Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We took Hubb to the pumpkin patch last Sunday afternoon and had a great time! The weather was perfect and it wasn't too crowded, so we really enjoyed ourselves. There are so many activities at the ole patch- farm animals, corn kernel sandboxes, ride-on toys, tractor pull rides, and a hayride that takes you to the pumpkin pickin' patch. Tons-o-fun was had by all. Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kitchen Talk

Hello there! I found my camera cord! SCORE! So, since I have several topics to update you on, I think I will spread them out over the week instead of vomiting them all today in one long conglomerated post. So, today's post will focus on the KITCHEN!!!

*Disclaimer: If you are easily bored with mundane details, you should probably quit reading now. I know kitchen renovations are not at the top of everyone's list. And that's OK. I will be back with more of what you really want to see very soon. I just needed to get all these details out there for those that care. No more kitch reno talk after this post, promise.

Here are a few details. I did actually hire an interior designer to come over and give me ideas about what she thought would be best as far as placement, cabinet style, flooring, etc. I feel like this is a wise idea if you are planning on embarking on any major renovation, just so you don't mess things up. They are experts in their field and have had lots of experience and ideas you may not think of yourself. So she came over and I paid her for her time, about 3-4 hours (not a huge investment!), and Jeremy and I implemented the rest. We definitely didn't do everything she suggested, mainly because we had a budget, but we'll get to that.

One of the things I was certain of was that I wanted to use arabescatto carrera marble. I loved the look, and it is much cheaper than some of the other, more popular marble choices. It's more of a creamy white with brown and gray veining, and it is delicious. Our kitchen used to have an L-shaped bar area on the left side, and we ended up taking that out to open things up. This cut down on the counterspace, therefore I needed less marble- a good thing for our budget.

With the exception of a few new cabinets on the side where the L was taken out, most of our cabinets just got refaced, which means they got new door fronts. This is a great way to quickly update your kitchen without spending a fortune. We went with a simple shaker-style front, which I am typically drawn to when flipping through decorating magazines. And listen, if you ever want to consider doing this, I have a great cabinet guy, Barrie. (He's actually a member of my family and does great work- holla if you need his info!). The designer suggested several different paint colors for the cabinets, but I just wasn't in love with any of them. So, I conferred with the color genius at Benjamin Moore, Waldo. Any time I need help with a paint color, I always try to talk to Waldo. We picked a much lighter color, Benjamin Moore's Natural Cream, and I was thrilled with the outcome. It's a beigey-gray without being too gray. I love it.

OK. Back to that left side where we took out the L shape. The designer suggested we move things around a bit and shift the stove down a few inches to the left so it would be centered. I was OK that doesn't really matter to me- but Jeremy, his dad (a contractor- score!), and Barrie all agreed that we should move it down, so we did. We also added a huge hood above the range that we didn't have before. Across the hood, Barrie installed an old cedar beam to add a little somethin' somethin' to the hood. I LOVE it. So glad we did this!

Also, there used to be a microwave above the range, and we moved that. It is now beside the refrigerator, built into the cabinetry. This is another tip for anyone who is looking to update on the cheap. You can but a microwave trim kit (about $100) to fit any microwave, and when you install it, it looks like a custom built-in microwave. We just bought a standard stainless steel countertop microwave, and achieved the built-in look for much less.

I got our pulls and knobs on ebay for a fraction of the price at Lowe's of Home Depot. These can really add up if you're buying for an entire kitchen, and the pulls I wanted are over $10 a pop at these stores. I found a hardware supplier on ebay, where I got the same pulls for $2.49 each and the knobs for around $1 each.

Also, some of you knew that our washer/dryer used to be in the kitchen, in a closet, which was OK for a while. But we took that sucker out during this reno! The space feels so much bigger without that closet sticking out. Also, on that wall (on the right side), we opened up the doorway into the dining room by about a foot. It's amazing what a difference this makes. We are hoping this will make us actually use the dining room, instead of it being a room we use a few times a year. And so far, it has!

Two quick notes: for the backsplash, we used white subway tile with gray grout. I am sure you can get these at any tile specialty store, but ours came from the bathroom tile department at Home Depot. They are CHEAP (I think 20-something cents a piece). Now onto the faucet. Jeremy really wanted one of those pull-down faucets, and I did not. I just didn't think I liked the look of them. Man, am I glad I gave in. I love the pull-down feature. Jeremy wins again.

Oh yeah, and the flooring. Our kitchen is attached to our den, which used to have carpet. Jeremy has wanted to pull up that carpet since the day we moved in, but I was reluctant. Well, I finally gave in. We decided that the flooring needed to be consistent in the den and kitchen, and we initially wanted to install hardwood. And of course, hardwood would have been AWESOME. But, brick is much cheaper, and we both liked the idea of it because it will last forever and it is super durable. So, we decided to put down brick floors, which was challenging because there were already brick floors down before, and we had to tear those out first. (I know what you're thinking...why couldn't you just use the old brick that were under the carpet? Well, when the previous owners put down the carpet, they had to put tack strips onto the brick, therefore ruining it- ugh!)

So anyway, like I said in a previous post, we still need some things- a functioning island, an armoire/wardrobe for storage, rugs, lighting, etc.- but we will get there. Right now, we are thrilled with our new kitchen! A HUGE thank-you to Jeremy's dad, who worked tirelessly to get this finished for us. He is the, and we are lucky to have him, and not just because he's a home improvement guru.

OK, here are some pics:

Be back soon!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just a little update...

Well, I actually took a few pictures last night to post on the blog, and then I actually brought the camera to work to put the pictures on the computer. But guess what? I can't find the dang cord that connects the camera to the computer. Awesome, Lauren. So. Freaking. Typical.

So, what can I say? Our kitchen has been remodeled, and I really love it. (Although we are still waiting on me to pick out and purchase a storage armoire/cupboard, an island, and lighting. So, maybe that will all be done by the end of 2011?) Anywho, I LOVE the cabinets and the countertops. I couldn't be happier with my choice of white marble. Word to the wise, though. If you are a Susie Homemaker and it would kill you to have a spot or stain on your countertops, white marble is not the best choice for you. Unfortunately for Jeremy, I am no neat freak, so the idea of a little stain here and there doesn't bother me. But, no stains yet!

Also, LOVE the brick floors. Now, I just need a huge rug...another wish that I hope will be granted before 2011. It's just a matter of picking one out, but it's hard to find one that's just right.

In Hubb news, he is still, in my eyes, the most precious child that has ever walked this earth. We've had some good fun lately. We've played outside- A LOT. That's all he ever wants to do. And, mom, Caroline and I took him to the fair! (Go ahead and cringe...I can't hear you so it doesn't matter.) He loved looking at the animals and strolling around looking at the rides and carnies. And of course, I got to eat a fair corndog (go ahead and cringe again), which I think is one of the most delightful things on this earth. Pics of the fair are on mom's camera, so hopefully she can upload and I can post them soon.

I know all 4 of you are really wanting to see my little man in action, so the plan is to try to find my camera cord tonight and bring it tomorrow. Let's see if this happens...