Thursday, October 15, 2009

Designing Jewelry in Chaos – A Girl Can Dream

I don’t want you to think that my kitchen renovation has come to a complete standstill – it has not! I am behind in my postings because it has been such a busy month for me – preparing for a jewelry trunk show, organizing the IFDA Tableau fundraising event for Ryan House, traveling and playing the "corporate wife" seemed to take up all my time recently.

The last time I took photos of the kitchen progress was about a month ago so; I want to make certain that these photos are documented. Sadly, just like everyone that tackles this type of renovation I have been no exception to delays during the project. Trying to make some type of dinner (or foraging for takeout meals) every night for almost 3 months has taken its toll. I am really ready for this to all be over – the novelty has definitely worn off!

Before the project started – I thought it would be easier than our kitchen renovation in Boston had been because: (a.) we were not tearing down to the studs (b.) we were keeping our cabinets – just replacing the doors and re-facing (c.) we were not replacing the floors at this time – that will be phase two (because I am certain what I want will be ridiculously expensive and hubby is not in the mood for spending – who can blame him!) and last but not least (d.) we have a fairly large laundry with counter space, cabinets and a sink. Piece of cake – right!

We moved the microwave, toaster oven, a hotplate (found in storage from my office in Boston), and a few (very few) necessities for cooking into the laundry room just as the hammers began to swing during demo. Our extra garage refrigerator (just outside the laundry room door) has become much more important than I had ever anticipated. You try to make dinner with only a 3’ long section of counter space! It is a wonder hubby and I have not murdered each other – talk about too many cooks in the kitchen! Even Barbie’s dream kitchen makes our laundry room kitchen seem spacious. You would be amazed at how handy the top of the washing machine can be when you are trying to make a salad!

In the midst of all the dust and construction in the kitchen as well as the cramped reheating of take out food in our laundry room– I found the kitchen of my dreams. Obviously this Beverly Ellsley kitchen is an East Coast kitchen, which is where my head belongs even though my body is living in the Southwest. If I still lived on the East Coast, this kitchen has some of the most delicious elements I could imagine. I adore the idea of the parquet island top with the metal banded edge and also the magnificent refrigerator doors that look like French carved panels. The limestone floors, delicate appliqué details on the glass door panels and the beautiful over mantle just speak to me – this is the most elegant kitchen I could imagine. Some of us look best in blue jeans and a t-shirt and others look best in a ball gown! I fall into the latter category – I LOVE formal – and that applies to my interior design preferences as well. You better believe a girl can dream!

Back to reality. . . about a month ago, this is where we were. The upper cabinet boxes have now been installed and the walls of the island are up. Let’s not forget the upper cabinet lighting and the under cabinet lights are also installed and blaring! These photos were taken just before my kitchen took on the appearance of a spray booth for the lacquer finish of the cabinets. Actually that was probably the worst part of the entire process so far (and no photos of that little mess) – the dust was unimaginable even though Tim, our painter of five years, brilliantly constructed an exhaust system for the fumes and dust. It was a wonder my housekeeper, Blanca, did not resign on the spot!

In the family room, a very large hole had to be cut into the drywall in order to check the vent after the fireplace was put back into position. Once the vent was checked and secured, the large chunk of drywall was put back into place, taped, floated & textured. At least that was quick and fairly painless (except for the expense) and we will now have a quasi-real fireplace rather than the “fairy tale” fireplace that the original owners had installed.

Somehow through all the mess, I was able to get a few new jewelry designs for the Fall ready to go and just in time for the Trunk Show at Do me a Favor. Unfortunately, several of the newest designs, sold at the Trunk Show, were completed just days before the show and I simply ran out of time for photographing. Not to worry, I have lots of new ideas for Fall/Winter that still remain to be made up – so keep checking the web site. New designs are being listed as they are completed.

We are now in the home stretch for the kitchen renovation so. . . perhaps the next posting (following shortly) will begin to look a bit more like a kitchen and less like a mess!