Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Kitchen Renovation Update

While I would NOT recommend doing a major kitchen renovation during pregnancy, things are going surprisingly well, despite a blizzard and an ice storm. Thought I'd update you with a bunch of pictures to help you visualize where we are as of this week.

Mainly, we are living in my Office/Kitchen, which may explain why I have a writing deadline looming, but all I can seem to do is eat Costco Trail Mix all day long. We use an electric burner from Amazon, a panini maker, and a microwave we found on a yard sale site. My bookshelves are now a hodge bodge of books, olive oil, and snacks. Here's Tim chopping an avocado on his knees. Better on the back, I guess.

We do our dishes in the laundry sink one room over, and the fridge is in the family room.

No one seems to mind this set up. It has given us more time together, but I do miss the dishwasher. Each time I come down with another bug, I wonder if it's because our dishwashing isn't up to par.


We live in a traditional split level, with a kitchen, dining area, and living room on the main floor. We also have a teeny tiny foyer that flows into the living room. Our goal was to open up the walls between the kitchen and living room, and widen the opening between the kitchen and the dining room. We did keep half walls and columns to delineate the rooms. This was a hard decision to make, because I was sorely tempted to have it one open space, but money came into play, as did my desire to not have all my kitchen crap in the living room. We'll see how that goes. For the past two houses, the living room and dining room have stayed "nice" but no one used them. We also didn't have a baby or toddler. This will be a more casual plan, likely more messy, but hopefully more fun!

Here's a BEFORE view from the living room into the kitchen. A dark corner with my awesome antique "Swan Table" in it. Those two walls got cut down to half walls, with a soffit above containing a very important beam:


Here's the same view now with shallow shaker cabinets for school supplies on the left and a breakfast bar/homework area to the right:

Here's the same view, but from inside the kitchen. I liked the layout before, but a few of the cabinets were falling apart. 



We got rid of ALL of the upper cabinets (GULP!) and made a straight corner instead of going on the diagonal. That's Margaret standing on a stool, showing you our beams, I suppose.

Also, inside the kitchen, the narrow doorway between kitchen and dining area got widened a bit.


It may look dark in the pictures, but it feels brighter already. Sadly, those gorgeous french doors need to be replaced with sliders, because otherwise there is no room for a dining table there. We took about 24 inches from the dining room and added it to the kitchen, and that's about how much space it takes for the french doors to open inward. This change is $$$, but needs to happen. A smarter fix would have been to replace the doors with a window, giving us more wall and floor space in in the dining area, and moving the doors to the deck into the living room, but that was cost prohibitive. Sooo, I'll be looking for a small-ish table and also considering NOT moving my china cabinet back into this area.

Because we got rid of all the upper cabinets, we needed space for, um, FOOD. So, we turned my little desk area (crap pile) and the doggie feeding area into a pantry. 



It will involve NOT stockpiling as much food, but it should work fine. Haven't asked the dogs how they feel about this yet.

On another note, we went with inset doors. Our old doors/drawers were frameless, which means our new ones look more like furniture, but have a lot less storage. The jury is still out on this decision.

OK, here's the other side of the kitchen, where you walk in from the garage. Not much not to love here. Those drawers ROCKED!


We are keeping the same stove and fridge and instead of a microwave, installing a vent hood. Our yard sale microwave will go on the other side of the fridge, more toward the dining area. I also tried to center the stove a little more by moving it over a tad.

Here's where the microwave and  the coffee maker will go, in this narrow cabinet that borrows space from the dining room. In theory, they will be behind closed doors, but we'll see if we actually keep them closed. I doubt it, even though it was my idea.

Speaking of the dining area, I ordered a light fixture from one of those daily deal sites. But, I couldn't find my tape measure anywhere and ordered one that is HUGE for such a small space. 

I like it a lot, but I'm afraid it will look weird. So, we are thinking of swapping it with our foyer light. 



