At Mimi's Table

. . . lessons from an older and wiser girl

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Four: What a Difference!

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 4 cabinets 1

WOW! What a difference a week makes. All the flooring is installed. All the wall and island cabinets are in place. This picture is misleading. The wall cabinets are all the same color, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 4 flooring 1

I’ve received a lot of compliments on the flooring. It’s Cortec’s “Sherwood Rustic Pine.” It’s a laminate approved for installation in wet areas and is guaranteed not to swell if wet. It is beautiful! Here’s more info from the US Floors website about Cortec Plus HD™ Collection:

This collection employs Embossed In Register (E.I.R.) technology along with a 4 side painted micro bevel edge for a realistic visual unlike any other LVP or WPC product available today. The COREtec Plus HD™ Collection represents the latest innovation in WPC flooring as a superior alternative to glue-down LVP, locking LVP and Laminate flooring.  The patented construction features an innovative extruded core made from recycled wood and bamboo dust, limestone and virgin PVC. COREtec Plus HD™ is 100% waterproof, can be installed in wet areas and will never swell when exposed to water. The product does not require acclimation and can be floated over most any existing floor surfaces or substrates without telegraphing that you see from other locking or glue-down LVP products. COREtec Plus HD is GREENGUARD GOLD Certified for Indoor Air Quality to help keep your home healthy and happy.

Yes, it is a beautiful floor! Not too dark. Not too light. This laminate is advertised as pet and kid friendly – theoretically no scratches. It has a gorgeous texture and simulates real wood flooring with an even distribution of color and contrast. I chose “Sherwood Rustic Pine” because it has a hint of rust. The color not only matches up well with my cabinet/island/wall color but will compliment my dining room furniture. (Ethan Allen Country French in Fruitwood finish #236.)

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The flooring continues through the kitchen/dining room/living room area including a small under the steps closet, powder room and a small hallway to my laundry room threshold and door entry into the garage.

I also had the Cortec flooring installed over a set of steps that leads to the upstairs stairwell. Previously white carpet was placed in this area and up the stairway, not a clean look or happy transition. These small stairs, a passway between the kitchen and family rooms, are heavily trafficked, not only by humans but the four-legged kind as well. (I have a dog. You know what I mean.) The threshold was ugly. Even after carpet cleaning, it was only days before the threshold looked as awful as it did before. Look at the lovely step threshold! Another WOW! And much easier to keep clean.

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 4 kitchen island 1

To add some interest, I selected Sherwin Williams “Sandy Ridge” for the island cabinet color. I wanted some contrast from the wall cabinet. “Sandy Ridge” completes the look. Trash and recycle bins are in the cabinet on the far left. Next are cabinets for cutlery and frequently used dishes in drawers. Next, the dishwasher that will have a front panel matching the island cabinets. The 36″ standard sink cabinet and then a 24″ storage unit with rollout drawers in the bottom third. The island is 126 inches. The room allows for plenty of movement from the left and right of the island.

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 4 outside island view

Here’s a look at the beaded board kitchen island from the dining room area.

Most of all, this entire area is bright. I have a southern exposure through the living room. There’s a window bank with a northern exposure through the kitchen window overlooking the backyard and golf course. The natural lighting, I believe, will be much welcomed. This space has become so open and big and compliments the really high vaulted ceilings in our home.

No, I won’t store my ironing board in front of the kitchen window. Ha, ha!

Closer and closer. Stay tuned for Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part 5.

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Disclaimer: My opinions are my own. I am not affiliated with any sponsors or suppliers mentioned in this post.


Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part One

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Two

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Three

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Four

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Three: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

at mimi's table richard in the pryor mountains husbandism

I’ve read and watched enough about remodeling projects over the years that I knew the entire condo was going to be a real mess. In anticipation of what lay ahead, I sent Richard to Montana. Don’t feel sorry for him – he has business there and has lots to do. But he’s gone for three weeks. This is a good thing for him during the razing.

Here he is where he most loves to be, although he’d like to be there with him. He’s in Montana, surrounded by mountains and big blue skies in the spring just as the landscape is beginning to green up, sandwich in hand. This man loves a picnic. Richard has a few health issues that make it safer for him to be away for a bit. Besides, there’s nowhere for him to sit in the family room or at his desk. He will be happy he missed this part. Good. Very good.

Another Good

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part three cabinets and flooring arrive

Cabinets and Flooring Arrive!

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 3 oven wall

These are Decora cabinets finished in Sherwin Williams’ “Agreeable Gray.” Love this color. It’s a little lighter than my wall color. Not as stark a contrast as white cabinets, my first choice. It will be fabulous! These cabinets are about 2″ deeper than my old ones – didn’t expect that. The cabinet at the far end of the photo is baking sheet/cooling rack storage. I can’t get over the size of the upper storage cabinet. It’s separated into four healthy slots divided front to back by wooden dividers. Good. Very good.

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 3 island beaded board

I decided to use beaded board around three sides of the island. The color is Sherwin Williams’ “Sandy Ridge.” It’s just dark enough from the wall and cabinet color to stand out as a focal point for the room. Good. Very good.

