Thursday, June 30, 2011

Want to see something pretty?

So remember this?
Yeah, that's not the pretty thing. This is our kitchen shortly after moved in. Complete with desserts on the counter and drying dishes on a towel. Well, to make myself happy, I made these additions to the kitchen about 4 months after we moved in.
I added the wall stenciling and the chalkboard. Then that horrible fluorescent, sorry excuse for a light in the upper left hand corner started to drive me crazy. (and honestly, I am not a fan of the light over the table but I can stand it to save a few hundred buckaroos). So we did this:
After Justin crawling around in the attic forEVER, we had great lighting (and a ceiling that needed to be painted) but still the mismatched appliances, bad white laminate counters, and ugly orange cabinets. We knew the kitchen was the main thing in this house that needed updating (bathrooms are standard and in fine shape--and for the size of our house, that's all you need) and we we started saving for that once we moved in. We knew we wanted to do the kitchen this June, so we made that our goal. The second we saved up our money (which, if you know us, was WAYYYYY less than "they" say you should spend on a kitchen re-do--bring on the DIY, baby!), we started tearing things up.
Our kitchen quickly became the above. Laminate being ripped up, tile being torn off the walls, and cabinet doors being removed. We also added trim to the baseboards of the cabinets and to the island. It always felt a little underwhelming without it. I left the house for three days so my cute hubby could paint the cabinets. After doing a lot of research, I knew that our climate (hello, humid!!!! If you've never been to Houston, you don't know real humidity. For realz.) would force us to use oil based primer AND paint. Both of which are definite no-nos for me to be around right now. Justin primed and painted the cabinets while I was gone (what a doll. Have I mentioned he HATES HATES HATES to paint?)
Then they installed the countertops. We went with a quartz that is the color of sand. I know granite is the buzzword right now, but they seemed too traditional with the dark colors that run through them and I am just not a fan. The counters were, by far, the priciest purchase we made. However, we got CRAZY lucky and found counters for almost $20 less a square foot than the rest of the quartz because they were discontinued! We had looked ALL over and I settled on Eco quartz countertops which run you about $56 a square foot. Ouch. But honestly, that was about what everything was. Our countertop sample was sitting away from the others in a random spot at Home Depot with a line drawn through it. It said $33 a square foot and made my heart pitter patter. It looked JUST like the $56 dollar sample. After a few phone calls to the warehouse, we were told they DID have enough of it left to make our counters out of! Hooray! Everyone likes saving $1000, right?!

I also painted the walls after they installed the counters. A big shout out to Olympic zero-VOC paints. This pregnant DIY lovin girl is super pumped about them. My only issue is the color I ended up with reads a little more blue than blue-gray, but such is life.

Next step, tiling. We were surprised at how painless it was. It did, however, take a while to complete. We tiled for about 6 hours one day and grouted/caulked/cleaned for about an hour or two the next. I went with a white, glass subway tile (1''x2''). It looks very pale blue installed and is GORGEOUS.

After that, we installed the appliances. This task, however, was MUCH more painful than we expected. We went to Lowe's/Home Depot at least 5 times in that process. Oh the joy. Once we finished that task, we put the doors/hardware on, cleaned, and restocked the cabinets. NOW we get to the pretty part...

The after. Want to see the before again?Gag. Let's stick with some more afters.


Grand totals:
Prep-time: 5 days (emptying kitchen, cleaning/sanding/removing doors, taping, demoing, tearing out/replacing backerboard for the backsplash)
Actual work time: 8 days (included 3 with Justin painting alone and several days where we had school obligations mixed in--have I mentioned how lucky we are to have 8 days in a row to work? Trust me, we do NOT underestimate the beauty of our schedule)
Trips to the hardware store: 23
Cost: $5500 (TMI? Remember, we saved for a year for that and it's at least $5000 less than comparable projects. Majority of that went to counters and appliances. The rest was minimal. Lucky for us, our house is still worth more than the amount of money we have sunk into it so far!)
How much I love it: SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH.

We'd like to give a big shout-out to my Dad and brother, Joe and Nicole, Justin's parents, and Pinterest for making this all possible.

Are you on Pinterest? You best be. It's awesome.

Now on to the baby's room. Another scrimp/save project. I love DIY and wouldn't have it any other way.