Friday, March 1, 2013

the kitchen remodel

So as you have seen granny left us with some very country classic charm. Complete with strawberry wall paper, laminate counter tops with threads of green and gold running through a cream back drop, two different kinds of vinyl/laminate flooring, bisque colored appliances, wood cabinets, wood paneling etc the list goes on.

Originally I was determined to reuse reduce recycle. However that concept was not meant to be. I soon realized that there was no existing dishwasher! Gasp! Now I realize that will sound excessively trivial to many but for us washing dishes by hand didn't seem conducive to our already hectic schedule. So that lead to a lot of debating all starting with everyone's favorite question can we really afford this?
Well so far we are managing but we have tried to cut corners and sometimes choose more cost effective over time effective. And there is absolutely no way that I would have attempted this kind of major overhaul if my dad (my parents live a days flight away on the opposite coast of the US) hadn't already offered to come lend a hand. Really the fact that the kitchen functions is primarily due to him. This is still a work in progress but I finally got to the point that I might as well share now or possibly never because as we all know the likelihood of being completely satisfied is unlikely anyways!
We gutted the whole kitchen including ripping down the wood paneling(though my original intention had been to paint it*in hindsight just paint it because our walls are perfectly imperfect unless you are willing to spend the $ and time on all new drywall. New drywall had to go up behind where the cabinets were, as a result of the fact that they were nailed in! My Dad was kind enough to add a couple new outlets and light switches for additional convenience. We puttied and sanded until our arms were sore as a result of trying to smooth down glue spots. I mean I need to work out, but not exactly what I had in mind. We painted the kitchen/dining in two different colors. I was inspired by Young House Love to achieve a more cohesive paint floor plan, as opposed to what I had previously had in our condo where I chose colors I liked, but they at times next to one another felt disjointed. The colors in this room are both Lowe's Valspar Line: Silver Dusk and Woodlawn Snow. He also installed recessed lighting, placing a fire detector over the previous light fixture hole.

Replaced the floors with 'burnished straw plank' interlocking cork floors from home depot. They were super easy to install and feel great on your knees and feet. I love how the texture of the wood resembles a birch tree some. Having grown up in Alaska I have a healthy appetite for birch trees!

Purchased scratch and dent stainless steel french door fridge with base freezer and a double oven (dream actualized!) at the sears outlet after much searching.
New dishwasher (partially thanks to our super sweet real estate agent who gave us a gift card) and new microwave(also thanks to.a.Christmas gift card in part from my family) both in stainless steel. And all of the appliances are Maytag. I personally haven't developed any appliance brand loyalty so we went more for price combined with features, energy efficiency ratings, and product ratings to determine. I am loving it though for once our dishwasher is not deafening and the new oven is so amazing. It heats up so quickly without heating the whole house, I never even realized that was a possibility.

Bought unfinished solid wood cabinets from southeastern salvage. We were there so much they knew us by name! And I really liked the quality of their cabinets over any other place that I looked. Sadly I let myself be swayed to use oil based paint (in Valspar Homestead Resort Jefferson White) and it looks great but I don't feel like it is worth the hassle or time. My mom was a huge help and did a ton of painting despite the pain that I am sure it caused her. So far they are all in place but as you can see we have yet to hang the cabinet doors back on- primarily because I am desperately looking for a matte black handle under the price of $2 a handle, an impossible feat apparently. What do you like best handles, knobs, or a mix? I personally am a handle girl. What do you think about this one also from Southeastern Salvage? It isn't black but maybe I should cave and go for it at $1.50!

Home depot installed our 1" quartz viatera 'juniper trail' counter tops after we bought them on sale. I originally really wanted a carrera marble or something that had that look, but the white in that really clashed with the paint we chose for the cabinets and the subway tile (which we obviously haven't even tried to install) that we found for a steal at Habitat ReStore in Nashville. The company that installed the counter tops was amazing. They were so nice and professional and really took the time to make sure that our apron front sink from Ikea fit well. This was hugely important to me as this sink is one of my favorite things about our new kitchen, and that is saying something!
Since then we have just been wrapping up some finishing touches. Granny left an old ladder in the shed, with round rungs on the back so I am in the processing of converting it to a pot rack. I am still thinking that I would like to sand and stain it. I used cheap bird S hooks, some chain (obviously too much) purchased from Lowe's, and some hooks that I took down from bonus room that she had plants on. They were hung into the studs. The only thing that I might change in hindsight is to hang it in four places rather than two so that there isn't as much of a balancing act.
We have also still been in the process of putting the trim back on, hanging window treatments, and we refinished around the island with bead board. I tossed around the idea of painting the back of the island a darker blue, but then chickened out.

Still on the To Do List are:
window treatments
window bench + cushion
finish stools that granny left here by reupholstering
putting handles on and hanging doors
open shelves on the opposite side of the kitchen
maybe getting large blue mason jars to organize grains on the open shelves
baskets for some fresh foods
small two tiered pull out basket shelf for the spices
crown molding for all the rooms and maybe for the top of the cabinets?


One more project complete! I upholstered the stools and got fabric to complete a cushion on our new dining room window bench - pictures to follow soon!