kitchen progress IV: countertops

quartzs samplesNow that we have cabinets and everything painted, we can move onto the countertops and backsplash! Above are just a few of the may choices we brought home and debated over. Our contractor was trying to steer us toward granite, but I didn’t like many of the variations for our kitchen. Plus, we were leaning toward a lighter shade of countertops, and if you spill red wine on granite, it will stain! I like red wine, and I know I will spill, so that was a lot of pressure.

A new-er product that has been getting a lot of respect in the kitchen is quartz. It’s about the same price as granite, but you don’t have to seal it when it’s installed nor annually like granite, and if I spill Kool-aid or red wine on white quartz, which I can pretty much guarantee, this countertop is safe! Win-Win! Plus, it comes in simple patterns and some variations look like marble, which we were both drawn to.

We went to a bunch of countertop stores around the area, looked on-line, and found two that really stuck out. LG Hausys Rococo Quartz and Vicostone Calacatta Quartz. Rococo quartz only came in 2 cm and we really wanted 3 cm. Calacatta quartz was the one that shined through the rest, the whole time. It looks great with the cabinets, the newly painted walls, and was a touch of bold in our white-on-white kitchen.

DSC_0197I was able to go to the quartz showroom in Dallas to see the exact piece. This was exciting!! Look at those bold stripes! I was a little nervous but overall super excited!

IMG_7990Then it was time to talk to our fabricator. This is crucial when picking something with a pattern. Talk to your fabricator, often. I printed out this exact image above, then used it to “puzzle” the pieces we wanted for our lay out. The fabricator took it with him, laid out the design on the slab and had me come out into his shop to make sure I was okay with the design before he actually started cutting. This is what we thought it would look like…

Stone PositionThe fabricator had to change a couple pieces, when he got the actual slab and measured everything out. But as I said before, he had me come out to the shop, and three guys and I walked through the layout. I had the puzzle pieces on the floor, and we working with the big slab until everything was correct. We came up with a plan that kept the flow of the lines consistent, kept the pieces I wanted in each area, and matched the seams perfectly! Sorry, the masking tape is hard to see, but they are there!  postHere’s a crude/discolored idea of what the sink side of our kitchen countertop will look like… see how the lines on the top of each side match up where the seam will be above the sink!! That was the work of one of the fabricators! Moving, measuring, and taping, over and over! Trust me, it’s worth your time to sit and make sure your pattern flows! Your eye thinks the other line connects were the sink is cut out, too (see the arrow below). Bonus!!

sink side completeOkay, enough with all the details, are you ready for a peak of the real countertops?!? I figured you would!

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Besides the whole sink side, this little gem is one of my favorite pieces.

DSC_0277And here’s that seam I was so worried about… they got it! Perfect!

DSC_0267I’m in love! It’s a little bit of boldness in this simple kitchen! Plus, a little dose of Jack, who absolutely loves the construction site!

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DSC_0276With a durable surface like quartz, I won’t be as worried about every little thing I’m doing on them! It’s been a pretty fun process from start to finish.

I’ll be back with our backsplash! Yay! We’re getting SO close to the end!

girl’s nursery design board

We’re waiting for our countertops to be finished and installed, but this doesn’t mean I’m not without distractions. I have a baby girl in my belly, and I get to decorate a room to celebrate it!

I made this same type of mood board back before we had Jack, here. It was a fun way to gather up the pieces month by month to make a nursery and what we now call Jack’s room. We would budget for one or two pieces a month, so it didn’t feel like a hefty expense, and we had something to look forward to each month! We plan to do the same with this nursery space. This mood board is a little more tech-savvy than the cut-and-paste version last time, but it serves the same purpose.

Baby Girl Nursery Mood BoardSource list: artist in kiev knob – anthropologie, dresser – west elm, 3 spouts basket sand camel – target, baby peacock mirror – wisteria, let them be little - easy, malibu chandelier – serena & lily, ribbon mobile - etsy, cool mint  582 – benjamin moore, organized girl’s closet (minus the pink everything) – the container store, rug – urban outfitters, crib - baby mod marley 3-in-1 convertible crib. 

I have to say planning a girl’s room is much harder than planning a boy’s. There are SO many options, yes, but I also have that underlying voice to make sure it’s not too feminine so she grows up strong. Maybe I’m putting too much thought into the underlying effects of paint color on my baby girl’s self-worth and self-confidence. Just maybe. But I want her to be strong, independent, and know she can do anything she puts her mind to. Plus, the amount of accessories little girls can have! I can barely remember to put earrings and my ring on during the weekends!! Luckily, I expressed these concerns to a dear friend one night, and she calmly, more matter-of-factly said, you’ll teach her those things and she’ll accessorize you!

