Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Fireplace Musings

One blustery morning in February, I sat on the love seat in the living room looking at home decor magazines and enjoying a tea.

And I thought to myself, this is such a lovely spot to sit.  It is sunny and comfy.

There is lots of space for a friend or four.

It is a soothing room, where we while away weekend mornings and late afternoons before we start dinner.

But then I looked across the room and saw this black screen.  This television has not been turned on since we moved into the house, not even once. 

In fact, I unplugged it several months ago as it seemed silly to run power to it.  But I know we might need it one day, when Ian moves home with us and the three of us need a second option for tv viewing.

But I couldn't help just wishing, dreaming that there was a fire place there instead.  How cozy would that be.

So I called Ian, and told him my thoughts.  He said he had been thinking the exact same thing!

So we dreamed about how it might look. And what kind of fireplace we wanted. We have a propane fireplace in the family room that looks like a wood stove, we love how convenient it is, it runs on a thermostat and does it's own thing!   And we love how great it heats the house.  We heat with a combination of this propane stove and electric baseboard heaters.

I so often wish it smelled like a wood burning fireplace though.  But then again I sort of don't.  The smell of old wood smoke is not pleasant.

We debated, wood vs. propane, and settled on the convenience and simplicity of propane.  We seem to be leaning toward simplicity a lot in our old age.

We put the fireplace on our 5 year "to do" list - you gotta pace your self you know!

Then we got to dreaming again and couldn't help thinking of what we might like this fireplace to look like.

Definitely traditional looking, it's just us.  Maybe with some built ins flanking it like this.

Of course our built ins couldn't go all the way up to the ceiling because of our air conditioning unit.  But I am okay with that. Of course in 5 years, that AC unit could be dead and we might just have to have a new one put in - elsewhere!

We also like the idea of glass front built ins, like these. They show off your collections and keep them from gathering dust!

Of course, all this dreaming about fireplace necessitated a Pinterest board to hold pretty fireplace images. And we just may have gotten out the tape measure and made a bunch of notes!  We may have even picked cabinetry styles and sizes to flank it. :)

Before you know it, we had a pretty clear idea of how we wanted this five year plan fireplace to look ;) .

And then we thought, what if, what if we get a quote on the unit itself. And the installation.  But what if we designed the outside ourselves.  Would the company be willing to work with us like that?

Well we just had to find out.  So we popped into our local Napoleon dealer and guess what they said? "We will do as much or as little as you want us to do".  Good answer!

Guess what else we found out?  Fireplaces are on sale, I mean serious sale!

So guess who is getting a quote? Yup, this gal! Stay tuned for more fireplace musings!

Enjoy our day!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Refitting the Over the Range Microwave | Cabinet Modification

Do you remember when we shared about adding an over the range microwave to the kitchen, back in October?  Well that reno falls under the live and learn category.

We knew that the ceilings in this house are slightly lower than average, designed for energy efficiency, and you really do not notice it on a day to day basis. 

But where we do notice it the very most is in the space between the upper and lower kitchen cabinets.

The uppers sit low, which made the microwave way to close too the stove top, so it was practically impossible to see what you were cooking.

So we plotted and schemed, okay really we just tossed around a variety of ideas and did a little Pinterest searching.

But the Mr. had his own ideas about how he wanted to handle the situation.  So when he arrived home on Friday night, he promptly uninstalled the microwave and then emptied and took out the cupboard above.

The cabinet came out really easily, there was a only bit of mess, not terrible, but I had just cleaned so I may have mentioned it :)  I was kind of hoping to relax and work on it on Saturday - seeing as how I just cleaned the house and all. 

Anyhoo, Ian took the cabinet down to his work room and removed the bottom of the cabinet.  Then he cut down the sides by about a third, working with a circular saw.

After giving ti a good sanding, he screwed the bottom of the cabinet back on.

So many screws were used.

I am pretty sure the bottom of the cabinet is never ever coming off again!  While Ian was busy doing all of that I was finding a home for my baking supplies which got booted out of the cabinet over the stove.  Which translated to reorganizing and cleaning all the cabinets out, trying to make room in them for more stuff! We ended up donating some stuff to our older two sons' house. Bachelors need lots of large serving bowls, right?

 After being resized the cabinet went back into place just as easily as it came out.

Of course, Ian also used a ton of screws there, too!

We dry fit the microwave first making sure it would align properly, then pulled it back down to get all the tools and stuff ready.  I helped at this stage, just the holding part - and man can I tell you that that sucker is heavy!

This is the part were we almost burned the house down.  Probably because I was helping ;) - when we put the microwave down onto the stove top (as you do) to grab the screws and screw gun, one of us or the microwave must have hit a knob on the stove, turning it on.

While we were busy gathering, the microwave was busy smouldering - the stench of burning plastic and smoke was brutal.  In reality, the heat was only on for seconds, but the smell lasted hours.  If you were anywhere near our house I am sure you would be wondering why we had all of the doors and windows open in March!

Thankfully there was no damage done to the stove or the microwave, which is odd but true.  It was slightly comical, in hindsight, you should have seen the two of us trying to lift a heavy and hot microwave off a hot stove top without burning ourselves, I might have gotten a little crushed! ha ha!

But look at all that glorious airy space!

 Remember the before?  Here is a reminder picture.

When the comedy act (read comedy of errors, and another reason why we shouldn't be working on Friday nights - especially since Ian is up at four a.m. to go to work then drove 3 hours to get home) was over Ian added some bead-board strips to the back of the cabinet.

They went in really easy with just a bit of glue to hold then in.  (No nails holes to patch up.)

This is where we stopped for the night,  Not before stepping back to admire our (Ian's) handiwork, as you can see by our reflections in the microwave.

I texted the previous owners to find out if they knew what colour the cabinets were so we could pick up a can of touch up paint. As luck would have it, they did and we ran out Saturday to get some.

Saturday afternoon Ian painted the bead-board an accent colour and the inner walls of the cabinet were painted to match the outside of the cabinet. The outer edges of the cabinet got a bit of touch up, too.

This is me watching paint dry ... you know I wanted to put something pretty on the newly opened up shelf.

Of course, while I wasn't looking Ian beat me to it! Ha!  He did a great job choosing what to put there, But the arranging needed tweaking ever so slightly.  Things may have been lined up in a perfect row.

All in all, now that the job is done and we are calling it a win, we love having more space over the stove top.  The open cabinet looks really pretty, although we are still getting used to it, we keep thinking someone left a cupboard door open!

There are two small screw holes in the wall behind the stove that need to be touched up, but we have a few more plans for this room first!

So glad you stopped by today!