Tuesday, February 13, 2018

house update: the kitchen and dining room

I'm so excited to finally share our updated kitchen! It's been a long seven months of slowly piecing it together (and we aren't really done yet). The kitchen was a real sticking point when we were debating buying our house as it was just not a functional kitchen. At a quick glance it was great - new appliances, a granite countertop, and white cabinets. But then you look closely and actually think about a full functional kitchen and you realize a few things....like that the current set up only has ONE drawer, three cabinets, and minimal countertop space. We don't own a ton of kitchen things, but enough that we need more than that! But with some convincing CR of the vision, and now nine months later, I think we are both so happy with our decision to buy this home and make it our own!

So above is what our kitchen looked like on the day of closing. When you walk in through the side door of the house, the top left picture is what you saw. If you turned right, you saw what is on the top right picture. To the right and behind of the kitchen entrance is that empty space in the bottom left picture. And then straight ahead to the left was the empty wall you see in the bottom right picture. 

So our plan was to add cabinets against the wall. We initially debated doing a center island instead, but we wanted to have a pantry area, so cabinets against the wall made more sense. A coffee station was to be added to the little space between the kitchen entrance and the bathroom door.

During the first weeks of owning our house, we spent painted the whole house Gliddean's Universal Grey. We replaced all of the hardware with matte black ones. Some people have that knack for mixing metals and colors and so on, but...I'm not one of them. So having a matte black everywhere just made so many things easier!

So here are the before and afters!
before || after!
So this is what it looks like now when you walk into the kitchen! The biggest change we made to the kitchen and dining room area was the cabinets we installed, and the new lighting (more about that in a bit!).
kitchen with subway tile
Above is the progression from May of last year to last weekend! The cabinets on the other side of the kitchen were pre-fab cabinets from Lowe's that had recently been discontinued, but luckily Home Depot had very very similar ones, so we bought two of the double door cabinets and a stand up pantry. CR installed them himself (I literally didn't even know how to help with that process). The other side of the kitchen had just had new granite countertops installed, so we were obligated to get the same color for the other side. I personally would have chosen something a little different, but it was close enough to matching the idea of what we wanted. After that was installed, CR built floating shelves (he used this post as a guide) and stained them to a very similar color to our hardwood floors in the rest of the house. This past weekend we finally added a subway tile backsplash! I love how it turned out. 
how to build floating shelves

I love that we have a place to show off our pretty flatware and bowls (ours are from Target, and I check every time I'm there if they've mades ones in a new patterns!). I'd still like to add a few things, especially to the top shelf, like a nice fake fern (fake because I keep trying to have real ones and immediately kill them). The canisters are some of my favorites as well - it's such a clean way to keep the baking supplies in plain sight, and CR loves when the cookie jar is filled!
subway tile backplash
The biggest change on the other side of the kitchen was replacing the backsplash. The people who owned our house before had done a lot of things on the cheap when they were getting the house ready for sale, so they bought the cheapest tile, and used it on the kitchen backsplash, the guest bathroom wall, and the full bathroom's floor. So obviously the beige bathroom floor tile was not my favorite things about the kitchen! One crowbar, two boxes of tiles, and three days of work later, I have the Joanna Gaines backsplash of my basic b*tch dreams. But seriously, I am obsessed with this transformation! We used this post for an easy step by step guide for tiling (what did people do before they had the internet?!). Our tiles are 3 x 6 inches, we placed them in the classic 1/2 pattern, and the grout we used is in the color Delorean grey. We momentarily considered doing something more fun like a herringbone pattern, but thinking long term, with possibly selling our house in 5-7 years, we decided to go a bit more classic. 

coffee station

In the corner between the side entrance to the house and the bathroom door was this small awkward space that we weren't sure what to do with initially. We debated putting some kind of pantry shelving here (when we were considering the middle island), but in the end decided to make this our little coffee station. The kitchen cart is one I found on Amazon. CR sanded it down, and re-stained it to match the floating shelves and hardwood floor in the rest of the house. I replaced the knobs with the knobs we have on the other kitchen cabinets. Above it we have a big pinboard (that clearly still needs some things pinned to it!). We love having this little coffee and nespresso station tucked in the corner. The drawers have coffee mugs (the bottom drawer has dog treats...), and the right side is where we keep our recycling! 

The last part is the dining room! Like I said in my initial post about the downstairs, I stated that I loved that the kitchen and dining room were connected, and it's still one of my favorites. When one of us is cooking, it's nice to have the other person being around still. The biggest update we made to this room was the new light! We replaced the ugly old fan with a black industrial light from Lowe's (again in that matte black! see, it's just so easy!). Our dining room table is from Etsy, and is custom made - you choose the length, size, and color, which I loved! Our chairs are pretty boring, and from Wayfair. One of the things I'd really like to do on the wall to the left of the window is something like this - we need something that has a bit more weight to it on that wall as it still feels pretty bare right now. 

One of the big things you guys told me is that making a house a home takes a long time. We still have lots of plans for the house, and we are definitely taking it slow when it comes to the actual decorating part, but tiny piece by piece, this place really is starting to feel like ours!