Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Way Down

Just a quick post today before I go back to 12 hour shifts tomorrow. :(

This is where I left off with the exterior.

I've been pretty much firm on this setup for the exterior entry stairs for a good while now. But as I'm nearly ready to commence working out here now that the second floor is days away from being glued down, I've been contemplating another option.




I've always felt that the driveway should slope down. Because it seems to me that would be the norm in San Francisco and being on a hill street there should be some indication of that. So I'm contemplating some kind of graduated step path to the street, along the retaining wall, instead of a third flight of stairs. Perhaps I'll add the stairs to the back of the landing for easy access for the tenant. They would be more recessed than they are in this mock up because I would use the tread of the top stair as part of the landing.


 Or perhaps a sloping path with a couple of large steps at the end. Both versions would allow me to suggest a sloping driveway from the street, while still having enough space to park cars on the flat bit. :D


I popped a bit of trim on for fun. I'll be modifying this trim because I need to have railing out to the landing. I've seen someone else with a San Franciscan cut the railing portion of the trim away leaving the ornate arch. They then added standard store bought railing to the bottom... I think this would be a good solution for me too.. I just need to determine exactly where to cut it. Probably right where the curve meets the rail and I'll lop off that flat post top that is masquerading as a ball too!


I need to decide these things pretty quickly. When I finish the kitchen and install the internal stairs I'm moving to the landscaping board and porch before heading upstairs to the second floor. :D












Saturday, 15 December 2018

San Franciscan's Kitchen part 2

With the ceiling out of the way I continued on with the kitchen.

As I forgot to install the lights I thought I'd show you my choice for the space.


I painted a couple of these pendant coach lights from Dolls House Emporium with an aged copper spray paint by rustoleum and then used sienna chalk paint by americana to give a rusty, "barn find" look.. :)

Picture courtesy of Dolls House Emporium

I intend to hang one centrally in the kitchen in front of the stove hood and then one further back in the bay where the eating nook will be located. While I like the colour of the fixture, it might get lost with the dark hood and walls so I may have to rethink my colour choice. Perhaps a couple of chalky washes to lighten them up a bit.

I'll get back to those later on... Lets talk about the cabinetry.

The lowers on the stove side of the kitchen are standard houseworks 1.5 inch cabinet kits. I'm choosing to use two drawer units and two drawer and door units. One of each on each side of the stove.


This gives me three inches of counter space along this wall. the drawers will be closest to the stove. I've painted them white, as all my cabinets will be.

For the uppers I decided to use a couple of House of miniatures cabinet top kits.

Picture courtesy of Etsy

I liked these kits for this purpose because I couldn't find any kitchen specific upper cabinets I preferred. I like my real life cabinetry to have crown moulding at the top and none of the ready made cabinets I found at the time had it. I realised later that I could have added it but I still like these cabinet tops for my space. 


I painted them during construction for a better finish.

I liked the way they looked on the wall but when I saw the kitchen with the inspiration hood's cabinets I knew I needed to add corbels to the bottom.


A reminder of the inspiration kitchen.


 Searching around in my stash I remembered I had some left over Stair Fretwork from Laser Tech.


These frets came still in the wood they'd been cut from and you have to punch them out like other dollhouse trim. I soon realised that the shape of the scrap wood (the mirror reverse of the trim) would make a great solid corbel shape. The problem is they were very thin.. so not an appropriate thickness for my purpose... My fix was to glue four of them together to make one corbel. That's sixteen stair fret scraps to make four corbels.. I had just enough... Winning! :D


I glued them to the bottom of my cabinets, gave the corbel edges a thin coat of spackle to hide the joins, a bit of a sand and then a generous coat of chalk paint blended into the cabinet sides and you'd think they were meant to look this way... :) I'm so happy with how these turned out.

And in place.


For the counter tops, I want a blue stone look.. These are still a work in progress, but I'm using the tops of two House of Miniatures 3 drawer chests to create the counter top for each side of the stove. I liked the idea of a rounded finished edge like these kits have and this particular kit has exactly the right width to suit the top of the houseworks cabinets.

Picture courtesy of Ebay.
I painted the counter tops black and also painted some strips of balsa to use as a backstop of stone instead of a tile backsplash. (I didn't want to cover up the wood wall with tile and it would allow the counter to overhang the cabinetry at the front slightly.)


