Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dear Old Kitchen....I Miss You

Warning: This post is full of "first world problems" and content that may or may not bring about feelings of annoyance or rage at me. 

Y'all know I'm super excited about our new house and feel very, very lucky to be here. However, every now and then I do find myself missing our old kitchen.

Photo by Galina Coada.
It's hilarious really, because I literally barely know how to boil water, but there are a handful of things I find myself missing about this space on a regular basis. And I'm not talking about the pretty, I'm talking about real life functional things, like....

A double trash pullout IN the kitchen. 

I realize it may seem a little weird to lead with a trash can (or two) but seriously I never realized what a luxury this was until I didn't have it anymore. I had two 50 quart trash cans that pulled out from behind a cabinet, completely within reach at all times.  Now I have one large trash can around the corner in the walk-in pantry. It is literally ridiculous how annoying and inconvenient it is to have to leave the kitchen to throw trash away. It is equally as annoying and inconvenient to have to take out the trash what feels like constantly. With two trash cans (one regular and one recycling) it took awhile for the bins to fill up. Over here at the new house the trash always seems to be full.

A touch Faucet

Photo from my Instagram page.
I've talked before about my love for my touch faucet, but I don't think I realized how used to it I became. I can not tell you guys how many times I have smacked my faucet over here at the new house to get it to come on. Of course it doesn't, I stare at it dumb-founded and then I remember.

Soft-Close hinges and guides on my cabinet doors and drawers:

I literally feel like such a diva writing this, but once you experience cabinet doors and drawers that do not slam no matter how hard you shut them it is (apparently) really hard to go back. I, like so many people lived with "normal" cabinets my whole life, but after working at Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios (custom cabinet makers) and having those custom cabinets in my own house for almost 3 years I somehow lost the ability to shut doors and drawer gently. 

Oh woe is me, I know, but to be honest it is really helpful knowing what bells and whistles I actually care about and which ones are nice to have in theory, but mean very little to our day-to-day life. As I said in my "Meet Our New House Post" this house has really good bones and while we want to put our own personal stamp all over it, there is nothing that just has to be done. We definitely want to redo the kitchen. What? I can't help myself, it's what I dooooooo. But, with the baby coming in a matter of WEEKS (ahhh) and all of the other craziness surrounding us with the move, work, etc.. we have no immediate plans to begin any renovation of that magnitude. However, we certainly talk about it, scheme about it, draw it and think about it often and in a way it's nice to have this time to really consider what we want to do. If you remember, with our last kitchen remodel we had to dream it up and execute it all before we moved in. This worked perfectly fine then and we were both happy with the finished product, but it's nice to have some time to marinate on all of the decisions and really consider what worked for us the first time around and what didn't, so we can make this next kitchen even better than our last.

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Before & After - An Island Inspired by a Pot Kitchen Remodel

There really is nothing better than a before and after, am I right? Not only is it fun to see a space transformed but I feel like it really helps get the wheels turning in all of our minds for what could be for our own homes.

A few weeks ago I posted about this kitchen:

I went through the details and thought process behind a lot of the decisions, but one thing I didn't have were before photos. As much as I know you all like looking at a pretty kitchen, I know it can sometimes be more helpful to see where spaces started before they were re-imagined and improved. So, today I thought I would share the before photos of this project with you.

Before we dig in, let me refresh your memory. This whole kitchen remodel began because of the island. The initial plan was to redo the island ONLY. However, over time one thing let to another and it was decided the whole kitchen would be renovated. I say all of this not only to bring you up to speed or refresh your recollection if you read the original post, but also to convey that the project was not just screaming for a makeover when I first met it.  In fact, it had a lot of nice features already, like granite countertops, nice appliances, etc...BUT once the door was opened to improve the overall function and aesthetic, I jumped at the opportunity.



The layout of this wall remained pretty much the same, but the cabinets were switched from painted to stained and the countertops and finishes (lighting and plumbing fixtures) were lightened up in color. 



This side of the kitchen received the most reworking design wise. It's hard to see in the first picture but there was a desk in the corner between the oven stack and the refrigerator. The desk was removed and a series of tall pantries were put in its place. Again, the majority of the perimeter cabinets were switched from paint to stain and those cabinets were taken all the way to the ceiling.



