Friday, December 9, 2011

Our kitchen reno has begun!

You might have noticed in pictures or if you've seen it in person, but our kitchen is ugly with a capital FUG. We knew this when we moved in 8+ years ago and it's been on our list of things to improve "some day" (aka, when we can afford it). Everything is/was very "base model" including the fixtures throughout the house, flooring, counters, cabinetry, appliances, etc. It's actually one of the things that was a plus when buying our first house since it was completely functional, but a lower price point than a house with upgrades. It was actually only a few years old when we moved in, it's in a great location in our town, in a cul-de-sac that backs up to the woods as opposed to other houses, so we've got some privacy.

We replaced most of the light fixtures and faucets right away and even did some major construction a few years ago to add a fourth bedroom over our two-story living room. Now we're FINALLY able to move on to the kitchen. On the agenda: new stainless appliances, granite counters, laminate wood floors (in the kitchen, dining room and foyer), white subway tile back splash, and painting the cabinets white. Structurally the cabinets are fine, even though they're super cheap looking. Adam and I are really hoping that white paint will make them look better. If not, we'll look into new doors at some later point in time. We also want to add some sort of island (another upgrade the original owners opted out of) and replace the huge bug catcher fluorescent light.

We started off by scoring some stainless appliances on an hhgegg Veterans day sale to match our fridge. Adam and I spent the better part of a Friday evening attempting to install the dishwasher and microwave. Key word is attempting. No matter how hard we try, we are just not DIY-ers. Not handy, we lack the appropriate tools, and apparently the general know-how to accomplish tasks that should be easy. We had to call my wonderfully handy father-in-law who came to our rescue the next day.

kitchen renovation: installing appliances
See what I mean? FUG! And a complete mess while Adam tries to place the template for the microwave.

That's probably one of the reasons we've put off the reno for so long. If we could lay our own laminate floors, we probably would have been able to get rid of the ugly, peeling linoleum and stained dining room carpet years ago.

And I'm still debating with Adam about whether we should paint the cabinets and do the tile back splash ourselves. Part of me wants to do it, but finding the time is one of the biggest hurdles for us. I have no idea how so many wonderful bloggers I follow find the time. Working full time and entertaining 3 kids on the weekend doesn't leave the hours and hours of free time needed to paint and tile. So we'll see if that happens, or if we get Adam's painters (the guys who paint his apartments, and who have painted several rooms in our house) to do the cabinets and our granite guys to do our back splash.

Next up is the granite. They did the template yesterday, and we get to pick our slab on Monday. We're going with Blue Pearl, but the slab we choose will definitely be more gray than blue. If all goes well, we might have new counters and a shiny new sink by next weekend!

Floors probably won't be until after the new year, but we picked out a handscraped chestnut hickory laminate from Lowes. I went back and forth on the laminate vs. engineered hardwood debate and primarily due to cost and durability, we went with laminate. If money weren't a factor, I would have gone with engineered hardwood, but I think what we picked is going to look fabulous and I just can't wait to get the ball rolling!

Goodbye fugly kitchen! More pics to come once the counters are in so stay tuned.


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