Kitchen Demo Weekend – Day 2

Day 2 of 3 – Actual Kitchen Demo

9am – While tarping  up both sides of the hallway, while hanging a temporary light (thanks to my purchase of black tarps.. duh future note get the clear ones..) our first helpers arrived to help with the demo.

First we needed to get the appliances out… however we could not fit them through the narrow opening of the existing doorway therefore we needed to take down part of the wall first to slide the appliances into the kitchen. The door frame was removed, and exposed some (what I think is) Awesome Wall Paper, two layers underneath the paneling, and I was pretty upset I didn’t get to see the wallpaper for the last year and a half as I think it was prettier then the paneling.

(Note: We didn’t remove the whole wall at first, under the guideline of you can always take out more, but it would be harder to add wall and paneling back.

It took a lot of effort.. and as more helpers arrived everyone got there turn to swing a  hammer..

However I may be a little partial…

After part of the wall was out, appliances were removed which made the space feel HUGE!

Especially from this angle.. this is where I did a little happy dance..

Next up was getting rid of the pantry:

And the built in original cabinets and countertop:

How many helpers were needed you ask… seven 1/2 including me.. but obviously me on my camera with bronchitis I wasn’t the greatest extra set of hands..

With the countertop out, Greg was hoping to save the cabinets for the garage or basement work space.. however the cabinets were custom built in the kitchen they weren’t going to come apart in boxes.. so off to the Bagster they went..

In his picture is where Greg and Fran learn that the painted over square tiles are actually adhered metal tiles glued individual and painted over at least a couple of times. Each square on this wall and behind the fridge

After a break for lunch , the concrete came down with a 12-lb sledge hammer borrowed from the neighbor.. However as this was occurring we realized that the Bagster was getting almost too full.. so I opted for a quick Home Depot run to pick up a second bag.

By the time I got back, I helped finish removing the opening wall, while Greg angle ground off the wire mesh from the top corner perimeter (note: that stuff is evil according to him)

By 4pm: our house looked like this:

With a little sweeping here is what the kitchen looked like on Saturday before Demo and Sunday after Demo.

Closing with Greg was pretty proud of himself and wanted a picture in the new kitchen to remember the big day from.

Total Spent – Day 2: $1300

Bagster 2 – $30
Pizza & Beer for Family and Friends – $65


Kitchen Demo Weekend Day 1

The day finally came, it was DEMO Day!!!

Okay well almost, lets back up a little.. we broke demo weekend into 3 parts (since it was a long weekend and we had plenty of time).

Day 1 – Saturday- Organization
This entailed getting everything out of the kitchen in addition to setting up our temporary kitchen for the next 3 + months. Deciding on what was absolutely necessary the below is what we came up with. (As we’ve now been living like this for a week and a half, I’d say we did a pretty good job remembering the essentials… however I”m sure I forgot something)

Our main appliances are limited down to:

  1. Fridge
  2. Toaster Oven
  3. Hot Plate
  4. Coffee Maker
  5. Hot Water Kettle
  6. Hot Air Popcorn (Greg’s impulse grab)
  7. Blender (small ninja blender attachment)

Shelving 1

Top Shelf: OvenMitt, Kitchen Towels, Plastic Wrap, Aluminum Foil, Plastic Bags, Toaster Oven Accessories

Breakfast Essentials: Cereal, Rasins, Oatmeal, Dried Fruit, Coffee, Sugar, Coffee Filters

Middle Shelf: Gluten Free Cookbooks (Crockpot meals!), Coffee Mugs to take to Work, Disposable Everything: plates, silverware, bowls, napkins, coffee mugs. Spice Basket.

Pots: Includes 1 small pot, 1 stirfry everything pan, kitchen appliances and 1 Mixing/Popcorn Bowl, 1 Colander, 1 2 Cup Measuring Cup, Cheese Grater, Wine Opener, Beer Opener, Pizza Cutter, and Tbsp & Tsp Measurements,

Baking Items; These are all of my flours however since they were opened I didn’t want to put them in the basement.

WINE: We already have 2 wine fridges (1 white, 1 for red).

Mini- Kitchen: Appliances, cutting board, knives, and mini mug of 5 essential cooking utensils.

