Back with another kitchen update! Progress has slowed a bit around these parts as Kevin goes back to school (he’s currently studying architecture full time) and daily dedicated renovating hours drops to a third of the time we used to be able to fit in. But nevertheless it continues!
We’re technically at day 28 of work, though it’s taken roughly 8 weeks to get us that far. (If you need a quick catch up, here is the first week (including great ‘before’ photos), second week, and third week – as well as our inspiration board.)
Let’s jump right into week four:
As soon as we had word that the fabrication of our quartz countertops was complete, prep work began on getting the cabinets ready to support those big heavy loads. Plywood and even metal rods (embedded into the plywood on the island where there’s an overhang) will help to keep the weight of the countertops evenly dispersed.
And then suddenly fall hit – as did big white clouds threatening rain and drizzle on the exposed house. Day 22 was dedicated to weatherproofing our raw walls to keep the elements out.
With our new heat-resistant, scratch-proof countertops in place, the kitchen was beginning to look, well, more kitchen like. This project, in addition to the major electrical work, were the only two projects where we pulled in outside help. Quartz combines natural quartz (one of nature’s hardest materials), with polymer resin and pigment to produce a durable surface that will last and last. We left the fabrication, measuring and installation to the pros. (Just in case you’re interested, we chose HanStone in Tiffany Grey).
With those big, beautiful slabs installed, we were able to begin playing with color and materials for the walls and backsplash. To be sure the paint color complimented the room at all times of day, and blended well with both the wood and backsplash, I lined up strips of randomly selected greens to observe for several days and slowly began plucking them down as they were crossed off the list.
We found the perfect rubbed bronze faucet in the 50% off clearance section of Home Depot – and matching pulls for the cabinets at our favorite local cabinetry shop.
Look at all of this wonderful counter space! Very excited to use it for cooking prep and projects. And below that, here’s the stainless steal under-mount (a must) sink we scored on Craigslist for a measly $75 bucks. The retail value is 3-5 times that amount and we were thrilled with the find.
Mixing finishes (aka the stainless sink with the rubbed bronze fixtures) wasn’t an issue for us. The dark faucet was very Spanish, while the stainless steel matched our appliances and provided that pop of modern.
Then came the big backsplash decisions – how to incorporate a modern design that fit an historic Spanish-style home seamlessly? After testing out a variety of materials (see a few collages up) we settled on subway-shaped tile in glass. (Ohhh there are so many choices… keep an inspiration board/photo and edit as your tastes change). And the winning backsplash design?
A solid subway motif for behind the counters! That’s my photoshop rendering above to test out the look. If you checked in to Monday’s post, you noticed that we were debating between four similar looks, three of which included small 1″ square tiles in the same color to create a pattern behind the stove. And after much consideration, the subway prevailed in all of it’s simple glory!
But before we could install we had to wait for our chosen tile to ship to our local shop… (Arizona Tile, Kiwi Glass Subway by Skylights)
So while we waited, the electrician popped in to add a few outlets to the island and finish up a bit of wiring, and Kev applied a ‘floor board’ of tile along the cabinet edges. We liked this modern look and we’ve heard it does wonders for cleaning the kitchen while preserving the all wood cabinets (mopping, etc).
Since the kitchen has already received a layer of primer, the new “Buzz Brown” (by Velspar) color was added while I was away on a business trip (yeah for no icky fumes for the babe!). The olive color was the perfect match for the maple wood, dark counters and kiwi tiles.
Once the paint was dry, up went the custom hood and vent system that Kevin designed and installed from scratch (the room had been previously used as a bedroom & den, after all).
Finally it was time to install the backsplash – I had long awaited this moment as it had become a pivotal milestone in my mind for kitchen progress (cue the angels singing) and the nearing of construction in this part of the house.
And how beautiful it looks! I was thrilled with the final layout and the clean design. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures with better lighting to post soon – these are all a bit ‘cooler’ in tone than the actual soft look of the kitchen.
This is where the kitchen stands today.
Our goal was 30 days of total work and the projects remaining include: grout floor and backsplash, install molding, haul in appliances (which now sit in the garage) and hook all up to electrical, water & gas. Sooo we might go over the 30-days-of-work pledge that we had originally set, but not by much!
