Did I mention we redid our kitchen?

My kitchen is never clean enough to photograph. It’s not that we’re gross people, or so I tell myself. But something is always on the counter that shouldn’t be, or there’s a tumbleweed of dog hair on the floor, or we went to bed without loading all of the dishes into the sink. Basically, we’re normal human beings. So it’s taken me FOREVER to make my kitchen photo worthy, even though it’s been complete for at least two months. It was only after I took these photos that I noticed the side and top of the fridge look like the normal hot mess they always are, but screw it. My house never looks perfect, and I think that is just fine for you all to see.

So, here is our finished kitchen!

ASOAT_Kitchen_Complete4

If you’re interested in the whole story, I’ll start from the beginning. Here is the grand before shot (although the wall’s been opened at this point). See, we love us a cluttered fridge!

ASOAT_Kitchen_Before

We did three main things: walls, floors and cabinets.

You already saw in this post that we widened the doorway in our kitchen, removing the door completely and bumping the walls to the edge of the cabinets and to the ceiling. It made our first floor feel a lot more open concept without removing all that much drywall. And the kitchen feels giant now! We are also really enjoying having our table where it was designed to be, in the middle of the dining room rather than up against the wall. It is easier to get around both sides of the table, which is really convenient if we have guests.

Before:

Wall_Before_K

After:

Wall_After_k

We also lightened the wall color, using the same Sea Salt green paint we chose for our bedroom.

The second thing we did was the floors, and all of the kuddos go to Brian. While I was working from home, he removed all of the tile floor, which had been cracking, chipping and losing grout at an alarming pace for years.

ASOAT_Kitchen_Tile-Removal

I HATED the kitchen floors before. They were cheap, ugly and poorly installed. Even the subfloor was a welcome change to the tile.

ASOAT_Kitchen_Tile-Reoved

So when we started talking about redoing the hardwoods throughout the rest of the house, we decided to get a quote for laying hardwoods in the kitchen and feathering them into the existing floors.

ASOAT_Kithcen_Floors-Laid

I am so so happy we did this. It gives the first floor a cohesive look since there isn’t a glaring transition between the kitchen and dining room. And since there isn’t a threshold between the spaces, it makes cleaning the floors a breeze.

ASOAT_Kitchen_Stained-Floors

The last thing we did, which I get to take all of the credit for, was painting the cabinets. I did a lot of research on the best paint to use for kitchen cabinets and settled on Benjamin Moore Advance paint. I’ve used Benjamin Moore Impervo paint on a dresser before, and it’s held up remarkably well. The only blemish is when Brian ran into it on a hoverboard. Womp womp.

The Benjamin Moore store was great. And no, I was not given free paint to say that.  I went in to talk to the people and they recommended I come back and bring in a door and a sample of the backsplash tile we want to eventually install. After seeing the door, they recommended a specific primer based on the type of existing finish. And after much debate and opinions from most of the staff, we ended up choosing Decorator’s White, which I would describe as a pretty pure white. It definitely doesn’t skew warm, which is good because I didn’t want that at all. Once I bought the paint, we got to work taking down and labeling all of the doors.

ASOAT_Kitchen_No-Doors

Then came the “fun” part. I sanded, dusted, deglossed and primed all of the doors and the base cabinets. I also caulked gaps between the base cabinets and walls and filled holes from shoddy installation (thanks, Fannie Mae!).

ASOAT_Kitchen_Doors

Then, I applied three coats to all of the cabinets. This took longer on the doors because of the front and back factor. I wanted to do this right, so I forced myself to take my time and not rush through the painting. It took me about the standard length of a movie to do a coat on the cabinets, so once I figured that out I started enjoying the monotony of painting a bit more.

ASOAT_Kitchen_Doors-painted

And then we waited. We waited for the doors to dry. We waited for the floors to cure. We waited and waited. And once we were satisfied that we wouldn’t muck up all of the hard work we’d done to prepare, we reassembled the cabinets.

ASOAT_Kitchen_PuttingonDoors

The difference was astounding.

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The whole space seems so much larger and brighter!

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And did I mention I got a fancy glass-top stove! Swoon. Buh-bye coils!

ASOAT_Kitchen_Complete2

The cabinets have held up pretty well so far. I touched up a few spots that got dinged from us putting them back up, and the Benjamin Moore paint is really great for that. Touch-ups don’t stand out as fresh paint. I suspect I’ll have to touch up every now and then, but these cabinets are really and experiment to see how white cabinets hold up in general to kitchen grime. If we ever redo a kitchen in another house down the road, I think I’d definitely choose white cabinets again.

