Kitchen Reno – Demo & Mood Board

Welp! Demo has officially started on our kitchen reno, perhaps a little preemptively but after meeting with our contractor to talk him through the plan – we quickly realized there were a handful of hidden outliers that had B and I itching to uncover. So last Saturday, we just tried to rip up a few of the lament floor tiles to see if the hardwoods were wrecked or not… a few hours later – we had half the room ripped up and the floor was looking in pretty tip-top shape. Since then we’ve (mostly B) taken down the ceiling, layers of plaster walls to continue to uncover what we’re working with. I mean… we live in a 100+ year old home. So far, we’ve uncovered a ceiling leak (thanks rain) and a few other janky workings.

I say we preemptively started demo, because once we start something – we can’t stop (especially B) and also because, we don’t actually have any contractor confirmed for when work is going to get started. We have gotten a few different cabinet quotes and think we have that nailed down at least the company and general direction we want to move forward with. But now that demo has started – there is no way this kitchen isn’t happening this year. We’re hoping to get a few follow-ups from our slow contractor and then go from there. So until then, I’m working to finalize some of the design and details as we work through the demo — it’s funny, now that we’ve disrupted our currently living room and are starting to get a blank canvas, the design and finishing inspiration is finally coming to life for me.

So now what? We’re going to continue to move forward and get our kitchen cabinets and counter tops finalized – the company we’re most likely going to move forward with the in home field measurement and design consultation to make sure we’re optimizing the most out of our space. Yes, this is getting us more kitchen, but it’s still going to be relatively cozy (that’s the nice way of saying small) — compared to what we’d really want in a dream kitchen — and sadly that still includes moving walls to extend our footprint.

Having a design consultation will be exciting and then we’ll be able to make sure we’re closer to exact as we’ve learned a few hard ways how important accurate measurements are. For example, our first cabinet quote was through Home Depot, super fast, great way to get an initial price for cabinets — but we ended up having more space in one area than we actually do (we had guestimates of our measurements when we went to this apt.) — the reality is those couple inches significantly impacted the potential sink size (like 33″ down to 27″) and the corner cabinet solution, i.e. lazy susan or something a bit unconventional. Luckily, with this new company – it sounds like they have some fun solutions to get us space to have a larger sink while being able to best utilize that corner spot.

Now, with the demo and our kitchen footprint pretty open, we have been able to put a few pieces to “mock up” the spacing to get a better idea of our kitchen nook area and what we can fit comfortably in the space while still letting it feel big and open. I even sat and browsed for products while we had the nook set-up and it was perfect – I can’t wait to hang out and blog while B cooks dinner. I was even finally able to decide on a few design pieces. I might even be as far as to having an idea of the backsplash that will go counter to ceiling on either side of the kitchen above the stove and sink area. Here is a look at a few of the potential final picks, a bit of mood board for our kitchen – I’m still trying to find an affordable faucet!

Since I want to incorporate brass/gold – it’s going to be crucial to make sure the shades of everything match up closely. That is why I was excited to find the light fixtures as that look pretty similar in the brass color that they are. Our appliances – as of right now – are white and gold, so as long as the back order doesn’t lead us to cancelling, we’ll be having pops of white and gold! Here’s to making some actual progress towards getting this kitchen done!

Kitchen Renovation – The Plan

Pretty much since we bought our house, the kitchen was always the worst offender. In fact, B was sold on this house and had to convince me — the kitchen being one of my sticking points for the price of the house (which was over our budget). Also, the kitchen was green when we bought it, so that was another strike against it. So it’s very exciting to finally be in the process of planning out our kitchen renovation. Unfortunately our kitchen doesn’t have an ideal footprint where we would just be updating cabinets, countertops or flooring. In fact, we’re moving walls to extend the footprint to create an actual kitchen!

The Plan

As you can see above, we have a tiny little alcove with all of our cabinets, sink and stove… and then a larger room for our fridge and a bunch of other random pieces of furniture… our fridge used to be in a different spot when we got the house, but moved it to be less in the way… yeah it’s an odd configuration with a lot of wasted space in our “larger part” of the kitchen. Oh and did I mention, zero counter space?

The layout and our initial plan of what we thought we could do versus what is more practical have changed as we’ve worked through the logistics with my Uncle whose a contractor. He gave us some really good things that added space to our design, but also made us think through some practical and more functional design layouts which we took to heart and have incorporated into the final plans. One of my must-haves was quickly smashed with reality based on the space limitations we still have, so my kitchen sink will not be facing a window looking out into our backyard… 😢 Mainly because, we weren’t accounting on having a door still in our kitchen space, instead we would be putting a slider door out of our dinning room onto our patio. Unfortunately we quickly vetoed that because it would be about $5k, need HVAC reworking, and eat up about 2-feet or more of our patio for nice walk out steps. My uncle also felt from a functionality perspective, having a door in the kitchen to go in and out to grab stuff made more sense and the more we thought about it the more we agreed.

Another big part in this planning, is tempering expectations – we have a tiny footprint currently, so the updates and expansions we’re planning feel like we are going to be getting this massive and more open space… which we are, but not as much as we think. I’ve also been dreaming of a cozy little breakfast nook, but have even been doubting my initial vision for that, because I’m afraid we won’t have as much space as I’m thinking/hoping.

Also, don’t worry – we have actual cad plans of the space besides my poor measuring and rough sketch!

The inspiration

I must admit, I am usually one that has a vision and everything planned out – especially for our house projects, but this one is making me super indecisive and unconfident about what to choose. On one hand, I want to make some bold choices with flooring, or a cool backsplash… and on the other hand, I feel like I know I’ll end up keeping it pretty classic and timeless with simple and safer choices. But I want to push myself to picking at least one bold thing. The vibe I’m going for is glam, yet classic and cozy. We also will not be skimping on the finishes, from appliances (already half ordered🤞) to the hardware, lighting and faucets… oh! and heated floors.

