Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From College Parties to Dinner Parties: The Kitchen Part 2

Let's get back to the kitchen....

Kroger's Special flowers never fail.

I gave you all a sneak peak (above) in part one of the kitchen renovation post last week. There you can see us getting down to the original wood studs and the many steps we took to get this transformed into a functional kitchen. I'm sure you also didn't forget those glorious 'Before' photos that I imagine you'd rather not see again. I apologize if you were traumatized by any of those images.  

But in order to see any After photos, a Before is just necessary. #SorryNotSorry #Hashtag.
Here's a lovely Before... kegerator, red bull, blurred out chalkboard and all.

 Beautiful sight.

And here's an After....

Same angle as the picture above. This shows how much room 
was added by tearing out the pantry and pushing the wall back. 
This picture also makes me hungry.
And here's another Before: 

 Hot sauce anyone?

After... Not the same angle but hopefully you get the picture.

Tearing down the wall was a definite game changer.

 Once the granite and sink were installed we were able to purchase some awesome GE Appliances at the local Scratch and Dent. I would HIGHLY recommend checking out a Scratch and Dent if you have one in your area. I was amazed at the quality and quantity of the appliances that we could choose from. We were even looking for a specific size refrigerator to fit a tight space and we found it right away. Thankfully, we've had no issues with any of our appliances and most of the 'dents' are minimal and actually hidden by cabinets so we lucked out. They all came with GE warranty too so that was an unexpected bonus. After some researching online, we also found a perfect range hood from Amazon with great reviews and an even better price. We ordered it about a week before Christmas and it was here within 2 days.... Crazy! The customer service was also really great to work with. 

Don't mind the empty cabinet with no door.
That is our future spice rack cabinet- once we get to it.

We also found some white pendant lights for a VERY low price at Lowes. I literally walked in and walked out within 10 minutes- sometimes you just know what you're looking for. I wanted something light, fresh, and clean to contrast with the warmer wood tones in the room... and also something that wouldn't be hard on the wallet.

Still have some trim and patchwork needed, but we're getting there.
The above beam was needed to transition between the original plaster
and the new drywall ceiling. PS. This bar area is essential.

The white mobile island was the latest item to get finished earlier this summer. After the granite was put in, we had the installer cut a rectangular piece with what we had leftover. An island had always been that next thing we needed to give the kitchen a more finished look. Nathan and Josh (I feel many posts will have a Josh mention) were able to build it in his classroom workshop and it's become one of my favorite pieces in the kitchen. My main request was that it had a classic "X" detail on each side and that I could paint it white. I absolutely love it... the fact that it is mobile and the casters are hidden makes it even better.  

 Looks like there may be a window treatment post in my future.

Now, you would probably assume that the kitchen was finished, but Nathan wants me to put in a disclaimer that we still have several items we need to tackle, so in order to keep my promise... Disclaimer: The 'big' stuff is done, but there are several more tasks that need to be completed. Sometimes the smallest and easiest things are the most annoying to tackle... especially once you get used to living with them. Examples being the spice rack cabinet by the range, wine rack, hardware, top trim, base trim, and molding.... along with tons of other decorative ideas that I want to take on soon... window treatment, pictures, etc. The work never ends, but we're very happy with our progress so far.

Lemonade or Margaritas?

Future wine rack cabinet in the works...
Our lucky fridge we bought from Scratch and Dent.

My second go at a succulent. First one died due to lack of green thumb.

As you can see, we decided to go with classic wood tones and neutral, light finishes.  Nathan is an outdoorsy guy and loves the look of natural wood and let's be honest- I think any guy shutters when they hear anyone mention the thought of painting over wood. (However, I'm a big supporter of it if that's what you like). I really just went with my gut when it came to deciding which route to go. I think its important to stick with the true character of a home and I think the finishes really fit the house and its 1920s Craftsman style. The warm wood tones really work for us and they also help complement a lot of the white trim, drapery, and accents throughout the first floor. It's definitely the warmest and most used area of the house. 

I may take my love of clean counters to the extreme.

Nathan's bourbon cabinet... with Charlie Strong Maker's Mark as a staple.
By taking our time and being patient, we really saved a lot of money and put in a TON of value into our home. We have found recently in our neighborhood that if you have a great kitchen and bathroom, the house won't stay on the market for very long. Speaking of the market- Resell was a big focus when beginning the transformation. My less experienced 'real-world' mind thought that we would live in the house a few years and then find something newer and better. Uhhhh reality check... 1. It ain't that easy when it comes to money! and 2. Why in the WORLD would we put in this much work into something and then not enjoy it? Not only that- the more things get done here, the more I don't want to leave. It may be inevitable at some point in the next 3-4 years, but the "re-sell" mindset has been put on the back-burner. I think we've both decided to really start enjoying living in this house and stop thinking about 'the next big thing'. 

Here's another Before:

Happy to report that those tan window treatments are now gone.


Bottom trim coming soon.


I'm out of words.


I may sound like a broken record, but as you can see from the Before pictures, it's not even close to what is used to be. The old kitchen consisted of orange oak flooring that would bubble up from water damage, 1960s cabinets that were falling apart, and the countertops that didn't match. And overall, it really just screamed to me, "Saturday morning after a big college party". Good times.

We really learned a lot from our first big project. I know Nathan expressed that he would rather purchase than build kitchen cabinets in a future home, but he's glad he can say he's done it. (I would imagine Josh also has that same sentiment). I think we're just proud that we had the patience to see it through and were very sensible with the purchases we made. Naturally, it's probably my favorite place in our home (so far) and has proven to be a favorite of our friends and families as well. Looking at these pictures reminds me that the times have surely changed in the past 5 years. It's crazy to think where we are now in our lives and in this home. We definitely had some great memories in this kitchen particularly, but change is inevitable... and I think this was definitely for the better. So while the college parties may be a thing of the past, we're happy to announce that the dinner parties are in full swing... with the Red Bull/Vodka now being optional.

Now I need to work on some of my newlywed cooking skills.



  1. The kitchen is beautiful! I love reading your blog! I am getting lots of ideas for our future house one day! ;)

  2. Beautiful!! Those "before" photos are exactly as I remember that kitchen. I can't believe it looks so amazing now! Great job, Weldy's!

  3. Tricia, that kitchen is gorgeous! I am loving your blog and I'm super excited to see more :)