Home Improvement, Paint, Uncategorized

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!


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!


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.





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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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!).


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.


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.


The difference was astounding.


The whole space seems so much larger and brighter!


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


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.


One last time:






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.


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.



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.


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.


Life, Uncategorized

My best friend got married!

My best friend tied the knot last weekend in a lovely ceremony surrounded by family and friends. She looked absolutely phenomenal in her dress, which she found at a wedding dress consignment shop. Her aunt bejeweled her sash and veil, and Dana donned a warm, faux-fur shawl to complete her flawless winter look.

I was busy all day during her wedding, so my photos are not good at all. In fact, these photos aren’t even mine. (Thanks, Sara and Jenny!) Maids of Honor have no time for photos, sheesh!


Dana and Phillip got married in a beautiful chapel, then had their reception at the Savage Mill’s Great Room.


The room was still decorated for the holidays, with gold stars and metallic ball ornaments hanging from the ceiling. The bridal party got together the Thursday before the wedding to do the bouquets and centerpieces, which were made of baby’s breath and mason jars.


It was a wonderful day celebrating Dana and Phillip’s love. I couldn’t be happier for my best friend and her hubby.