Shelving 2 – Food and misc items

We also kept our kitchen dishes however honestly we haven’t used them for the shear convenience of disposable. However we still have a dirty dishes bin (to carry downstairs to the utility sink). In addition to the trash and recycling bins are in the gray bin on the bottom shelf, we just put a lid on it so Guinness can’t get at everything… its been mildly successful..

In addition this metal folding table serves as our counter top and the hub for our mini kitchen. Since its metal we’re figuring it can handle the heat from our appliances over a traditional plastic table.

So now that the mini-kitchen was set-up we were all ready for DAY 2. DEMO DAY!

Total Spent – Day 1: ~$1200 (includes $1000 from cabinets -here)

Shelving – $120
Bagster – $30
Dust Masks – $10 (already had from Habitat Re-Store)
Garbage Bags – $10
Plastic Bins (to store all other kitchen items) – $30 (6 @$5/pc)

Deciding on a dime

After purchasing these beautiful woodmode cabinets over a year ago (see here), we couldn’t wait to get a layout doing. However after a year and half it became crunch time… so its a good thing we finally made a decision.

After getting the cabinets Greg and I mathematically placed the cabinets on every inch of wall space, great for practicality right? Well it did mean that our appliances were all lumped together in order fridge, sink, stove and nothing really appeared functional or aesthetic.

Therefore we asked a designer friend of ours to sketch up plans for us. However with some mis-measuring and we taped the layout on the floor and after a few weeks of going back and forth we decided this layout still felt closed off. (Which was opposite from our 892374932 reasons to gut the kitchen).

Notice the doorway on the right only gets opened by 6 inches.. which isn’t the open feeling we were hoping for. And after walking in the “newly taped” space we realized it was going to feel more enclosed and smaller by the sink then we had originally intended. With 2 people in the kitchen the lack of countertops already.. space would still be hard to come by in addition to the addition of a second empty wasted space corner cabinet (left corner). (Because we only have 1 lazy Susan corner cabinet)

We loved the open shelving, and the fact that we actually could have a functional pantry.

However the plan also required multiple fillers, skins and edge panels (something we had expected going into this) but in addition to having to purchase 2 additional cabinets ($1500-$2000/per cabinet) the $$ started adding up pretty quickly for a layout neither of us were jumping for.

So after a day of thinking on it, I landed on this sketch and we both fell in love.  We could take down the wall to the dining room opening up the entertaining space, which so many of our friends and families had also suggested, in addition to adding an island for the helpers in the kitchen.

This layout still utilizes the same cabinets from craigslist, a few modifications to the pantry and above fridge cabinet, and the abundance of open shelving we wanted.

Did I mention I also get my pretty stainless steel hood vent fan 🙂 and lots of open upper shelving paired with an extra base cabinet for even more storage!

We are using this as our base layout knowing that since both of us are indecisive there is a 99.99999% chance modifications will be made as we start diving into the details, but for now this is just the motivation we needed to MOVE THAT WALL!

Reasons why we hate our kitchen #9497392874

Before we decided to completely gut the kitchen and start over we decided to chronologue why the kitchen didn’t work for us (and most likely anyone). Here are the before pictures of the kitchen area and adjoining walls when we purchased the home: kitchen reno before kitchen reno before dining room / kitchen

dining room to front of house

Besides the dark hole in the center of the house, the first thing we noticed was that there was all of this light coming from the kitchen that was being blocked by that wall.

Here are the pictures of the kitchen as we lived for the last year and a half…sprinkled with our laundry list of complaints:

reasons why we hate our kitchen

  1. We NEVER USED the items on the top shelf.
  2. Un-functional Storage – No accessible storage for towels, oven mitts, and napkins.. (hence junk piled onto open shelves next to sink)
  3. Under Cabinet Radio – Cool idea, however this beauty and its plug took up the entire outlet rendering any capability of having a plug in there useless.
  4. Double Sink – Each basin was too small for trying to clean pot, pans or cutting boards. We realized we prefer a single basin, and while we’re at it we’ll add a garbage disposal.
  5. No Microwave – While Greg is anti-microwave to begin with, this wasn’t as issue, however we then rely heavily always used electric water kettle, so while we’re at it we’ll add a mini hot water tap.
  6. Nonfunctional Storage – the stove blocked access to a full bottom cabinet, including upper cabinet, counter top, bottom cabinet and pull out drawer on the right hand side.
  7. Cabinets – Being original the shelves are discintigrating daily leaving a nice layer of dust and particles over my clean pots & pans. {BOO}
  8. Lack of Counter top – Once we stored all of the items that were unable to be stored elsewhere, we were left with little to no usable counter space.

