The footprint of the kitchen was a major selling point for us. As many of you know, I come from a long line of amazing Italian cooks and I find myself happiest in the kitchen. Josh is also a great cook and it's one of the activities we really value doing together.
On our budget, we were so excited with the size of the kitchen, where it was located in the house, and the overall potential of the space. In a lot of the other houses we looked at in our price range, I was already thinking of how we would have to renovate to make the kitchen more conducive to our lives. Chaney was different -- there was definitely elbow grease needed, but the potential was there. Our real estate agents were just the best -- they knew exactly what to show us to fit our lifestyle, our budget and our non-negotiables (like a kitchen we could cook and entertain in).
The kitchen is a room in the house where our DIY skills have been put to the test. The first project was to rip out the light wood laminate, exposing the vinyl tile underneath (it's sort of like a fun treasure hunt!). Maybe I'll have J do a guest post on the floor laying process, because I really can't do justice to all his hard work in words....
We painted the walls above the chair rail Gray Screen by Sherwin Williams and below we painted Alabaster to flow from the dining room. I painted the kitchen cabinets in Alabaster White as well and updated the hardware with these modern brass pulls.
Painting the cabinets was a huge, long, tedious process. I took all the cabinet faces off and saved the hardware and then taped off all the areas I wasn't going to paint. After, I scrubbed all the surfaces with TSP to remove any grease from the previous owners. Then I sanded down all of the cabinets to remove the finish. I brought the cabinet faces outside and made a makeshift painting booth. I used a Wagner spray gun to get a stroke-free finish. I put the cabinets up on makeshift stands that I made out of pushpins so I could have both sides drying at the same time. I think I put 4 coats on each side of cabinet? Overall it was close to a 2 week project (with at least 3 serious mental breakdowns in the process. No one ever tells you about that step).
We got help from both of our dad's on the kitchen as well. Eric, Josh's Dad, is an electrician so he helped us replace the light fixture above the table and helped wire a spot for the fixture above the sink. SO much more light! My dad helped reconfigure the direction of some of the pulls and helped do some touch up painting to the parts of the cabinet I missed.
The most recent project was the built in breakfast nook. I knew I wanted a built in -- it would make the kitchen feel bigger and would give us more seating. As much as I would have used some storage space under the bench, I knew that keeping it open would keep the room feeling light and open, which was important to me.
We built the bench ourselves out of plywood and I painted and sanded the piece down. I love how this simple IKEA table is elevated with these awesome ghost chairs at a killer price point. The rug under the built in is thrifted and I love the colors. I got the slab of marble from a junk yard and added gold leaf to the edges. I love keeping it on the table for hot plates etc.
There are still a few things I want to do in the space including: having custom cushions sewn for the bench, artwork above the bench (I'm painting an abstract that I think is going to work perfectly!), switching out the light above the sink for something brass (I am thrifting hard for it, but can't find it yet!), adding subway tile backsplash and switching to stainless steel appliances (please let us get a good tax return). All in time!
We are loving the new, bright space and have had quite a few game nights around the table (with 4 boys sitting on the bench, so we know it's sturdy! ) I have also realized that with 3 different entrances into the kitchen, it makes for a great space to entertain in.
Enjoy the pics!