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Kitchen Plans

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Well hello there. I don’t know about you but I seem to have a lot of time on my hands right now. I just watch the news once a day because man, it is heavy. I am working from home 2 1/2 days a week but the whole no commute thing means that I am spending a lot of time daydreaming about projects I want to get done. Poor Mr. Math.

We have three properties that we have projects either currently planned or underway. We ( I ) am/are a little crazy like that. We have our home in little Coldspring, Texas where we recently replaced the flooring in and are now planning to make the laundry room more functional and cute. The big project of turning the Guest Shed into a true guest house is on hold until we can feel good about having contractors on the property. We have a house and garage apartment in Huntsville, Texas that are rental properties. We are going to be doing some landscaping work on soon particularly in the back yard for two little girls who have birthdays coming up, but mostly I have been thinking about the Redneck Retreat in what Apple Maps says is Wiergate, Texas but I think is in Sharpsville. The Redneck is a deer camp and almost exclusively a dude property from October until the end of February. It is a rustic cabin with the only running water coming from rainwater collection and there is no internet or cell service available on the property. The one room cabin sleeps eight in bunk beds and a foldout sofa. I want to start using the camp more to get away and connect with nature. I also want my girlfriends to want to come there. We are near lakes, Louisiana, and sweet little East Texas towns that need to be explored. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the Redneck kitchen while mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest after we started the process to get the kitchen up to a functional state (yay for a vent hood and working microwave!) I now have a plan of sorts for the rest of the kitchen. I say of sorts because we are still thinking about the base cabinets. We are either going to just buy stock unfinished cabinets and paint them or we are going to modify what is there and add cabinet doors/ drawers then paint. The top cabinets are all going to be white, the bottoms are going to be a sage-ish green. Our Habitat Restore has recycled paint that they sell for much less than retail paint in the following colors. I am planning on Spring.

Here is my inspiration:

A Beautiful Mess

The countertop is going to be black Ikea laminate. It will take 3 sections of the laminate to get the u-shaped kitchen completed. Of course the laminate is going to have to wait. Ikea is closed. Just for grins I looked at what it would cost to ship the laminate to us. It would be more than the cost of the laminate for it to come that way but a girl can dream.

Easter week we will be unplugging at the Redneck and will be getting the last two sections of upper cabinets in and we will be deciding what we want to do on the lower cabinets. We will be measuring, drawing and dreaming. When I look at the different counter top levels and pieces, I know whatever we do it will be an improvement.

I definitely know I want a closet to the right of the section of cabinets in the picture below for brooms, mops, cleaning supplies etc. That move will help to relocate the drinking water we have to bring with us closer to the stove and sink. I even have a great vintage door that I think would work there.

We are headed the property over the Easter holiday and I am looking forward to making progress.

We love hearing from you,

Blessings,

Karen

Open Live Edge Shelving

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The absolute ugliest bank of cabinets at the Redneck Retreat were to the left of the sink.  They sagged, one of them had the Formica peeled off, and they were huge.

I couldn’t live with them in the kitchen.  They were nasty.  Since this was the week we were already going to be replacing the vent hood to nowhere and adding three new cabinets, it was time for them to go too.

Out in our shop we had some cedar that I knew would be perfect for live edge shelving.

If it didn’t rain all week while we were at the Redneck Retreat this would have been a snap to get done.   The only problems we had with this project was getting polyurethane to dry and not getting matching paint for the wall after the cabinets came down.  The paint situation meant that the whole kitchen got a new coat and soon the rest of the cabin will get the same treatment.

The cedar planks were all about a foot wide and ended up getting cut to about 60 inches in length. I had to drag them into to house to get the polyurethaning done.

They are so pretty. Mr. Math ran them through the planer and a simple sanding made the wood grain really stand out.

I am excited to get the rest of the kitchen done. We have more uppers to add, counter tops to install, bottom cabinets to do something with, and a broom closet but this is progress.

This whole project, including paint, poly, and shelf brackets was just over $50.00.  I think it makes a good look for the rustic look of the cabin.

Another find in storage was the glass pendant light. Several years ago I paid $10.00 for it on clearance at Home Depot.

The kitchen is coming along.

Thanks for following our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

 

Kitchen Work at the Redneck Retreat

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I bet some of you are wondering just how full of stuff was the guest shed since the last four posts were about stuff I am getting moved out of there.  Well, it was really, really full.  So full in fact that I forgot all about some of the things in there, even things that we could use right now if only we remembered that we had them.

In the great shed clean out of 2020  I forgot I had three kitchen upper cabinets that our neighbors in our suburban house gave us five or so years ago.  They are your basic oak front cabinets with particle board on everything except the front oak part. We were gifted one over the stove cabinet, and two 30 inch upper cabinets.

As soon as we unearthed them, I  knew immediately where those puppies needed to go.  They were destined for Redneck Retreat- our little cabin that sits on 130 acres in Newton County, Texas.  Most of the time this property is just the domain of dudes.  From September until January it is filled with hunters who really don’t care what the place looks like as long as the deer stands are wasp and rat free they are happy. The Redneck is a one room cabin with three sets of bunk beds, a queen fold out couch, bathroom, and kitchen… well sort of a kitchen.

