Updated 2010-09-06 00:22:09 ID=622:0

© 2010 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

Putting the Final Touches In (Or The "Ugly Duckling Hutch" Becomes Attractive)

Alan arrived early morning bursting with enthusiasm to finally complete the last of the kitchen cabinets and make them acceptable. There were still a lot of loose ends that needed to be completed before the job was finished.

I was still finishing up my morning exercise when Alan drove in. Obviously he wanted to finish up as early as possible for the Labor Day weekend.

Alan had a lot of cabinet crown molding to finish putting up, as well as some kick boards. ---And then there was the "ugly spud" cabinets that he had to modify to fit and look acceptable.

The "ugly spud" was a two-piece hutch that came in three-pieces! As I described before, it was supposed to match all the other cabinets, but would be free-standing across from the kitchen core.

What we ordered and what we received were two different things! There was a bulky large base with three drawers to the base cabinet, and a glass-doored top cabinet, and because we wanted "the look" all wood, a top for the base cabinet for the glass cabinet to sit on.

But that base cabinet top was almost twice the size of its base and UGLY with crude finished edges of two instead of three sides!

When we notified the kitchen designer that ordered the pieces, she told us all the cabinets are shipped that standard piece! We found that hard to believe. That's a lot of expectations for most cabinet installers--let alone most self-remodelers without a full set of carpentry tools and matching capabilities!

In the meantime, we had ordered some better handles and pulls that would gussy-up the ole girl and maybe give it a fighting chance. Plus my husband had purchased some chair rail molding in red oak that could be glued on the edges of the odd third piece when the piece is cut down to its proper size. We were hoping with some matching stain it would all come together one way or another.

Alan, who normally is very slow-but deliberate, worked this day with speed and fast execution. I guess he wanted himself out of our kitchen as much as we did! He cut off the crude edges of the strange piece then cut it down to size . Then taking the molding that my husband had stained to a matching color, Alan glued it on to finish the top.--Why the hutch looked almost normal!

Next we supplied Alan with the fancier pulls and handles and he started drilling their holes. He had to be careful that the oak didn't split. Holding one of the drawers and working quickly, he accidentally drilled through his finger! Blood was everywhere!. But with little complaining he wrapped carpenters' tape around his finger to shut off the blood flow. What a puncture wound he had but he continued on and didn't complain much other than saying his injury is a frequent occurrence in his trade. We felt awful! Now we wanted him out of our kitchen as soon as possible before he hurts himself again. -He's a nice guy just trying to get the job done.

His brother, who Alan works for, had told us Alan ( instead of the tile guy) would also seal the back splash tile before he left. But he didn't tell Alan! Another communication problem again. So Alan hadn't brought the sealer for the job. So that remaining task fell on us again (which is not a big deal, but it would hold us up being able to cook in our kitchen as soon as we had hoped.)

©2010 The Romantic Table, The kitchen really has transformed itself from a typical one to a kitchen that has a real personality and look that will make it fun to spend hours in!  2010-09-06 00:22:47:262
©2010 The Romantic Table

The kitchen really has transformed from a typical one to a kitchen that has a real personality and look that will make it fun to spend hours in!
In general, we are happy with the final remodel. But, unless you are really handy with carpentry tools and have a lot of time to be there when chaos reigns, if you decide to install semi-custom cabinetry, be sure you have a general contractor to help you buy, install and assume "ownership" of the process. Because Lowes employees mostly work ONLY part-time and they don't communicate well with one another, there's NO ownership or responsibility for the project --and this leads to MAJOR snafus --as we found out!

Thank God my husband has decent carpentry and electrician tools, handyman skills and actually likes to design and find solutions to problems! Otherwise, our remodel would have taken something more like seven months instead of seven weeks!

This has been a real roller-coaster ride emotionally and physically for us! Thank God it's winding down finally!

Now MY REAL work will begin, trying to put the house back in order so I don't cringe when I walk in and see all the stacked boxes full of cookware, utensils, and dishware and the covered up furniture with contractors dust a quarter inch thick.

The kitchen really has transformed from a typical one to a kitchen that has a real personality and look that will make it fun to spend hours in!

But, when considering a kitchen remodel, tread CAUTIOUSLY! It CAN be hazardous to your health!

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A tip from Sue!

Frying high fat meats

You can cut down on the calories of high-fat meats, by just adding a little water (instead of adding oil) to your frying pan until the meat's fat starts releasing and lubricating the pan, then cook with the frying pan covered. If you want a crispy coating, you uncover the pan or cook with the lid partially ajar.