Nov 18, 2010

Kitchen People

{To see Part I of this post, click here}

The last few weeks have been good, busy, and a little crazy.  I apologize for my lack of posting (again).

Last week, I woke up at 2:30am and realized I only have 6 weeks left to go.  Most people at this stage would think this is a good thing, but I kind of started to panic.  Then, I realized that if this baby was born at the same time I was born (3 1/2 weeks early), then I would only have 2 1/2 weeks left!  

I tossed and turned and couldn't shut off my brain (or get comfortable regardless of the fact that I sleep with a million pillows surrounding me), so I went downstairs and went on a little list-making and online-shopping spree, trying to check things checked off the "to-do before baby comes" list.  

One thing I purchased (that just arrived today!) was eeBoo's Counting Animals wall art.  They are a set of 8x10 wall art cards, which I think are one of the cutest things I think I've ever seen.  :)  The company also makes tons of other cool stuff, so if you are in the market for baby or kids stuff, check out their website.  I also love the alphabet cards, growth charts, tot towers, and pretty much everything.  

I've also been spending lots of time on this website.  I think a lot of the panic feeling I'm having probably has much to do with the fact that we're still having a hard time deciding on a name.  Although we have a list of about 5 names that we both agree on (just not in the same order), there are strikes against each one, like...
  • it's too common
  • it's too uncommon
  • too old?
  • too new?
  • we know a few kids/babies with the name already
  • someone told us they want to use the same name
  • it sounds too much like "Callie"
  • and other reasons
But hopefully, hopefully, we'll figure this out soon and our talking in circles and not getting anywhere will stop.  If only we were having a boy because we have a whole list ready and waiting of boy names!  :)

On to the title of this post.  

When we were looking at houses last year with our realtor, he said he thought we were "kitchen people."  At first I wasn't sure what he meant exactly, but then I realized that with each house we visited, we (I?) would dream up ways to update and customize the kitchen.  I guess they say it's the heart of the home, which very well may be true, right?  

The house we ended up choosing had great backbones for the kitchen (an island, kitchen desk, and open floorplan), but it just didn't have the style or "custom-ness" that I was wanting.  So we went to work, and many of you have probably seen our "phase I" before-and-after here where we painted pretty much every surface imaginable (even countertops and light fixtures).  You can also see some of our favorite inspiration pictures here.

Now, after much saving, planning, dreaming, and hard work (and begging my husband...just kidding?), I'm excited to share that we're done with Phase II!

Just for the full effect, I have to repost our before picture (hubby on the right):

And the after, Phase II (I apologize these pictures are a little grainier than I wanted them to be, but I had to take these pictures one morning before Callie could mess up my clean kitchen and it was a little dark). :)

Probably the most drastic (and expensive) change was the Italian Carrara marble countertops.  I went back and forth between the decision of doing these or black granite.  Marble is known for being soft, scratching and staining easily, and just not as durable as granite (not to mention expensive).  I did tons of research on Carrara marble, and all those things are true, but when it came down to it, we decided that although not the most practical choice, it's probably best to get what we really want since we're only planning to redo our kitchen once (thanks to the encouragement of my hubby).

I surprisingly have not had any remorse with our decision (although, if you're ever at our house, DO NOT use vinegar, lemon juice, or ANY household cleaners/acidic liquids on our counters...and DO NOT drop anything hard onto the countertops because they make chip or leave a me, I know).  :)  Yes, they are not the most practical choice.  But I guess I figured it's better to have an imperfect first love than a perfect second choice.  :)  And I do love them.  Plus, we were a little afraid that the extreme popularity of granite would end soon, since we are on the late end of the trend.

A few other things we did...we replaced the kitchen sink.  I absolutely love farm sinks (also called apron sinks), and we found this one at Ikea of all places! It's huge, it's a great price, and it's built to fit most standard kitchens.  We had to cut out the faux drawers that we in front of our old sink.  This sink as reduced the amount of square footage of marble that we used, which was a nice bonus that saved a little more money.  I was originally wanted an old-fashioned-looking bridge faucet, but most of those require 3-4 faucet holes in the sink, and this sink only has one.  Plus, I realized that although my countertops were the impractical choice, I probably should get a hot/cold faucet with one lever (the practical choice) instead of two for hot/cold, especially with kids we plan to have and all. :)

The other drastic change was the white subway tile we put up as the backsplash.  White subway tile is such a classic choice, and the best part is it's actually really cheap (especially when you put it up yourself and get it on sale)!  Thanks to Cici and Papa for taking Callie for a weekend, we got this done within two days, aching backs and dry hands and all.  :)  And I think we only spent around $50-60 for the tile.

We bought our pot rack here, which in my opinion adds lots of dimension and coziness to the kitchen (there are a lot of cool ones at other places too).

Here's one of my favorite views of the kitchen seen from when I first walk downstairs in the mornings (well, only a favorite view if the kitchen is clean like this, which it usually isn't).   The other main things we did is put in recessed lighting to replace the old fixtures (which ended up being a pain because we had a pipe issue).  And we put in a butcher block island, which I love (and have a surface I can beat up on).  :) I just noticed the other day that Katie Lee has some similar choices in her kitchen.

And there it is.  Our kitchen "remodel."

So to recap, here's what we did with Phase II:

  • Italian Carrara marble countertops
  • Butcher block island countertops 
  • Subway tile
  • Farm sink and new faucet
  • Pot rack and recessed lighting

Our plans for Phase III (the final stage) are to put in stainless steel appliances and some crown molding around the cabinets. But for now, we're enjoying (and working on being content with) what we have.

And yes, our kitchen is never this clean.  :)


Nate and Natalie said...

The kitchen is beautiful!!! Looks NOTHING like when you bought the home. You, Kyle and whoever else helped did a great job.

Also, as for names, we don't have a name chosen either, I wouldn't stress about it too much.

Laura said...

Gorgeous! You did an amazing job! I love the Carrara marble countertops too, but I know we would stain them in the first week. So I'll just live vicariously through you and enjoy looking at them through photos :) Can't wait to see pics of the rest of your house!

Suzanne said...

It's beyond gorg....I just love it, your work and white kitchens!

Katie C said...

Happened upon your blog. Needless to say, beautiful transformation. I saw the color of your cabinets and wondering if you have loved this color against your white appliances enough that if you had to keep it around you would? In other words, I have white appliances that I can't afford to replace anytime soon and I want to make a good "creamy" paint choice. What do you think? Also, interested in what you did with the countertops in the first phase. How long did it last you? Again, no immediate plans for new countertops and wondering if your quick fixes could last for a while? Oh, and did you poly your cabinets at the end or just use the semi-gloss paint and call it good? Sorry, so many questions.... =)

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