The Bad

Our condo was built sometime in the mid to late 1980’s. During his evaluation, the flooring rep felt there was a noticeable dip in the floor between the dining room and living room. When the plumber went into the crawl space, he noticed the living room floor had been raised. Sure enough, looking at the original blueprints we learned the living room was originally a sunken living room.

The floor was raised utilizing a number of 2×4’s, and not so successfully so, at least not for installing a new floor. The carpet in the room effectively hid imperfections in floor height, but because I’m having a laminate floor installed, it is imperative the floor be as level as possible. Bad. Very bad.

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part three level flooring

A new plywood subfloor is being installed to level the flooring between the dining room and living room. The plywood areas definitely feel substantial compared with the old subfloor.

We also learned that the former owner made subtle adjustments as they installed the tile floor to keep the entire floor on the west side of the condo and into the kitchen and powder room even. Read: Not level. Obvious to all once the carpet and tile were removed. Some of the subfloor was in good shape. On the entryway-powder room side, however, the tile was glued differently onto the subfloor. Bad. Very bad.

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part 3 moartared floor

The gray glue will have to be scraped or sanded down before the new plywood subfloor is installed. The idea is to keep everything as level as possible and to keep the dried glue from breaking off under the new floor as traffic will cause it to break down. Over time, the new floor would become uneven with noticeable high and low points. It’s just like wallpaper. If you think eventually you or someone will wish to easily remove it, install according to manufacturer’s directions. This is an obvious do-it-yourselfer mistake that makes the process more expensive and time-consuming.

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The Ugly

Reader Caution: What you’re about to see is not for the weak of heart. Avert the eyes of small children. Avert the eyes of wives or husbands or partners who assert, “You want to do what?” No explanation needed. The photos speak for themselves.

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Okay. Maybe this one needs explanation. Remember our “do-it-yourselfers?”

The back storm door in the kitchen is one-half inch shorter than standard. To get a standard storm door to fit and to avoid spending hundreds of dollars more for a custom storm, my friends cut off the outside threshold so it would fit. There was nothing for the storm to rest on and seal. Over time, the storm began to fail. Water from rain and melting snow seeped through into the subfloor causing this damage. Richard and I replaced the storm a year ago when our unit was repainted. Yes, we spent the hundreds of dollars to get the threshold rebuilt and for a proper fitting storm. But we did not know the subfloor was damaged. Ugly. Really ugly.

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Sledgehammer damage. It happens.

From now on it’s “Beautiful. Really beautiful.” There’s so much to look forward to.

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
Brian Tracy

at mimi's table 2017 christmas wreath

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Four

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Three

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Two

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part One

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Two

Let’s take a look at my rooms being remodeled during the first phase.

at mimi's table kitchen remodel part two move contents

We had to move the contents of the living room, dining room, and kitchen into the family room and office. We’re keeping the old fridge in the garage. Don’t worry. It looks much worse now. Emptied the contents of the laundry room, too, that also served as a pantry.

My daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren helped empty contents of the pantry in the kitchen, all the cabinets, china hutches. Yeah, that’s plural. In all, we moved four sets of dishes, and that does not include the three other sets I have in the garage. Good grief. I have a problem.

Then we hired professional movers to move all the furniture and other heavy stuff. I found a fantastic moving company, Colt MovingIf you live in the Indy area or in Lexington, Kentucky (Wildcat Moving), you can’t go wrong. Colt Moving is great to work with. Reasonably priced, friendly, accommodating, and patient. This is a group of extremely motivated entrepreneurs. I highly recommend their services.

Moving along . . .

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On the other side of that wall on the left is the kitchen getting a facelift.

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Carpet, walls, tile, fixtures, and appliances are going. Bye, bye pantry. The whole shebang. I’m saving the old kitchen cabinets to repurpose in the laundry room. We were able to do the cabinet wall demo because it was a half-wall and not a support wall. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

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And Auggie wants to help! She’s staying with Jessica for a couple of weeks until it’s safe to bring her home.





How does it look at the end of Phase 2?

at mimi's table mimi's kitchen remodel part two at the beginning

At The Beginning

Living Room to Kitchen

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Kitchen to Living Room

All Tile Removed, Frame for Kitchen Island

I’m exhausted! Stay tuned for Phase 3. The laundry room is stripped and drywalled. My cabinets and flooring arrived today. Cabinet install begins tomorrow! Hooray!!!

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Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part One

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Two

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Three

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part Four

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part One

I do admire folks who have the courage and vision for a total kitchen remodel. It’s no project for the weak of heart or wallet. Read: I have no courage. I have a weak heart. I found my wallet at Goodwill. Ugh!

And this is not just a kitchen remodel. It’s a transformation of my kitchen/dining room/living room configuration. Oh, did I mention we’re reconfiguring the laundry room? Yeah, I’m over the top.

Over 40 years of home ownership across several states, I have lived with kitchens designed by former owners. Of course, when I selected a house, the kitchen was the most important element. My selections were thoughtful. But, you know, there’s always something you wish you could change.

