Wednesday, December 4, 2013

kitchen: week 4 and general wonkiness

Here was the kitchen at the end of week 4:

There have been a lot of onsite decisions to make in the finishing of our kitchen.  We live in an old house, built in 1922, and nothing is straight or level.  The floors rise toward the back door and fall toward the fireplace, the ceilings slope down from the exterior walls to the center of the home, and the walls, well . . . they aren't that bad actually.  And no worries, we've had the home evaluated and the conclusion, it was just built this way.  The mason who built the brick fireplace and the mason who built the foundation walls must not have been communicating very well because when they both arrived at their termination points, they were probably a good 3-4" off from each other.  There are some places where all of this wonkiness is apparent.  But in most places, you'd never know, especially when all of the rooms are cordoned off from each other with walls, and were finished as straight and level as possible within their confines.  

Now, try removing these barriers (walls) and you're in for a whole lot of problem-solving.  The floor variation will be accommodated in height of the kick at the bottom of the cabinets.  And today, we finally came to a decision about how to deal with the variation in the ceiling.  

We had originally planned to mount the cabinets about 2" higher (at 20") than is typical (18") in order to move them closer to the ceiling and eliminate an odd 4-6" gap between the top of cabinet and the ceiling.  I did not want crown molding in the kitchen, nor did I want an odd shelf space meant for fake plants and baskets.  My ideal, a nice, low-profile reveal, painted out to create a shadow line.  Initially we discussed a modified version of this ideal - mounting a strip of wood, about 2" thick, to the top edge of all the cabinet boxes and painting it out to match the cabinet finish.  Anywhere the strip of wood did not meet the ceiling because of variation in ceiling height , we could caulk the gap, let dry, and then paint.

This idea might have worked if the variation in our ceiling height from one corner of the room to the other was a small amount, say up to a 1/2".  But what do you do if it's more like 2"!  

So today, after all the uppers were up we decided to do nothing at all.  No 2" thick strip of wood, no caulking, no nothing.  We decided that mounting any kind of face trim to the boxes, flat or decorative, would draw too much attention the ceiling variation.  Without anything, the gap becomes a fairly consistent shadow line from most vantage points.  The ones that matter anyway.

Oh, and the upper cabinets are in!  

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