Prestige Appliances

My biggest project for the spring is upgrading all of the major kitchen appliances. Almost all of the existing appliances were from 2013 when I bought the house, and so they were coming up for replacement anyway. My goal was to move into the Sub Zero / Wolf / Cove family, and so that’s what I did. I have a french door Sub Zero refrigerator ordered, along with a Wolf induction range and a Cove dishwasher. Originally I wanted to get a Wolf LP gas range, but my sales rep successfully convinced me to go with an induction range instead. It’s easier to clean, and doesn’t have the same drawbacks as electric.

I also decided to keep my existing Kitchenaid double oven and replace my Samsung microwave with a matching Kitchenaid microwave. That will leave me with a Sub Zero family refrigerator, range, and dishwasher, along with a Kitchenaid family double oven and microwave. In the future, I may upgrade the oven and microwave but given the life left in the Kitchenaid it was hard to justify throwing away an extra $10k on a new oven.

The only challenge I encountered with ordering the appliances involved the refrigerator. While the others would be available within 3-4 months, I was told that the wait time for the refrigerator would be approximately 15 months. That was hard to stomach for a $14k appliance, so I decided to explore other options. Sub Zero restricts their dealers to a 150 mile delivery radius, so I couldn’t look at larger markets like New York City or Los Angeles. I could, however, look at the northern suburbs of Chicago. I was able to find an Illinois dealer that was literally 149 miles from my house that had a delivery slot available for April!

With that in mind, I put in an order and then ordered the other appliances from my local dealer.

The very last step prior to installation was to source trim that matched my existing cabinetry. I was able to bring a piece of cabinetry left over from the last kitchen remodel and match the wood and stain at Menards, and have an order in for several pieces of trim that will cover the gap at the top of the molding when the new, much taller refrigerator is installed and the cabinets above the current refrigerator are removed:

Everything is currently slated to be delivered in April and May, so it will be exciting to see the transformed kitchen take shape!

New Grill

After a good ten year run, it was time to say goodbye to my grill. It was a housewarming present for my first house, and was an awesome grill but it was starting to rust out and fall apart.



I replaced it with a very similar propane Weber grill, and have been very happy with the new grill so far, and it’s nice to have a grill with working ignition, fuel gauges, and other basic functionality.




With the new grill, the already beautiful deck got even better!


Laundry Room Redesign

The next project I’m going to tackle before spring truly arrives and I can get to work on a multitude of landscaping projects is a redesign of the laundry room. It’s one of the last rooms in the house that still has a tacky country feel to it, but because it’s a laundry room it’s been low on my list of priorities. It had an ugly wallpaper strip, a worn out sink, and some ridiculous bird house window treatments. So far, I’ve done most of the demolition by removing the window treatments and stripping the wallpaper.

I’ve also purchased a new sink and fixture to install, as well as new cabinet hardware and outlet covers.


Once those are installed, I need to repaint the walls and install new window treatment and it will be all set!

Kitchen Backsplash

The last step in the kitchen remodel was the tile backsplash. I replaced the old pseudo Tuscan style tile with a textured white subway tile that looks incredible. The first step was to remove the old backsplash (which turned out to be two layers of tiles overlapping each other), and to cut and set the tiles.

After that, I went with a grey grout to contrast with the white tiles. The end result completed the look of the kitchen. With the new counters, paint, tile, floors, and stainless steel sink it feels like an entirely new kitchen, even though the cabinets are the same!

Quartz Countertop Prep and Kitchen Reorganization

The last part of the main level remodel is the kitchen, and that is about to begin in earnest this coming week, with the goal of being almost done before Christmas. I’m replacing the old formica countertops with quartz, replacing the sink and garbage disposal, and replacing the tile backsplash and adding backsplash around the entire main counter area. I picked out quartz that is mostly white, but with a slight pattern to it, and am doing with pencil edges that are very slightly rounded so the counters aren’t sharp but are mostly squared off.


The sink will be mounted under the counters, and I’m replacing the garbage disposal since I already had to go to the trouble of disconnecting and reconnecting everything.



For the tile, I’m going with subway tiles that have a slight ripple texture, and a grey grout to add definition. I’m having a tile guy do the work on that, since it’s a relatively small area and I want it to be perfect. I was very impressed with his design sense, and his slogan made me laugh…


Prior to all of the work starting, I took time to reorganize the kitchen and purge unused items. I was able to free up a ton of cabinet space, and there are no more junk drawers. While I did this, I also removed the appliance garage that had been taking up a lot of space in the elbow of the main counter. Doing this freed up a ton of space, and made me realize I should have done it a long time ago.



I’m excited to see the new counters and tile in place at the end of next week, it’s going to look incredible!

New Range

This past week, I finally got around to replacing the last appliance in the kitchen at the Verona house. I had long stuck with the original range, since it wasn’t particularly ugly and wasn’t white like all of the other appliances that had been replaced.

However, I wanted to go with something more modern that fit the look of the rest of our appliances. I think the range top I picked turned out really well, and I got a phenomenal deal on it by buying it during a Fourth of July sale.

Lake House Plumbing and Ducting Updates

Over the past few weeks, I knocked out a variety of small projects at the lake house. I brought in some professional plumbers to resolve some water pressure and drainage issues in the basement that were affecting the dish washer and downstairs kitchen sink. While there, I had them install a hose faucet, since the previous one had been removed when the pipes from the well to the house were replaced.

I also got the washer and dryer wired, hooked up to plumbing, and ducted:

Now everything is fully ready to go for summer from a plumbing, ducting, and electrical perspective!

Lake House Washer/Dryer

One of the last appliances that I needed to buy for the lake house was a washer dryer. It will primarily be used for swim suits and towels, since we don’t keep a ton of clothes at the lake house, but it is still very nice to have. Space is absolutely an issue, since the space designed for laundry in the lake house basement cannot fit a full size washer and dryer. Given this, I bought a combined, stacked unit with a shallow depth that can fit in the space provided without blocking the entryway to the basement when you come down the stairs. I picked a compact Whirlpool unit from Home Depot:


Once it’s delivered, there is still work to do. When the major HVAC remodel was done last winter, we disconnected the dryer vent, and we also ripped out the dryer power outlet. The current state of things is not exactly ready for prime time.

Once that is done, the appliance remodel at the lake house will truly be complete!

Lake House Kitchen Finished

This week I had an electrician come to the lake house and finish the wiring for the kitchen remodel. He had to install new junction boxes for the oven and range upstairs, linking them to the old junction boxes in the basement ceiling.

After that, I did some final cabinetry work to build a base for the in-wall microwave and to secure the old range control panel to the cabinetry now that it is no longer connected. The end result of everything turned out beautifully!