Simple as that. It made me smile and tiptoe off that edge of nervousness.

Back to the room, I plan on painting the walls Benjamin Moore cool mint 582. It’s a great pastel creamy-goodness, and I think our little girl will love it in the daytime and sleep well (hopefully) in it at night. I plan on applying some gold polka dots on an accent wall, as well. After thinking of these two colors; gold and mint, the other items above just came together!

I’ll keep you posted with the progress!!

 

 

kitchen progress III: paint colors

DSC_0191Now that the cabinets are up, we need paint! Paint on those beautiful cabinets, crown moldings, walls, and ceiling! That’s a lot of paint! I suggest bringing as many samples as you want home. Then, check out the lighting in your space with each of the colors. We did that during the day and at night and were able to see some of the undertones you may not see at the store. Some have blue, yellow, reds…

photoWe fell in love with one that shined through brighter than the rest, Benjamin Moore Snowfall White OC-118. It’s a perfect white-white for our space, and I love the name! Reminds me of home! Our contractor is a Sherwin Williams guy, so we had it color matched in an acrylic semi-gloss. It’s such a glossy goodness; I will suggested it to all!

IMG_7874Oh, and don’t they look gorgeous!! Below is a night picture of the cabinets drying.

DSC_0195We then moved on to the wall color! I bought a bunch of samples and painted those on the walls! We both liked Ozark Shadows AC-26, but I wanted a little less bold/dark color with the white kitchen… So, we went a step down on the color palette with Harbor Gray AC-25. Here’s the samples with both wood and white cabinets.

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DSC_0202Then the crown molding came in!! It was an easy decision to do the crown molding the same color as the cabinets. Glossy Benjamin Moore Snowfall White OC-118.

DSC_0208Lastly that ceiling, that new ceiling with all those new lights, gets some paint, too!! We went with a standard flat ceiling paint from B. Moore, which we had leftover from our other projects. We saved a little cash, too!

Painted!!I’m just loving our choices, and it’s coming together beautifully. But yes, we need to paint that door and trim to match the space – we know!! It’s on the docket for this weekend! Here’s a before/progress pic, too!

Before + After with Paint

I cannot wait for the countertops and backsplash to be here! I’ll share all that goodness next!! They are so gorgeous; I would sleep with the sample, if the hubs didn’t think I was crazy!

Thanks for reading, friends! Happy Week!

kitchen progress II: cabinets

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We’ve got cabbbbbinets!! If you say it like Oprah, it makes it that much more fun! They have been in the garage for a couple of days now, and I couldn’t help myself from sneaking a peak… or two… or ten!

Then the cabinet maker himself came in to install all the cabinet goodness!!

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We went with a traditional shaker style inset cabinets. Super sleek in my book!! Jack’s excited about it, too! Actually I was trying to get a picture of him in this shoot, but he thought I wanted him to chase me. Ha.
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And to not be confused by the original drawings here, here is where everything will be laid out. Sorry, the word pantry got cut off but I think you get the idea. We need the cabinet maker to redo the cabinet above the microwave. Our microwave is 17″ high and the leftover cooking space would only be about 10″. We plan on moving the microwave to where the bottom is ‘about 7″ above the base of the cabinets on either side, so we’ll have a little more cooking space underneath the microwave.
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Having the cabinets in makes this process a lot more real. It’s really going to look like a kitchen soon!! I’ll keep you posted. Below is a progress picture! It looks so nice and tall already!!
Before + ProgressPast kitchen posts are here and here! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!

kitchen progress I: dry wall and electrical

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Now that the leak has been found and fixed, the walls have been bleached and dried, and the floor has been pulled out, we can move forward with the repairs of making this space back into a kitchen!
They replaced the drywall that was affected by the leak.
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Then, we moved onto lighting! I knew we needed more light! It was always so hard to take good blog pictures of food! Ha! We decided on six can lights dispersed throughout the galley, which will be on a dimmer. They also drywalled where the furrow used to be and took out that ugly fluorescent light! Yay!!
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One pendant light will be hung by the kitchen sink window. We are thinking the pendant below from school house electric will be perfect. The pendant will be a natural bronze or polished nickel, and I cannot wait to see it in person! It’s so sleek and that glossy black will be a fun friend to the light above the breakfast nook!
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Because of all the cracks in the ceiling and that big office light in the middle, we decided to “float the ceiling”. This required them to scrape off the existing texture, tape, mud, smooth the cracks out, and re-texture to make what we have today!
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We didn’t ignore our breakfast nook in the lighting department! We added four smaller can lights in the nook, which will also be on a dimmer switch, and we plan to keep our Eldridge pendant light hung over the farm table (or another table – I haven’t decided). But I’m SO excited to see it all come together, either way!
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We also have under-cabinet lighting and a light that illuminates our oven surface! Oh, Progress!
If you missed our original kitchen post, check it out here. Happy Weekend, Friends!

