Bittersweet day. We said our final goodbyes to our house of 22 years ?. Lots of cherished memories here and lots of tears flowing. Loved raising our daughter here and will miss this house and our sweet neighbors. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this house, remodeling every room over the years (you can see of them below). It will always hold a special place in our hearts. Now on to unpacking and creating new memories in our new home. It’s been an exhausting transition but looking forward to what lies ahead.
One of my favorite rooms in our old house was our kitchen. It was so warm and inviting (you can see pictures of it here). Not so much the case in our new home. This kitchen needed a lot of love and some major updates. The cabinets are all solid maple and we originally planned to try and keep them as is and just focus on the countertops and moving some things around. We started by removing the electric cooktop and microwave and building a custom hood vent. We also removed the backsplash, tore out all the countertops and removed the island to open up the space. We then prepared to pour concrete countertops.
Next we installed a new travertine tile backsplash and a new polished marble farmhouse sink to replace the old stainless steel sink (I just love this sink!). The new gas cooktop was installed, along with a pot filler but before staining the hood vent we decided to take the remodel a step further. A new island was built and a matching concrete countertop poured. We also added an inlaid tile mosaic in the floor.
Although we felt this was an improvement over the original kitchen, I still wasn't loving it (but our sweet Chloe pictured above seemed content LOL). We ultimately decided to paint the cabinets. So, I removed all the hardware, prepped all the cabinetry and began priming and painting. Meanwhile, my husband built new small display cabinets to go on top of the existing upper cabinets.
The end result was totally worth it! I love our new kitchen. It's so much brighter and more welcoming than the original design, and it flows much better with our newly remodeled family room. Plus, the addition of the new upper display cabinets really draws your eye up and captures the beauty of the 9' ceilings.
Here's a look at the before....
And here's the finished design...
The next phase is remodeling the butler's pantry and refinishing the hard wood floors. Stay tuned...
On April 3, 2019 we closed on our new home. On April 8th we said our final goodbyes to our house of 22 years. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that house. You can see pictures of it here. We wasted no time starting remodeling our new home. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful home, but in desperate need of updating, and the designer in me has some BIG ideas!
Those Columns Have Got to Go!
So the first thing that had to happen was tearing down all the dated columns in the house...and man, were there a LOT of them. Six in total (four of which were in the dining room alone)! My husband and I had our work cut out for us. Four of the columns were 9 feet high, two of them were 12 feet high and all of them were made out of fiberglass so they were extremely heavy. Trust me, I know...a piece of one of them hit me in the head.
Fortunately, none of the posts were load-bearing. We decided we needed to build a new post in the dining room in the one corner, however. The room seemed to be "floating" without it. So, my husband built a new one with an updated design.
Now, on to the fireplace!
Oh that fireplace! I hated everything about it. The room seemed sterile and cold and extremely outdated. But I had a vision in mind and I mocked it up in Photoshop (my usual fashion) and low and behold the work began! We first ripped up the carpet; it was going to be replaced with all new hardwood anyway. Then the real demolition began! Piece by piece the old facade came down, and a new one was erected in its place. One of the biggest challenges was figuring out how to reconfigure the 2-story center facade since we no longer wanted the ledge to carry all the way across the front of the center section. Then the new structure had to be built. Fortunately, my husband can build just about anything! He formed up the new center, attached concrete board to cover it and then we began the next phase....stoning the entire facade! Yes, that's me on the scaffolding. Not the most flattering picture, but hey, it was a dirty job.
I wasn't thrilled with the color of the stone. We had ordered it online and the colors didn't look like what we anticipated once we received them, but returning all that stone was a costly option, so I decided I would find a way to improve it. Painting the stone wasn't an option, especially since we didn't want to diminish the natural look of the stone. I opted instead to hand stain the stone with a product specifically made for brick, mortar and natural stone that has a permanent finish. The key was mixing the colors to achieve my desired look. I spent about a week testing different color mixtures on sample stones before deciding on 5 colors. Each stone had to be hand stained, and by this time we no longer had the scaffolding so I was using a ladder to reach all the stones...almost 20' high! The project of staining each stone and then filling all the joints with mortar/grout took me about a month, but it was well worth it. I now love my stone fireplace and the color transformation was just what I envisioned!
Before Stain (1st photo) vs. After (2nd photo):
The shelves and mantle are some of my favorite aspects of this remodel. All the wood is 100 year-old barn wood that I hand stained and finished, and my husband made the corbels holding up the mantle by hand. With all the white in the room, this rustic dark wood really makes the room feel cozy. The final step was laying the hardwood, which we also did ourselves. Now, on to the kitchen...
From Start to Finish...