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The Kitchen Sludge + Let’s Break It Down


We’re still in the kitchen sludge. It’s just… well, there’s no other way to describe it. We’re at a point where we can’t move too far forward as we wait on the back-door-debacle, and we feel stuck, at a standstill. I want to roll out the rug so badly, but, um, we’re still not done with kitchen demolition! The wall-of-windows was and is half of the plans, and so, we wait. More on that in a minute.

But! Let’s talk about progress and real life. Let’s talk about trim! Trim ALL weekend! Although we’re unable to install baseboards along the back wall (I’m a broken record, sorry), we didn’t want that to hold us up on the rest of the room. While it’s such a seemingly small task (HA!), a few feet of trim – that finishing touch that changes everything – is really a two day job. In our case, here’s how that breaks down:

  • DAY ONE. Measuring // purchasing // painting (while uninstalled)
  • DAY TWO. Cutting // nailing // spackling // caulking // touch-up painting the trim // touch-up painting the walls

To be fair, this wasn’t a cut-and-dry baseboard job. We were put to the test in several instances, starting with that hole in the floor from the gas line we removed:


Scott removed two floorboards and used extra flooring (leftover from this) to properly patch the hole, and we were sort of able to keep the transition of baseboards seamless. We still need to put a floor reducer where the kitchen floor meets the dining room, but below, you can see that the trim under the cabinets is different – and much shorter – than that on the right.


Rather than our usual 6.5″ baseboards we have throughout the house, we needed something that would fit under the cabinetry. We chose a 4″ baseboard that had a similar look, and it was notched from the dining room to the kitchen to allow the height to match up at the corner. This is something that could have played out a couple ways. On one hand, we could have requested that the cabinetry be shifted to the left, allowing the depth of our usual 6.5″ baseboard to fit. On the other hand, what we did works, and for such a small area, we’re happy with it.


Our furnace was replaced not too long before we moved in, and of course we wish its resting place wasn’t in the corner of the kitchen at all. Challenges aside, we needed to use louvered doors to act as a vent, but we ditched the old for new, and we purchased solid wood this time around. You can see that I attempted to paint it by hand at first, then realizing how much of a time suck that was, I ultimately used our paint sprayer to get a perfect even coat:


The furnace opening is really close to the wall, so Scott ripped down the trim along the left side, including nipping the corner across the top. Also not ideal, but not that noticeable either, especially as we chose such a light wall color. We hadn’t realized how much that bare, half painted wood was dampening the overall mood of the space, but whew. White paint and trim helps – a lot! We shouldn’t be so surprised after our many Adventures In Trim, and yet, every time we’re all whaaat?


But then there’s still this: THE BACK WALL. Oh, this wall! As far as we’ve come, we can’t help but curse this ugly wall, in all its ugly glory. Behold, our primer-white door and drafty, dirty window!


Every part of our being wants to finish this room and move on to the next (work shop, we’re looking at you!), but if all goes well, we should have a new door this weekend. Maybe. We honestly don’t know. For fun, let’s do another breakdown!

  • We had a glass paneled door that we wanted to use. The week before Christmas, we gave our contractor the green light to order the transom window and two sidelights as planned.
  • The hope was to receive the window order by end of January, but as luck would have it, our windows became back ordered.
  • They came in several weeks past due (mid-end of February), and our contractor came to our house to pick up the door we already had. His plan was to then go back to this shop, build the proper frame, and return to install everything in a few days.
  • When he arrived for the pick up, however, he asked us what side did we want the sidelight to go on? To which I nervously laughed and said, um, both? This is when we realized that only one sidelight was ordered, and as a result, the transom window above was also made too short.
  • It was so infuriating, that it actually became funny. Like, seriously, we all had a good laugh. (Renovation will make you delirious.)
  • Sidenote: I’m putting this laughable moment lightly, but what was done was done. We felt like we were in the pinnacle moment of the story arc in a HGTV show.
  • BUT! The thing is, despite our anger(?, confusion?), we think it was meant to happen. Hear me out. With all the bones in place in the kitchen, we realized that we didn’t necessarily want a swinging door anymore. In the summer, what if we wanted to keep the door open? Would it swing to the left or the right? Towards the inside or outside? Upon further discussion with our contractor, we talked about the possibility of a french door style sliding patio door, complete with a transom above. In this scenario, we’d actually have more natural light on that back wall.
  • He ordered the parts with his distributor the next day, with the goal of a 3-week turnaround.
  • Then, that fell into back order, too. This is the part where I’d like to say April Fools! (Not the case.)
  • Frustration.
  • And, scene.