beer bread

Beer Bread Cover

This pregnant lady is having a little withdrawal from my favorite beer season. So, in honor of not being able to actually drink beer this season, I’ve incorporated it into an amazing bread. It is part amazing goodness, part comfort food. You’ll love this bread! Plus, it super easy to make! I’ll also ask everyone who makes this bread, during the month of October, to please, please drink an Oktoberfest and/or a pumpkin ale for me… with a piece of this bread or without. Tear.

Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 (12 oz.) can or bottle of beer
  • 1 stick butter, melted 

Mix flour, sugar, and beer together.  Spray loaf pan with cooking spray or (what I like) melted butter.

Beer Bread Mix

Bake bread at 350º F for 45 minutes. Pour butter over bread. Lift bread a little to let butter run down into pan.

Butter

Bake for 15 additional minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy! Easy, right?!

Beer Bread

kitchen planning + demo

Pre-DemoOur galley kitchen before the demo. Minus our hardware which we sold on Craigslist. 

I don’t think you realize the goodness (chaos) that is going on in our household. No, not the baby announcement!! We have a kitchen remodel in process, as I type this post! Actually, the contractor/workers have all gone home for the evening but you get my idea!

A couple of weeks ago, gosh more like a month ago, I started smelling this funky smell in our kitchen. It was especially prominent when I opened up the drawers, under the sink, and when we revved up our freight-train-sounding-dishwasher. The hubs didn’t smell it at first, and I started to believe this was something my pregnancy nose was conjuring up! Finally, the hubs smelled it, too, and we knew we had to do something. It smelled moldy! We had assessment peeps out and they established two things; yes, we were smelling mold, and pointed out some of it manifestations AND he, too, had no clue where it was coming from.

This meant demolition. Taking out the cabinets, at least on the sink side to expose the leak. At first, I was bummed that we didn’t get to do our kitchen remodel on our terms/timeline but then realized, this was the push we needed to just do it! We hired a contractor that was willing to work with our little galley kitchen and me, to make this space our own!

Below are a couple snapshots of the redesign and ideas I gave him for the space. We pushed our refrigerator over making more counter space for cooking, took out the furrow to extend the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling, added a wine cooler, apron sink, and put drawers next to the sink for towels!! It was wonderful living in our kitchen for three years before the planning, so we could tweak things we didn’t like throughout the space. There was a big part of me that wanted to open up the space (basically above the range) to the family room and have a more open concept kitchen; I pictured pendant lighting, a couple stools for the kiddos and the ability to see whats going on in the family room while in the kitchen. But, I was turned down numerous times for various reason. So, I’ll keep my uppers and the wall, and Jack and our baby girl will have to play unsupervised. I’m only kidding…

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As you can tell I’m a BIG fan of white kitchens! I love the cleanliness they possess, and the accent colors you can add to white throughout the years are endless. You aren’t tied down with a color scheme, which I like.
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I’m deciding between Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray, which I already love, or Valley Forge Tan; it’s a little lighter than Rockport with less mud green tones and more reddish undertones. And those are white subways tiles with two different quartz countertops. Sorry it’s more yellow than pure white in this picture.
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And then the demo began. Our contractor informed us this was the worst water damage he has seen, which was not uplifting news considering he has been in the business for 50+ years, but he reassured us it would look great, the leak would be fixed (yes, he found it, it was the main water line coming into the kitchen) and the damage would be fixed/replaced/cleaned and never be seen in the final product. After I saw this, I was a little leery myself…Cabinet Demo
Water Damage
The water damage went underneath our wood floor as well as our subfloor, which was not in the original plans for the space, but it had to be done. The leak just kept going! Luckily, our insurance will help us out with some of the cost.
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Other not-so-fun parts of renovation is our soon-to-be baby’s nursery now houses our kitchen! Our guest bath is our kitchen sink, dog bowl storage, and bath/bathroom! And our living room holds our pantry, refrigeration, and microwave. Jack thinks it’s heaven…. I guess at least someone likes the chaos.
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I’ll be back with the start of putting it allllll back together, soon!!
Happy weekend, Friends!