  1. AGAIN the nonfunctional cabinets – here is where you can actually see the <12 inches of space between the stove, cabinet upper, lower and counter top.. talk about crashes in the kitchen..
  2. No hood for stove {not cool for a gas stove} Even a charcoal filter is better than nothing.
  3. Poor  to non existent ceiling lighting.
  4. No light switch accessible at the doorway near the dining room for when you’re leaving the kitchen.. (think walking to bed in the dark..)
  5. Pantry has lots of wasted space. There is nonfunctional space between the shelves and the door, and the sqft of space the is unused between pantry opening and shelves.
  6. More Wasted Space – We turned this into Guinness little area, however the heating vent was here, and is just  more waste of space usually.

  1. Lighting
  2. Clausterphobic doorway opening
  3. The Fridge- huge barrier sticking out when walking into the kitchen from the side door. {BAM Hello fridge..}

While I could probably go on.. and on.. and on to end on a good note here are some examples of kitchen styling and function we love (or that I dream about)

Vegetable Garden – Part 3

So after the SPLAT we were left with this..   <<sad face>>

As we were leaving for a week vacation 3 days later and I already had plants in the large box fighting for their life.., we scrambled and ended up with this beautiful box.

I should mention I have the world’s best husband… I don’t think I give him enough credit.. but he’s pretty awesome.

So while I was dealing with the peeling paint closet fiasco… <see here> we rescued and rebuilt a smaller version using deck braces.. they were pricier then I had hoped for (total at $25) but this baby isn’t going anywhere!

This is how excited I was to see the finished product!

A few weeks later we started seeing our first fruits:

While the fruits were initially small now a few months later the tomatoes have really taken shape and I’m ending up with an abundance, and some lessons learned.. – ugh dryrot..

Vegetable Garden 1/2 Way

As of today, we have:
a handful of large tomatoes (a variety),
cherry tomatoes reaching ripeness on a daily basis which is more of candy then being used in cooking..
2-3 zucchini’s and after the zucchini and squash were done and died, I re transplanted the hot pepper plants which were growing in 1″ of toppled over soil… {picture to come}
2-3 banana peppers which seem to grow in pretty much anything including in 1″ of topsoil on top of concrete.

Overall we had a nice dinner with our one non-rotted tomato and squash, looking forward to all the remaining tomatoes ripening for maybe a nice tomato sauce.

How TO and NOT TO build a vegetable garden

So this is where we’re gonna play another game of – What Not to Do-
Greg and I decided we have this large concrete pad, lets build a 4′ x 4’x by 3.5′ tall Vegetable Garden. It will cover the concrete remnants and be subjected to lots of sunlight. – Sweet –  {Spoiler Alert.. it wasn’t}

Raised Vegetable Garden Disaster

Since I’ve already spoiled the ending below is a photo collage of the construction:
Fence boards kreg jig-ed together for the sides:

Kreg Jig Raised Vegetable Garden Sides

While Greg did all that I stenciled the sides with an awesome logo by using a razor knife, a permanent marker, and some tape.

Stenciling Vegetable Garden

In Process Stenciling Vegetable Garden


As I stenciled the logo, Greg was hard at work constructing our 4′ x 4′ monster vegetable garden.

vegetable garden in proces

raised vegetable garden in process

Raised Vegetable Garden Tutorial

While we can lets enjoy the few other beauty shots I have of this large vegetable box that is no more..

Our Home Place Vegetable Garden Box

Vegetable Garden Box

Before- DIY Raised Vegetable Garden Box

DIY Raised Vegetable Garden Box

So beautiful.. over memorial day weekend we loaded 279045903 lbs of Top Soil, Vegetable Soil and soon afterwards I over packed it with lots of vegetable seeds and seelings including: Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Banana Peppers, Zucchini, Squash and Green Beans..

And then after 2 weeks of straight rain in the begining of June there was a splat.. Which my brother found so funny he caught pictures of me as I threw my temper tantrum.. mixed with complete laughter at our silly FAIL.

