Construction Update – Surviving the move and Kitchen Progress

March 31st, 2014

Okay okay, I must beg your forgiveness on not posting for the past 5 weeks. I’ve gotten emails, texts, and calls from friends and readers begging for more updates. The beat goes on, so they say, and I’ve been on quite the ride the past 5 weeks. We had to move out of our rental before the house was done. I’ll tell you right now that this is a logistical nightmare. Even more so with 2 small children and a husband who is busy finishing a house.

If you want to hear all about it… read below, otherwise, skip to the pictures of the kitchen build!

So for 3 weeks were were without stable housing. I took the boys and went and stayed with my parents for nearly a week. This was great… and not so great. They live an hour from the house build, and with so much going on, I really needed to be close by the build site. Also with limited child care available, it was nearly impossible to work. And work is kind of a priority. So the boys and I headed back to the construction site and found a hotel a few miles away. Not quite a vacation, but not terrible either, we were able to get somewhat settled in a hotel, and have our regular babysitter help with the kids (a Godsend), and I was able to work once again. With an unknown closing date, we weren’t too thrilled to be paying for a hotel for days and days. So after a week, we packed up again and headed to a friend’s house for another week. Once we got the OK to move in, I was beyond thrilled, however the excitement was somewhat dampened by the fact that Mr. Project was going on a business trip early the following morning. Not so exciting being in an empty new house with just the kids and very limited toys/clothes/cooking implements/work supplies (who needs a desk anyway??). Not to mention no furniture, TVs, INTERNET (kill me!), and towels. Needless to say there were many break-downs most of which were me, not the children. Mr. Project was gone for 2 days, and in a twist of fate, we all caught a stomach bug upon his arrival back home… luckily I had found some towels and the washer and dryer were installed before he left. Unluckily, I was pretty much down for 2 days, and Mr. Project was right there after me.

After recovering, the past two weeks+ have been spent unpacking, organizing, moving everything into the house from the garage, and of course working. So blogging has been low on the priority list. It’s also been a bit overwhelming. So many pictures to edit, and wondering how exactly to divide the updates into digestible bits. At the end of the day its just easier to go get cozy in bed and rest then to commit to blogging.

But here I am, back and ready to get all these exciting pictures and moments documented. I’m just going to start small, and hopefully with momentum get  a lot posted in a short time period. Lets get started with the kitchen build!

To get an idea for the layout and design of the kitchen check out my Kitchen Inspiration & Style Guide. Looking back at it, we really did follow this pretty closely.

Mr. Project built all the cabinets for the entire kitchen+island. So these pics are all the various stages of install.

First step was the wall cabinets where the range goes. This image is missing one last drawer cabinet on the far right. This was a little tricky in that the cabinets had to be installed before the countetops could be installed before the wall trim could be installed. So a lot was hinging on getting these cabinets in place.

The adjacent appliance wall was a BEAST. We were going for these built-in looking columns which funny enough required building actual columns. So build them Mr. Project did! 4 columns total.


Here you can see the finished column on the right, and kind of see the one on the left. kitchen-progress-columns2-theprojectgirl

Mr. Project building one of the center columns using MDF (full weight), and 2x4s.


All the edges of the columns are mitered. This soffit makes the ceiling 9′ tall. We had it framed lower so that the cabinets wouldn’t have to go all the way to 10 feet. We also designed some cool ceiling features in here to make the soffit part of the design of the room (more on that later).kitchen-progress2-theprojectgirl

Here are the four columns all complete, with the cabinets that Mr. Project built installed between them. You can see this is all precision work – basically a puzzle where everything fits together just so.


I wanted open shelving in the center to keep the wall open and airy, and so we used those same corbels we had cut for our pantry to create a whimsical open shelving space.


We used shiplap planks before installing the corbels as a finishing touch to the wall.

The island was a little tricky with all the pieces, plumbing, and space for the dishwasher. We originally designed this 2-part island with half being a farmhouse table. We wanted the space to feel unique but still warm and inviting.


