Subscribe to the blog

Entries in kitchen remodel (2)


Hello, Gorgeous!

Oh, what?  You thought you'd never hear from me again?  Well, it turns out the kitchen remodel took a little longer than expected (three months), and if you can't cook on a food blog, what's the point.  Does that mean I'll blog with regularity again?  No promises there, but I've definitely had requests to post pictures of our 99.5% complete kitchen, so here it goes.


First off, i would definitely recommend you check out this post before reading any further. You definitely need a reminder of how gross our kitchen started compared to how it looks today.






Okay, did you check?  Because really, you need the reminder.  Here's that link again.


Alright, now I trust you remember the crappy laminate covered by crappy ikea flooring.  and the ugly cabinets.  and the sink to the left of the window.  Are you dying of anticipation?  Good!  Behold, heavenly kitchen:




Not too shabby, right?  I'm really happy with the way everything turned out.  I of course have a few wishes, and we ran into a few issues along the way but damn, that looks magazine worthy... well maybe if we didn't cook so we didn't have so much stuff on our countertops. 


Things that had to chang/things that will change/things I wish were different:

  • The floors.  It was sad sad day when we realized the white stained floors weren't going to cut it.  The beautiful greyish color and all the character went to hell when the poly cured and turned yellow.  Now don't get me wrong, I like yellow.  But not on floors that are meant to be white/grey.  And not the color yellow that immediately makes you think about urine. Yeah.  Sorry guys.  So the floors have been painted white and hot damn, white they are.  Guess what!  That means everything shows up on them. This also means I clean the floors 3 times a week, so that can't be a bad thing, right?  I tried to find a good solution to the cleaning, starting first with a Shark steamer (you can read my review of that piece of shit here) and now with the Bona system recommended by my mom.  Is it perfect?  No.  Does it work better than anything aside from scrubbing the floors on your hands and knees?  So far, yes.  And if you think I'm EVER going to clean this floors on hands and knees you are SORELY mistaken my friend.  Maybe if we'd found a more natural/water based poly for the stained wood they would been okay, but as far as I'm concerned, that route is not for me.  And hopefully, since the floors ARE made of hard (well soft) wood (pine) they'll shift and give me a little more of that rustic look we were going for.  They'll definitely get grooves in them as they wear, and I'm totally okay with that. Groves = character as far as i'm concerned.
  • The shelves.  I love the open shelving we went with.  I think it keeps the space nice and open, and we do have lots of pretty things to go on the shelves.  But also, some not so pretty things, or things that don't match.  Now on my list of things to buy are water glasses, about 500 new pieces of pyrex, fiesta and le cruset (okay, not quite that many, but more... that match).  I also envisioned them being darker (reclaimed?) but cost was starting to become an issue so we went with raw bitch (real birch, not ikea birch).  I think that with time they'll darken a bit, but i might also like to stain them one day.  We'll see! 
  • The Laundry station.  Totally temporary... and by temporary I mean i will probably stay that way for 10 years.  I'd like to replace that 110 year old drafty window with one at the same height as the sink window, so we can put the washer and dryer side by side and enclose them.  Imperative?  Definitely not. Right now the clothes on the station are what's holding up that vintage table cloth (which is hiding our recycling).  We obviously need a more permanent solution for that in the meantime. 
  • The counter height stools.  West elm has our stools on backorder until Mid october (jerks!) but they're pretty. (The ones with backs.  As far as kyle is concerned, a stool is not a seat unless it has a back. He clearly doesn't have the perfect posture I do from 13 years of Violin playing)

    Oh, look.  The design of those kitchens are QUITE! reminiscent of ours.  Obviously I should be an interior designer.  I'm sure they're lots of room for that in a down economy, right?  The stools we have in place now are from ikeas "as is" section (30% off, already assembled!) and I figure they'll be helpful when we have people over and are all hanging out in the kitchen.

  • The light fixture.  It's exactly what I wanted but because of weird wiring (thank you 115+ year old house) we can't JUST turn the light fixture above the sink on.  Which means all the recessed lights are on when it is, and the pretty edison light bulb isn't a focal point.  Whatevs.
  • Spice racks.  Right now our spices are either hidden or hanging out by the open pantry.  Left of the fridge there is wall space waiting for me to hang spice racks I got from ikea.  I plan to "hack" them a bit, because I don't really like the dowl




Things I couldn't be more happy about:


  • Ikea cabinets.  Way cheaper than pretty much any box cabinets, and they definitely have great functional abilities. We need to rearrange the interior some of them so we can put a garbage can and compost bin inside, rather than having it in the far corner of the room (very convenient). 
  • Bowling lane countertops.  They are SO PRETTY!  And easy to clean.  We did decide we're not going to cut on them (!) because they're just too pretty.  we have some rements in the garage that will eventually turn into nice butcherblock cutting boards for use on the concrete countertops, but for now, that bamboo one, and our many mini ones do the trick just fine.
  • Concrete countertop.  Also: GORGEOUS!  adds a slight industrial edge to the room without being too grimy.  Also, super easy to clean
  • The sink.  Also ikea. lovely, functional and seemly far more expensive than it was
  • The faucet.  am i a lame ass or what?  I wanted to stick to chrome for a more 'authentic' look, but EVERYTHING is brushed nickle  these days. I'm sorry, but i'm not 50 and i don't live in the suburbs.  BRING ON THE CHROME!  the head of the faucet pulls down and functions as the sink sprayer too. Huzzah!
  • Subway tile.  I love it, and that's all you need to know
  • The drawerpulls, $4 a piece.  I searched and searched for vintage drawer pulls, but found nothing the style i wanted, or enough of the same style.