DIY Garden Box Epic Fail

DIY Pinterest Garden Box Fail

And here we are again.. Greg scratching his head as we discuss all the FAIL reasons in our GENIUS idea.

Vegetable Garden Box

If you follow me on instagram.. you may have also seen what else Greg and I also scrambled to get done before we left on vacation for a week. On top of my peeling closet seen here..  <<talk about worlds best husband nominee>>

Little Mean Green Eating Machines

Around our house we have what I like to call our little mean green eating machines which would include: our viscous life eating puppy, the innocent adorable neighborhood bunnies, and we can’t forget Greg & I’s complete lack of green thumbs. Growing a garden in the ground in our back yard seemed to be an impossible feat.

hound dog hunt bunny

Therefore to combat the first two issues we settled on ideas similar to these:

Even Ana-White had a DIY plan to build one, but instead of $80 for lumber or $90-$250 to purchase a garden box we decided to shake what our momma gave us..  <<insert awesome dance moves here>>

As our home used to have an in-ground pool.. then turned dirt pile when we purchased it.. now turned normal grass back yard. [Read more of that saga here].. we  luckily inherited the remains of what was the old in ground pool fencing.

One beautiful Tuesday spring afternoon,  I was searching for a proactive outlet for one of those frustrating days at the office. [one of those days where you wanted to rip yours or someones hair out…]  <<Insert hammer into hand>>

Greg came home and asked no questions as he observed me ripping fence picket boards off their 2×4 frames and tossing them all around the yard. It was actually super easy, quite painless and only required a few minutes of my time, and after a long day at the office and a beautiful spring afternoon, it was just the outlet I needed.

recycling used fence boards

dirty used old fence boards repurposed

After a sufficient number of boards were laid out I cleaned up the fence boards by scrubbing them all down with the Behr All-In-One Wood cleaner.

behr all in one wood cleaner

After a nice scrub on both sides with a deck brush and some elbow grease the boards were ready to go.

Clean Fence Boards

All ready for the weekend, where i’l need an extra set of hands to get our idea on paper..

Oye with the poodles already..

So this story starts when I had the greatest idea known to man! (SPOILER ALERT.. IT WASN’T). Since we were moving closets and playing bedroom musical chairs in the house, I thought; “What if I painted and updated my closet!?”

Before Closet:

Genius right! I convinced Greg to let me paint the interior top half of my closet with a yellow chevron. We were moving our bedroom into this room and I had a week deadline before we left for vacation. Surely, it wouldn’t take that long, I would have time to spare and work on all kinds of stuff in the meantime including creating more storage like the dream closet so I could fit all my clothes.

Dream closet:

Day 1. Paint Base Color – All Closets Should be white instead of weird tan.., and we had white Semi-Gloss Sherwin Williams Paint, already,  Sweet. Easy. Done. Free YaY!

Day 2. Tape off Chevron Lines – Okay so this thing was tricky, but surely this had to be the worst part right?
[spoiler alert.. it wasn’t]

I drew, and cut, and penciled, and erased, and marked.. and well it was alot of work..

chevron wall paint taping

and after 1 long late night it looked like it was going to pay off.. ta-da!

Chevron Wall Taping

Sweet. Almost There, now the easy parts

Day 3. Paint Yellow Paint – Sweet, another easy part.

Yellow Chevron Painted Wall Closet

Nailed it right.. watch some paint dry with the pup..

Paint another coat of paint..

yellow chevron wall paint
Day 3. Last Step – Pull off Tape slowly..



The paint all layers peeled (almost all the time) off the wall..  See how cute it might have looked if it wasn’t all peel y? {I even have a cute glass door to go on the closet, so that you’d see it. It was going to be wonderful! Blah.. Well after I got over my complete disappointment and reality set in we went on vacation.

Vacation Our Home Place

However after vacation reality set in and that meant 4-Days straight of scraping, sanding, and priming properly to get the closet back to step 1 even before the disaster.

The base layer of paint must have been an oil based paint (good to note for other rooms..) But super frustrating as it took this easy cute project to a disaster pain in my rear end. On the good side this was only a closet, and not an entire wall! EEek..

Final pictures to come on my abandoned yellow chevron closet 😦 but  Live. Learn and then get Luvs.. 

Anyone else have a terrible diy story..

