Seven Things…

1.  I finally have my new light installed!

Yep, it’s the light that Matt bought for me three months ago.  It’s the light that started this whole kitchen remodel.  And finally…finally…it’s installed in my kitchen.

Harbour Point 19" Wide Liberty Gold Semi-Flush Ceiling Light

Matt bought mine from One King’s Lane, but I don’t think they have it anymore.  However, Lamps Plus has it right here.

I absolutely love it!  Of course, I’ll love it so much more when it’s the cherry on top of an otherwise very pretty dessert, rather than the only shiny and pretty thing against bare wood and one really filthy looking wall.

And for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to take a picture of a light while it’s on, and without it turning out looking like a glowing sun.  *Sigh*  Those photography classes are still on my “to do” list, but other things always seem to take priority.

2.  I’m tiling everything.

Rather than just the backsplashes, I’ve decided that all of the walls in the kitchen are going to be tiled.  That means this big wall will have tile floor to ceiling, as will all of the other bare wall areas in the kitchen.

Tile on all of the kitchen walls, and not just on backsplash

I love that look, but I’ve always thought it would be cost prohibitive to use that much tile.  But I realized that since I’m using inexpensive subway tile, and since I really don’t have a whole lot of wall space in this kitchen (since the cabinets cover most of it), it actually won’t cost an arm and a leg to tile everything.  I think it’ll end up being in the $250 range for the whole kitchen.

2013 Green Dream Home by DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, via HouzzContemporary Kitchen by Minneapolis Home Builders DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation

Kitchen by Crown Point Cabinetry, via HouzzRustic Kitchen by Claremont Kitchen & Bath Fixtures Crown Point Cabinetry

3.  I want to add brass wire mesh to these four doors.

glass front doors

I was planning on using glass, but then I saw a few examples of cabinet doors with wire mesh in them, and I really love that look!

The problem is that brass mesh is really expensive.  The cheapest place I can find it would run about $100 per door.  That’s not gonna happen.  So I’m considering using hardware cloth and painting it with a brass paint.  Or I could even use brass metal leaf to cover the mesh.

This one isn’t brass, but here’s an example of hardware cloth painted black and used in cabinet doors.

Atlanta Chic Home Office by Jennifer Reynolds Interiors, via HouzzTransitional Spaces by Alpharetta Interior Designers & Decorators Jennifer Reynolds – Jennifer Reynolds Interiors

But I’m still not sure. I go back and forth between wanting the sparkle of glass, and wanting the brass-colored metal mesh.

4.  Electrical tip – wiring an outlet or switch is easier than you might think.

When you’ve got a standard wiring situation going on (i.e., you don’t have multiple wires coming to and going from your outlet or switch), you don’t even need these screws on the sides of the outlets or switches.

wiring an outlet 1

I always thought it was such a pain to have to wrap the wires around these and then tighten the screws,  making sure that the wires were in there really good.  Such a tedious task.  Well, it turns out that you generally don’t even need those.  Just tighten those screws all the way in, and forget about them.

Instead, the wires simply insert into these holes on the back.

wiring an outlet 2

Just strip the wire according the the wire stripping guide (which you can see down by my thumb), and poke those wires into the holes.  Takes about ten seconds, and you’re done!

wiring an outlet 3

The white wire goes in the hole behind the long slot on front, and the black wire goes behind the short slot on front.  You do still have to wrap the ground wire around the green screw, but only having to do one as opposed to three can save you lots of time if you’re having to wire a whole room of outlets and switches.

5.  Another electrical tip — these boxes are awesome!

If you have a room that you’ve taken down to studs, or if you’re building new construction, and you’re wiring/rewiring using electrical boxes for new construction (as opposed to rework boxes that are used when you already have drywall up), I highly recommend these boxes.  Once they’re installed, and after you have the drywall up, there’s a little screw on the side that you can adjust to get the box positioned just perfectly.  Right now, I have them tightened so that they sit flush against the wall.

electrical boxes 2

But when I get ready to tile, all I have to do is use that screw and move the box away from the wall a bit.  Then I can tile around it, and then readjust so that it sits flush with the tile.

electrical boxes 1

Yes, they’re more expensive than basic boxes, but these are awesome for us DIYers who are often going back and redecorating rooms.  We might just want drywall today, but tomorrow we might want beadboard, or a wood planked wall, or tile, or something else.  These make it so easy to allow for extra thicknesses of materials being added to the walls in the future.  No more frustration of having to add those little plastic spacers to make room for extra materials being added to the walls.