The photo above is a picture of the kitchen after my buddy The Social Planner and I cleaned it.  There are no photos of the kitchen before cleaning to protect the innocent. The builder of the cabin was a building contractor. He used materials that others were taking out of their homes and offices to build the cabin. It is an eclectic mix of brass, Formica, scrap wood, cut glass light fixtures along with donated appliances. The building is solid, level and has air conditioning and a wood burning stove so the problems are all related to how it looks.

The outlet and switch covers above are all three on one wall in the kitchen and within three feet of each other. The stove, fridge, and sink work so I guess technically it is a functioning kitchen.  The cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and walls… not so much. I especially like the vent hood that goes nowhere.

With the three found cabinets and an awesome microwave oven my parents gave us that was almost new because of a Hurricane Harvey flood and a total kitchen remodel two years ago.  It was also hanging out in the shed just waiting for a home. We had some time so we headed to the woods to do some work.

Our plan was to

  • Take down the back wall two cabinets and vent hood
  • Take down the cabinets to the left of the sink.
  • Prime and paint the found cabinets
  • Polyurethane three cedar live edge boards for shelves
  • Install the microwave and vent it outdoors to reduce moisture in the cabin
  • Install the cabinets
  • Install cedar shelves

The weather forecast was two days of rain free days followed by three days of rain.   We planned on getting all of the painting and polyurethane done out in our tarp covered space before the rain set in. The weather folks missed the mark.  We got there in the rain, it rained all day, then the next, and the next. We had to get creative to get things dry.  Everything had to be brought inside with heaters on and ceiling fans running in order to get the paint dry enough.

The former doctor office cabinets came down pretty easily.  We filled the front porch with particle board cabinets then moved on to the install of the upper cabinet above the microwave and the microwave that is vented to the outdoors.  It was important that this part get installed first because the other two cabinets would have to be installed around it.  I am ever so thankful for a “Mathy” husband when it came to installing the microwave and cabinet, cutting the holes in the bottom and back then  figuring out the height, then the microwave and venting it through the outside wall all without the template that would have come with the microwave if it were new.

Working and living in a one room cabin was rough folks. Don’t judge the clutter. It was driving me crazy moving stuff around so that we could work. Getting the venting to go outside was a scary.  Mr. Math only missed on the outlet hole and that was because we both forgot to get it cut until we were just about to install the cabinet.  It was a rush job that even though it works, looks a little rough.  Everything else looks perfect in a really imperfect cabinet.

The difference in the wall after the upper cabinets were installed makes me so happy!

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We still have bottom cabinet issues to address like ugly mismatched counter heights, and lack of actual cabinets below really bad Formica counter tops that are pieced together. but wow, it looks so much better on the top half.  I will focus on that for now.

It was a productive week at the Redneck.

I can’t wait to show you the cedar shelves.

I hope you all have had a great weekend.

Blessings,

Karen

Our First Project- The Kitchen

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It looks like we will be closing on our home Friday.  We now have a closing date and time at the title company.  The insurance guy has gone to take pictures, and he survey is completed.  Whew.  This has been a struggle.

Before Mr. Math has to return to work, we want to get the kitchen up and running.

Here is how the kitchen looks today:

   
   
I found this inspiration picture on TomKat Designs

  
There are a lot of elements in this picture.  

Here are the plans to get the kitchen spruced up that should be doable this summer:

1.  The carpet must go.  Vinyl plank floating floor is going in as soon as it comes in.  Currently it is back ordered until August 5th.

  
2.  The fluorescent light is coming down and pot lights are going in around the kitchen.

3.  The ceiling fan is coming out.  

4.  There is a huge pantry on the other side of the refrigerator that is coming out so that a walkway can be put in to open up the space.  We are going to put in a pantry in the laundry room.

  
5.  Pendant lights are going over the island.  I plan on working on some IKEA pendants to get the look I want.

  
6.  A farmhouse sink is going in.  I have decided that I wNt a double farmhouse sink.  I love the way it looks in the kitchen of House of Smiths.

  
   
 7.  The cabinet doors are getting a makeover.

  
8.  The laminate will be replaced with Quartz.  

  
9.  The cabinets will be painted two toned and hardware added.

   

  
We will be keeping white appliances because one day I hope to have a vintage stove…one day.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

I hope your summer is going well.

Blessings,

Karen

Interior Photos of the Soon to be New Home

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I walked through the house this past weekend with a camera and also got a floor plan of the house we are buying.  It helps to have pictures to refer to now so I can come up with a plan for the house.

The house is a traditional ranch.  That is pretty fitting when it is on 15 acres and this is th view over our fence.

horses in pasture

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The Kitchen

Friends, I swore, promised, pledged…you name it, that I would not have another galley kitchen.  I hate that cut off feeling.  This one is particularly odd in that it is right off the front door of the home.  Well, if the front door weren’t walled up it would be where the front door is.  The wall is going to have to move.  I plan on having an L shaped kitchen that opens to the dining space rather than the front entry with an island.