Here’s the farmhouse table from the front. It’s missing drawers and is not yet varnished, but you get the idea. It’s probably the most talked-about piece in our house. We absolutely love it.


The cabinet part of the island has these bookshelves on each end to cap off the ends of the island.


So that’s pretty much the install of the kitchen cabinets. Everything worked out great, and they look so custom and beautiful. Mr. Project did an amazing job realizing my dream kitchen.

The range-wall cabinets we painted black. Mr. Project did the finish work as well, he used a pigmented catalyzed varnish, which is incredibly durable, and looks pretty much perfect.

diy-kitchen-black-cabints-theprojectgirl kitchen-black-cabints-theprojectgirl

Countertops were installed a few days later. We went with a white quartz called Aurora Snow.


Once the counters were in, the paneling could be finished:



Here is the kitchen with the trim finished, the vent hood and range installed, and things coming together! You can also see a peek of the ceiling work! The island cabinet has been painted a pale gray color. The appliance wall was also painted the same pale gray. I don’t have any progress pictures of those cabinets though.


The recessed brass pulls on the black cabinets look so great.


And here is a little sneak peek of the painted and finished kitchen! More finished pictures to come with all the other angles of the beautiful kitchen.


It amazes me how all the little details come together to make the space look just right.

Post post notes:

*More updates coming soon, so keep checking back. For daily updates subscribe to my Instagram and Facebook feeds. 

*To see past updates – view my Canyon View House Category.

*If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them, just leave a comment!

12 responses to “Construction Update – Surviving the move and Kitchen Progress”

  1. alicia king says:

    looks so good jen! almost wanted to drop by last friday, we were in town. but of course, we had lots of stops to make. next time, i definitely want to visit 😉

  2. Amanda says:

    I wanted to drop by too! Lol. If only I was in your town instead of canada. :). I love your designs and mr projects builds. You guys do awesome work!!

  3. Malisa Bowen says:

    It is really amazing to see the scope of the project and think how much you guys have planned and done yourselves. I can’t even imagine adding two small boys into the mix. Crazy!

  4. Jen says:

    I love how it all came together! It’s beautiful! The last minute decisions are a so intense! I have hope that I will make it through this last month. The thought of the moving process makes me nauseous. 🙁

  5. Cari says:


    It looks beautiful and you all did such a great job. You must be so happy and proud!
    Designing my new kitchen is on my list to do after we finally get moving on our build. I have yet to finally finish our house (the soffit & fascia are finally going on right now as I type!) and I am still painting trim after 5 years… but in a week will be be having our perk test done to see if the part of our property we want to build on will work. My mind is just a jumble of ideas and what has to get done after what.
    I will be waiting to see the rest of your beautiful home! Glad you are all feeling better. 🙂

  6. Jen Allyson says:

    anytime Alicia!

  7. Jen Allyson says:

    Thats been my least favorite. I would have been really happy to just get rid of nearly every thing we owned and start over… but that would probably be expensive and not the best idea.

  8. Jen Allyson says:

    Thanks Cari!

  9. Jen Allyson says:

    I don’t even know how we’ve done it!

  10. Kristin says:

    I have been following your blog for a while now, since around the time you listed your previous house for sale. You are helping me make design choices in my own house and I love following the progress of your new house. Are you going to post a list when the house is done of paint colors?

  11. krissy clark mckee says:

    Your kitchen looks amazing! That sneak peek has me dying to see more! I am so glad you are feeling better and so glad you survived the moving process as hectic and chaotic as it sounded! Your work and Mr. Project’s work is such an inspiration to all of us DIY-ers!!!!!!!

  12. chris says:

    I think your kitchen is going to unbelievable…I can not get over your husbands skills….fabulous
    I am renovating our home one project at a time pretty much solo so I am truly impressed, it took me 4 months to complete my kitchen project.
    I can’t wait to see all the progress to come.

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