Monday, October 13, 2014

Kitchen Reno Reveal!

It is a happy day on Hazard Ave. Our kitchen is finally done!
(Please excuse my sorry attempt at photo styling. When others do it, it looks awesome. When I do it, it just looks like I forgot to clean up the breakfast dishes.)

It wasn't that long ago that our kitchen looked like this. In hindsight, I can't believe Chris and I saw the potential when we made an offer on the house just over 4 years ago. That was one UGLY kitchen. Look at those cabinets...that wallpaper...just. so. gross. I shudder when I think about it. 
Not only was it ugly, but entertaining was a miserable experience as the kitchen was completely closed off from the rest of the house. Our primary goal in the renovation was to open up the kitchen to the rest of the main floor. We removed a few walls that used to serve as a butler's pantry and now have direct access to the dining and family rooms. I can't even describe how big of an impact this made. It feels like a we moved into a much bigger, brand new house. 
The countertops are Carrara marble. I know marble isn't for everyone, but our house is almost 130 years old. A couple of eventual scratches and stains will only give this new space some character that is in keeping with the rest of the house. 

We also added a door to our fenced in backyard and now our pups can pretty much come and go as they please. It will be so much more convienent during grilling season too. 
We agonized over the vent hood. As it was going to be a focal point on the wall, I knew it needed to be special, but I didn't want to spend a million dollars on a hood cover offered by the cabinet company. We found an unfinished one online, mounted the insert, and painted it ourselves. 

How about them floors?!? They might be my favorite thing about the new kitchen. Our contractor painstakingly added a mahogany inlay and stained them to match the existing floors in the dining room (the color is Minwax Gunstock). 
Our mudroom got a wee makeover too. It has new flooring and a new door to let in even more natural light. We had our electrician install outlets inside the tall pantry cabinets. Now we have a spot to charge our cell phones and hide our not-so-pretty microwave. 

I decided to go with brass light fixtures to warm things up. These are the Boston Functional pendants and sconces from Visual Comfort.

Thanks to the help of our incredible contractor, Lenny (Black Diamond Contractors), we now have a beautiful and functional kitchen. I am so grateful to be able to live here and enjoy this everyday. 

And now I'm off to celebrate. CHEERS! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week ? Kitchen Reno: WILL IT EVER END?

I've stopped counting which week of the kitchen renovation we're in because it was starting to get depressing. I'm pretty sure the end is near though because our contractor says he's on step 10,457 out of 11,000 steps in his plan.  In fact, I'm kind of limited in showing you progress pictures without giving away the whole reveal. Instead we'll just have to get up close and personal.

The hardware was installed last week. As you can see, I've mixed metals AND I DON'T EVEN CARE! Yup, I'm crazy like that. I used brass hardware on the gray cabinetry

and polished nickel hardware on the white cabinetry. (I couldn't bring myself to put brass on the white cabinetry...anyone else with me?).

Wondering how the two finishes would look together haunted me for weeks, but now that I see them together in person, I love it I love it I love it.

The floors were installed last week too. They did a gorgeous job replicating the mahogany inlay of the original floor in the adjoining dining room. Next they'll need to match the finish.
That god-awful orange finish....
Believe me, I'd love to sand and refinish the entire house but that's just not in the cards right now...   time to put the brakes on this renovation.


Right now, all I can think about is unpacking my dishes, stocking the fridge, and moving our dining room furniture back into the dining room. I can't wait to open up a bottle of wine and spend an entire Sunday afternoon with Chris cooking up something fabulous.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weeks 9 and 10 Kitchen Reno: Fully Functional But Not Fully Finished

We've got counters, working appliances & plumbing. That pretty much gave us the green light to cook our first meal in the new kitchen. A little sawdust never hurt anyone. Extra fiber. Yum.

As a side note, regaining access to the kitchen has not helped to eliminate our renovation clutter. Instead the mess has spread out and multiplied. Can't wait to officially move back into the kitchen and get organized.
The tile is el cheapo ceramic 3x6" subway tile you can get at Home Depot or Lowes, but I have to say that it looks like a million bucks finally seeing it up on the walls.  As for the grout color, I selected a mid-tone gray (Delorean gray) and asked our contractor not to use any spacers. As a result, there's only a very thin line of grout visible and just the right amount of definition between the tile.
Yes, there's still some work left to do in the kitchen, like install the shelving, lay floors, and hang crown molding.  I suppose the lighting needs to be hung too. And probably other important stuff. Minor details.

Lately the focus for Chris and I has been on the adjacent dining room. Now that it is SO OPEN TO THE KITCHEN (!!!) it really needs some attention. The contractors covered the old wallpaper with sheetrock for us and we were able to give the room a good coat of white paint last weekend. Chris has already started putting up crown molding in here to match our living room (which is just on the other side of the pocket doors).

And speaking of the dining room, here's our new closet jib door all painted up. 
I don't know why, but Chris keeps telling people the closet will be a good place for me...
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