June 14, 2009
Kitchen remodel – update 5 : Backsplash!
It’s been a busy week here for the kitchen renovation. Fortunately it wasn’t too noisy, since we didn’t want to bother this enormous-eared baby deer who now lives in our back yard. Little guy is like Dumbo.
The kitchen reno (that’s what we call it in the biz – a “reno,” because we’re far to busy to type “renovation” — and that sounds like “renno,” not “reeno,” the the most awesomest city in the world) completely stopped for two weeks while we waited for a 6-inch piece of stainless steel trim that goes on the top of the hood vent. Because we didn’t have the trim, the hood vent couldn’t go in, which meant the tile backsplash couldn’t go in, either. Well, that finally changed on Tuesday. We had a hood!
And it was even properly vented out through the roof, unlike our previous “vent,” which, it turned out, didn’t even penetrate the ceiling. (Somehow our house inspector didn’t catch that.) It was just a fan that blew dust back down onto our food as we cooked.
Once the hood was in, the installers put up the steel backsplash and warming shelf. It wasn’t perfectly straight, though, so we had them completely remove and rehang it from scratch. The whole process — hanging the hood and backsplash — took about four hours. But, we’ve gone from cooking with this…
…to this, a range that looks and cooks like a giant steel beast.
Six burners ranging from the gentlest simmer up to 18000 BTU. A blue enameled (on the inside) true European reverse-air convection oven with full extension racks on smooth-gliding ball bearings.
Then there are the completely ridiculous (but therefore super fun) extras like over-the-knob LED accent lighting.
And then there’s the hood with the (also over-the-top) warming shelf. Want to warm your plates before serving dinner? Done. Want to keep the first batch of pancakes warm while you cook the second? Done. Or, just want to make the range look like it’s really pissed off? Done.
Sometimes we turn on the heat lamp just to punish the maneki neko who lives on the shelf. “Please, Mr. Mackey. Please stop burning me.” It’s really very sad, but maybe next time he’ll know to bring us more luck.
With the range finally installed, the tile backsplash could go in. Our tile installer, who we used for our fireplace redesign, delivered and prepared the backsplash yesterday afternoon. The kitchen, as you’ve seen, is extremely stark, entirely in white and steel on top of very dark floors, so AEJ wanted to go a glam with the backsplash. We picked out this custom glass mosaic, completely hand made. You give the company the exact measurements, and they custom cut and prepare the backsplash to fit. AEJ picked this combination of white milk glass, a sort of blueish swirly stained glass, and rippled mirror, all in long strips of random lengths and widths. That’s right. The kitchen backsplash has rippled mirror in it. It arrives in all of these interlocking sheets, numbered for installation.
Here, Dennis, our installer, puts up the first two sheets.
Pictures really don’t do this thing justice. With the rippled mirror, the whole thing bounces light and color like crazy.
We didn’t want to break up the backsplash with a ton of outlets, so we found these concealed under-the-cabinet angled outlets. They’re completely hidden by the light rail at the front of the cabinets (that also hides the undercabinet lights).
All of the appliances are finally installed — and they’re literally installed. Absolutely nothing lives on the countertop. In the old kitchen, the coffee maker and toaster lived there…
… but in the new kitchen, they’re replaced by the built-in coffee and espresso machine, and the Monogram Advantium convection oven/warming drawer/microwave/toaster.
Without any outlets or appliances to break up the backsplash, you get these long runs of disco.
We’ve also hung the last of the lighting. Bling!
In the old kitchen, this is what it looked like when you stood at the sink.
Here’s the same shot in the new kitchen. Doing dishes never looked so badass.
The kitchen just looks sweet, day or, especially, night.
Loki seems to like it, too, but somebody needs to tell him that the new faucet is not his mother.
We still aren’t 100% finished. The cabinet panel that will go on the dishwasher won’t be in for 2 more weeks, and our contractor needs to come back to install the reeded-glass door between the kitchen and the laundry room — but that’s it. So who wants to come over for homemade mac & cheese?