Kitchen Renovation -- Home Tour Part 1
We moved into our home at the very beginning of January 2015. The month leading up to our move-in was unbelievably stressful, thanks to our mortgage lender and our federal government’s untimely shutdown. We were finally able to close on our home and move in, which was such a massive relief. We’ll share the details of our mortgage fiasco in another post though, because it’s a pretty long story!
As I had mentioned before, Aaron and I are home project addicts, and we started on our projects almost immediately after moving in. Our kitchen is probably my favorite room in our home, so I thought I’d start our home tour off with our renovation of it.
Pretty much everything in our home was still builder-grade when we bought it, with the exception of a few upgrades, like our granite countertops and bar. The countertops are the only things we didn’t touch in our kitchen. We started off with painting the entire downstairs in Benjamin Moore’s London Fog, and replacing the black appliances with stainless steel. We bought our fridge and microwave a few weeks before we moved in, and it didn’t take very long to replace the oven and dishwasher. We went with all Samsung in the kitchen, except for the dishwasher which is an LG. The salesperson at Lowe’s actually cautioned us against Samsung dishwashers, because he had seen a lot of problems and subsequent returns of their dishwashers. We’ve been thrilled with all of our appliance purchases thus far.
Our fridge is wonderfully large for a bigger family like ours, and my favorite part is the pull out drawer in the middle! Our oven is so awesome because you have the option of inserting a separator to turn it into two ovens, which is genius on big gatherings like Thanksgiving. It also has a warming drawer underneath, which is most often used for pancakes and waffles.
We also replaced all of the lighting in the kitchen; we first installed our chandelier over the table, and installed the pendant light over the sink. We replaced the bulbs of the recessed lighting with LEDs, and also replaced the recessed inserts with chrome/white inserts (they were previously all white), and we put a new light in front of the door to the laundry room.
The next upgrade we made was the flooring. The floor was previously linoleum, and we knew we wanted to go with a darker wood in there, but we had two little ones under 4 at the time, so instead of doing hardwood we decided to look at all of the options. Our initial thought was to do laminate flooring, but we still weren’t crazy about the higher maintenance of it (spills, scratch potential, etc), so we actually decided to do tongue and groove vinyl “wood” flooring, and we’ve been so happy with it. It’s super scratch-resistant, spills are no big deal, and it still looks really nice in there. When we replaced the flooring, we also replaced the baseboards and got completely rid of quarter round (because I hate quarter round). The door and hinge hardware for all three doors in there were switched out as well.
We thought our downstairs could use a little bit of a feature wall, so we decided to stencil a design on the column between the kitchen and living room. Not gonna lie, it was a total pain in the butt but we are so happy with the way it turned out! Another minor upgrade we made was replacing the wood blinds with white to match the sliding door’s vertical blinds.
The most recent upgrade to the kitchen, minus the painting and repainting of the pantry door a few weeks ago, was painting the cabinets white. There’s just something so beautiful and elegant about white cabinets in a kitchen, and we were so excited to make the switch. Aaron started the project off himself by meticulously sanding them down, but when we realized how time consuming and difficult the project would be without a sprayer, we decided to hire out the rest of the project. We love to DIY, but there are some things that are just worth paying others to do, and for us painting the cabinets was one of those things. We used Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint in Chantilly Lace, and we highly highly highly recommend spending a little extra and using that paint. It is great stuff and has held up amazingly well with 3 crazy kids constantly running around and bumping into the cabinets. They’re also super easy to wipe food spills and other yucky things off of.
We’re super happy with the way our kitchen has turned out. Don’t be afraid to spread out your projects over the course of a year or two, especially if you’re DIYing it. Prioritize what’s most important to you, and then work your way down the list. Your bank account will appreciate having it spaced out, and it’ll help keep you from getting burned out or overwhelmed. And there’s also nothing wrong with having some, or even all, of it hired out!