I obviously have plenty of work to do regarding decorating, window treatments and organization, but what do you think?  Is it your dream kitchen?  What would you have done differently?





When we started shopping for houses back in February of 2008, it was more for "fun".  I mean, it's kind of hard to take purchasing a building seriously.  The biggest factor of this purchase was for me, the kitchen.  Of course there were other parameters that I found needed to be addressed too.  Hardwood floors were a must, and plenty of space so that we wouldn't have to move out when we decided to start a family (I really hate moving) charm, of course.  But the biggest factor of our purchase was potential.  We saw an adorable 900 square foot house that was in perfect, ready to move in condition, complete with updated kitchen.  But we want kids, and we have a pretty terrible tendency of collecting stuff, not to mention it was listed at $179,000, the very top of our price range.

I have a distant memory of walking into the house we now call a home today.  Empty and carpeted, the only thing I really remember liking was the backyard, the high ceilings, and the size.  It was one of the first (if not THE first) house we visited, and the only object in the house was a dried chili pepper on the counter top, which Ephraim pointed out, suggesting we find one object or feature of a house that stands out to help us remember all of the things we'd see that day.


My memory continues to fade regarding the next few details, but I beleive we went out and looked at houses another day, but decided to look at the large carpeted farmhouse a second time that day.  on the car ride home, decided we would figure out how to get our money together and make an offer.  We ended up paying the asking price, with stipulations that certain aspects would be taken care of before we moved in, including the tune up of an inefficient furnace, venting an air vent outside (instead of into the attic, what the hell?) and the stainless steal garbage can located in the mudroom off the back entry.  We never did get that damn garbage can...






Now, back to priorities.  The kitchen was UGLY.  Drop ceiling, florescent lights, vinyl flooring and hallow vaneer doors, not to mention very little counter space, ridiculously high set cabinets and no storage to speak of.  But it was BIG.  Hovering just around 300 square feet, I could envision the possibilities that one day could be the kitchen I've always wanted. 




(we still have the tire swing)


And thanks to my booming photography business (the same thing that keeps me away from this blog) this year we actually had the money to remodel.  Three quotes and six months later, the kitchen is underway!  I cannot tell you how exciting this is to us!  Granted, it sucks not even being able to boil a pot of water, I feel so fortunate that we're finally able to do the project we envisioned since day one.  



You can see that we had already made some changes.  The drop ceiling was the first to go (along with those horrible lights) and new floors put in.  Sadly, we had a less than positive experience with our ikea click and lock bamboo floors.  I think part of the issue was installation (having learned to install them at my friend Claudia's house, I don't believe the put in the spacers that prevent the floors from separating from eachother in the dry winter months.  Not cool) but they also chipped and warped in a few places.  Not to mention EVERYTHING SHOWS UP ON DARK FLOORS!  Except maybe coffee grounds.  Otherwise, you might want to save the dark floor for a room you keep immaculately clean ALL THE TIME!  (ie, not us and definitely not our kitchen).

What? You thought I would sweep and clean the day before demo started?  Not likely my friends. 


First things first, Micah (the genious behind the kitchen remodel) ripped out the "new" floor and took off the remaining cabinet doors (Kyle had taken some off one day... to see what it looked like.  We never put them back on)  It also turns out dark colors make things seem smaller, and suddenly the room was huge again (could be because we took all   some of the junk out too)





Some more cabinets make their way out...



The framework goes in for the pocket door (!!!) This was the first real "construction"  Very exciting!

Thank god for that dishwasher.  It's currently hooked up to the sink in the bathroom


It was quite the change of scenery when we got back from vacation!Brand new floors! and Where did the radiator go?

New, reclaimed door for the pocket door in the bathroom


Gorgeous old door replacing shitty laminate door.  Win! 

Still no radiator, but those black things sticking out of the ground on the right will be the feed and return for our newly repainted (and sadly previously hidden) radiator


Stained and poly-ed floors.  I swear I do NOT try to get the cats in all of these pictures. 

The floors are a knotty pine, stained white and polyed.  The grain and knots show through, which makes the cat hair INVISIBLE!


That's pretty much where we're at today.  New drywall is up, paint selected and trim being hung.  We bought all of our appliances yesterday (aside from the range hood, which I still have to research) and they're being delivered in a week!   I'll keep you posted!