The story of the three little tables

So its been awhile (okay a very very very long while), but between the holidays (yes last years holidays), diy projects, oh and a small event we’ll call our wedding… time slipped by me.  So to catch up, I thought I’d share the story of our lovely dining room table which I continue to receive comments about. This like the fence was one of my solo pet projects I completed by myself. Yay!

As I said our story is like the story of the three little pigs, only in this case we’re talking about tables. Once upon a time, when we purchased our little home place we tried to use our existing furniture. Our first table was a  $100 Craigslist  find that we had for 2 years, it fit perfectly in our Arizona Townhouse. . {Perfect doesn’t even begin to describe how well it fit in our space out there.}

…however in this place it was just TOO BIG… (notice the lack of walkways around the table from the sun room through to the rest of the house).

So we listed it on Craigslist for $100, and sought out find ourselves our next table. Thinking we needed to go smaller I attempted a 2-person table with drop side fold able leaves. and only 2 chairs. Perfect right?

… but this table was just too small. (Wah.. Wah) Not only did we only have seating for two, but it just wasn’t functional for even just the two of us. So it was back to the drawing board… bum bum bum..  {please don’t mind my spatches of colors all over the wall..}

While perusing for my next adventure of the table I had fallen in love with this one on Pinterest,  however instead of building a frame (which I now know would of been easier!), I wondered if I could just add a new top to an existing table and chair set as seen here at ourvintagehomelove.

And then one day there it was, our perfect table.. okay well it definitely wasn’t perfect and I WISH I took a picture of it at the garage sale. It cost us $40 and I was just absolutely giddy the whole way home. (ask Greg.. he remembers)

Our find: a wood table with two side benches, that had been let loose in a children’s paint classroom. Everything but the tops had been painted in bright bold primary colors. But I sold Greg on the potential and he left me do my thing.

I spent all summer experimenting with different paint strippers, and steel wool to clean up and remove the 3-4 coats of paint underneath the legs and bases. Boy did I wish I had gotten that Dremel wedding gift sooner…

Paint Stripping Table and Bench Leg Spindles

I then spray painted all of the legs and bases with a primer coat, and multiple coats of white satin enamel paint, until they were restored to their former and current glory days.

spray painting garage sale table to rustic table

I then sanded and joined 2×10’s until they were baby soft smooth.

2x10's for table top

Wiped on Java stain and let sit for 20 minutes, wiped it off (giving some areas light and dark), then re-distressed edges and areas with my sander again..

staining a table top

After 823479327 coats of poly, and an extra set of hands to mount it to the table base, we were finally left with our beautiful table! Ta-Da!



pretty diy farmhouse table

Pretty table.

Yay! Grass!

Spring is here (finally!), and now I want to be in our backyard with the magical addition of  ::you guessed it:: Grass! Even Guinness Approves

New Lawn

This was our lawn last year when we moved in… sad looking..

So last fall we got bids and hired out having top soil (brought in by wheelbarrow) and grass seed laid. (Best $700 ever spent, they had to manually wheel in the top soil and spread it amongst the yard, and they did it all before I came home! yay!) Then after 4 weeks of continuous watering (we used a timer found on clearance at Home Depot last fall), and kept Guinness off of the lawn (worst month ever) we finally ended up with this at the end of last season:

growing grass from seed

Sigh of relief here, as having a lawn really helps our back yard feel like a place we can hang out instead of just a place I try to deter people from seeing. And while I wish Guinness hadn’t dug up the yard, those 4 weeks of keeping her off of the yard was brutal!

The green grass actually makes me want to be out there! However I think Guinness really misses Arizona.. she for some reason still likes laying in the only dirt area left.. and next to the dead lilac bush (the one she ate to death)

dead puppy

Yay Spring is here! Next up on the Docket for outside:

    • Build Outdoor Patio Furniture
    • Build Patio Sofa (in process)
    • Make Cushions for Patio Set
    • Build Gate
    • Remove the small old fence posts (half done)
    • Install Lattice Top to Other Fence Gate
    • Paint/Treat Gate
    • Plant Trees (Picking out trees currently)
    • Build Raised Vegetable Garden
    • Start & Maintain Compost Pile
    • Install Privacy Screen/Pit/Shade (Maybe a tree will be good for this)