Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Box of Tin

What is that?!

That my friends is what I have been waiting for, for months. It finally came. And I wasted no time installing it.

As some of you know, over a year ago, I began rebuilding my kitchen. Piece by piece, tearing out cabinets and installing new state of the art pieces of fine cabinetry, that are manufactured in a way that reduces the amount of waste and shipping cost. Making them very eco-friendly.

When I had my house built 17 years ago, I was in need of a home. I opted to take many of the stock options with the thought in mind that someday, I would replace them. Well, when there's something there that "seems" to be doing the job, you don't really mind the cheap quality and the fact that they are not very functional. Last year, while my mother was losing her battle for life, I needed a distraction. And since design is in my blood, I completely drew up plans for a whole new kitchen. I planned on starting with the easy stuff and finishing with the plumbing side. Wouldn't you know it, the dishwasher quit working moments after it was revealed that it would be last to be replaced. So, that's where we started. Of course, if your going to pull that out, you might as well take out the cabinet next to it and the sink. And since your right there, go ahead and take out that bank of drawers that hasn't worked properly in 15 years. Then I guess we'll need a new countertop too. Oh, why not just do the upper shelves too. 

So now the one whole side of the small kitchen is completely rebuilt with instant hot water under the sink, stainless steel trim on the toe-kick and edging and a new stainless sink. But there's something missing. It's too modern for our house that has a nice mix of new and antique furniture. It needed the finishing touch. It needed the new backsplash. Yes, that's what came in that long awaited box. It is fashioned in remembrance of the old pressed tin ceilings of the merchantiles and pubs from Victorian America. With a modern twist incorporating my love of anything square. And my husband's love for anything shinny.

This is my new backsplash installed...  
 It looks different from all angles and reflects the light from the window and throws it around the room.

This next shot shows you what the finished product is looking like. You can see in the upper left corner a glimpse of the old cabinets. That will be gone very shortly.

The floor has also been installed. Since we are on a crawl space, we opted to go with a cork floor. Stained dark, when you look at it up close, it looks like someone laid wine corks side by side and trimmed that flat and smooth with a glossy finish. To look at it from across the room, it looks like old reclaimed wood. Either way, it is very warm to the touch, soft on the foot and very eco-friendly. It continues into the breakfast nook where I have built a window seat to take advantage of all the light from the four large windows that let the morning light stream in and warm your heart as you sit in the antique chairs that I have refinished for my bistro table.

Aside from the other half of the kitchen cabinets, the ceiling is also not finished yet. You can see here though a hint of what is yet to come, using the tin ceiling. This is the top of the wall that separates the kitchen from the breakfast nook. That is, in fact, a casket corner used as a corbel. Would you expect anything else?

This is how I unwind. This is how I keep my mind from running away from me. And this time, I am not cutting any corners.


Mitch Block said...

I LOVE everything you have done and plan to do. The casket corner is a brilliant touch. The backsplash is beautiful. And the floors! AND the colors! Great. I love redos and am getting my kicks vicariously!

oneSAHDdude said...


Jim said...

LOVE tin ceilings! Always have and would do almost anything to get my hands on enough re-cycled ones to do our kitchen and back hallway. almost....
Stew, your kitchen looks wonderful and you will SO enjoy it when it is completed! Is the cork anything like bamboo floors?

Stew said...

Costwise, the cork and bamboo were very similar. I was astounded even in the store with ambient temps, when you place your hands on each floor, the cork came out warmer every time. As far as the sustainability goes, cork is harvested from the bark each year and grows back every year.
We did a laminate a few years ago in the bathroom and had considered that with heat under it for the kitchen. The cost of the cork was cheaper and easier to install. And you don't have to turn it on and run your electric bill up.

laurak@forestwalkart said...

wow!! VERY cool!
LOVE the floors...the backsplash...the BIG plant!!

i never heard of a cork floor...warm to the touch?!! and eco=friendly!! GREAT've done a terrific job with your REmodeling!!

sounds like we could use your help with our bathroom....haha!!

Stew said...

I am available for consultations. I think I have room in my schedule next winter for a trip to Florida.
Heck, for a price, I'll stay all season and do the work too.

MorningAJ said...

OMG! I only just got time to read this in full (though I looked at the photos and was very impressed a couple of days ago). That's a casket corner? It's wonderful! And I love the floor and the metallic splashbacks. You've done a great job on it.