Kitchen Pass Through Project – Part I

When we moved into our house over 2 years ago, we knew that at some point we wanted to remove the half wall that separated our living room from our dining room.

The problem was, we were pretty sure that its a load bearing wall and we really didn’t want to find out the hard way. So for two years it has sat there looking like it does. Being used as a bench, a road for hot wheels, and a shelf for storage. 
Now the time has come to finally do something with it. After searching through our favorite project site (Pinterest) we decided to move our Island into the space occupied by the wall, add a bench and new table, and have a new seating area!
Here is our inspiration for the space. 
http://www.decorpad.com/designers/Oxford-Development
We started out by tearing off the drywall. This to me was the scariest part because you never really know what you are dealing with until the drywall comes off. 
Case in point, I was assuming the electrical cable was going to be running along the wall and could then easily move the outlet into the island. But nope! It was run up through the floor. 🙁
I also managed to flip the breaker when knocking the sheetrock off. Apparently the sheetrock loosened the outlet and allowed it to come undone. That caused a short in the line and the breaker to flip. Oops!

In order to the the wire over to the far side of the island, I proceeded to drill some small holes near the wall and got the electrical wire to come up through that.

We also removed the carpet and laminate flooring where the island would eventually sit.

After some dry fitting, we moved the island into its permanent home and ran the electrical line up into it.  The guy at Lowes that helped me find the fittings I needed thought I was crazy going with the setup that I wanted. But with four kids, I always prefer to overdue the safety a bit to ensure that everyone is not exposed to anything that they should not be.

I had just enough wire to get to the outlet and even had to flip it upside down in order to make it work. But work it does!

For some ideas on space, we proceeded to move our dining room table and bench into the kitchen and it has stayed there since. We already love the functionality that this has brought into our home.  For the longest time, if we wanted to eat in the kitchen, we had to do it at the island which in turn would only seat 2 people. The rest would have to stand. And even though the dining room is close enough, sometimes you just dont feel like making the move to such a formal space. 
The pics below depict the island in its new home (without the top).  Part II will showcase the building out of the side columns. Now things are going to get exciting!

Growing Project List

It seems that every time I turn around or go on Pinterest, I find another project that I want to start. The problem with that is it makes it really hard to concentrate on the project at hand. Case in point, I have been looking at ways to redo the arches that go into our toy room (officially its a den). I have already painted them from the drab honey oak to the white but I feel like they are missing that visual appeal that makes people say “Wow!”.

In order to transform them, I would have to remove the freshly painted trim that I just completed. A project that took me no less than 10+ hours to complete. 🙁  For now I am going to shelve that idea though. They are done and they look nice. Plus, I have about a dozen other projects to get done first. 🙂
Here is a list of projects that I have in mind in no random order. Not all of these will get done:
  1. Finish painting all trim on main floor
  2. Paint window trim
  3. Front door
    1. Trim
    2. Paint
  4. Stairs
    1. Remove carpet
    2. Stain stairs
    3. Paint balusters
    4. Stain handrail
  5. Flooring
    1. Hardwood (vinyl) upstairs
    2. Hardwood (vinyl) main floor
    3. Basement (vinyl) 
  6. 1/2 bath on main floor
  7. Kitchen countertop and backsplash
  8. Fireplace retile and paint
  9. Demolish gazebo and use wood to make more raised gardens
  10. Hall closet converted to pantry/hall closet
  11. Outdoor shed for lawn and garden tools
I am getting tired but anxious just looking at this list!

SketchUp Addiction

A friend recently introduced me to SketchUp and I cannot stop using it!. What an amazing (and free for personal use) tool for the DIYer. One of my biggest hurdles when coming up with a new project is how to best design it so that I know what its going to look like ahead of time as well as the ability to show my wife my ideas. I know that I am not very good at explaining ideas and I am even worse at drawing but with SketchUp all of my problems are solved!

Below are a few things that I kicked out in about 10 minutes each. As I continue to practice, I am finding that I can create these quick and cleaner. They aren’t to scale but I really don’t care. Its more for the visual anyway.

The first one is a coat wall that Ashley and I have talked about for awhile and the second one is an idea I had to update the look of a few archways that we have on the main floor.

New Things Coming

I  know it has been awhile since I have posted. Ashley and I have been pretty busy with life. Most notably, we bought a house!  We haven’t technically moved in yet but we already have a dozen or so plans in the works to paint, fix, rehab, and remodel.  This is a very exciting time for us.

Below are some pictures of the house as it sits now with the current homeowners. These pictures are going to make great reference points as we begin to do our own mini house remodel. Of course I am going to be posting pictures of all the great projects that we will do with before and after shots! 🙂