Kitchen Update and Sneak Peek

It’s been 3/4 of a year since I last posted. Shame on me! Life certainly hasn’t stopped here though, in spite of my lack of documentation. About the time I posted last, my husband gave me the gift of a kitchen remodel for Mother’s Day! He’s been working hard in his (rare) spare time and it’s oooooh so close! So close!! I wanted to tell you what we’ve done so far and give you a sneak peak! (I promise to follow up with proper After photos when every detail is finished.)

First, here’s a Before photo of the crazy green kitchen we bought in spring of 2012. I’m positive it’s the reason for the deal we got on the otherwise amazing house in an amazing neighborhood. (Well that and the abundance of wallpaper and brass circa 1993.)

green kitchen before

My husband took that photo with his iphone on his first viewing of the house without me. I took the liberty of lightening up the shadows so that you can see just how green it was!

In 2014, we tackled the Big Green Monster as we had nicknamed it.

First and foremost, lots of paint! I chose a two-toned scheme for the cabinets, with chocolate brown¬†on the bottom and ecru on the top. Very practical reasons – to hide little finger smudges below and reflect light around above. The budget didn’t allow us to replace the corian counters yet (we do still have a lot of house to fix up), but thankfully they are a neutral light gray and work. Because we do want to eventually replace the counters, we didn’t want to invest in expensive tile backsplash, so we opted for painted beadboard. I used a crowbar and pulled off that short corian lip/backsplash myself before installation of the beadboard so that we get that full counter to cabinet look! Hubby bulked up the cabinetry by adding trim to the back of the peninsula and to the ends of the cabinets. He hardwired under-cabinet lighting (on a dimmer, even). All new cabinet and drawer pulls, as well as hinges. He painted over the yellow walls I never liked. We replaced the wall oven/microwave combo and range hood (still waiting on the cooktop to go). We added board and batten to the right of the peninsula (that will eventually have hooks for the kids’ backpacks). I’m SURE I’m forgetting things. So much has changed! See for yourself…

remodeled kitchen sneak peek

Still left on the To Do List… two more upper cabinet doors need one last coat of paint, trim added on the bottom of the upper cabinets, a new faucet and a window treatment over the sink. So close!!


Breakfast Room Update

Squeeeeeee!! We’re making progress! Have I mentioned how much I love progress?!

Here’s the breakfast room “before.”

breakfast room may 2012

There’s that yellow paint again! And the red, yellow, green and pink (yes, pink!) striped curtains that my husband nicknamed The Circus Tents. Haha!

And here’s how it looks now…

breakfast room in July 2012

Don’t mind the butterfly habitat. ūüėČ

So obviously, we painted. We used the same Navajo Sand color that we used in the family room because the rooms are open to one another.¬†If you look closely, you’ll see that we still haven’t cut in along the ceiling. We need a taller ladder!

The curtain fabric still has unfinished edges. I just couldn’t wait to hang it and see how it looked! I’ll get those edges sewn up this week, hopefully. It’s hard to see in photos, but the fabric is a cream and khaki stripe. It’s called Colby Stripe and I found it by the yard at Pottery Barn. Yay for “welcome to the neighborhood” 20% off coupons!

Colby Stripe - Pottery Barn - curtains breakfast room

The drapery rod was here when we bought the house (along with The Circus Tents). We decided to keep it for a¬†few reasons. One, drapery rods aren’t cheap! Two, the existing rod is 11 ft long and solid wood. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get a new 11 ft long wooden rod home from the store without strapping it to the¬†roof of my minivan. And three, while I didn’t love the finish, I do love the size and scale of¬†it.¬†So I opted to save myself the money and the frustration of buying new¬†and I spray painted the existing rod instead. It was a cherry wood finish with gold trim on the finials. I spent an afternoon with a couple of cans¬†of Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint and voila! Like new, and¬†it better suits our taste.