6.  Look! Drywall!

I finally installed the drywall on this short wall by the peninsula.  I know at least a couple of you were concerned about the fact that I hadn’t done that before doing the counteretops, so I just wanted to assure you that everything has worked out.  🙂

drywall by peninsula

I’ve said it many times — my methods aren’t always “correct,” but somehow I manage to get it all done.  🙂

I do still have a couple of pieces to add on the header.  Those will get done, too…eventually.

Oh, and I finally wired those outlets, too!  Now all of my electrical stuff is officially finished in the kitchen.

7.  Check out this push button.

button control for garbage disposal

Those of you who don’t have a sink on a peninsula or island might not be familiar with this little gadget.  It’s a push button control for the garbage disposal, and it works by sending a little puff of air through that black tube and to a box that you plug into a regular outlet.  Then the garbage disposal is plugged into that box.  The puff of air somehow turns the disposal off and on.  There’s no wiring required.  Just plug in the box to any regular outlet, plug the disposal into the box, and you’re good to go.

But it can be used with other things, too.  I tested it out by plugging in my box fan to the box, and then used the button to turn the fan off and on.

Now my mind is spinning.  How else can I use this cool little gadget?

I know!  When I decorate our bedroom, I want to use two chandeliers above our bedside tables (rather than using table lamps), but how do we turn them on and off when our bed is up against a window/wall that will be eventually covered with draperies?  A switch on the wall won’t work, because it would either be covered with draperies, or it would be too far away from the bed, and I want to be able to turn the light on and off while sitting in bed.  So I’m going to install these little push buttons right on top of our nightstands, run the tube out the back and to the outlet behind the draperies, and then plug the lights into those boxes.  Then to turn our lights on and off, we’ll just use the push buttons right there at our fingertips.

I love this gadget!  How else can I use it?!  😀

I can’t go crazy, though.  They’re kind of expensive.  (About $60 each.)  You can find them at Home Depot, and I would assume that Lowe’s also carries them.

So how’s that for a random post?  Gotta go get ready for the plumber to come.  He’ll be here after lunch.  And then I very well may waste the rest of the day standing in front of my kitchen sink, turning the water on and off.  Just because I can.

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  1. Oohh, I didn’t know they made outlet boxes like that. No immediate need for them but will definitely remember they exist if the time comes. Ingenious!

    On the cabinet doors, I guess it would in my mind depend on what was going inside them. If it’s mainly display stuff, then putting them behind glass would mean far less dusting than behind an open wire mesh. If you’ll be keeping stuff in there that gets used often, it’s less of an issue.

    Looking forward to the great wall of tile! 😉

  2. Just a thought – but could you paint the inside of those four cabinets a brass and then putting glass fronts to them? Then you would still have a brass effect in that spot that would be a little different and maybe more cost effective. Everything is looking so lovely – makes me wish I could redo my apartment kitchen!

    1. That’s an interesting idea. Or maybe instead of paint, I could use brass metal leaf on the inside of just those four cabinets. (I’m really itchin’ to use brass metal leaf somewhere…LOL.)

      1. I actually thought that brass leafing would be really pretty, but I wasn’t sure how much that cost. Certainly cheaper than the mesh…or at least I would hope 🙂 But I’m can be so cheap when doing my DIY projects – lol!

    2. Love your blog, it’s like a soap opera I HAVE to see the next epidode of. For those upper cabinets, I had the same situation with my kitchen uppers and I installed hardware cloth run on the diagonal and sprayed copper to match my copper counter tops. They looked great but after about a year I got tired of the dishes always getting dusty inside. So I kept the hardware cloth in place and installed glass behind them, it fixed the dust problem and also gave a little more sparkle and reflectivity but also kept the look of the hardware cloth. Turned out to be the perfect solution.

  3. Clap on! Clap off!

    Things are really coming together–I know I’d turn the water on and off a few times. Just because.

    I’m not a fan of mesh doors. I don’t know about the big, bad state of Texas, but summertime in Arkansas means critters flying into the house, in spite of best efforts otherwise. Open shelves mean open access.

  4. Kristi, I believe the outlet near the sink is required to be gfi, maybe near the stove too. You might want to look into those regulations?

    1. And why did you have to show me those completely tiled kitchens!? 😉 I love them, especially the first one.

  5. Another thought- glass inserts for the doors with a brass wire behind? Brass “chicken wire” is a lost less expensive though maybe not as rich looking as the mesh you were hoping for, but as you said you can always spray paint. Maybe sandwich the wire between two pieces of glass or even just behind so that it isn’t a dust catcher, and you have a look and protection of glass but also the sparkle of brass.

