Well, you may have noticed that it's been pretty quiet over here at the MomTog Diaries. We've been busy! We decided to list our home a few weeks before the kids started back to school this past summer. Long story short it sold within 4 weeks, after just 3 showings! We received an offer on the kiddos' first day of school and it's been a roller coaster ride ever since! I was excited about looking for a larger home but a bit sad to say goodbye to the charming little house we loved. We packed up everything we owned and put it in storage, closed on our old home in late September and moved in with my parents where we lived for the next 2 months. There was a delay in closing on our new home since it took us a few extra weeks to find the right one so the first month spent living with family was spent waiting...that was hard. We also had to pull the kids from their old school that we loved and start driving them to their new school that was closer to our new home. Lots of adjustments in a short time. We finally closed on our new place on October 18th and we started demo of the kitchen immediately. The house had great bones but it was dark and dated. We actually called it the granny house because that's what it looked like. Just old fashioned. All the wallpaper, dark trim and dated fixtures were a little hard for me to look past but we knew that this house could be perfect for us with a bit of work and some creative vision. It is situated on 1.23 acres in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood in a great location near highway access, shopping, our church etc!! Plus it is much closer to my husband's work which was a big factor in our decision to move. The kids absolutely love the huge yard and my husband loves the separate driveway with additional 2-car garage with workshop and storage room. We moved in before the work was complete, right before Thanksgiving, and had to live without a functioning kitchen for over a month. Plumbing, sink, dishwasher, stove, countertops and backsplash tile were completed within a few days of Christmas!! The project took a tad over 2 months but much of that was b/c the farm sink I ordered from Kohler was delayed 7 weeks beyond what we were told which halted much of the other work. Renovating is very stressful especially when you have to move in in the midst of it (imagine moving all your belongings into a home with no floors on the main floor, drywall dust everywhere, and no kitchen, and people always in your house! eek!). I freaked out a little during the moving in process. However, if you can just hang on, the end product is so worth it!! We absolutely love our new home. We still have lots of updating projects still to do (mainly bathrooms) but we couldn't be happier to be here. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to start 2014 in our new home!
Here are a few of the images of the home from the MLS listing. You can see the "granny" factor throughout. I have painted every single room in this house and we had a painter paint every door, trim moulding, window frame, baseboard etc. The entire house looks completely different with all the painting we've done along with ripping down wallpaper that was in several rooms, updating fixtures and adding new hand-scraped hardwoods on the main level. I'm still working on decorating as well as looking for furniture and rugs for the dining room and formal living room. As of now we don't have furniture for those rooms. The kids rooms look great as well...I just can't keep them organized long enough to take photos, lol! As projects are completed I will share our progress :) For now enjoy our kitchen and family room updates!!
This is how the kitchen and family room looked after demo (well actually after we cleaned up after demo!). We decided to keep the existing cabinets b/c they were in great shape. We just had to remove the peninsula and make some modifications which included a new hood vent, drawers underneath the stove instead of doors, moving the dishwasher from the peninsula to next to the sink, building an end cabinet unit and modifying the sink cabinet to accept a farm sink. I also worked with a carpenter to design a custom island. Where you see a change in flooring below is where the original wall dividing the kitchen and family room was. It was the very first thing to go. In fact when we saw this house I said that if that wall couldn't come down I wasn't interested in the house. We brought a contractor along for our 2nd showing and luckily he said it could easily come down :)
I just think the difference is amazing. Paint played a huge factor in this transformation! And I just adore my new island. It is 9 feet long with drawers on one end, storage down the middle, and a bookshelf on the other end. It serves as our kitchen table and our homework center. It also serves as my main food prep space! It's wonderful!!
The original wall made the space feel so closed off to the family room. Plus the rooms were incredibly dark. Knocking down this wall completely brightened the entire area and created an open concept space that is perfect for entertaining. I can be cooking, the kids can work on homework, and I can still be involved with whoever is in the family room...or watch tv!