There are still a few things left I’d like to change. The biggest decision right now is the chandelier. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I’m not sure if I want to replace it or not.¬†I’d prefer something like these…

Source: via Stefani on Pinterest

Or maybe something like this, with shades covered in coordinating fabric.

But in all honesty, I’d rather not buy new if I don’t have to. It’s money I could spend on a bigger, fancier chandelier for the formal dining room later (oh, wait till you see the bird wallpaper in there!). And also, the vaulted ceiling in the breakfast room is so high, we’ll have to pay to have a new fixture installed (in addition to the actual cost of the fixture, of course). I’ve considered spray painting the existing chandelier, and I’ve wondered if I can find a way to add little crystals myself, to get the look I want. But it will need to be removed to be made over¬†and again, very high ceilings. I need to have hubby take a look and see what my options are there.

Last, but not least, I’m gonna need some accents in this room! I have¬†the small buffet that we brought from the last house that I plan to keep for now, as well as some shelves that hang over it. And in spite of all the windows and sliding doors in this room, there is a little wall space for some pretties. Definitely going to need something standout to sit in the center of the table for a pop of color.¬†Perhaps it’s time to shop again? ūüėČ

In other news, we’re¬†getting closer to the kitchen makeover, you guys! I’m excited and stressed. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and I want to get it right the first time! I’ll keep you posted!

floor sneak peek

We’ve been super busy with this whole new floor project, but thought I’d take a minute to post a quick pic I took last Friday of the breakfast nook.¬† This room has been grouted now too, but we’ve moved the fridge and some other random things in there while we work on the main part of the kitchen so I haven’t taken updated pictures yet.

breakfast nook mid-floor

I’ll scrounge up some time to post more later – hope you all had a Happy Easter!

there’s no turning back now!

And I’m freaking out!!

We finally made a tile decision over the weekend.¬† We ended up going with something that’s sort of a grayish, brownish and maybe even a slight hint of greenish (if you look in last week’s picture, it’s on the very top right, although the colors look different in our kitchen).¬† Don’t tell Jason, but I’m having doubts again.¬† I don’t think he’s keen on taking 22 boxes of tile back, so I’m going to give it a couple of days to see it in different light.¬† Even if I don’t love it, I think it does look *okay* and honestly I’m not sure I care enough to start the decision process all over again.¬† So we’ll see.

After we got the kids to bed, Jason started ripping up the vinyl floors and I started to panic.¬† OMG, we’re doing this!¬† We can’t change our minds now!

I know in the end we’ll be glad we did it, but right now I’m wondering why we thought it was worth the chaos we’ll have to live in for the next… well, however many weeks it takes to scrape the adhesive off the concrete floor.¬† ;-P

Jason started ripping everything up so fast, I didn’t have a chance to get¬†before shots¬†(although I have a couple of decent pictures of the¬†kitchen that I took a couple of years ago when we thought we were putting it on the market so I’ll dig those up later), but I did grab the camera and get a couple of the lovely concrete slab and adhesive.¬† These pictures are poor quality, but you get the idea…

vinyl all gone kitchen 1

vinyl all gone kitchen 2

Next on our decision list:  carpet!  I brought home a sample board of frieze, want to get that decision made ASAP so we can get the ball rolling on that as well.

new floors! – a home improvement project

This is going to be a loooooong, drawn-out project (like pretty much every project we do, ha!)¬† I’ll document with posts and photos as it progresses.

First, I have to tell you a secret.¬† The floors in my kitchen?¬† Not wood.¬† Nope.¬† It’s VINYL!¬† Vinyl that looks like wood.¬† Okay before you groan and¬†say “ew,” I will tell you that I can’t count how many times someone has come into our house and said “beautiful wood floors!”¬† Granted, that’s before they actually walked on the floor.¬† But totally fooled, so it’s always made me feel a little better about it.¬† (The wood floor in my foyer¬†is not vinyl however. ¬†I love it, and it stays.)