    I like this look from Houzz:;_ylt=A0LEV1LP0LJTdywAT.lXNyoA?ei=UTF-8&pvid=eT_e.Dk4LjHtmrcmU2p8ZQEHMTYxLlOy0FP_xvxI&fr=yfp-t-901-s&p=brass+chicken+wire+for+cabinets&rs=1&fr2=rs-bottom

      1. That is really pretty! I agree with everyone else that mesh would let too much dirt in–especially since there is so much construction left to do that may raise a dust storm. But this has the best of both worlds.

    1. I agree that just mesh will let too much dust in. I was just going to suggest the chicken wire. If you check out French country kitchens they will often have that. Of course they may also have a real chicken in their kitchen as well, but that’s another story. Love the puff air buttons!

  6. I love how your kitchen is coming together, Kristi! Very pretty and very “you.” 🙂 I had a thought about the wire mesh, as I’ve had a hutch with a similar material on its doors in my kitchen before. It is a total pain to clean!!! I was surprised at how much grime would accumulate on it, and the process for cleaning the gunk off without damaging the mesh was tedious at best. It would probably be even trickier to clean if it was painted or had been covered in bass leaf… although I think the effect of brass leaf would be gorgeous! If I’d had the option, I would have put glass over the mesh, just to keep it protected from regular-use kitchen buildup. Just wanted to pass along my experience. Looking forward to seeing more of your kitchen progress!!

  7. I LOVE floor to ceiling subway tile! I can’t wait to see the finished product. Will you still be laying it in a herringbone pattern or traditional brick? Herringbone will look amazing floor to ceiling!

  8. I would def prefer the look of glass versus the mesh stuff- I think it’s way classier! Esp. if you’re tiling your walls. And btw, LOVE the looks of the tile, this is a whole new thought to me! Wow, that will look absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to see the end results! 🙂

  9. I love the new changes, can’t wait until it’s done and we can see it all together! I hope that you will return to your master bedroom, I was getting so excited about your ideas in there. Can’t wait to see it done. Love reading and seeing everything you do each day!

  10. To wire or not to wire?…cabinet door fronts, that is. Last year, I was having the same discussion…with myself, of course! 🙂 I ended up opting for a small grid wire (it’s about a 1/4″ grid) that is commonly called rabbit wire. I wanted a galvanized wire, and that wire was available in that finish, so it worked perfectly. I have cats, so I was a little concerned about the wire becoming “fuzzy” over time without constant cleaning, but we’ve been in the house for 4 months now, and no problems yet. I installed the wire on the small, uppermost cabinet doors (2nd door above the countertop so WAY up there!) and also on the base cabinet doors under the prep sink and base cabinet doors under a built-in wine cabinet. Originally, I intended to put antique glass in those doors, but then switched to seeded glass due to the cost of antique glass, then decided the seeded was TOO seedy. I’ve had plain glass before and didn’t want to go there agin., That glass was impossible for me to keep clear and shining in my kitchen with tons of natural light; there always seemed to be a fog on the glass, a streak, some lint, a fingerprint, etc. that needed attention. Who has time for that?

    And, my builder introduced me to the countertop push-button switch for the disposal and I love it too! It is silent to operate, and since our garbage disposal is so incredibly quiet, I almost have to demand total silence when I’m using the disposal to be sure I have it turned off!! LOL

    Best of luck on your kitchen, and your light is awesome!! I just love that burnished brass finish & the clean lines of the fixture.

  11. I agree with the comments about dust and critters if you go with the wire mesh. Love seeing the progress you make and it’s just amazing what you can get done in such a short period of time, girl! As for the full tiled wall, it seems that the space would be perfect for a painting or something that would bring in all the colors of your kitchen to tie it all together. Just wondering if it might be too busy looking with all tile. Anyway, keep up the good work.

  12. I love your idea for using the disposal button for the nitestand chandeliers. I have small chandeliers over our nitestands and was limited in what I could use. I did find a set that has a pull chain for on & off. Maybe I’ll move these to the guest room and find new prettier ones for my bedroom. 🙂 Thanks for all your creative ideas~!

  13. I like your ” happy worker” way, I have it ,too.
    I will be lightly spraying hardware cloth a matt black this afternoon for a very plain antique oak three panel folding screen that hopefully will keep my sweet dog out of the LVG room with the newly finished oak floor. (DIM) Thanks for the idea!!