I’m fairly confident we will end up going all white cabinets, although I do love a light blue/grey color – but I’m also in a green obsession (Thanks, Ashley Brooke!) so we shall see. Definitely going with gold finishes and maybe leaning towards a rich butcher block counter top and tile floors. But if we do end up picking a stone countertop, it sounds like Quartz is the resounding and durable choice.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Soooo many things to decide! B and I are planning to go do some window shopping at a few different spots to scope out flooring, backsplash and maybe even a direction on cabinets. For now, we are still working on finalizing the actual floor plans with our amazing friend and then we’ll be getting our contractor in here to talk numbers and timing. We’re hoping we won’t have to do anything structurally, but there is that chance still. We are also really hoping we can get this done in 2021 — but are also realistic that we may need to push to 2022. Here’s to hoping we have a brand new kitchen in time for Christmas!

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far – what do you love/hate with your kitchen remodel? What do you wish you would’ve done differently or can’t live without? Comment below, or shoot me a private message!


Breakfast Nooks for Days

So now that we have our Front Landscape project wrapped up, I’m ready for the next and still dreaming of our someday kitchen makeover… One piece that I particularly want when we makeover our kitchen is an adorable, cozy and functional breakfast nook!
Breakfast Nook - the bee life
As I started looking for different breakfast nooks – I didn’t realize how many different options there would be! Traditionally you think of a galley style booth or a half circle of benches – but news flash! There are SO MANY other options! Let me walk you through the many considerations and options of a breakfast nook.

Permanent & Functional. This is a great idea if you’re truly committed to having a breakfast nook. With a permanent bench you can also be sure to build in extra storage so it’s functional in more than one way.

Movable Furniture Pieces. Mind blown? Yup, mine was. And I think this might be one of the ways we end up going.  Whether using a Settee or this awesome customizable piece from the Home Depot.

Square vs. Round Table.  This is another piece that can make a huge difference depending on the base you’re working with.  A square/rectangular table could work for a larger space or a foldable one could work for a smaller space.  A round table is just another perfect option that can work in an L-shape bench layout or your half-circle nook.

Accents Chairs. Depending on the route you go, the accent chairs opposite of the bench are just as much of a statement as the rest of the set-up.  These can be industrial, warm and cozy or traditional.

Bold Colors vs. Classic Neutrals.  Either way you decide to do it, you can either start with a bold footprint with your main bench, or add in pops of color with wall art and pillows. Neutrals can play on each other bringing in deep wood grains from your floor or table can really pull a neutral look together with your other pieces.

Working with a Window? Don’t be afraid to build your bench in front of your window.  No window? That’s okay – breakfast nooks work either way, whether it’s behind a half-wall or in a corner of a room don’t let one or the other hold you up from creating your space. We only have windows on one side, so we’ll be able to have a little bit of light and fun with our space.

Pillows & Cushions, Cushions & Pillows.  One of the parts I love about breakfast nooks is they’re so warm and inviting, and one of the reasons is because of all the pillows and possibilities of bench cushions!  It is no secret I have a slight pillow addiction.

All Shapes & Sizes. Whether you’re working with a tight space, or have a 12-foot wall to fill with your breakfast nook, this is once piece that can work in any kind of space, especially if you decide the non-permanent route! So don’t feel like you can’t fit in your breakfast nook if you have limited space!  On the contrary, if you have extra dead space this might be a great way to fill it or make up for a lack of a dining room.

Lighting.  Depending on your overall style of your breakfast nook, you can either play it down or create a bold statement with a chandelier.  Not ready to commit to a chandelier?  Consider wall sconces to book end your space or light the way.

I was always dreaming over our breakfast nook as super traditional with a built in bench with storage, circular table and calling it a day with some pillows.  But now that I see all these different options and all the fun color options I am wide-eyed and drooling over the possibilities.   I mean that pink sectional and shell chandelier directly above is Oh. Em. Gee. Swoon worthy.  And I think we’ll probably end up going with the less permanent, yet cozy route with a great Settee or baller sectional.

bee (1)

 

 

 

Image Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Settee Neutral | Corner with Red Chandelier | Black & Gold | Mustard Bench | Classic U-Shape | Pink Rectangular Swoon 

House Hunters – Kitchen

Our kitchen is terrible.  It has a horrible layout, no counter or cabinet space not to mention it’s dated. We’ve been able to improve it some since we first saw the house, but it’s still nothing that it could be. Although when we remodel, it’s going to be a complete gut, moving walls and extending out the house. It’s not going to be cheap or quick.

We helped the layout drastically by moving the fridge to it’s current spot, it was where the green bar was, making it a tight squeeze. But as you can see it’s not very functional or pretty.  Our dream is to blow out where the exterior door is to square out the current galley part – from there the possibilities are endless – maybe even blowing out the wall between the kitchen and dining room (where the current green bar is)… I can just hear the dollar signs right now!

Here is some inspiration for the future, all white is a dream with lots of light and some accents of blues or teals.

I am sure our kitchen won’t be remodeled for a few more years, but it’s definitely on the wish list as far as big ticket items. My parents just remodeled their kitchen after living in their house for 30+ years! It’s funny because the first time we looked at this house B wasn’t phased by the kitchen, he just loved this house and the first thing I pointed out was the terrible kitchen! Since then it’s become quite the opposite conversation…. maybe we will get lucky and get on a DIY kitchen makeover show.

TGIF!