The joy of washing dishes

Have you ever really enjoyed doing the dishes? If you have a new sink after two weeks of doing kitchen chores in the bathroom, you just might!

Eric and I worked until midnight Sunday, setting the stage for our plumber’s arrival bright and early Monday morning. We had to have the cabinet carcasses in place (no face frames or doors required yet), and the temporary countertop on to support the sink. (Yes, we’ll have to remove the sink when the counters are installed, but we won’t think about that now!)

I was stuck at work while Eric had the week off. I was dying to know what was going on at home. When I walked in the door last Monday, here’s what I found. What do you think?

refinished old sink installed

Like a prom queen wearing her new crown, the sink stands on her tippy toes, reluctant to let her skirts touch the rough plywood countertop, now that she’s all clean and pretty. (The drainboards have little nub legs that will be countersunk into the real countertop.) I couldn’t wait to wash a few dishes. It felt just like old times, only better. It’s great to have my old friend back again!

Completing this homecoming court are lazy Susan and her next-door neighbor, skinny Sally. I have lots of hard work planned for all these characters.

lazy Susan

pull-out unit next to stove

Back to the sink … I wanted a bridge faucet ever since I saw a distressed brass one online. It looked like something found in a barn—perfect! It doesn’t look as rustic in brushed nickel, but I like the utilitarian heft of this one. It’s not as fancy and Frenchy as some I’ve seen. That thingy crouching under it is the dishwasher air gap, which is required by code in our county. It fits nicely in the unused center hole … not beautiful, but necessary. We’ll get a brushed nickel one to match the faucet, and a sprayer to fit in the hole on the left.

brushed nickel bridge faucet

Our plumber noticed how the faucet finial cleared the windowsill by less than half an inch. “You planned that just right!” Um … yes … yes, we sure did. Whew!

faucet finial clears windowsill

At the sink queen’s feet is her prom king, the LG dishwasher. Miraculously (I mean, by plan), the dishwasher door clears the back door by about an inch. Eric’s obsessive measuring paid off. To think I used to believe we’d only have room for an 18-inch dishwasher! Ha! It’s not wired in yet, so we’re still doing dishes with our Armstrong machine.

dishwasher clears back door

To arrive at this happy day, I spent hours on the deck, sanding and swabbing the cabinet pieces with polyurethane. I even polyed Duke when a yellowjacket landed on my arm and I jerk the brush into the air. (At the rate he sheds, he will be poly-free in a few days.) Inside, Eric measured and measured and remeasured to ensure everything would fit, and then assembled the carcasses as I finished the polyurethaning. Our decision to install a lazy Susan in the corner meant he had to rebuild the heat vent that used to end under the tower cabinet. Months ago, he cleverly fabricated a custom duct elbow and we bought the perfect vent cover. But now, the configuration has changed: The duct must run under the corner cabinet and the vent must fit in the toe kick area. The decorative cover will no longer fit—dang it!

As I sanded and painted, sanded and painted, I imagined how great it will be to enjoy our kitchen when it’s finished. Although we’ve been working on the kitchen for almost a year, times flies whether you’re having fun or not. In a few short months the holidays will be upon us. I’m confident the kitchen will be done before then. I picture myself getting out the mixing bowls to bake Eric’s birthday pumpkin pie, pulling pots and pans from the lazy Susan to cook Thanksgiving dinner, packing the remains into leftover bowls from the deep drawer, loading the resulting mess into the dishwasher, and making Christmas morning espressos on a clean expanse of quartz countertop. I know all these things will happen. And I’ll owe it all to Eric’s perseverance and woodworking talent.

We think we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re fairly certain it’s not a train. Now that we have water in the sink, it’s time to get ready for a party!



15 thoughts on “The joy of washing dishes

  1. curt

    Fantastic D’Arcy – looks really good – and I am so envious! A kitchen by this Thanksgiving? wht I would give to just have a plan for my kitchen by then. Looks great!

  2. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Oh my! This is the happiest prom court ever! As excited as I am, I can only imagine what you must be feeling. This is wonderful. I particularly love skinny Sally. She is exactly what I want in my kitchen and the reason that changes have stalled in that room. (Well, that and the fact that I have been very lazy and traveling.) Did you guys make her?

    P.S. I am going to steal your line about the light at the end of the tunnel not being a train, if you don’t mind. I will give you all the credit! That line made me laugh out loud. For real.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Hey, it’s not my line–it’s just a saying I’ve heard, so no credit necessary! (No we didn’t make Sally–she’s a Rev-a-Shelf gal, bought at Lowe’s.0

      1. D'Arcy H Post author

        She’s only 5 in. wide, and she cost about $100. Much easier and quicker than building it from scratch! I wanted a wider one in a 10-in. cabinet between the stove and fridge, but the price jumped to $300 for that! So we didn’t buy that one. 😦

  3. 1910housetohome

    LOVE the new (old) shiny sink, she looks fab. Great tap too by the way, we’re loving ours as well!! Enjoy the washing up, until you hand it over to the Handsome new dishwasher!

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      I noticed we have similar faucets (taps!), I love discovering our different words for things. Your kitchen-diner looks so awesome … it’s an inspiration!

  4. cathy

    Love the sink, it is so neat you had it all along. And the lazy susan’s are such a magnificent idea to use the space … is Eric for hire??

  5. Karen B.

    I love the way the sink and hardware look and the fact that you were able to have it refinished and it was just a lonely sink sitting in the garage makes it all the better. The lazy susan is great and you’re right, it looks like you are getting close. Perfect timing for the busy cooking seasons ahead.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Thanks, Karen! I don’t think it will take Eric long to finish the cabinets … then it will be up to me to finish ACRES of painting, so if it’s not finished by T-day, I’ll only have myself to blame!

  6. Judy & Tom Huppert

    You just couldn’t have found a better sink, and the fact that you already had it was a bonus. It looks great as does the new dishwasher. Eric’s measuring in spot on, thank God. With 2″ here and 1″ there you sure don’t have any wiggle room. You both have worked to fannies off to make the kitchen just what you two wanted and it is paying off. Your holiday cooking should be a breeze. Judy

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Hi Judy–Yes, I can see it all coming together now, and it’s a great feeling! Although we have a ways to go yet, I know we’ll get there.


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