Monday, 29 August 2011

More kitchen progress

The last appliance to arrive was the fridge, which was on back order. Fridges are so large that they always dominate a kitchen, but this one is only counter depth so it doesn't jut out into the room and, because it's black, it is more of a background presence than a white or stainless steel model would be. It's also extremely quiet, which has become an important feature to me after our experience with the stove.
The new stove was delivered at the same time, and in this picture is not yet hooked up. It is not quite as elegant as the first one, but it cost a good deal less and it functions without the need for any noisy internal fans. We spent a bit extra to get black enamel oven racks that don't have to be removed when the oven is in cleaning mode, and I'm altogether content with it.

Basement work

Michael had discovered that the walls of the house had never been anchored to the foundation wall. If we ever do get the predicted earthquake, the whole structure could shift right off its base. Not any more, after he spent a day tying the frame to the concrete wall with a rented drill and some serious-looking bolts. (The art piece is part of a triptych done by a friend of ours. When we get around to fixing up the back porch, it will find its home.)

Friday, 19 August 2011

Kitchen progress

The day the cabinets were installed we felt we were really making progress. At the same time, the old upper cabinets got a coat of paint to match the new ones, and the right-hand wall was prepared for the range hood.

Across the room by the chimney with its newly-exposed bricks, the lower cabinet was installed, but the shelving above had to wait for another day.

During the delay, other tradesmen arrived to install the granite counter tops.

Once they were done, the walls could be tiled. We chose off-white matte-finish subway tiles to keep a little of the old character in what was starting to look like a modern kitchen.

Next a hanging rack to go over the island arrived. I'd been unable to find a Vancouver supplier for what I wanted and so had ordered this through an eBay source, a new experience for me. Fortunately it was exactly what I wanted, and at a very reasonable price.

By this time the new dishwasher (on the left, still in its blue protective wrap) and stove had been installed. We loved the dishwasher, which was both efficient and very, very quiet. The stove on the other hand had a great gas cooktop, but the oven was very, very noisy on both the convection setting and the regular electric baking setting. Both the convection and a second fan came on immediately the oven was turned on. The convection fan went off when the oven reached the set temperature, but the other fan stayed on, not only through the cooking time but for a whole hour after the oven was turned off. We were told its function was to keep the digital control panel cool, and that this was a necessary feature of these state-of-the-art slide-in ranges.
As our dining table is in the same room as the kitchen the noise of this fan was a serious problem. Fortunately we had bought from Sears and received the great service that they are known for. Although it was a stressful experience, we were able to return the stove and replace it with another all-gas, free-standing model that required no fans at all. I was slightly sorry to lose the convection feature, but having never had one, I doubt we'll miss it.

During all this activity by others, I was slowly painting the kitchen walls in a rich yellow, a colour I hope will seem like sunshine even in the depths of a grey Vancouver winter.