The best laid plans…
Hmmm… Plans and Planning. Fascinating concepts created deep in the bowels of some dark Machiavellian chamber that aims to wreck havoc upon poor, unsuspected Organized People.
But, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the course of this project is that it’s better to have a plan to break than no plan at all.
The last 2 days have been chock full of plans gone awry, mischievously sliding downhill, or scampering just out of arm’s reach to taunt us from a safe distance. We scramble forward, picking up the shreds we recognize, and piecing together a hodgepodge semblance of “what we meant to do.”
Since yesterday morning: the second coat of paint on the Gallery floor decided to be an ENTIRELY different color than the first (from the SAME paint can); the paint pole broke at the beginning of the second coat; the metal we needed TODAY can’t be delivered until next Tuesday; the metal we wanted to order is out of stock and they aren’t re-ordering; the saw we use to cut cement board broke off its handle; the metal we are putting up in the Gallery is warped and we can’t use the method we’d intended for install (…realized AFTER the glue was on the panel!).
And, surprisingly, ALL of these problems are solved. Already. Second coat of paint – new color? No problem, just go with it! Broken paint pole – hey that’s why we have arms! Metal can’t be delivered? We’ll borrow a friend and a truck! Metal out of stock – don’t worry that we created an entire design around it, we’ll order another kind! Broken saw? We’ll make a new one with our metal grinder! Metal is warped? We’ll head to Home Depot mid-day to grab new hardware… and get sidetracked with a surprise dinner out to celebrate this insanity!
It all comes around. But, I’m pretty sure my problem-solving skills are on over-drive these days. All it takes is a little discussion – some minor freak outs – a little thinking – and we’re back on track. Thank goodness there are 2 of us pulling this ship through the ocean!
(Read: not sailing. BUT, certainly, not drowning!)
In the spirit of creative solutions, I bring you the story of our crown jewel of the kitchen: the prep table!
First of all, YES, there are still stories to tell from the kitchen! Sometimes I think we’ll still be renovating that room after we open.
We have 2 prep tables in our kitchen – the first is a baking table, at a lower height for kneading dough. It has a marble top. I showed it off in a post a few months ago about the kitchen. The second is this guy – which we envision acting as the main “catch all” table as well as the prep area for juicing. It’s at a higher height – in fact the perfect “Fitz chopping fruits and vegetables” height. In the future, shorter people will either (a) not be hired or (b) have to chop at my baking table! We wanted something big… but, invariably, not too big. The kitchen isn’t very spacious – and, while we do need space to bottle the juices, we also need space to walk… Oh the dilemmas!
We spent several months designing the kitchen. And, even still, we struggled with the table situation. For a long time, we thought we’d purchase a stainless steel table – a logical choice. But, in the end, we just couldn’t… or, more to the point, Fitz just couldn’t. He couldn’t swallow a gorgeous yellow kitchen with peacock wallpaper and a one-of-a-kind mosaic floor… and a stainless steel commercial kitchen prep table. It just wasn’t jiving with his aesthetic. I liked the practicality… and the ease of acquiring one… But, in the end, we went with form over function – and, I’m pretty sure we made a wonderful choice!
We started with 2 matching Singer sewing machine bases, acquired for us by our industrious antique-slinging friend Skeeter!
Then it was onto constructing the base itself. The sewing machines would act as legs (obviously) but also as the mount point for a lower shelf. Above the sewing machine bases we built a box – to house a drawer, get the entire structure to “Fitz chopping height,” and make the support system for the table top.
Notice – if you will – the shapes in the Singer legs echo both the wall tile in our kitchen and the shapes we created in the mosaic floor… not to mention the shape of the mirror in the kitchen and the shape of the vines in the peacock wallpaper. (There will be a test – try to keep up!)
Ok, now we’re ready for the table top! This is where things start to get fancy! Our honey onyx FINALLY makes its debut! We purchased this beautiful stone over a year ago – intending to install it in our bathroom off our yellow kitchen. Many things went wrong from there… Namely: the bathroom moved locations (and sizes) to our bedroom/office; only 1/3 of the onyx we ordered arrived; of that third, about half arrived broken. SO. Needless to say, the honey onyx bathroom never really manifested. We got reimbursed for the bizarre no show / broken onyx situation and ended up with 9 18×18″ tiles for free… with nothing to do with them except trip over them for a year and wonder what in the world to do with this amazing, beautiful stone!
A table top it is! Never mind that onyx is insanely fragile and soft — illogical qualities for a heavy use kitchen prep table. We threw caution to the wind and celebrated, instead, the undeniable beauty of this finicky stone. We can always cover the table with a mat during prep or problem-solve in other ways. (I’ve heard we have some experience there!)
Pretty cool stone, right? Now, for the edge of the table! Another bizarre onyx story… we bought chair rail for the same non-bathroom and, again, it arrived broken. (I don’t know how tile companies make money on onyx!!). So we ended up getting the rail at a major discount. We would have never had enough for a bathroom chair rail but we certainly did have enough to trim out this fancy table! Thus ensues a quite comical installation!
After the table set… no pun intended (!), all that was left was to grout – and many weeks later – seal the stone.
It’s a delicate table, gentle – with unreasonable demands. Independent and self-absorbed, (especially of acids or really anything out of a Mason jar…) But oh such a delightful shade of yellow! ❤