Mary’s Unending Remodel – Part 8

If you’ve ever faced a big challenge with determination, fortitude and a sense of commitment that charging horses could not deter—only to discover in reality you’re nothing more than a wimp, boy can I identify with you.

This week I hit that wall. What on earth were we thinking? I’ve had it with the mess. So far, we gone through six boxes of Green Dot Topping—50 lbs. each—which is drywall compound you put on like you’re frosting a cake, allow to dry then sand it smooth. And I would swear that 200 lbs. of it have turned into drywall dust.

I can no  longer trick myself into believing that layer of white dust covering absolutely every flat surface in this entire house is a lovely protective coating. It’s everywhere! I can even feel it on my teeth when I walk through the construction zone.

Here we are more than two months into the project and suddenly I’m longing for the return of my old, horrible, mostly non-functioning kitchen. At least I could keep the place clean. I’ve gone to living in what looks for all the world like Oakie Flats in some really bad Hillybilly movie.

Now for some good news. Finally, we’ve decided on the cabinets. We’re going dark wood. Here’s a “swatch.” Trust me when I say this is the most beautiful wood with a dark cherry finish.

As you will recall, our first bid for cabinets came in at $12,500, including installation. Yes, I found that to be a bit mind-numbing. Really? $12,500 for kitchen cabinets? Uh, no.

The second bid came in at $6,500. However, they would be shipped unfinished, partially asembled and we would do the installation. That was somewhat better until we discovered it would cost $1,800 to have them finished.

The third option (see the cabinet sample above) came in at $3,500. Not kidding. The cabinets will arrive finished but unassembled. This price includes all hardware including handles and drawer pulls. All drawers come with Blum sliders and the awesome “soft close” feature. And they are drop dead gorgeous! Having made the decision is helping through this worse than ugly construction phase.

Wait. There’s more.

We’ve decided on the flooring as well! Our budget being $6 per sq. ft., we knew we’d have to shop well and do all the installation ourselves to come in under that number. Remember, it’s more than just the flooring material. You need installation materials and equipment rental and glue ($150 per can of the stuff) if we go with a glue-down install.

Well, the most awesome thing happened. Friends just remodeled their home and gave us a referral. We called Gabriel and his bid came in at $5.50 per sq. ft. … installed. Complete! Including all materials, labor, equipment, supplies and tax. Be still my heart.

Our new floor is scheduled to go in this coming week. It’s a one-day job for the pros, and we are so ready to let them do it. For the price, this is like a dream come true. I’m sure it would have taken us weeks to put down this floor and I’m not sure what kind of a job that would have been. Besides, at this point in the process, Harold needs a break. The guy has been nearly killing himself to beat my prediction that this remodel would take a year.

So, after all that … I’m one happy camper, that is provided I can figure a way to get rid of all of this sanding dust.

Next: Select the paint color for the walls.

What do you think?


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  • Andrea

    I think a light wall is best with the dark cabinets and floors. So 3!

    • Shelbarr52

      I agree with Andrea……………#3 for sure.

  • I agree…with all that darkness, the contrast would look great!

  • Honeywest

    2 for the walls and 3 for the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling. Trust me, the ceiling is the 5th wall. Nothing worse than a white ceiling in most cases. When left white it looks like a bed sheet hanging up there. The color will pull it all together. You will be so pleased that you’ve painted it you’ll want to do the rest of them in your home. And no it doesn’t make the room feel like its closing in on you. We get nothing but fab compliments and others who have done it also said they can’t believe what a difference it makes in the look of a room.

  • Lisa Ramsey

    If it is just the kitchen, then 2. If it is the kitchen and the family room, then 3.

  • B

    What are you using as a counter top? That should be a factor in your paint choice, too. However, I would choose 2, especially if you have white windowsills and baseboards in the area. It would be a nice contrast. By the way, do you mind saying where you are ordering your cabinets?

    • I’d like to know too where you ordered your cabinets from.

  • Valerie M.

    I agree –no white ceiling. I like two and three. Number One looks too dark with the dark cabinets and dark floor. I remolded my kitchen last year and did my ceiling that way and am really happy with it. The cabinets look great.

  • Sister LoLo

    Number 2!!!!! Paint always goes on lighter.
    I think 2 will give it pop without being too dark.
    Bet your glad we didn’t come visit this month! Its gonna be

  • Joy

    I like the one between 2 and 3 (I know it is not a listed option)

  • srubenic

    I agree on the white ceiling comments. If you feel the “neighbor” on the paint sample is a little too dark, have the store mix your selected wall color at 1/2 it’s formula. It’s will coordinate perfectly with the wall color and be enough color saturation so that it won’t have that white ceiling feel. I, too, would be very interested in know where you purchased your cabinetry. Thanks for sharing your project. It will be well worth the inconvenience. 🙂

  • Phyllis

    I would like to know where you got your cabinets, too. We are re-doing a 150 yr old victorian and the kitchen is next on the list. Out budget is small and my retired husband does all the work himself. We have looked for cabinets and not found any in our budget yet.

  • Jackie

    Dark flooring, dark cabinets, and you want a dark grey on the walls too? Why would you want to ruin the effect of those pretty cupboards by painting the walls such an ugly color?

  • NFG

    Please, please tell us where you got such a deal on the cabinets!!!! What is the point of letting us know that you got such a deal if you are not going to share with us where we can do the same????

  • mary lou

    please, please where did you order your cabinets from?
    thank you, thank you!!!

  • Carolyn

    The gray you chose for the walls would look so nice with marble countertops. When I want to see how colors “match” I just pull up and look at the decorated rooms. They always have my cabinet/floor colors in kitchens already decorated so that I can decide what colors go best. So easy!

  • NanaMary

    The #1 Gray is too dark, go with #2 or# 3 (I would prefer#3) so your cabinets and floor really draw one’s attention when they walk in the room. I choose Quartz as my countertop material and love it, no cracks for food and food juices, no sealing or polishing, just clean with your hot soapy dishwater and a soft dishrag. I can sympathize on the mess and grit when remodeling a kitchen or bath. We have done both ourselves, at each house we have lived in, hope I never have to do it again. Good Luck!

  • Kimberly

    Found the cabinetry: IKEA!

  • Kimberly

    I have friends who swear by their cabinetry. They have done 2 kitchens and a full studio. Easy assembly, durable, beautiful, and economical. Way to go, Mary!