Wednesday, February 6

Our Kitchen Renovation, Part 1

Literally the day after Ryan and I got back from Jamaica, in December, we started our kitchen renovation.  I have to start by saying this was a process that I was looking forward to SO much, even knowing how stressful it can be.  I went it to it feeling so lucky because I have been waiting for years to do this!  I wanted to do it in our old house, but knowing we wouldn't be there forever made it hard to sink money into it.  We very much feel like this could be our "forever" home, but in any case, it was built in 1998 and was in desperate need of an upgrade.

Last year we "started" the project by having new lighting installed.  We had someone installed four recessed lights and two pendants hanging over what I thought would be our future bar.  Then, in late November, Ryan and I rearranged some of the upper cabinets over the sink.  Of course I don't have a pic of this, but if you'll notice in these pics, the upper cabinets are different colors. There are a few new ones and we made use of one old one, and we found the cabinet that goes over the fridge on the side of the road over a year ago!  We had this plan all along!
Before- notice the sink and dishwasher placement, builders-grade cabinets, and floor with dirty grout

The countertops were laminate that crawled up the wall to make a backsplash.  Behind the oven there were some lovely silver stick-on tiles.

Dining area with the old floor.

And here's the first phase of remodel finished- the part we hired out.  Within a week, we had new porcelain tile flooring in the kitchen and all the bathrooms (from Home Depot), honed (instead of polished) "absolute black" granite countertops installed, and the (new, deep!) sink and dishwasher moved to their new homes.  We chose to forgo the raised bar behind the sink that I originally had planned, because someone told me that would date the kitchen and I was unsure of how much usable space I would actually get.

Diswasher and sink are in their new homes!
I also took the little shades off the light fixture over the kitchen table- made a HUGE difference to me- I LOVE it!  Totally free and a big impact!
For the new floor, we chose 18-inch porcelain tiles from Home Depot and asked them to install it in a "brick" pattern.
Honed granite isn't as shiny as polished granite, so it has more of a matte finish.  I love how it sort of looks like soapstone- something I considered but didn't want the upkeep or the price!

You can see here that Ryan added our new backsplash- a pre-primed wainscot.  He took a jigsaw to cut out the holes for the sockets, which I had already measured out for him.  But he spent the time and effort cutting everything perfectly, and glued it up using liquid nails.  He finished this project literally the day that our first round of Christmas guests arrived- we like to work under pressure around here. ;-)

You can also see in this photo our new crown moulding!  This was another huge project!  Crown moulding seems like it should be easy enough to figure out, but we spent hours and finally consulted with a friend to figure it out.  He and Ryan finished up this side, which was tricky since they added "Mr. Box," the raised part over the middle of the cabinets.  It was something we were contemplating before, but after we rearranged the cabinets and installed the new ones, we realized that the middle cabinet (an old one) was about one inch taller than the surrounding cabinets!  We contemplated several options and decided that raising it would look best.  I think maybe it's a trendy look, but we really didn't have any other options at that point!!!  And it looks fabulous, it adds that "custom" look to it.  Ryan did a FABULOUS job with it, and now he REALLY wants a miter saw to trim out the whole house. ;-)

Thanks honey!  And thanks to our friends who loaned us the saw!

We had to get up close and personal with some glue and painter's tape to hold everything together.  We also had some wonderful neighbors loan us their nail gun- would have been nearly impossible to do this without a nail gun!

Working hard getting it just perfect!
New corbels over the stove
And in this post, the last three things we also added were four corbels, shoe moulding, and quarter-round. Two corbels over the stovetop and two on the other side.  The shoe moulding, of which I don't have a picture, goes all around the base of the cabinets and adds another custom feel to the whole thing.  The quarter round is under the cabinets, where the wainscott meets the cabinets, and it was just to finish things off where they weren't quite perfect.  You really can't see it, but we're sort of perfectionists around here. :-)  Oh, and I forgot!  He also added wainscott to two raw sides of cabinets, I'll get a picture of those for my next post.

So I consider that "part 1" because it was a huge change, but the paint is what is really going to bring it all together.  Before paint, we had four different color of wooden cabinets, all next to each other.  And that looks a little unfinished, lol.  At this point I am MOSTLY done with the paint, if you're a friend on Facebook you've seen some sneak peeks!  I have one more coat of paint on my upper cabinets, then wax, and I have some unplanned sanding and priming to do.  I have gotten an awful cruddy cold, and I had planned to have this finished by this weekend (it's almost been two months in the making!) but I am not sure I will meet my deadline because I feel so awful. And I know right now that it's going to take me a looooong time to add some little decorations because I am super picky about that sort of thing.  I like for my decor items to be functional and/or very meaningful, so I have a hard time going to Hobby Lobby and picking something just because it's "cute."  I will consider my kitchen done when I have no more painting to do!

Part 2 hopefully coming soon...

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