Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I've Created a Monster/s, and My New Favorite Thing

So the kitchen renovation is in full swing. We still haven't decided on a countertop, and Tim does not want to go out to the stone warehouse with me again, so we are at a standstill on that front However, the structural work is well underway, and it's going to look GREAT. So, think of a basic 60's-80's split level with the kitchen in the front. Picture the L-shaped walls between the kitchen and living room becoming half-walls supported by square columns. It's not WIDE OPEN, but it provides sight lines we didn't have before, plus a breakfast/homework bar!

Here's a sneak peek of the new walls, looking toward the back of the house:

 And the countertops we are seriously considering:


The biggest issue we have run into so far is that we "borrowed" about 2 feet from our already small dining room, and I'm not sure what kind of table will fit in there now. It is a tight squeeze, for sure.

I do not mind that we are spending most of our time on our lower level during the renovation, with a temporary kitchen set up there and in my office. It feels cozy, and we seem to spend more time together. I wasn't sure how the dogs would adapt to the NOISE and to people coming in and out, not to mention losing their kitchen, which is where they stay whenever I leave the house. Turns out Charlie barked the whole time I was gone the first day, which was pretty annoying to the workers. Since then, I've left him out of his crate as long as there are workers here so he won't bark. A baby gate keeps them both off of the level where the work is being done.

Got back from my glucose test a few minute ago (Yuck! I'm worried I failed) and the pups were certainly enjoying their new freedom. Crate-less Charlie had started eating the dog bed where Shadow usually lounges when Charlie is in lock-up. Then, both dogs proceeded to climb on the couch and spoon. I think those turkeys are really enjoying this renovation!

Oh, and I wanted to tell you about my favorite new thing. I've been trying to stay away from microwave popcorn because of all of the nasty chemicals, so Tim usually cooks our popcorn on the stove. Well, knowing we wouldn't have a stove for at least two months, I bought him this contraption for Christmas (affiliate link) and we are loving it! It is made out of silicone. You put a small amount of popcorn in the bottom, and if you wish, add a little oil. We do. You fold down the flaps and microwave it for 2 minutes. Delicious, fluffy popcorn with no burnt pieces! We LOVE it!

Of course, all aspects of my diet may need to change once I get that test back. I'll let you know the results. I'm just grateful to be up and walking around again on a much-improved ankle, and that my daughter, who was sick Sunday night and into Monday, is feeling much better.

Hope your Tuesday feels more like a Friday than a Monday!

21 comments:

Shannon Sequeira said...

I love your zest for life, your attitude, your insights. Reading your words just makes me happy. You are a gifted writer.

Kelly Volpe said...

Those countertops are gorgeous, if you don't mind, may I ask what type of stone and the name?

Gigi said...

I know the reno is a complete pain, but I think you will LOVE the results!

claire plante said...

Glad your ankle is feeling better, and glad to hear that Margaret is feeling better too!

What a cool popcorn gadget. I'm with you on the microwave popcorn thing. I actually don't like the taste and mouth feel of microwave popcorn - seems like my mouth is coated with a weird oil when I'm eating it. And it probably is. We love our WhirlyPop over here. It is a stovetop thing, so not as convenient, but there is nothing like real popcorn in my opinion.

Glad your renovation is exciting and moving along!

Lots of love,
Claire

Heidi Cave said...

Wow, it's all coming together! Can't wait to see it finished. We love our popcorn around here, too. I'm going to have to check out this gadget. Oh, and a big booo to glucose tests. Fingers crossed all is well and you can continue to enjoy treats.;)

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Hi Kelly, The counters are super white quartzite.

Julie said...

We have super white on our island. It is absolutely gorgeous, but our piece acts more like a marble than a quartz or granite. I feel that I have to baby it to prevent etching. Do your research on it. I have learned that many places call it a quartzite and many call it a granite, but depending on your piece, it could act more like a marble. I have young children and would have never chosen a marble. But, with that said, it is beautiful and looks stunning with white and black cabinets.