I chose a cast iron farm sink from Kohler. I love the lightly rippled texture...it's really only noticeable in certain lighting but I think it's pretty. The floors are a hand-scraped pecan with multi tones. I need to get a better picture to show the coloring. We removed the original fluorescent fixture and added recessed lighting, a schoolhouse pendant over the sink and dome pendants (kichler) over the island. And once again...PAINT!! It's transformative!!
I smile every time I walk in this room!! I can't help it. I was so hesitant to take the step towards choosing this house. We visited 3 times. There were two other homes also in the picture. One was brand new still under construction and another was just a few years old and impeccably designed but not the location we wanted. I wrestled with it...cried over it...torn. But ultimately this is where I knew we should be. God gave me peace. And now I can't imagine calling any other place home! Home buying is such an emotional experience...can I get an AMEN?! We are also thankful for all the help we received from Todd's uncle Jeff who served as our contractor for this project. We couldn't have done this without his help!! And also to my mom/realtor, Inga Koujak, for helping us through our home search. (I'm still waiting on my toughest client trophy). Thank you!!
I decided on two tone cabinetry again. This time going with white perimeters and a robins egg blue island.
I originally wanted carerra marble countertops for their timeless look, however, I was very concerned about marble's reputation for staining and etching and not holding up well in the kitchen. When I saw this slab at the local granite yard I knew it was the one. It has the timeless elegance of marble but the durability of granite! This piece is white on one end, transitions to grey, and then to a pale blue. I've never seen anything like it before and the granite people said they've never seen a piece as beautiful and unique as this one. They called it Elegant White but after searching online nothing looks anything close to this. I think it may actually be a quartzite which is also a natural stone and is supposedly a tad more durable than granite. Time will tell but I love it regardless! It also has a leathered texture applied to it which is really nice as well. Just enough texture to give it a little extra something but still smooth enough to write over without being bumpy.
We added this vent hood and had it vented to the outside of the home. The original kitchen had no venting whatsoever so I knew I needed a venting system with as much cooking as I do. We chose white subway tile just as we did in our last home. It's inexpensive yet beautiful. However this time I decided on a light grey grout instead of white to give a little more contrast and it's less maintenance. The drawer pulls are the gilmore pull from Restoration Hardware.
We did the perimeter cabinets in Black Pearl...also with the leathered finish. I love the two tone look especially after seeing my inspiration kitchen over at For the Love of a House.
One neat little discovery we made after buying the house was this nifty pull down cookbook shelf. We never even noticed it tucked underneath the cabinets until the day we closed and got the keys to the house. It's great for cookbooks and also great for placing your tablet if you're using an online recipe. You have no idea how excited I was about this little gem...I just love it!!
This space is so much more functional than the original u-shape with peninsula. I felt trapped in the kitchen before but now the entire layout is open and easy to move around.
I found the perfect spot for my wall shelves that I used on my chalkboard wall in my last house. It feels like home with all my little vintage lovelies displayed :)
I'm still working on decorating and am always moving things around but for now this works! The rug is from Pottery Barn (heathered chenille jute rug) but I found it on craigs list this past weekend for half the price! We are also hoping to get a small sofa to replace the white chairs but we're using what we have for now.
The large bay window looks out onto our enclosed patio. These side windows open and make a great pass through if you are entertaining out there. We are really looking forward to using that space once it warms up. Yesterday it was 3 degrees in the morning....brrrr, too cold!! For now Oliver is enjoying the window as his perch and he is loving the chance to finally hang out outside (on the patio) :)
This is the view if you are entering from the foyer. We continued the flooring through the foyer as well as in the formal living and dining rooms.
I'm thinking about doing a white wash technique on the brick but haven't decided for sure yet. I do love the brick but I've seen a number of whitewashed brick fireplaces that I adore as well. Future project maybe?! We have lots still to finish in the home but it will be a work in progress for a while. I hope you enjoyed our kitchen tour!