Monday, May 16, 2016

Walk this way to your banquette for two

We continue to be delayed by rain around here, with something like 15 consecutive days of rainfall in the D.C. area.  And the yard is...not great as a result.  Thank goodness for mulch and hay to hold the mud in place!  But we did manage to get one outdoor project done in between storms and we moved inside to a kitchen project while we wait (and hope) for the weather to clear.  Outdoors, we installed the bluestone walkway so we can finally welcome guests to the front door.  This was one of the rare projects that went relatively smoothly - the hard work was in figuring out the slope to pour the concrete initially.  It did take a bit of effort to lay the stones flat and work with the slope but fortunately, Brian is now a pro at laying stone and tile of all types, so he was able to build up the mortar as necessary.  And we had a chance to see how it performed right away as it started raining pretty much as soon as we finished and so far, no puddles or pooling anywhere.

We finally got some sunshine this weekend but unfortunately, it wasn't enough to sufficiently dry out the yard yet so grading and sod installation remains on hold.  In the meantime, we moved indoors to build a banquette for the kitchen.  We still have a lot of trim and other finish work in the kitchen but it's starting to look more and more finished every day!  Pictures below...

Getting started - it made it a lot easier to have the bobcat carry the pallet of stone around!
Stones laid out to make sure the pattern fit and starting to mortar them in at the end

Moving up the walkway

This was the trickiest part because of the way it sloped away and down

 And onto the kitchen...

Here's the space for the banquette, between the built-in cabinets

A little prep work goes a long way - priming the 3/4" ply sheets before we began cutting

Building the base boxes - these are 17" high (which never looks high enough to me but always feels right when it's done), plus it'll have another 3/4" ply on top and then a cushion.  We added a middle support for stability and echoed the toe kick of the cabinets so it would all match

Interior of the boxes - we'll trim these out and leave them for storage

Adding trim - we used 1/2" MDF ripped to 3 1/2" to match the window trim

Adding the seat

With cut-outs for the storage bins

Still need the piano hinges (on order) but this is basically how it will look when assembled

Moving up to the back - we wanted the back to have a slight slope for comfort so tapered it from 3/4" off the wall (so it would line with the window trim) to 5" at the seat

And nearly done!  Still needs putty, caulk, paint and cushions but design and construction is finished.  Next up, buy (or Brian might build) a table, install a light fixture, and start using this space more regularly!

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