So there you have it, folks. It was a helluva lot of work, but man it was worth it! Our first floor is a brand new space and we love it.

ASOAT_Kitchen_jlovesb

One last time:

Before:

ASOAT_Kitchen_Before

After:

ASOAT_Kitchen_Complete4

Final Reveal: Hardwood Floors

The last month has been a bit crazy,  but my semester ended and I finally had time to take some photos of our beautiful wood floors.

Finished-family-room

I have a love-hate relationship with our new floors—don’t worry, it skews heavily on the love end of the spectrum. They are gorgeous. Gorgeous. I can’t believe how much they’ve elevated to look of our home. It’s a whole new house and I adore it even more, if that’s even possible.

They also make us the cleanest people on the planet. Seriously, I think I sweep every day, or at least every other day. Who knew people and dogs made so much filth?

OK… I did. I just blissfully ignored it with carpet because it wasn’t noticeable. Am I officially an adult since I sweep every day? I think so.

Bedroom_final2

The downside to our floors is that I’m an overprotective freak show about them. OH MY GOD REMMY DON’T MOVE ON THE FLOORS YOU MIGHT SCRATCH THEM. BRIAN, DID YOU GET A DROPLET OF WATER ON THE FLOORS!?!?! AHHHHHHHH. PUT PROTECTIVE PADS ON ALL THE THINGS!!!

I know that will pass and the floors will wear beautifully with all of the dings and scuffs my family lovingly puts in them by living our lives in our house. But so soon? Couldn’t they stay perfect for even a day?

No. And I’ll tell you why. Because someone dropped a huge printer on the floors the day we got back in our house and put a dime-sized divot in the perfectly finished hardwoods. That was after tripping UP the stairs and dropping an end table on the floors in the hallway. Ugh, and that someone was ME.

I cried. A lot.

Finished-family-room_2

The other downside to the floors is that they are squeaky and I HATE noises. I can’t get mad about it, though. Our house was built in the ’60s and the floors are old. How could they not squeak? But I’m one of those people who is super sensitive to noises (thanks for sharing that trait, dad!), so I notice and it does drive me a little nuts. Turns out our crappy carpet masked a lot of those old house creaks. But what can you do? Get over it, basically. I do joke with Brian that he’s gonna come home one day and find me with the nail gun securing the floor so it doesn’t squeak. Never mind the 100+ nails, right?

Even with the squeaks and the dings, I would do it all over again. I love love love our new floors and am happy we finally agreed to do it.

 

Renovation Station, part 2

When I last left you in March, my house was in complete disarray after opening the wall between be kitchen and my dining room.

Wall_After_k

Even when the wall project was complete, our renovation was not. We decided to go for it and rip up all of the carpet in our house to refinish the hardwood flooring underneath. We had hardwoods underneath all of the carpet on the upper two levels of our house, except for in our coat closet. In two weeks, Brian and I tore up all of the carpet, tack strips and staples before we had a company come in to do the rest of the work for us.

RippingUpCarpet2

It was a lot of work, but we saved about $1,000 doing it ourselves. The payoff was pretty immediate.

RippingUpCarpet1

Look at those hardwoods!

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We got pretty lucky. For being covered up for who knows how many years the floors were in pretty good shape. We had some major scratching in our office that sanded out, much to our surprise.

ScaryScratches

We effectively moved out of our house for a week while the floor guys came in to do their handy work.

First they sanded down a few spots to do a stain test. Our goal was to match our laminate flooring as close as possible.

Staintest1

We ended up choosing the stain on the right corner of the step.

Staintest2

It is Minwax’s Provincial, and it was a tough choice! We really liked the darkest color but I didn’t want to pick a color that would immediately make all dirt specs visible. Especially with a light-haired dog — it seemed like a big mistake.

Here’s our bedroom before:

bedroombefore

After they sanded it down:

bedroomsanded

And from a different angle, with Minwax Provincial stain:

bedroomstained

OH MY GOSH SO PRETTY. Here’s the stairs after being stained:

stairssanded

And here they are stained:

stairscomplete

The stain color we chose matched really nicely with the laminate flooring we’d laid in our basement a few years ago. It was a great pick!

Here’s our living room floors before:

LivingRoom

You can see here a lot of dark staining on the floors. The flooring guys actually tore out those boards to fix the problem! How cool does this look?

patching

And you’d never know they had to remove anything:

Floorscomplete

We are really happy with how the floors came out. I’ll share photos of the entire renovation soon. Stay tuned!