Saturday, April 14, 2012

So far, so fabulous

We got home two days ago to the updated backbone of our new kitchen. I was speechless. And so, so happy with how it has turned out so far. Take a look...

Looking into the kitchen from the sliding door in the living room. Remember there used to be a wall there! Love having wood floors all throughout the main area now.

Facing into the end of the kitchen/dining area from the front door, which used to be completely blocked by the living room wall. Also notice the pony wall between kitchen and dining area. (Try to ignore the crap sitting on top of the wall.) That's where the range will sit and there will be a narrow counter-top to cap off the pony wall and act as a serving area. 

This is the view from the corner of the kitchen into the living area. It's also the best example of the actual wall color. The paint color is a light gray-blue called Misty Moonstone by Glidden and it's the same throughout the entire main area now. In the other pictures it looks a little green to me but we don't have power to the kitchen and no lighting makes for bad pictures. Obviously that's not where the couch will stay!

I love it and I'm so happy with how it's going. The next big step is the cabinet installation which happens Monday. More pictures to come!

Just in case you forgot, here's a little comparison.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kitchen Inspiration

I realized today that I've talked about the general renovation plan but not about any of the specifics. To me it seems that the easiest way to share my overall vision for our new kitchen is to show some of the inspiration pictures.

Love the openness (is that a word?) of this kitchen with the large island. Love the white cabinets and the pendants over the island.

Again loving the white cabinets and the island with the extension for seating. We'll have an overhang like that and wide drawers similar to the bottom right of the photo.

If we had a similar floorplan, I would have practically copied Lindsey's kitchen below because I love this kitchen! I would love to do the white planked ceiling in our high-ceilinged living room someday down the road.

I knew from the start that I wanted an apron-front farmhouse sink. My husband wasn't too sure but I stuck to my guns on this one. After all, which one of us spent more time on Pinterest researching ideas for this renovation? In my book that's a completely valid argument. Case closed.

It doesn't take an eye for design to see there's an obvious theme going on in these pictures. When it really comes down to it, white feels right for our kitchen. It feels light and open and airy in a way that deep wood tones would not in our house. And although there may have been times when I saw beautiful mahogany stained cabinets and gave them a second glance, in my heart I've always known we'd stick with white. We've been dreaming about this redo for a long time and I've been saving pictures and drooling over other people's fabulous kitchens all along. It will be really exciting to see it all come together!

Monday, April 9, 2012


While I've been far removed from all the chaos, our kitchen is slowly returning to some semblance of useable space. Don't get me wrong - it was awesome to see all the crappy parts disappear in a matter of days. But there was also a scary realization that we no longer have a kitchen! Obvious I know, but since I haven't been there to see the reshaping take place, it just kind of hit me. I'm relying on the pictures and videos my husband brings on the weekend to remind me that at some point we'll be able to live in our house again.

Our house is small. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, dining room, KITCHEN. Now our house is more like three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a giant space that includes a dining area, a living room area and a kitchen area. This renovation has drastically changed our home and I haven't been there since five workmen walked in with the intention of tearing it apart. Add to that the multitude of decisions that I've had to make from afar and it's enough to drive you just a little nuts. I thought we did our homework and made all the necessary preparations, but I was wrong. Any seasoned renovator would probably tell you to expect that issues will come up no matter how much prep you do beforehand. What I've learned is that even when you prepare and even when you expect things to go slightly awry, it is still extremely stressful.

The biggest hiccup in our process so far has been the floor. We have hardwood throughout the house with the exception of the kids' bathroom and formerly in the kitchen, both tile. The logical decision for the floor in the new kitchen was wood so it would flow seamlessly from the existing living area as we took down the wall dividing the two rooms. The key word here is seamlessly. The problem we ran into is that the existing wood was glued down so when they took out the wall, they had to cut some of the floorboards. This meant that more flooring had to be pulled out to find a smooth edge to start adding in the new floorboards. We had to order more wood than planned and in a short short short time. Basically here's the equation we were left with:

We need this now + the place that can actually get it in time = $$$$$

Thankfully we had saved unexpectedly in a couple aspects of the job so far, so there was money available to allocate to ridiculous shipping costs for extra wood. So much for doing our homework. To fuel the fires of our stress even more, the flooring that showed up was darker than the existing flooring because of a little thing called the sun, which had faded our floors over time. Big sigh. After a lot of strategic drawings last night, we managed to carve out a plan to integrate the new wood without there being a strong line of demarkation. It's not the greatest picture, but I think they did a pretty good job making it look like we did it on purpose. See for yourself.

The old floor before the wall came down and the newly integrated floor with both old and new wood.

 It's looking a lot better than it was a week ago!

SO... we're heading in the right direction. We go home in a few days and I can't wait to see it with my own eyes!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Living on Vacation

What is it about being on vacation that makes us relax?

Is it the break from our normal routine? The feeling that we aren't accountable to our regular responsibilities?

As we start day five of our extended stay in the Pink Palace, I'm discovering that while we are basically on vacation, we have to be careful not to fall too far into that mentality. Yes, it's spring break and we've spent plenty of time by the pool, but for a two week trip with kiddos in tow, we still have to maintain a sense of routine because without it we would all be losing our minds unhappy.

A couple days break from the norm won't hurt anyone, but for the sake of everyone's sanity, sticking to a general routine is making life much easier. Kids thrive on consistency. They simply operate better when they have some idea of what to expect out of the day. We don't follow a rigid schedule at home, but we have a general flow to the day that includes meals, playtime and time for rest. Since we've been here, we essentially apply the same overall scheme to each day with a little more flexibility. It keeps everyone happier when they get meals and naps at the regular intervals they know from home.

Another part of living on this extended vacation is remembering that just because we aren't at home doesn't mean we need to be lazy. There's a difference between relaxation and laziness. Obviously we're taking it easy out here. I personally spent about 5 hours by the pool this weekend which was wonderful and peaceful and fabulous. But I've also noticed that we're just a little more wasteful. At home we use mostly cloth for napkins and cleaning, but I didn't want to deal with packing that type of thing so we've been going full tilt on the paper towel usage. Pool towels tend to go into the wash after one use when they could easily hang dry and go another round. It's only two weeks so I'm not overly concerned, just noticing a trend.

I'm also observing that I personally have been a lot more umm, flexible with what I eat and drink during the day. Being on my own for a good deal and getting less sleep as we all adjust to a different place, caffeine has been my best friend so I've been sucking down the soda and coffee drinks just as fast as I can get them. I haven't been snacking much, but my meals aren't exactly the picture of health every day. It's always funny to me how much more effort I put into making sure the kids get good, well-rounded meals, but lose the focus when it comes to my own eating habits. Why don't I feel the same responsibility to care for myself as I do for my kids? I think it's that pesky vacation mentality creeping in that tells me it's just for now, just a treat because I'm on a break. But all those days add up quickly so I better tune in and watch out.

Do you try to keep up a sense of normal living on vacation or do you let it all go?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...