All of our fingers and paws are crossed that we’ll have good news by the weekend! In the meantime, we have started choosing paint colors for the adjoining work shop, and we’ve begun measuring for shelving. My dreams of organized sandpaper-by-grit and caulk-by-silicone-vs-latex and a-place-for-everything and everything-in-its-place will come true – eventually.

We’re (kind of) getting there!

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  • Kim4.1.15 - 9:25 AM

    LOVE the idea of a sliding door there – you’re going to have so much natural light, it’ll be amazing! Is it weird that I can picture its trim so that it matches your island? Maybe I just read too many Scandinavian blogs. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.15 - 9:40 AM

      We’ll definitely be painting the frame of the door black so that it adds a big dose of contrast to that wall – yes! Then we’ll be adding the same door/window trim that we did on our front door, so it will have the same effect.ReplyCancel

  • AnnMarie4.1.15 - 10:41 AM

    Oh my goodness, how frustrating for you guys! FOUR months of this? I would have chucked a rock through someone’s window by now (…in my mind). I sure hope it all comes together soon!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda4.1.15 - 11:24 AM

    I think the sliding door is a great idea! As for all the hiccups/delays, I’m sending virtual hugs. So frustrating, but the final result will be worth it!ReplyCancel

  • Seng4.1.15 - 1:36 PM

    I’ve always been afraid of removing my baseboards. Any tips and tricks you can share to make it easier and a little less overwhelming?


  • Ashley Bee4.1.15 - 1:50 PM

    I think that sounds like a good choice for your layout! I see so many people in the blogosphere rip out nice sliding doors to put in French doors and I’m like whyyyyyy? Don’t you want to open it occasionally (and keep out the bugs with the handy-dandy screen)? Do you have room for the door swing? Whyyyyyyy?? Clearly I’m a BIG sliding door fan. :) Plus, like you said, they come in lots of nice/fancy styles these days. Can’t wait to see it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.15 - 2:35 PM

      At first, I was like, no way, no how. I was only thinking of sliding doors from my childhood (and the time my sister ran into the freshly cleaned glass – classic!). But when we started looking at the styles available today, they’ve come SO far! The style we chose has a wider frame, so it mimics the look of french doors. Now if only they would get here…ReplyCancel

  • The Kentucky Gent4.1.15 - 3:59 PM

    This is totally the arc line of every HGTV show ever, cause you know on the show they’d be all like “and we don’t have room in the budget or time for this issue because we hadn’t envisioned it happening.” Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

    • Kim4.1.15 - 4:03 PM

      Totally. And then after the commercial break, they’re all “we found it in the budget to make it work after all. We better get to it!”ReplyCancel

  • Oh geez! Renovations are so frustrating sometimes. Even when you think you’ve planned for everything and extended your timeline because you learned from the last time, something you never expected goes wrong. On the plus side, the trim looks great! And you can at least cross that mostly off the list. I’m glad you have the work shop to distract you while you keep waiting for the back wall/door situation to be done. Hang in there :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica@CapeofDreams4.2.15 - 1:54 PM

    What is wrong with you? When they have these hiccups on HGTV, they are always able to resolve them immediately. I mean it only takes 30 minutes on television, and the impression they give is that in real life it only takes a few more than that. What do you mean that is not how it happens in the real world? You are destroying my reality!

    All kidding aside, I hope that the back wall situation is resolved soon. For your sake, not ours, because the problems make for good reading if not a good living situation.ReplyCancel

  • courtney4.2.15 - 2:36 PM

    I AM DYING TO SEE THE REVEAL! …i can only imagine how you all must feel :)ReplyCancel

  • Cait4.6.15 - 9:19 AM

    The kitchen is looking great!

    That’s SO frustrating about your door, though! I hope it is resolved soon. :( We have a similarly frustrating saga with our mater bathroom, with no end in sight, so I completely understand wanting to finish and move on to the next project.ReplyCancel

  • Katy7.21.15 - 12:33 PM

    I’ve been so curious as to how your kitchen is coming! Do you have your back door yet? I’d love an update!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.21.15 - 12:37 PM

      Great timing! An update is coming THIS WEEK. So much to say!ReplyCancel

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