When we moved back home to Indiana in 2014, I enjoyed the kitchen in our condo, but it was serious time for an update. Not that the existing kitchen didn’t work for me. I wanted something different. I wanted our common areas to work for me, my family, and guests, especially my husband. Our kitchen was galley-style. Whenever I worked in the kitchen, Richard would come to visit, always standing in front of any drawer, appliance, sink I was in the process of using. I was constantly shooing him away, sometimes with little compassion.

What have I learned so far?

Find people you trust.
This is a big deal. This is an expensive deal. The project will inconvenience everyone for many weeks.
I am blessed with some very special experienced professionals here in the Indy area helping me through the project. It can be an overwhelming undertaking without the right people on your team. I hired a kitchen designer to draw plans, Kate Horton, because I’m not an abstract thinker. Bought my cabinets from ADS in Whitestown from Bob Drollinger who is gentle and patient. Cabinets are freaking expensive – make sure you get the best quality you can afford.
My general contractor, Rick Parks, Rosewood Construction, LLC, is phenomenal. He transformed my master bath, so I have some history with Rick. He is experienced and patient. He listens and answers all my questions without coming across as a “know-it-all.” He gives good advice. He’s installing my cabinets, appliances, and flooring in addition to all the demo work, plumbing, and electricity. A one-stop-shop for me, which makes my project manageable with someone I trust to do the right thing.
Get the vibe. Trust your people instincts. If a contractor makes you feel uncomfortable, keep looking.
Noticed I mention “patience” a lot. I’m a newbie to all this remodel stuff, so patience is a quality I look for.

Have courage and ask for discounts.
I’ve saved thousands of dollars simply asking “Is that the best you can do?” Even going so far as saying “I can find this cheaper online and I don’t pay for shipping or sales tax.” This is a big motivator. Big Box Stores aren’t always the solution – it may be convenient but not always the bargain you’d expect. Hiring an independent local contractor may be cheaper and you’re supporting businesses in your community.

Anxiety – Be prepared
Did I make the right decisions? Are the cabinets properly configured? What about lighting – what is too much or not enough? The biggest concern of mine was to have proper flow through the kitchen/dining room for my very helpful accommodating family. I’m doing an open concept so the entire space will be kitchen/dining room/living room in one continuous design. My plan also includes room for Richard to sit at the island side of the kitchen to allow him to keep me company without getting in my way. YES! However, mine is an expensive transition – am I making the right decisions?

Self-doubt is inherent in an undertaking this size. Have faith. Be open to suggestions. Don’t be afraid to mix up the plan if you have second thoughts. Ask questions. Work with your professionals – good ones sincerely want you to be happy with the end product.

I’ve mulled over my transition since 2014. I’ve researched online and with consultants. With my sister and friends who are experienced remodelers. With my husband who ultimately has to live with my vision and won’t complain – he’s a good man.

Let’s begin at the beginning.

Here’s a blast from the 2014 past. This is the area we’re mimis table indiana moving in ugly gold paint

Holy cow! All that gold paint had to go! This side of the condo houses our kitchen, dining room, and living room. It’s one HUGE room, 35′ x 18′ at least, with tall vaulted ceilings. It’s one reason I fell in love with this property. The kitchen is on the other side of the half wall with a 24″x24″ passthrough above the kitchen sink. Well, okay. Let’s open up this space!

Here’s what my kitchen/dining room/living room looked like in 2014  after painting.

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What a dramatic difference, eh? I choose Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter,” because it is one color Candace Olson loves as a great neutral/greige. A little on the green-taupe side, I love this wall color.

Okay. I’ve got lots more pictures. Follow our progress with the links below.
at mimi's table 2017 christmas wreath

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part 1

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part 2

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part 3

Mimi’s Kitchen Remodel Part 4

My Love Affair with My Cuisinart

l s ayres clock with the famous cherub

L.S. Ayres Clock with the famous Cherub

When I was first married in the 1970’s, I worked during the Christmas season at an Indianapolis department store icon L.S. Ayres. For those of us who grew up in an era when downtown department stores were the rage, L.S. Ayres was the cream of the Indianapolis crop in the same league as Chicago’s Marshall Field’s and New York’s Macy’s.  There are many stories shared over the years about “Breakfast with the Bunny” Easters, glorious Christmas decorations, and the fate of the L.S. Ayres Cherub, who took its proper place at the corner of Washington and Meridian Streets every Christmas shopping season perched on the landmark L.S. Ayres clock.  In fact, here’s a link to a little history of the Ayres clock and cherub from Historic Indianapolis.

I had no idea where I would clerk when I applied for a part-time job at the Glendale store on North Keystone, but I was offered a position in the housewares department.  I couldn’t believe my good fortune.  See, I’m addicted to housewares of all kinds.  I was quite happy to help customers find the perfect holiday, shower or wedding gift.  And I envied the gift recipients who were going to benefit from the newest set of fabulous pans, the sharpest knives, the quirkiest gadget, shiny new flatware, beautiful coffee mugs – I was in my element.


At Mimi's Tablelessons from an older and wiser girl