The Remodel

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It's about to get real!

We have remodeled several areas of our home over the past 5 years...
the half bathroom downstairs
the master bathroom
the master bedroom
the upstairs bathroom (expanded)
an upstairs office addition, using attic space
an outdoor kitchen, deck and arbor area
AND we even remodeled the kitchen.
(All of this remodeling and I didn't even list the additional things like installing plank walls, beaded board, new front door, etc)

Yet, we have decided to remodel the kitchen AGAIN.

Let me explain.

The only deterrent in buying our home 8 years ago was the size of our kitchen and apparently, it wasn't enough of an issue to keep us from making an offer.  It's funny though, a feature of that very kitchen, the hardwood floors, actually sold us on the house!  I didn't care for the cold tile of kitchens and hearth rooms in most homes that we toured.  I wanted something warmer and this floor did it for me.  So the kitchen sold us yet it almost made us not buy the home!

Fast forward to 5 years ago when we decided to remodel the kitchen.  This is what it looked like then.

These were the laminate countertops that had to be replaced!

Plus, we wanted to add a cool backsplash, sink and faucet.

The rest of our wish list included expansion with more cabinets, a larger island and a gas range.

We quickly found out that we wouldn't be able to add the gas range without spending an enormous chunk of money. There also seemed to be nothing that we could do about the floor plan since our foundation is a concrete slab.  We learned that hammering up concrete to run plumbing and gas lines ran into figures that our budget did not support!

However, we managed to come up with a small solution to our storage problem by removing the built in desk and adding an antique cupboard for additional space. We really enjoyed that DIY PROJECT!

We were able to install new granite countertops, a beautiful sink and a nice faucet.

The remodel really did turn out beautiful and I love(d) my kitchen.
My favorite feature was (and still is) the tile work.

Fast forward 5 years to current 2015.
I have OFFICIALLY outgrown my kitchen.

I absolutely love to cook with my family and friends all around.  I love to cook with my husband.  He is my SOUS CHEF, after all.  Sometimes, I am known to cook 3 meals a day and I ENJOY IT but I struggle because I have NO counter space.  I hate our current cook top and I long for a kitchen with room to move and storage space for all the gadgets and cookware that I would love to buy!  I have been loathing my kitchen so much (not it's appearance, mind you) that I began looking at local real estate and trying to decide if it was a wise decision to just MOVE rather than stay settled on this current kitchen or to sink major bucks into YET ANOTHER remodel!?!

I looked at houses, new houses, beautiful houses.  Houses on water, houses on land, houses nearby, country houses, new houses, old gorgeous houses... this is beginning to sound like a Dr. Seuss book.  I LOVED what I was finding.  I even messaged a couple of builders and thought about building something from the ground up!

There I sat, at my kitchen bar, looking at new homes online, looking at land and dreaming.

And then I glanced up and looked at my kitchen.  My thought was "I love my kitchen".  That was my gut feeling and I couldn't make it go away.  That betraying thought and feeling.  What was I thinking?   Who was I kidding? I couldn't move and leave my home.  I love my home and I love my kitchen.  I love it because of the memories... the birthday cakes, the meals I have prepared while my kids sat at the bar doing their elementary school homework, and the meals I've taught my girls to cook in that kitchen.  I thought of the science projects that we mixed and even baked (crayons, enough said).  I thought of how fun it was to pick out that backsplash, to design that travertine brick wall (it's stunning), I could go on and on with the memories that were flooding in and I knew right then that this wasn't happening.  We were not moving from this home. This home is "HOME" to us and to our girls - not because of a kitchen!

Then, I started thinking...

 and Steve joined me.

We sat there, we thought, we drew

and we sat there and we talked and we thought and we drew some more

and we even took painters tape to the hardwood floors

and we "drew out" (in tape), a plan for our kitchen.

We said, "If we could do it any way we wanted, what would we do?" and we dreamed and we drew and we taped and we planned.

After many hours of thinking, days of drawing, weeks of planning and now going into months of wishing - it appears that our dream might come true.  We put a budget down on paper.  We put a plan down on paper.  We came up with ideas that made a gas range an affordable part of the budget.  We conjured up ideas that made our kitchen bigger and better without having to do much "construction".

We met with Designers, Plumbers, Dry Wall Experts, Cabinet Builders, Appliance Dealers, Electricians and finally multiple meetings with our Contractor. With all the planning, the research and the meetings, we discovered that we CAN do this and we have decided to begin this dream project.

I am excited to share this design process and remodel adventure with you!  In upcoming posts, I will be covering everything from tile choices to appliance picks.  I will discuss differences in granite, quartz and concrete.  I will look at current trends like apron sinks, pendant lights and mismatched cabinet finishes. I have done my homework, my friends, and I want to share what I've learned.  I'll keep links to all the different projects and aspects of the remodel at the end of each post so it will be easy for you to click through and learn.  I will also TREASURE your comments as we go!

Now, let's get started.

The beginning of this transformation started last week when we decided that I would paint our current kitchen cabinets (the ones that will be incorporated into the new design).  We wanted to get a feel for the cabinet color and the finish.  As I shopped for cabinets, I wasn't thrilled with much of the distressed or glazed cabinets that I was finding.  As a "FURNITURE REFINISHER, PAINTER AND DISTRESS-er" (hmmm that's a mouth full!) I wanted them to have my touch, my look and I wanted them to be UNIQUE.  So here goes.  Tomorrow I will be posting PHASE ONE of the remodel - my painted kitchen cabinets.  It's a DIY Tutorial so stretch your shoulders and arms, grab your paint supplies and get a good night's sleep because if you're ready to tackle this one with me, just prepare to be very sore, tired and yet oh so satisfied!

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