A little back-story:¬† when we built the house 4.5 years ago, we asked for an estimate on putting wood floors throughout and actually didn’t think the number was that bad, but the real estate agent/builder’s rep (who was awful to deal with, just awful) told us it would be even cheaper to do it ourselves later.¬† We believed her and had them put in this wood-looking vinyl in the kitchen, breakfast nook and laundry room¬†to hold us over until we got around to getting the nice floors in.¬† Welp, we never got around to it (ha, another typical story for us) and come to find out, it’s way more expensive for us to do¬†than it was to have the builder do it.¬† She was on crack.¬† And we should have done our research.¬† So here we are.

Okay so with that out of the way, I’ll also say that we have decided to stay in this house a little longer (and by little, I mean more than a year, less than 4 – we don’t have an exact number).¬† Since we aren’t here for the long haul, we’ve decided now against the wood floors throughout.¬† It’s just not worth it to us (we’ve got another idea for that money now – more on that later).¬† So we’ve decided to replace vinyl floors with tile and replace our old, crappy builder’s carpet with new, pretty carpet.

Yay for new floors!

Um, except booo on picking out new floors!¬† I never realized how overwhelming, exhausting and just plain NOT FUN picking out tile is.¬† I’m not enjoying it.¬† I’ve got a stack of tiles too heavy for me to even pick up by myself and none of them look right to me.¬† We have different light in different parts of the¬†room,¬†so tiles that look good in the natural light of the breakfast nook look like junk in the artificial light of the kitchen, and vice versa.¬† Really frustrating.

kitchen tile samples

I’ve gone from darker tiles to lighter tiles; from grayish tones to brownish tones.¬† Nothing is striking me.¬† And I need something to strike me before I can commit to it.

Jason saw a discount/factory outlet type tile place in town, so that’s our next stop.¬† Cross your fingers for me, hopefully something there will be perfect and maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll be inexpensive too!

Oh and on the bright side?¬† I *did* find carpet that struck me!¬† Hopefully I can find tile that works in the kitchen AND coordinates with the carpet because I really love the carpet.¬† More on that when we’re done dealing with tile!


While my Mom-in-law was visiting last week, we got to talking about all our unfinished projects.¬† I was telling her of my huge stack of unfinished sewing stuff and various other ideas I’d had and bought supplies for.¬† She told me that she calls these “UFOs” – Un-Finished Objects.

I remembered this week a project I bought supplies for several months ago – a magnetic chalkboard wall in the kitchen.¬† Since buying all the supplies, we had a change in ideas for the wall I had in mind so I had packed the cans of paint and rollers away.¬† Once I got to thinking about it again, though, I realized I had one other wall space that would work.¬† It’s much smaller than the original wall space, but actually a lot more practical in location.¬† So I won’t be able to do large fun drawings, but I will be able to write reminders to be seen as we’re leaving the house, or grocery lists or weekly menus.

I got to work on it yesterday just as soon as Kat went down for her afternoon nap and managed to finish it up right after the kids went to bed last night.¬† Yay for knocking out a project in one day!¬† I did 3 coats of magnetic paint and 2 coats of chalkboard paint.¬† I didn’t take a before, but here’s my semi-after:

chalkboard wall

I say semi-after because we can’t write on it for 3 days.¬† Right now it looks like nothing more than a black accent wall (and I’m not an accent wall kinda girl, so it’s bugging me).¬† Once we can start writing on it, and it’s apparent what it’s¬†purpose is, I think it’ll look better.¬† (you’ll have to please excuse the¬†condition of the¬†baseboards and doors – dogs and kids will do that.¬† one day I’ll get around to repainting them all)¬† And just FYI – that door leads to the laundry/mud room, which then leads out to the garage, so we go through it every time we leave the house.¬† To the left there are the doors to the pantry, and to the right (not pictured) is the fridge.¬† So this really is a great location for a chalkboard – it will make it easy to jot down notes or To Buy lists.

So there you have it.  The first UFO I can mark off my list!  YAY!