The original glass door cabinetry was switched to paint and really designed to look like a piece of furniture. This area of cabinetry was held off the ceiling to give it more of a hutch look. Wood countertops and a fun custom backsplash really bring life and interest to this piece. 



As you can see from the before photo the island definitely transformed. Not only did the color change but the bulky two-level surface (the original nemesis of the kitchen) was removed and the island was made to be one level. While the overall size of the island didn't change that much the actual continuous workspace quadrupled! 

The floors were updated as was the wall color and the lighting fixtures. All of these changes both big and small really came together to make for a bright and happy space that I would be happy to hang out in any day! 

To read the original post with with all of the material details as well as some more behind the scenes reasoning click here

All Before Photos were provided by the homeowner and the After photos were done by Galina Coada. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Meet Our New House

It's hard to believe we have been in our new house three weeks tomorrow. Overall the house is great, a legit disaster at the moment, but great nonetheless. While we were actually pretty organized on the packing front and have successfully emptied and sorted a lot of boxes, there is still a lot of settling in left to do. But, before getting into all of the things we want to do I thought I would give you a little tour of our house before we really start digging into making it our own. All of these pictures are from the real estate site on the computer, so none of the furnishings are ours. These pictures depict what the house looked like when we first met it +/- 8 weeks ago.

The house is on a corner and actually sits on two lots. Here is a view of the front of the house:

This is the original house that was built in 1920. 

Here she is from the corner:

And here she is from the side: 

AND LOOK!!!! An open air garage!!! You can count this as one of the most exciting things to us. It's very rare for homes in this neighborhood to have a any sort of covered parking.

Back in 2007 the house next door (that probably set where the open air garage is now) was purchased and this house received a giant renovation, combining the existing house with a new lot for expansion. 

Let's go inside, shall we?


You can see the front door to your left. 

Once you walk in the front door, the space directly to your right is a room the previous owners were utilizing as the formal living room. 

This space was likely the one and only living room in the original house. 

Here you can see the view into what I am calling the foyer if you are standing with your back against the fireplace:

Down the hall is the Dining Room:

Beyond this is the first downstairs guest room + bath (not pictured) to your right and the pantry is to your left. Oh, and fun fact? This downstairs guest bedroom is also known as THE BABY'S ROOM!

Right beyond the pantry and the hallway to the baby's room is the Kitchen:

The wall the refrigerator sits on was the back of the original house. Everything past this was part of the 2007 addition. 

Across from the kitchen is the breakfast room:

Oh, and the room you can see with the door open....that is the other downstairs guest bedroom + bath and was the original master. 

Next up is the den which sits directly beyond the breakfast room/guest bedroom:

This room also has a fireplace and french doors leading out to the back deck/yard. 

As you can see you walk down three steps to get into this space so it has a very cozy den like feeling to it. 

Back up the stairs from the den you have the staircase leading upstairs, but before we go up I want to point out the door on the other side of the refrigerator - that is the entry from the open air garage. And down the hall to the right of the door from the open-air garage is the powder room and....THE LAUNDRY ROOM!! There are no photos of either of these spaces but the amount of excitement I have for that laundry room is off the charts. We had a washer and dryer at our first house but it was in the basement. Not only is this laundry room upstairs among the living, but it comes with a sink, a closet and best of all...a laundry shoot from the Master Bathroom!!! Can you even?! 

Alright, let's go upstairs. The first bedroom you come to at the top of the stairs is a ginormous guest bedroom + bath.  This is essentially our new yellow room, you know the giant catch-all room. 

And the other room upstairs is the Master Bedroom:

The double doors you see to the left are the doors to Brent's closet. 

Here is the Master Bath:

The door you see straight ahead is the door to my closet. That's right we each have our own closet and mine is huge and almost as exciting as the open air garage and laundry room...almost.

And finally, this is Luke's terrain, the fenced in backyard. 

Well, there you have it our second home! We got lucky in that this house is in really good shape and there is literally nothing that HAS to be done right now. All of the walls are white and the house has great natural light. It's like one giant blank slate and we are so excited to put our own personal stamp on it!