  14. O Happy Day! You get your sink installed today! That is something you’ve looked forward to for quite some time – ENJOY!!!!

    I love the light fixture – it looks great with everything you’ve done so far. Are you putting a matching one in the breakfast room?

  15. Your kitchen is coming together beautifully, it is amazing how much progress you have made. My imagination may be a little overactive, but the picture of the 4 plugs with the tool coming at them looks like four terrified little faces being held up.

  16. Your new light looks great, as does all your progress. You really are a wonder! I’d like to ask…who is the kitty on the counter? Is that Peeve?

  17. Kristi, wouldn’t it have been easier to paint the ceiling before installing the light?
    And is your sink a Hartland from Kohler? That’s the one I have and I love it! Wish I
    knew about the push button thingy but I am using my extra hole for a soap dispenser and
    now I am used to it there. Love that you are going with subway tile; I’m doing the same and can’t wait to follow your installation for it. I haven’t tiled before and it scares me to
    death. I usually raise the white flag first when it comes to reno. These old bones don’t
    cooperate like they used to.

  18. I love the idea of a whole tiled kitchen! Will you be doing the whole thing in a herringbone pattern, brick, or a mixture? Also, what color grout are you thinking?

    About the cabinet doors, have you considered using safety glass? It has mesh in between the panes, so it would give you both the sparkle of glass and the look of mesh. Just a thought…

  19. Wahooooo! Know you must be oh so excited to be coming up on being able to take care of all the finish details which means that all the mess can be cleaned up. I don’t know how you manage… it would drive me crazy! Love the light, love the wire treatment in the Houzz link, and similar to a reader above, wonder about the full wall of tile – sure would hate for the refrigerator door to hit the wall and smash tiles. Plus, it is a great wall for display. Whatever you choose, it’s going to be loverly! BTW, that button is THE BOMB!

  20. Hi there kido! # 1, I think if you go into the breakfast room and stand far enough back when the light is on you should get a picture. I have had that same problem. You can’t really take a pic of the light, more the space with the lit light in it. #2 Loving the idea of all tile. First you don’t have to paint….I think working with tile is more forgiving if you make a bit of a mess. Plus the ease of being able to deep clean your kitchen so easily…WOW. #3 Brass mesh wire….cool idea, not familiar with the mesh cloth but if you are going to spay the cloth, can’t you spray the plain mesh wire? The spray paints are great. #4 & # 5 married a guy who worked as an electrician before he decided to go to college. Pretty much know most of that stuff. #6 Never gave any thought to the dry wall at the peninsula, knew you would get it done! # 7 I am freaking psyched. I have a switch under my sink for my disposal, can’t remember where the other ones were. I am going online to HD and Lowes to get me some of these babies! I have my eye on two scones type lamps at Pottery Barn (if I can ever figure out how to get a discount) for either side of our bed in the new house and these would be perfect, not to mention a ton of other places I can think of to use them. Tre excite’! As always, Blessings to you Doll

  21. I haven’t read all your comments so maybe somebody else already mentioned this, but maybe the “grilles” they use on old radiator covers would be interesting. When we were redoing our covers I remembering purchasing this at Home Depot or Lowe’s. I only thought of it because they come in brass (or a brass-like color) and is inexpensive. Here is a link to a company that has many different styles.

    I love the light fixture. Swoon…

  22. OMg! I forgot about your sink! I had the same configuration at our old house when we remodeled it. It’s the BEST sink ever! Each side has the round- out and the sinks are perfect for 9×13 pans and just basic skillets with handles and such. I have a nice sink at our new place, but only one side has the round out. I seriously think the sink at the old house is what sold it. lol
    Looks like everything is coming along nicely. I can’t wait. 😀

  23. Hi Kristi!! Everything is looking great in your kitchen!! I love watching your progress… Actually, having been living through a whole house remodel for 5+ years… And another mostly whole house remodel the 4+ years before that, it’s nice watching the transformation while someone else is doing the work. 😉 it’s beautiful though. 🙂 for your bedroom… I don’t know exactly what your bed situation/style is, but my husband installed an ordinary light switch on the back of our headboard… It’s not pretty or fancy, but no one can see it and it’s effective and cheap. He simply attached it to a block of wood. I’ll take a picture and post it as a comment on your Facebook post. Hoping your plumber gets there today. 🙂

  24. Thanks for the info on those electrical boxes! I love the aforementioned idea of brass & glass…love the pic Linda linked to. What color grout will you be using?

