First, we took down the 1970s scalloped pelmet above the sink, and the crown moulding that ran in front of it.
And revealed the lovely bare bulb light fixture, and some rogue popcorn that we neglected to scrape when we did the rest of the kitchen ceiling.
Both of which were promptly removed.
The incomplete section of crown moulding in the breakfast nook also went bye-bye (it had a piece missing because it used to butt up to the room-blocking cabinets that hung over the peninsula).
Next to bite the dust was the ugly florescent lights in the center of the kitchen. I won't miss these guys one bit!
Nope, not even a little. I've been wanting recessed lighting forever, and we decided to go with these warm LED lights because they'll last forever (or, you know, 22 years. Same difference!).
Since we were moving some lighting in some places, and putting up lighting in the same place in others, we needed to get two kinds of recessed lighting housings. This kind just slips up from below and clips to the ceiling.
And this kind is for areas where there is no drywall, and attaches to the floor joists. Whoever installed the old florescent lights thought it would be a good idea to unnecessarily cut giant holes in the ceiling, so this is the kind of housing we needed, since there wasn't drywall in place yet.
See? Giant ceiling hole under the old light fixture, like so.
All of the recessed lighting housings come with electrical boxes, so once we got them installed, things would be both legal and safe. First, the light we were installing in the same place as one of the old light fixtures. My husband dropped the housing in from the attic, while I lined things up using our laser level trained on the existing breakfast nook light fixture, and then he nailed the housing into place.
Since it was really cold out, we temporally used Styrofoam sheets to block the draft.
Then it was time for the other type of housing to be installed. Since we wanted to move the fixture to be a little closer to the fridge (and also in turn, have both fixtures an equal distance off the opposing walls from each other), we had to cut a hole in the ceiling with a hole saw that we picked up for about $10.
In slips the new housing from below, after you attach the wires.
Once both of these fixtures were in place, we could swap the Styrofoam for drywall, and tape and mud the seams.
Which of course, took multiple coats over several days, with sanding between each layer.
Rinse and repeat the recessed lighting process 4 more times, and here's our new kitchen and breakfast nook lighting. Well, minus the pendant light that will be hung over the sink. We already had the wiring in place so that each of the two lights over the center of the kitchen, two over the peninsula and two in the breakfast nook are on their own switches, which is nice if we don't want all on at once. And it already feels a lot more open without the chandelier hanging in the nook area. Now I will finally be free to place a table wherever I want, and not be married to placing it precisely centered under the hanging fixture!
And while we were doing electrical in the ceiling, we also installed an electrical box for the fixture above the sink, since there wasn't one there before.
So that was it for lighting, and time for moulding. If you didn't notice it in the above photo, here's a closer look at the new crown moulding we put up around the cabinets, as well as a side panel on the closest cabinet to cover the bare particle board that was exposed due to removing the over-peninsula cabinets. Eventually this space beside the lone cabinet will be filled with corner shelves.
No more weird chunk missing from the nook crown moulding either!
After we finished the lighting and moulding, it was time to tackle the backsplash. From far away it doesn't look horrible. Not exactly what I'd choose myself, but at least it was neutral colored. However, close up it was a hot mess. Lots of cracks, as you can see below.
We could have done a slow and careful job at removing the tile, but since we knew we'd be tearing into the drywall anyway to move electrical, we said screw it and just demoed it quickly and we will just replace the drywall.
The granite backsplash also had to go, since it looks dated to me. Counter to cabinet tile will be much cleaner!
Once we got the drywall off, we screwed a spacer 2x4 to the stud next to the window. Then we could attach the electrical box to that, effectively spacing it off the windowsill a more appropriate amount. Also note, we kept the bottom 2 inches of drywall above the counter, to give us a place to tape and mud the replacement drywall, rather than cut it to the counter and just leave a seam. This should make things a little more secure and stable for when we put up new tile.
Also, my husband loves me, because while he was at it, he put in another outlet in the cabinet, so I can have under cabinet puck lights. :)
Taped and mudded drywall, ready to be sanded and then tiled over.
I can't wait until this electrical work is done and then it will be my turn to do the heavy lifting on the project with the tile install and cabinet painting. I'm so much more confident in my tiling skills now after doing the bathroom, and this backsplash should be a piece of cake compared to that!