Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We Have a Kitchen!

The only catch? It's not adult sized or actually usable in any form or fashion for preparing edible food.

(And Addison, if you are reading this before a certain age not to be determined yet, Santa's elves used our house to build your kitchen because the North Pole was too busy and full in 2012. But don't worry, they have an expansion plan and will begin the groundwork on December 26th. He also let us take all of these progress pictures so you could see how cool it was to have a custom elf-built kitchen!)


Addison loves make believe. She puts her babies down for a nap everyday, places blankets on their backs and pats them to sleep. She prepares food for them and reads them books. She talks to herself as she builds houses out of "bocks" for the bunnies and elephants and lions (oh my!). So Mommy (and Daddy) thought, "Wouldn't it be great if Santa brought Addison a kitchen for her second Christmas?"

But because we're crazy, we didn't want Addison to have just any toddler sized kitchen. I mean, we've spent countless hours (and many counted dollars) on our new soon-to-be kitchen, why couldn't her kitchen reside in ours and match? She could cook while we cooked with matching cabinets and hardware. It might as well be the real deal. Genius, we know. So that is what we asked Santa for: an Addison sized kitchen to match the parent's.

And boy, oh boy did he deliver!

Luap (think about it...) the elf started by using two pre-assembled wall cabinets.

He built a base using 2 x 4's he found laying around our house so that the cabinets would sit up off of the floor slightly and create the look of a toe-kick. That clever elf.

After the first coat of Valspar's Bare Wood Primer, he used shims, wood glue and his handy dandy air-compressed nail gun to attach the two cabinets and base together. He also cut out the interior recessed panel on one of the doors for plexi-glass to mimic the oven door.

Because of the way the pre-assembled wall cabinets are built, 1/4" sanded plywood was needed to cover the exposed particle board ends and top.

1/2" plywood was used for the counter. The sink (an 8-quart stainless steel bowl) was traced, cut and diligently placed to simulate a real usable sink. Be still my heart.

Once the end pieces were installed, the entire kitchen-ette received another coat of primer.

Because Luap the elf had to work at the North Pole too, it took more than just one day to build A's kitchen. So it was a delicate game of making sure the work he did wouldn't be damaged or disturbed by the individuals working at the house during the day.

Next came this mommy's favorite part. The paint. 

Two coats later, he assembled the entire cabinet, minus the oven door. For that, he custom cut a 1/4" piece of plexi-glass down to size and attached it to the back of the door using silicone and then trimmed the entire thing out with wood trim, painted to match the cabinet. Then the oven door was installed, hardware as well.

The counter. Oh the counter. Originally, I thought it was going to be a white paint as close to the base color of our new quartz counter, in semi-gloss. But before the green paint went on the cabinets, I had a freak out moment that it was going to look very "50's" laminate. So he/we/I started scheming up ways to make this 1/2" plywood surface look more like our quartz. We talked about using some stencils to spray paint gray and tan flecks onto the white painted board but that seemed like a lot of work for something that might not turn out. I seriously, for a moment, considered the use of the real quartz, hah! That was a fleeting thought. Then he/we/I had the idea of sending a large resolution image of the slab to a print shop and having them print the file onto a vinyl decal. Ta-dah!

And then the auxiliary items like the faucet, towel bar, burners and knobs got installed.

Seriously, do you hear the choir of angels singing? I mean, this is practically a small mock-up of our future kitchen.

Santa and his elves for the win.

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