Then I mixed a really dark blue grey colour with black, white & grey paint and a little of the left over stain mixture from staining the walls and floors and painted over it. The black acted as a really good primer so I didn't have bare wood poking through anywhere. Then I rubbed a dirty white wash over the tops trying to create that salty spots look that blue stone has... The effect is still a work in progress but this is where it is now.


 I cut the tops to fit, with the straight cut edge abutting the stove, so the rounded edges faced the front and ends of the cabinet runs. I then touched up the cut sides with the same paint.


On the other side of the room I elected not to use the houseworks cabinetry. There were a couple of reasons for this.

1. I had run out of the types of kits I would need to make the sink sit centred under the window. (In an oopsie moment I cut the window too far to the back of the room and those kits wouldn't line up).

This is what you get when you eyeball instead of measure. :/

2. I wanted a bit of a bohemian/eclectic feel in the room so matchy matchy cabinets didn't seem right.
3. I didn't want to crack open two more 3 drawer chest kits just to get counter tops.
4. I already had two open kits with no tops that happened to fit the space perfectly put together as one counter. I'd just need to fashion a sink and a top for the assembly.

The partial HOM kits it was.

First I fashioned a sink out of balsa, covered it in spackle and sanded it. It has about 57 coats of enamel spray paint in it's future.


Oh jeez!! My fingers!.. Pretend you didn't see them...  :/


I'll drill a drain hole and install hardware later.

I constructed the kits and tested the sink placement.


I'll be making a basket to fill the space left by removing the top drawer and inserting the sink instead.


I added a couple of left over pieces of wood to the sink side to allow it to sit at the right height to be underslung from the counter top.



The counter top is made from three pieces of balsa to create the thickness I wanted. The first piece is the exact size of the top of the cabinets and painted white. The second one is larger to create counter overhang at the front of the unit and I painted the edges my blue stone colour mix. I then cut the hole for the sink to slot into these two pieces with the top of the sink level with the top of the second piece of counter. 


The third piece of balsa has been cut to the same dimensions as the second but it's sink cut out is slightly smaller on all sides to cover the top of the sink to create an underslung look.



This sink still needs more coats of enamel after another good sanding... ugh.. it's taking  a lot to get a good finish.


Still thinking about making a basked for this hole. If I don't I'll just create a little false drawer from the left over drawer front from the original kit. The cabinets will get another coat of paint before a sealer is applied. Counter colour is still a work in progress so sealer will be a while a way.

I need to decide if I want to try to round the counter top to blend better with the lowers on the other side of the room. They wouldn't be the same but perhaps more similar.

Here is the unit in the room with a stand in Lidi Stroud basket in the hole. :)



Hmmm... I might have to do a bit of rounding perhaps.. :/ Luckily the counter is not attached to the cabinets yet so it should be easy to manipulate if I decide to sand the edges down.

Next I wanted to fill the space between the window and the dresser with open shelving inspired by the inspiration kitchen's gorgeous wall of shelving. I don't have that kind of room, but I can pay a little homage with these two premade shelves I had in my stash.


 But first I had to do a little modifying. :D


I cut the ornate ends off of them. They were pretty but I wanted simpler lines for mine.


 I then added a strip of balsa to the front of the underside of the shelf for a more substantial look.

The bottom shelf got a hanging rail made from a trimmed down toothpick & superglued in place. Now I just need some itty bitty "S" hooks to hang cups from. :D


There is just enough room left to put the trim on around the window. :)


So here are some shots of where I'm up to now.


I'll add a backsplash to the under window area but I have no idea what type.. Suggestions welcome! :)


My cheap chinese stand in fridge has arrived. Not what I want in the end but for $10aud and free shipping, I'm pretty happy with it for now.  :)


Some shots of the light detail.. It got another coat of white wash and may still get another but the rustic vibe is growing on me. I think it suits the kitchen.






I may change out the white dresser for a "vintaged" Oak one.. I think it might tie the two sides of the room together. I see I also need to do a bit of spackling on the bay window's cornice. :) 



The light is just taped up for now.. I might need to move it too the left so it will better line up with where the bay window one will need to be placed.



Still a lot to do.. I'm going to make one of Sheila's lists:


  • Final coat of paint on cabinets
  • Install cabinet hardware
  • 13 more coats of enamel to the sink :D 
  • Drill sink drain and finish with finding
  • install sink backsplash
  • install faucet
  • install and trim windows
  • trim entry doorway
  • install baseboards (only to areas without cabinets or banquet)
  • build banquet for the bay window
  • make seat cushions for banquet
  • install lights. 
  • finish counter tops

Wow... more than I thought... but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! :D