Monday, April 7, 2014

Kitchen Makeover: Final Reveal!

Our mini kitchen makeover is finally complete!  This makeover is by no means one of those jaw dropping before & afters, where you can hardly recognize the original space.  However, we think the changes we made make a huge difference overall!

To recap: our whole plan was to update our kitchen without having to paint the cabinets - not only are they newer & in good condition, we didn't feel like taking on the extra task of painting the cabinets since we plan on moving eventually anyway.  In other words, we weren't concerned with getting our
'dream kitchen' at this point.

To achieve our goal, we updated the counters with Frosty Carrina quartz, replaced the backsplash with white ceramic subway tile, & made some other minor updates (you can read more on those details in these prior posts: ordered countertopspicked out a sink & faucetdemoed our existing backsplash & countersinstalled Frosty Carrina quartz & sink, installed installed our faucet & drywallinstalled backsplash, grouted backsplash, new pendant light & finishing touches).

So here's what the kitchen looked like when we moved in back in 2008:

 It wasn't awful by any means, just not our current style.  It's funny how tastes can change, because we initially thought this kitchen was pretty nice (particularly in comparison with our former apartment kitchen).  Even though we always planned on upgrading the laminate countertops, we actually liked the travertine backsplash originally.

However, over the last few years we've made some minor changes in our home (painted, updated some lighting, & added some decor/furniture) and, eventually, the stone backsplash didn't really jive with the style of the rest of our house.  Here's what the kitchen looked like in January (before we started demo):

And here's what our updated kitchen looks like now!

The countertops read as solid bright white in photos, but in person they are a softer white
with grey veining (we think it's a great alternative to marble).
Here are some close-ups of the Frosty Carrina quartz by Caesarstone:

One of the best decisions we made was going with the larger single bowl sink & new faucet.
We seriously love the sink area now:

So those were the basic before & after photos, but here's what the kitchen looks
like after adding back our small appliances & other everyday items:

We bought some parsley, basil, & mint from Lowe's & replanted them in these plain white pots:

 This is our 'coffee area' - where we keep our Keurig machine & Vue packs:

The alphabet magnets were originally primary colors, so we spray painted them all white:

Before & Afters:

The first thing we made in our new kitchen was some lemon poppy seed bread!

We think this mini makeover demonstrates that you can update your kitchen without having to paint your cabinets!

Mel & Nader

Source List:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Kitchen Update: Paint Touch-ups, Window Sill, & a New Light

Now that we are completely done with the backsplash install, we can finish up on the last few projects!  (If you'd like to see our progression from start to finish, check out these posts: ordered countertopspicked out a sink & faucetdemoed our existing backsplash & countersinstalled Frosty Carrina quartz & sinkinstalled our faucet & drywallinstalled backsplash, & grouted backsplash)

Here's where we left off in our last post, after grouting & caulking the backsplash:

There were still 3 more items on our to-do list: we needed to install a new light above the sink,
re-install the window sill & trim, and touch-up the paint around the backsplash.

First thing we started on was the painting - since it was looking like this:

We had some leftover Wheat Bread by Behr in the garage.  Problem was, it didn't quite match anymore.  You might have seen this photo on our Instagram:

Ugh.  You know what that meant, right?  Yup.  We had to repaint the entire kitchen.  While the actual wall surface that needed to be repainted wasn't huge, it did require a lot of cutting in.  There was no way around it though, so Mel spent a couple of hours repainting the kitchen on a rainy day:

Next up, re-installing our window sill & trim.  It was still unfinished from when we tiled the backsplash:  

First, we had to cut down the window sill so it would fit behind the new taller faucet.  After we trimmed it down, we puttied & sanded any dings & dents since they were pretty beat up looking:

After the wood filler was dry, we painted them with some white semi-gloss that we had in the garage:

After we nailed down the window sill, we attached the trim piece below the sill using an adhesive that was made for both wood & ceramic use.  We left the painters tape up overnight...
just to make sure it didn't slide down as it dried:

The next day we caulked all the cracks, crevices, & gaps with a paintable caulk.
Using a wet finger, we smoothed out all the caulk seams:

After the caulk was dry, we did some touch-ups where needed:

Lastly, we needed to find a new light for above the sink.  We have replaced every single ceiling mounted fixture (AKA: boob light) in our house - except this one:

We had pinned a few options that we really liked & we seemed to gravitate towards a few specific styles:

First places we checked out were our local home improvement stores.  There were several options that we liked, but our favorite light was the Home Decorators Collection White Opal Pendant from HD.  We really liked the look of it & the fact that you could use a 100 watt bulb (we wanted bright task lighting).  Plus, the glass shade would hide the bulb.  If we had used a light with an exposed bulb, we would of had to use an Edison bulb, which generally aren't as bright.

It came with 4 metal extension rods, but we only needed one - if that:
We loved it.  

Unfortunately, once we switched positions & Mel held it up...we had an issue.  It hung too low & came close to hitting Nader in the head.  We were bummed because we really liked this look (they obviously have higher ceilings though).  So, back to the drawing board...

We ran back to HD & decided to try out a couple of semi-flushmount ceiling fixtures instead.

We tried out the smaller option first & it looked a little dwarfed:

The larger version filled the space much better:

Although we originally wanted a pendant, we had to go with what worked best for our space.  Luckily, this fixture was similar to the pendant in that it also used a 100 watt bulb & had a similar opaque glass shade.  We removed the old light & installed the new one in about 15 minutes.

old light vs. new light:

It also coordinates well with the existing track lighting we already had up:

Here's a reminder of what the sink area looked like at the beginning of our makeover:

So far, we are very happy with our mini kitchen makeover.  We really like the juxtaposition of the modern elements (like the quartz and stainless steel sink & faucet) & the more traditional components (like the schoolhouse light & subway tile).

Now that all the renos & updates are finished, our final 'kitchen update reveal' will be up soon!

Mel & Nader