As I made mention to in my previous post, we moved into our home post haste, as our baby Grace was due any minute. We were absolutely ready to unload our belongings out of storage and nest. At least I know I WAS ready to nest! (If you look closely at the picture above, you will see me in my pregnant 8 1/2 month glory, so tired, so hot and so ready to be settled. Yes! That is my feet, swollen and hot!).
We did install new laminate “wood” look floors, replacing the purple vinyl that was there. (So ick!) Having installed new floors, painting the whole interior, scrubbing all the fixtures and adding window treatments we were content to have a place to call our own.
We settled in, the dust settled, Gracie grew a bit, as did our son Sawyer and we had more time to decide what and how we would like our kitchen to be. It was not going to get any bigger, nor be relocated to a more open spot, so we worked on making it look better as is. Our first major change was installing new counter tops. The current counter tops were a light mauve, and very warped around the window from water damage. They needed to go, we had to decide what to install in their place.
We actually listened to people who said marble and granite materials are hard to care for, and we steered clear of them. A decision I am sorry about. We ended up choosing a Corain material that was actually AS expensive as the aforementioned products. But Corian is actually much HARDER to care for. It has a tendency to streak, cloud, and mars so easily, even a plate can cause a scratch. All this aside purchasing the new counter tops made a huge impact on how previously dated our kitchen looked. After they were installed, I also added some rubbed bronze pulls which also made the kitchen look less dated and added a bit of style.
Now we had new and improved counter tops, but ick our orange colored oak cabinets screamed the 90’s and I longed for an updated look. I figured after pricing out new cabinets (the quote was over $2,000 and just not gonna happen!), I “JUST” paint them. I mean how hard could it be??!
Considering I have lots of OCD tendencies, I’d say pretty darn hard. Going a night with a sink full of dishes just doesn’t happen, let alone surviving a kitchen in complete disarray for a week! Help me!
But I began. I unscrewed all the doors, sanded them down and gave them a good cleaning. As I was about to begin the undertaking of painting them, Adam suggested I add an insert of wainscoting paper I had previously utilized in the kid’s bathroom to give a chair rail look. So I carefully cut a rectangle for each door out of the paper, then caulked around the edges to seal it in place. Then I painted the whole door, adding a very unique and custom look to our otherwise blah, standard cabinets. I used Home Depot’s most expensive paint their “Marque” brand. Supposedly it will adhere to any surface and has the primer built in. I’ve not been too impressed thus far, we keep a small jar under the sink of paint for quick touch ups as they do get a scratch from time to time. Having a little one on a tricycle ride through the kitchen and knock into them does not help. Lol! But alas, I wish I had indeed primed them my self before the application of paint. Lesson learned. The whole process took me about five days because as I said I am
kinda OCD. But overall, the new paint has been amazing as far as changing the look of our kitchen. I do not miss the orange cabinets a bit!
Another project we worked on the next week, was installing some open shelving on one wall, as pictured in the above shot. We just picked out some brackets from Lowe’s and bought some planks of pine wood. Adam cut the boards to size, and I sanded the heck out of them, including the sides to make them look individually crafted. Then I used a walnut stain to give them a rustic look. They have continued to be one of our favorite projects and if our kitchen was any bigger, I’d have to guts to do all open shelving. I love the look!
After completing the cabinets it kinda spurred Adam’s creative mind to thinking as well, I love how we sorta feed off each other as projects are completed. We have a tag team mentality, it’s very fun! He thought he could trim out the tops of the cabinets and make them look even more custom and less “track home circa 1990”. He bought some trim pieces and build little risers atop the cabinets so he could attach the two together. He totally impressed me with his ingenuity, and the result is amazing.
Now we had such a pretty kitchen, except for our appliances that were ORIGINAL to the house. Adam said we did not have any real reason to get new ones. I balked, because the refrigerator was white, the ice maker had never worked, and it still smelled like the old owners. Our dishwasher was black, and our stove had a lilting heating element on the top that did not allow me to use the broil feature. So, technically we did not NEED new appliances but I oh so wanted them. Coincidently, our Grace was going to start full-time kindergarten and we had already put down a deposit as her monthly tuition was to be $35000 a month. BUT we got a notice…..free full day kindergarten for all!!! That would mean a yearly savings of over $3,000! We had our new appliance fund!
Our last job after having the appliances installed (we opted for all new stainless steel) was to raise the cabinet over the proposed area for a built-in microwave. We had to have an electrician come an install a new outlet ( a cost of over $600.00) and Adam’s dad came and helped Adam build in extra support so we could install our fancy new microwave as well as making sure to properly hook up the outdoor venting system for the exhaust. New light fixtures and I love our new kitchen!!
All in all, I am very pleased with our kitchen today. Do I wish it was bigger? On some days absolutely. But on most days, I am proud of all our hard work and ever grateful for the yummy meals I get to prepare in it, and the contented memories it allows us to create as a family. “Love grows best in little houses”.