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See the right side of the china cabinet? That is roughly where the front door is, except it is walled off.  The kitchen is to the right.

The Bedrooms

The guest rooms are nice sized, and have a decent, but not awesome closets.   I like that they have 36 inch doors.  The folks who built this home planned on aging in the home which is good for us.  We will be turning one room into my office so it will have a Murphy bed.  The other will be a traditional guest room.

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The master is too small and has a dinky closet.  It will be added on to before we move there permanently.

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See those brown bifold doors?  That is the whole master closet.

The Bathrooms are fine for now, except he master doesn’t have a door.  I already have a barn door going in there.

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No door on the master bathroom.  Ick.

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Wallpaper border, carpet and frilly curtains will go.  The counters, cabinets and tile are okay.

The Outdoor Kitchen is high on the list.  We will have to have a functioning outdoor kitchen before starting on the indoor kitchen.  It is going to be a rustic corrugated tin and cedar space with a stainless sink, a gas grill, a stainless island, and a free wall shelf.  Edison lights, our deck furniture, a misting system and a big fan will make this space a destination on the property.  Hubby has been given a huge smoker that will be near the decking.

outdoor kitchen

See that deck at the back of the workshop above?  I can’t wait to show you my workspace, but tonight it is about the house.  That covered deck is a short walk across our back yard.  It will make the perfect outdoor kitchen.  There is water near that will be easy to set up in the sink and we will be having propane run to the area, too, for the grill.

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Powerwashing, paint and installing the counters will make this space great for cooking.

The first thing we have to do is work on the foundation of the house.  Another thing I said I would never do again.  We are moving where the dirt is clay based and it just moves.  It is not major, but needs to be addressed before we work on the floors.  The carpet in the kitchen, bathroom, den, dining room must go.  Immediately.

Selling Star Hill

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Well, we are taking the plunge.  Star Hill, our near the lake cabin in Coldspring, Texas is going on the market. We planned to meet with a Realtor Sunday to discuss selling our near the lake house, Star Hill. She actually could not come because she broke her leg, but we will be putting the house on the market very soon. I decided to do all the research I could in her absence to make sure we are ready to sell this place and buy the property we are dreaming about near our lake house.

Having someone you don’t know walk through a place you poured blood, sweat, tears and time into when selling your home is hard. Being judged on your effort is hard. Loving the place and wanting whoever buys the house to love it, too is our hope.

After doing the research on getting a home sold quickly and trusting my gut I have composed a to do list.

Exterior:

Get concrete work completed on porch.

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Paint porch rails. ( The dog is not for sale.  Every time I get out the camera she manages to jump into the shot. )

Clean out flower bed, trim bushes, get leaves up.

Fix deck boards and popped nails then paint deck with sprayer.

Star Hill in January

Garagemahal:

Clear porch of items except patio set.

Move cedar from my cedar windfall to boat storage.

Finish outstanding projects. I have three that need to get knocked out on the first dry-warmish day.

Clean, clean, clean.

inside the garagemahal

Interior:

Continue to declutter. It will probably mean moving some furniture to storage. The cedar cabinet provides great storage but it makes the guest room feel small. The Western Dresser can go to storage, one of the night stands in the front bedroom. The shelving unit in the back closet along with the skis can go.

We have a large list but can get it knocked out if motivated-and we are motivated.

We plan to list the home with a realtor the first of March but we honestly hope it sells sooner by owner.

I would love your input on the list and suggestions from those of you who have sold second homes.

Here are some shots of the house this weekend.

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Master Bedroom

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Exterior

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Front Room

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Blessings,

Karen

An Unconventional Kitchen Island

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When we reviewed the blueprints of new house I noticed that an island in the kitchen had been an option that the first owners did not choose to put in. I knew that I would want a space to use as a baking and prep area.

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I also knew I wanted it to be something unique. In my Craig’s List searching I saw an oak dresser on sale that would fit the bill.

Serpentine oak dresser

We removed the top of the dresser and saved it in case I change my mind down the road. The mirror has been hung on the wall in case it ever goes back to being a dresser. This disclaimer was inserted for those of you who don’t love what I do to furniture. (Although I still am not sure why you read my blog.)  Man, I sound cranky,  Sorry folks.  I promise not to let the haters get me down again.

butcher block island dresser

The hardware was shot.  I did find some hardware that will work with the kitchen knobs which are oil rubbed bronze.

dove tailed drawer

veneer sides out of oak.

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We took a trip to Ikea for a butcher block to add to the top of my dresser island. After doing some research we found that they have least expensive butcher block . It still is not cheap but compared to the cost at other places it was a deal.  We used half of the length of the butcher block and we are selling the other half to a friend for their kitchen.

Ikea Butcher Block

Hubby cut the butcher block down to size and we used the brackets included to attach it.
You have to treat butcher block with mineral oil. This one has three coats rubbed in.

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The back was really ugly so we covered it with beadboard that I painted Behr Innocence- an ivory color.  The back is  going to get hooks that are going to hold pot holders and dish towels.

dresser island

This is going to be a great spot for prepping food close to the stove.  I never claimed to be a chef, but this will help me to at least not be as unorganized.

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