  25. I absolutely love reading your updates and I cannot wait to see the kitchen with the cabinets painted. Not so sure I am really crazy about your idea to add wire mesh to the cabinets instead of glass but it is your kitchen to enjoy! Keep up the good work and posts with pictures!

  26. Kristi, I think you could compete on those HGTV Best Remodel shows. You know more about so many things than many General Contractors who use subs for all the specialties.I hope I never do any more remodeling myself (I’m a “Sr. Citizen” plus now rent in a senior development), but having the knowledge you’ve imparted makes me feel so smart (and able to pass on to my children). Two things you are contemplating that I have experience with. #1-I had a tile wall and a fridge that the door opened towards the wall. BAM! Yep, my grandson threw the top door open and smashed a tile. Something to consider. Where I am now, I have a fridge smack up against a wood cabinet.. Even though I’m careful, it’s banged many times. #2-I have two china cabinets, one with glass and one with mesh. Same comment as so many said above. Dust like you wouldn’t believe! Every time I use anything from the cabinet with the mesh, I have to wash it first as I’m totally afraid something is there (I also get gnats often) even if I can’t readily see it. Because my tiny kitchen has only 3 cabinets total, all my glasses and china are in my china cabinets, so washing (or at least rinsing) “clean” dishes and glasses is the bane of my existence. I’m tacking up material behind the mesh on the doors to solve that problem. Think about it before you go just for looks. Love you and so very much appreciate your sharing all the decision making and actual steps with us. Best blog EVER!!!!!

  27. Kristi, I stumbled upon your blog some time ago, and can no longer sit quietly on the sidelines. As everyone else has already said, you are truly amazing and inspiring. You have incredible persistence and such an eye for design and are a great resource for many wonderful ideas! Your kitchen looks fabulous! My thought/two cents regarding your doors is how about leaded glass? The grids (caming?) could be brass colored and would go well with the beautiful light fixture Matt chose. Here are a couple that caught my eye…

  28. Random observation for your consideration: I have a subway tile backsplash, and we used silicone caulk (can also use latex) instead of the “concrety” kind. It’s been up for probably 8 years and is still in perfect shape. It’s so much easier to clean than the said “concrety” stuff.

  29. I have lived with tiled kitchen walls for the last 40+ years. The easiest cleaning that you could imagine. The only regret I have is that the original owner didn’t use subway tile so it would look more vintage. Other than that, I would never give up my tiled kitchen walls.

    I love seeing every day’s progress in your kitchen.

    I would never consider wire mesh unless it had glass in front of it. Then I would use chicken wire, which comes in any metalic color you want. Simply install the glass panes, then staple the chicken wire onto the door behind the glass. It would give a great French Country look to your kitchen.

  30. Love those push buttons! Our solution for the bedroom is the remote control dimmer. We can control the amount of light and turn it off and on with the control, I think there’re about $20 and install just like a switch. Just another choice to consider! You’ve done a fabulous job on this kitchen, I’m super impressed!!

  31. The light fixture looks great. I think a brass accent in or on the four cabinets will compliment it nicely. I hate dusting so I would stick with something glass covered. I’d love to know what color grout you’re considering and what hardware you’ll use.
    PS. I speak of you so often with my walking buddy that we’ve both started referring to you by name like an old friend!

    1. I do that too- my husband now knows when I say “Kristi did this” or “I saw this cool thing that Kristi did” that I’ve got some more projects on my list! He’s stopped asking Kristi Who?

  32. Oh, happy day! You’re finally seeing the light(s) at the end of your long, dark kitchen reno tunnel, 😀 and it looks fabulous! You truly are an inspiration. Love the way you allow us to tag along through your planning and thought processes.

    I am a big fan of creating a focal point in kitchen cabinetry with open or glass enclosed cabinetry. The brass wire inserts on the doors sounds very eye catching. I agree with several others however, the wire alone might create a dust/critter problem. In my opinion, I vote for glass behind the wire inserts. Word of advice and warning though: if you do use a combination of wire and glass, you might want to install it so that one or both can be removed for cleaning. We have a hutch that had mock leaded glass, which was just glass overlayed with decorative brass. It was impossible to clean without leaving smudges and streaks. Disliked it so much that I finally figured out a way to remove the decorative brass so it is no longer a problem. Whatever you decide upon will be lovely, I’m sure!

  33. Amazing blog. Love watching all the progress you have made. I am a big follower of creating a focal point in kitchen cabinetry with open or glass enclosed cabinetry. The brass wire inserts on the doors sounds are very eye catching. Matter of fact, I look forward to reading your blog everyday!