We moved into our new house and it’s everything I hoped it would be and more. In news that will shock no one, we’re extremely proud of this place. Like, I don’t think we would be any prouder if we lived in a legit castle, unless maybe we had renovated the castle painstakingly over the last five months or something. And even then, a castle really seems like it would be too big for two people, right? And a little bit showy, eh? Okay then, it’s settled: we prefer our current house to a castle.
We’ve still got many things to unpack, and lots of renovation still to tackle, and a crazy back porch nightmare I will continue only alluding to on this blog, for fear of scaring off my many hordes of readers. But we’re in! We’re here! All is right with the world!
What I’d really like to do with this post is show you photos of the several rooms that are closest to being done: the bathroom, the bedroom, and the closet. But I won’t do that because isn’t it more exciting to see a final reveal when we’re actually done with those rooms, rather than see a nearly finished series of photos and then the final reveal? I’ve recently considered getting a Fawn Log instagram for this very reason: I could post more in-between photos without the weight of a full blog post reveal. Do people reading this use instagram? Do you want to hear from me more or less? Let me know what you think in the comments, if you want.
I’m hoping that we’ll have finished some/most of those rooms within a few weeks, and then I can post a final reveal of the bathroom, for instance, and you all will just type-scream with enthusiasm for our refinished clawfoot tub. I took a bath in it for real last night and just about died from happiness.
In lieu of that fun stuff, though, let’s talk about our half-finished kitchen. Given my last several posts, I understand if you’re completely sick of hearing about our floors. But bear with me for the next few boring paragraphs, because I must share.
As I mentioned last time, we made the bold decision to paint our kitchen floor white. We used flat finish Oxford White (the same paint we’ve used on all the walls) and applied three coats. Then, we used a water based polyurethane in a satin finish to seal it. We also applied three coats of the poly, sanding lightly between each to remove any specks of dust or hair. This “poly then sand” process was much easier on the regular wood floors, because minuscule bits of dust aren’t visible and therefore kind of NBD on bare wood floors. But on a white floor, every little non-white molecule stands out in full relief. It was easy to get a little obsessive about it, not that Tony and I ever obsess about house projects /sarcasm. Ultimately we finished with a final poly coat and, after a day of dry time, the floor was ready to go.
I really like the look of it. The lines between the boards are quite evident, as is the wood grain in certain light. It doesn’t look like a flat white surface, it look like badass wood floor painted white. This is exactly what we wanted, and I think it very much fits with the old farmhouse feel of the house. It also looks great against the medium tone wood of the rest of the house, in our opinion.
The obvious downside is, of course, that it is a monstrous pain in the ass to keep clean. If you walk on it with shoes, for instance, it immediately looks dirty. Even if you walk on it with socks, as Tony and I try to do, it still gets pretty dang gross. This is not helped by the fact that the kitchen opens up into the crazy, aforementioned back porch where we currently keep many of our house tools. There’s a lot maddening back and forth from a place that is gross and weird (back porch) to a place with gleaming white floors. [Are you guys getting excited to see pictures of the back porch in a future post or what?!]
Sweeping helps to a certain extent, but doesn’t remove all visible dirt. I’ve so far addressed this with my new favorite cleaning tool, this mop from Target. It works a little like a Swiffer, except that the cleaning pad is microfiber and reusable (it can be removed, washed, and put back on). The squirt bottle is also removable and can be used to dispense any cleaning product you want. I filled it with a little bit of white vinegar and a lot of water. It’s easy to use, and the kitchen is tiny, so I’ve just been sweeping and mopping the dirty spots every night. Is that insane? I don’t mind it so far, but it’s only been four nights.
Some parts of the internet say that a water and vinegar cleaning solution is bad for hardwood floors, so I feel somewhat conflicted by this cleaning method. Tony’s mom, Kathy, bought us Bona wood cleaner, which I’m excited to use on the rest of the floors. I’d prefer to save this fancy stuff for the floors I will mop significantly less obsessively, but maybe I should be using it on the kitchen, too. If there are any hardwood experts reading this, SOS I need you to tell me how I should be cleaning in the comments! [For all the non-hardwood floor cleaning experts, I’m so sorry for subjecting you to two paragraphs of information about floor cleaning].
Occupying the small fraction of my brain that is apparently capable of thinking about something beyond floors, I’m thoroughly enjoying our new gas stove. (gas stove! so fancy!) We price compared all over the place and found our favorite (/the cheapest) at Ikea. Ikea’s appliances are made by Whirlpool, and they get generally good reviews online, and like most of Ikea’s stuff they’re cute. I am thrilled to report that we broke it in classic Ruzicka style: heating up butter for our popcorn. We’ve since used it to make actual meals, too, and it’s working great so far.
We considered buying a fridge from Ikea, but we ended up finding a better deal at Home Depot. It’s a fridge, it works, we like it.
Our eventual plan is to make these appliance look and feel more built in. We hope to add two small cabinets on either side of the stove. One of those will be the designated pan spot, with an inside like this. I don’t know what the other side will store yet, but something good. It’s going to be really handy to have a couple places to set a pot or a cutting board. Also, Charlie and Matt got us this Ikea kitchen cart, which we still need to assemble and put in the middle of the room. Beautiful and handy wedding present!
For the fridge, we hope to add some type of pantry/food storage spot. Maybe we’ll scoot the fridge out from the wall a bit and add some sort of roll out pantry.
Please note that while I’m saying “we” here, the building will be up to carpenter Tony. I prefer to use the royal we when talking about the house, because it makes me feel much more accomplished.
This is all pie-in-the-sky stuff for now, because the kitchen is livable as it is. Next spring or summer, though, we want to install new countertop and paint (or maybe strip?) the existing, original cabinets.
It makes sense to add the cabinetry on the other side at the same time, because we could paint them to match and use the same countertop material (currently thinking butcher block). Until then, our kitchen is going to look a little crummy and insane. We’re satisfied that it is less insane now than how we inherited it. That’s what matters, right?
It’s been a while since I’ve expressed shock and gratitude that anyone reads this rambling crap, so I’ll close with that. Thanks, dudes, for reading this and caring about me and Tony (side note: in case anyone has noticed that Tony hasn’t commented on this blog in literally months, I swear we are still married and living in this house together! He is alive and well. I believe he just likes being the world’s most mysterious main blog character). Thanks for reading!