Even though the foyer is only about 4x4, I think it can handle a larger light because of the high ceilings, and I also think bringing some black into an all-white kitchen is not a bad thing. As for other lighting, we are not having pendants over the breakfast bar because we felt like the columns and the soffit already cut off the space enough, without anything else hanging down.

Okay, for those of you who like the nitty gritty: 

We are using these pulls from Build.com because they are cheap, good looking, and we need a lot of them. They are only about $2.50 each:

And this faucet from Build.com= cheap, good looking.

For paint, we are going with Moonshine by Benjamin Moore. I'm afraid it will be too much of a COOL gray, and I'm more of a WARM person, but we will see. Grays are tough, yo! I wanted to make sure there would be enough contrast between that and the warm greige we have on the lower level of the house. I would have done the whole house in the greige, but it was painted before we moved in and we don't know what it's called.

As for countertops, I can't really talk about it yet because I am still a little freaked about them, but I will give you a little info here. We (Tim) chose Quartz countertops called Calacutta Grey by Quartzmasters. We said goodbye to the natural yet finicky stone we'd been eyeing since Christmas and ponied up the extra money for this low maintenance solution. It costs double our countertop allowance. It gets installed this Friday, and I'll let you know late next week what we think of it.  

Here's what it looks like standing upright. It may or may not look like my varicose veins.

So there's the update. Let's get this bad boy finished up so we can move on to a NURSERY!

Love and Hugs.


Unknown said...

You should look at what The Nester says about choosing a big chandelier for a dining area here: http://www.thenester.com/2016/01/4-decorating-mistakes-i-made-in-my-home-in-2015.html. She's in favor of it!

Unknown said...

Looks just great!!!! So exciting!!

Jenny Hart Boren said...

Your new kitchen will be positively perfect--you'll see. It's hard to let go of the ideas we'd have used if money were no object, though. I do think swapping those two light fixtures is inspired--they are both very nice and their proportions suit the 'other' locations well. Around here, we've been 'KonMari'-ing, and her method of choosing to keep only what you TRULY LOVE (or really need), and discarding the rest, gives you much more storage space than you thought you needed. SO many exciting projects at your house, aren't there?

Ile said...

Loving all of the changes! Swapping light fixtures could work unless you want a dramatic focal point in the dining room since the doors will be changed. I agree that deep drawers rock and love the idea of the off-counter appliances. May this space be a place filled with love, laughter and gatherings. I bet that this space and the nursery will be beautiful as what I have seen in pics of your home. Can I say how inspiring you are as you tackle the mess with orderly grace? You rock. Blessings!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I love it! It is looking awesome.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the before and after pics, and seeing the progress! I hate doing renos myself, though I love watching them on TV :) We redid our kitchen several years ago, took down/moved some walls, and pretty much lived in our front room for two months (our house is pretty small, and the reno took up 3/4 of the downstairs). Still the best thing we've ever done for the house. You will be so happy that you did this!

And yes, I think you can swap the light fixtures easily and have it work.

Can't wait to see the nursery pics! I have a lot of admiration for your gung-ho-ness.

Andrea Mowery said...

I love the counter, and the white cabinets, and that huge light fixture! I'd swap it with the one in the foyer and never look back. Can't wait to see the finished kitchen!

Christin Webb said...


Julie said...

It is going to look amazing!!! Can't wait to see the finished product! I can already tell what a HUGE difference opening up those walls will make. I think you're gonna love it. I think switching out your new dining room light for the one in the entry is a great idea! I'm right there w/ you in sympathy over trying to find the right shade of gray - OMG SOOOO hard! We went w/ gray for the main color throughout our upstairs & it was so difficult! It didn't help that we have vastly different lighting throughout so it looks different in different areas & at different times of the day. We ended up going w/ Gray Goose, which looks almost mauve in some areas (eww! but we're not changing it for YEARS! LOTS of work!) I mourn the loss of your French doors w/ you, but it was a good solution. Thanks for sharing the update. These posts are so fun!

Gigi said...

It's going to be GORGEOUS! And I love both fixtures. I think it would work whether you put it in the dining room or the foyer.

