Kitchen facelift project

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Brandon and I love starting projects.  We love the planning, the envisioning, and the initial super-excited-we-can-do-this-whole-thing-in-a-day feeling.  So all it took was a shared 5 hour energy at the Home Depot one afternoon to decide that we were going to give our kitchen a much needed facelift.

Our kitchen really isn't in bad shape outside of the obvious cosmetic needs.  The kitchen has remained largely untouched since we moved here in July 2011.  It was the last room in the whole house still containing painted stencils (!) and it seemed like it was sort of a either 'go big or don't do it at all' situation.

the MLS picture for our house!

the MLS picture for our house!

the MLS picture for our house!

 But after our energy jolt - we decided we could give it a little update without gutting the whole thing and starting from scratch.

after we first moved, nothing changed?

high table, cafe curtains, blinds, etc

The main issues we had with our own kitchen was that it felt very unorganized and cluttered - we always had unopened  mail and paper cluttered on the table, my little kitchen desk was a dumping zone of post-its and clutter.  Not mention the kitchen felt outdated with the hardware, stencils, and light fixtures.  And truthfully, with no back-splash  it felt a little unfinished.  All in all, it just wasn't a reflection of us (at all) but up until this point, it hadn't bothered us enough to do anything about it.  (We generally like tackling big projects that we rip walls out, and install wainscoting .

So, we surveyed the room briefly and noticed a few things that needed to change to assist in our kitchen beautification project:

  • remove the cafe curtains from the windows
  • remove the blinds
  • curtains?
  • knock out the desk in the corner
  • remove the glass door cabinet (above the desk)
  • change out the high table in the nook
  • remove bread/toaster 'garage'
  • change the cabinet hardware
  • clean the cabinets
  • consider a back-splash
  • paint
  • change the light fixtures
  • new counters?
My mom was visiting that day and was a big help - she got started removing the curtains and blinds while Brandon and I tore out the desk and removed the glass cabinet without harming it. 

holy empty space, batman
As soon as the blinds were removed from the windows, we were all in shock.  It was almost criminal that we had not had those windows open wide to see our view and soak in all that natural light!

And while we were moving up my in-laws old kitchen table (that was being hoarded in our basement) to replace the high table we have been using for the last two years - I started looking up pinspiration and found this pin that was captioned " Airstone backsplash. Easy to DIY! $50 for 8 sq ft at lowes!" got us intrigued:

After a trip to Lowes, we were ready to start puzzling together our new airstone backsplash.  The pin was correct in both the price and the 'easy to DIY' part.  We were able to finish a whole section in just one evening.  And the following day, I worked on getting the hardware changed out between calls and emails.

stencils still intact!
The next morning, my Mom got to painting over the stencils in a color we picked out two years ago (Hearts of Palm by Sherwin Williams)

Over the course of a few evenings (and some nights well past our bedtime), Brandon and I continued to work away with the airstone laughing while we made up our own terms on how to put them together ('I need a little nugget one' and 'This one just needs a little shave off, please').

I got to hanging some long curtains (Lowes) around the nook (I use this method which makes it so easy) and Brandon and his Dad changed all the outlets from beige to stainless steel.  We decided that we'd airstone the entire empty space from where we removed the desk and glass cabinet - which we think was a high impact decision.

We've finally finished up the project and have been enjoying it so much.  This is not a home design blog  - so I figured the best way to display our new facelifted kitchen was to show some pictures of us living in it (dirty dishes, smudges, and all)!

After all those changes, we realized our countertops don't look half bad, and we're going to hold out on changing that for awhile.  We've also been eating most of our meals in the kitchen now with our bigger table and has actually also cut down on our clean-up time.

We are so happy with our kitchen facelift project (and also happy that it's done!) I think best of all, we love that it feels like us - and feels finished.  Can't really beat the view in the morning either, when I sneak down all by myself with a cup of coffee and my laptop and see the fog hovering over the valley.  It's really sort of my favorite part of the day.

And now for the big comparison:

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