you ask my broker/appraiser husband.

eliminate popcorn ceilings

We started the process in a bedroom, one that possesses the chicest combination: old tan carpet, yellowed outlet covers, peach metal mini blinds, brass mirrored closet doors, and popcorn ceilings. Really, it’s just so hard to part with it all.

This bedroom was a great place to start for one has not had the pleasure, joy, thrill, delight, excitement, and satisfaction of scraping a popcorn ceiling.

bedroom before

A fact you must know: prior to 1979, popcorn ceilings contained asbestos but it was banned in 1978 so if you have/own/purchase a home from that era grab a test kit at your local home improvement store to diagnose yours. If your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, leave this job to a professional lest you want to be poisoned. I don’t think you do.

However if your home was built in the late 80s as this one was (1989) you should be safe. I’m here to tell you the process is cheap and simple, albeit extremely messy.

kate popcorn ceiling

Supplies you’ll need: a very long garden hose to drag into the house; an attached spray nozzle with different mister settings; plastic sheeting to cover the floor/walls/windows; painter’s tape; plastic putty knives; joint compound; 180 grit sanding wedge; ladder; a respirator & safety goggles, and above all, tenacity.

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