And thanks for tipping me off to Build.com - I'd never heard of it and now that we have finally found a house, I have a feeling I'll be visiting them often.

Unknown said...

Oooh, it's going to be so nice soon, when it's done! Yay for new kitchens. :D

Shona said...

I've recently been agonizing over these same decisions. We're building, not renovating, but the issues are the same. I just got done picking out our lighting (at builder's request, even though we're nowhere near that point) , and I wondered about chandelier size as well. Google "chandelier size calculator" for a nifty little tool. I think either light would work well in your dining space, though I have read multiple recommendations that when in doubt about size, err on the large side.

Moonshine! We had several rooms in our old house painted BM Moonshine. It's a nice color, but it read very, very blue; it was pale and grayish, but also BLUE. It was definitely a cool color, even though it didn't seem that way on the chip.

I love your cabinets, and we are considering inset as well. I hope you blog the verdict on the inset because I am curious to know how much you "feel" the lost storage space.

Lucky #17 said...

Anna I am reading your updates with excitement and trepidation! Because God has a sense of humor, we will be undergoing a kitchen reno (including a wall removal) set to be completed about two weeks before I am due in the fall. Please be so kind as to do a "lessons learned" once this whole thing is over! Including the best ways to deal with being kitchenless. I'm keeping you in my prayers and as far as I'm concerned you are already impressive for keeping your sanity thus far!

Anonymous said...

Love all that you have done to your home. We went recently went through a kitchen update and picked a faucet much like yours. Our backsplash restricted the turn of the handle. Like it needed the room to go from front(cold) to back(hot) a 180* angle. We had to return it for one that had the 90* handle. None of the workmen even mentioned this to us, which is why I'm passing on the info (if it makes sense).
Can't wait to see the nursery.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is It's all going to be beautiful, but you better get going on that nursery!! Now!! Haha.....Cindy

Marie S said...

Quartz is totally the way to go for countertops. They are fool proof to care for and look beautiful. I just had my purple quartz counters put in last summer and LOVE them.

Unknown said...

I love it! I love re-dos, especially when done by an expert. :-) (Yeah, you).

Mom24 said...

Stupid question, do they not make French doors that open out?

www.robinbotie.com said...

It's gonna be so great!

Courtney said...

Gorgeous! All of it! We use revere pewter by BM which is the best greige ever. Maybe that will help! :0)

Sharon said...

Hi Anna! Please be careful about eating nuts while you are pregnant. I snacked a lot on almonds when I was pregnant with my daughter and she has a nut allergy. Of course, I don't know 100% if the almonds I ate are the cause of it, but I wish I hadn't eaten so many now because I have horrible guilt about it. Your kitchen is looking beautiful!

Alina said...

Nope, that fixture looks great there and is not even that big. Nothing looks sadder than a teeny tiny fixture over a table.

Unknown said...

You are too funny and very good at all things visual! Everything looks splendid! When your renovation is finished, will you, in your spare time, come help us dream up ours?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I like the idea of a semi-open floor plan. When I see the open floor concept on the design tv shows, it looks difficult for planning furniture/d├ęcor and tidying up. You'll be glad it was completed before the baby comes.

Unknown said...

Anna, I enjoyed your photos and look forward to more. Home renovations are my favorite things to look at and easier in someone else's house! I've had French doors but I now like sliding doors much better because you get much more light. So you will enjoy that. The wider entry from kitchen to dining room is a must. Our home now has a completely open floor plan for the living area and I wouldn't go back to a sectioned off area plan. This is too convenient. So now that I know you are posting photos, I'll be checking your blog more frequently. I look forward to seeing the completed version and you with your new son. You sure have a lot of excitement in your life.

Janice Rhoades (Zimmerman) Doto

Mike Stathos said...

I really like your new design for your kitchen. This white and grey granite would look great with this layout. I can see why you would choose a white sample cabinet. The white paint from the cabinet would compliment the white from the granite countertop quite nicely.
Kitchen remodeling Austin