Friday, October 1, 2010

Toddlerhood meets our kitchen's history...

I've hit slacker mode again (oops), but here are some things that we've been up to:

Bear is now a romping toddler! We said goodbye to crawling for good last week, and just as we said goodbye to crawling we said hello to getting up on the couch! I'm guessing bear grew an extra inch or two in the process of becoming a fully upright toddler which in return is allowing her to reach her little legs up onto the cushions. Now if only there was a way to teach her that we can fall off the couch! The first thing bear does, once she gets up onto the couch, is run and flop head first on the big cushions. Our couch is L shaped and takes up the majority of our living room. The cushions are larger than most couches and the nicest part about it is that it breaks up into four pieces. This comes in handy for sleeping as it can become a large U shaped mock bed if you feel like taking a snooze. It can also become a little play area for a bear if mommy or daddy lay across the open side (the area of the U that has no back). We tend to do this when we feel like laying around with bear. We get to relax and she does baby gymnastics bouncing from one section to the next. And now that bear's crawling up by herself and romping around, I'm realize that those previous lazy afternoons might have been a bad idea... The only way to get bear to sit on the couch right now is if she's sitting on my lap and reading a book with me. So I've been using this new couch exploration as a way to fit in more reading time. The exuberant toddler is quickly tamed with a little mommy reading time. :-)

Besides walking and the couch "expotition," our whole family has had some new changes- our kitchen has finally been renovated! It was a long process, it took about month of planning (and not to mention the two years of fantasizing about it) and then two weeks of installing (plus a week and a 1/2 with no dish washer or kitchen sink was thrown into the mix- ah!). There are still some miner details that need to be taken care of but the kitchen as a whole is again functional and absolutely amazing! I am in pure kitchen shock as I just can't believe this gorgeous kitchen is all mine! Chris did all of the installing, with the exception of the installation of the granite counter top and some help from a friend when he hung the upper cabinets. He did a great job! I certainly hit the husband jack pot when it comes to handy work...

Here is some history on our kitchen:

We moved in about two years ago. We loved our place but it needed A LOT of work, and that was  some of the appeal to the place. Chris loved the thought of having lots of projects to do and I liked the idea of making this home our own. We also thought that, maybe, if we were lucky, we'd end up increasing the value of our home for the future. I hope our luck continues!

This is what the kitchen looked like right before we moved in:

Wow, did it need some work! The very first thing we did was replace the appliances, there was no way I was going to be cooking on a stove from the early 80's! 

Here is our kitchen after a "quick fix:"

We were missing two main cabinets but we found a few creative ways to make the kitchen look nice and functional until we were really ready to make some changes. Why wait to make changes in the kitchen you ask? Well, there were a lot of other things that we were a bit more concerned about, such as:

This AWFUL wall!

This wall was our first real project! I don't know very much about the history of housing, architecture, and decor, but I believe that wood paneling went out in the 70's? Am I wrong? Our building was built in 1982 (the same year I was born!) and whom ever built this place did not install this wall~ someone between 1982 and 2008 put the ugly thing in. 
We also had an awful peachy beige paint color to get rid of which was covering all of the walls in the place including the front door and the bathroom ceiling, ick! I felt like I was walking into Willy Wonka's shrinking room, the peach swallowed you whole as soon as you closed the door! You can see the color if you look to the right of the wall. 

Within a month or so of living in our place we:
-removed that ugly @$$ wall and the popcorn ceiling
-painted the bathroom yellow... (too bright!)... and then blue 
-painted the bedrooms 
-put in recessed lighting in the living room
-fixed the shoddy attic door
-replaced the vanity and mirror in the bathroom 
-replaced all hardware in the bathroom

Following the first few months we:
-pulled up the tile in the kitchen and the flooring in the hallways and replaced them with a nice wood floor
-replaced the old carpeting (but made sure Acadia was house trained first)
-painted the living room and kitchen
-replaced the chair rail in the kitchen with the correct molding (previous owner used floor molding)
-removed our chair rail and put in wainscoting
-turned our spare room into a princess room

Things were starting to look pretty good!

Oh, and lets not forget that we replaced all of our living room furniture following this incident:

Lessened learned: always make sure the lock on the puppy crate is fully in place!
We took down those awful blinds, too!

So now that we had done almost everything else in the house it was time to change the kitchen. New cabinets, counter top, and back splash we had concluded would change. After a few weeks of pondering, researching and browsing we began demolition. Two weeks following demolition, everything started to come together. All that is left is a small book shelf that will sit between the left wall and the cabinet for our cook books and figuring out where I want to store everything!

Here is the final outcome:

With the overhead lights off
With overhead lights on
Side view (ignore the dinner dishes please!)
A closer view of the tile
A better view of the granite counter top (camera doesn't capture
the full color)

Thanks for taking the time to check out our new kitchen!

Happy Cooking :-)

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