Tags: Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
Hope you had a lovely weekend! We enjoyed our camping trip and the beautiful weather this past weekend brought. Saturday was spent enjoying the sunshine, a few water sports and delicious campfire foods such as – my favorite – s’mores.
But then it was back to work…
Over the past six weeks we’ve been diligently working on upgrading our teeny tiny kitchen into a modern Spanish version to fit our 1930′s Spanish home. And we’re that much closer! (Here’s a look at update 1, update 2, update 3 and our inspiration board.)
After much deliberation between many different materials for the new backsplash, we decided that a glass tile in kiwi green would fit the look we were hoping to achieve. Our latest dilemma has been to determine the best design for the large space between the cabinets – subway tiles would provide a traditional spin on a more modern material (helping to blend that historic-meets-21st century look we love) but 1″ tiles mixed in might break up a wall of solid tile that’s on the verge of too plain.
Here’s Kevin and our friend, Dave holding up the new hood prior to installation (isn’t she perty!). A few quick photoshop renderings helped give us a visual of the four backsplash designs we’re deciding between:
1. Solid subway tiles – a clean and polished look that we love.
2. Subway tiles with a 1″ tile inlay that would sit right behind the range, perhaps providing a ‘pop’ for the stove area?
3. A boxed in version of #2 – this design would outline the 1″ tiles in a single row of subway tiles.
4. A beefed up version of design #3 using two subway tiles to border the 1″ tile rectangle.
We sat on these images for almost a week to make sure that our final choice was a well-thought out one. And I’m happy to say that Kevin just finished the last of the installation! I can’t wait to show a full update of the past week or so of work. Stay tuned…
Tags: Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »
As mentioned earlier in the week, we made it to the pumpkin patch on Sunday! I haven’t been to a pumpkin patch (pumpkins on the vines and all) for years… but now that our little group of friends has a group of little ones, everyone was excited to take photos and enjoy the fall scenery.
The farm was beautiful and full of photo opportunities… my favorite is Kevin attempting to empathize with my growing belly (bottom right photo). I told him he should carry the weight of the pumpkin under his shirt for the rest of the day if he really wanted to understand!
After plenty of delicious cider and pumpkin chili at a friend’s house, it was time to get back to the ‘spooky’ mantel.
We throw an annual Halloween party and decorating the house is a fun part of the preparation process – the mantel being a central feature! This year’s mantel was full of garage sale finds from Saturday’s hunt, a few new store additions and plenty from last year’s inventory.
I was really hoping to create something glittery for the mantel and was excited to find already-glittered pumpkins on sale at Target. The ‘decor’ aisle of grocery stores is usually full of great deals just about this time of the October month and I scooped up two plastic skulls, rubber spiders and cheese cloth.
The garage sale finds and plastic skulls received a coat of flat black spray paint (including chain links – haggled to have those thrown in for free – which were inspired by Centsational Girl’s haunted mantel):
Black & white photos stayed on the mantel while the colorful prints were cleared and replaced with the black empty picture frames. Cut out bats and plastic spiders from last year’s decorating made the perfect spooky fillers for the frames while cheese cloth and spider webbing draped the entire fireplace for an aged look.
An orange leaf garland cut into strips (used for fall decor too) added a bit of color amidst black flowers (diy dead centerpieces from last year) at the base of the frames. My Ikea black lantern fit right in.
The rest of the home received a few frightful updates as well. I resurrected last year’s construction paper cut outs and mixed in a few new friends made from vellum for picture frame pop outs (a great project for kids!). My husband wondered why the ghosts had hands… but I think think they look a bit friendlier the most Casper-like they are :
The bathroom apothecary jar collection was spruced up with plastic painted skulls, more cheese cloth, rubber spiders and my favorite spray painted faux florals:
And that’s the Halloween update! A few fun additions to a growing box of seasonal goodies… and it all topped out at just about $25 (including those great glitter pumpkins!). Can’t wait for the party in just a week and a half… I guess it’s about time to get planning. Here’s a look at the event from last year.
Tags: Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Halloween, Home, Parties & Entertaining
Posted in Crafty Solutions, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 8 Comments »