Monday, July 19, 2010

Kitchen Islands - My Design and Juan's Work

If I don't get this published soon, it will *never* make it out! So, short and sweet - I finally got around to getting some kitchen "islands" (counters, whatever) made! My kitchen has a space for an electric stove, which I do not use, and so I have had this gaping, unusable hole! And, on the other side of the kitchen, I had my gas stove (which I certainly *do* use), but it had no counter space around it - and showed off, to *no* advantage, my gas tanks :-(.

So, I contracted with the talented fellow, Juan, who remodeled my neighbor's house. I measured and drew the design, he checked my work, we discussed materials, etc. Then he built the counters and brought them to our house for the final tiling. Then! What fun! I got to play around with the colors and lay out the design. When I had doubts, he weighed in - good advice always. We had several tries here and there, and reluctantly threw out a few details because we just couldn't get them to work with everything else. But, I ended up with artwork! And it's *usable* art! (and tee hee, yipee - he did all the work!)

Here's the wheeled unit that fits into the electric stove hole - I can store root vegetables on the shelf, and I can use it to serve cafecito or buffet dinners in the other room (and now I can even stop worrying about trying to find a coffee set that is patterned, and get an easy-to-find white set).

This shows the bottom shelf better:

These are the two small counters that cover up my gas canisters.

Close up - I will probably put wheels on this one to make it easier to get in and out when changing the gas tank.

This one was a lot harder to figure out than I expected! It is not rectangular because I need room to maneuver - the door is on the right, and the fridge is next to that.

It's a hard feeling to describe, but I like it that I have something useful and (especially important in a rental) something that will go with me if/when we move. But most of all, I like it that I have something that lifts my spirits in the kitchen.


Jen said...

OMG!!! I LOVE THOSE!!! Didn't see a cost. Maybe I speed read through that part? Do tell and will he do this OR something less detailed? Tables like these would be an answer to my prayers. Would mean I'd finally be able to unpack after nearl 5 years!

Julie said...

Hi Jen - glad you like! I didn't post cost or contact info; maybe I should have. Cost deserves a post all on it's own - so many things affect it that seem the opposite (wood shelves instead of tile would have nearly doubled the material cost). Well, all three totaled about $500. I thought long and hard about that, and decided that it was worth it - it's steep (for here), but how else would I get the experience (end end product) I wanted? And I didn't get nickle-and-dimed; no "adjustments" even when the tiling took 2 days instead of 5 hours.
Part of the fun was that Juan also was interested in the project :-).

Julie said...

Contact info:
Juan José Espinoza

You will need Spanish, and some specialized Spanish for construction that is not in my extensive dictionary (occupational slang). I found that drawing and using the internet to find pictures of products and techniques helped a lot!

erin said...

LOVE the bright, happy kitchen islands!