Julie said...

We have super white on our island. It is gorgeous, but I have found that our piece acts more as a marble, rather than a quartz or granite. Do your research on it a bit. After the fact, I found that some places call it a quartz or quartzite and others call it a granite. But, depending on your slab, it can act like a marble. I love it, but feel that I have to baby it to prevent etching. I have young children and would never have chosen a marble for my kitchen. But, with that said, it is beautiful and looks stunning with white and black cabinets.

Simone said...

i live in vienna too and i think you have the same model home as me (or close to it) and i really want to re-do my kitchen, so i'll be following this closely!! would love any addl. pics as the process goes on.

glad you are feeling better and that the baby is OK!!

Anonymous said...

Exciting!! My $30 Cuisinart air popcorn popper is the BEST!! Kids add copious amounts of sea salt and melted butter (organic of course:)). I love watching the popcorn pop.

I love the counters you have pictured. Best of luck! Jen

Jessica Goodrich said...

LOVE those countertops!!!!

www.robinbotie.com said...

You've got so much going on. How do you manage? I love construction. It makes me feel like things are moving forward, getting bigger and better. Wishing you well.

Olga said...

We reno'd the kitchen/dining/entry in our 70's split level a few years ago and dear, it was a pain and stressful. But I LOVE the kitchen now, huge improvement all around.

I'd do a test on a stone sample - put a bit of oil, vinegar, red wine, ketchup on it overnight. Wash off in the morning and see how it looks. After doing this we ended up putting my beloved creamy marble on a dining room buffet (just a couple of matching base cabinets) where it isn't exposed to daily cooking wear but I still get to look at it. ;) Got a super durable granite in the kitchen instead and it's so easy to care for. Just wipe with a sponge and dry, stuff that gets spilled or dried on (for days sometimes, it's a dark granite!) comes right off. It's a blessing now that we have a 4 and 1 year old! Best choice ever.

Olga said...

Re: small dining room, have you considered a banquette or bench on one side? It would give you the option to slide the table towards the wall and pull it out to use the bench for additional seating when needed. And you can make it match any style depending on the fabric you choose, pick easy to clean, etc. Good luck with the reno! So many decisions (that was my least favorite part!)

Elaine Alguire said...

I just caught up and I'm glad to hear that your ankle is feeling much better. And I cannot wait to see the finished kitchen, I love stuff like that! :)

Anonymous said...

Glad your feeling better! I second the idea of documenting the kitchen renovation process as it progresses for this wannabe-kitchen renovator. I also have a split level with tight spaces and love the idea of knocking down a wall or two.

Kelly Volpe said...

Thank you for the counter top information! I'm also experiencing a mid-life pregnancy and kitchen remodel. I saw this piece of stone in person today, yowsers it is gorgeous! We are an active household and I'm not sure it will hold up to the rigors... I'm going to stress test a sample.

Anonymous said...

Surprised you went forward with this project during a pregnancy. Lots of fumes and toxicity in the air from those type of projects. Too much of a risk to the baby if you ask me.

Arthur Bryant said...

What a great blog post. You are a very creative writer, my wife and I take great joy in reading your posts. They inspire me to get out there and do more. That counter top looks great. Ours at home is made of granite and it really is a joy to use and to clean. So simple and elegant too!

Arthur Bryant @ Contractor Express

Wilfred Andrews said...

I'm very interested in seeing the final result. We're sorting our own renovation plans at the moment and it's a nightmare. Seeing some inspiration from people who are out there and actually doing it is such great motivation. A lot better than shiny, new, finished kitchens in magazines that never feel achievable!

Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating

Maxwell Frey said...

This renovation is similar to one my wife and I had done to our home. As a word of encouragement regarding the decision to use two feet from the dining room for the new breakfast/homework bar, we had a similar choice to make. Now the first floor feels much more spacious--even the dining room. It was a good choice.