Wednesday, November 30, 2011

End Of Days 8-9 (Week #2) - Post 7/15

But then Thursday came and finally, after two unprodictive day, some MAJOR progress was made...

1) The floors came in so they are acclimating and should be installed Monday
2) Sergio did all the taping and floating and drywall ALL day on Thursday and is set to come back and texture the following day. (Our kitchen has just turned the corner and I feel like after ripping out and making holes for 7 full days, we are starting the process of rebuilding.)
We don't have holes any longer.
The columns have been dry walled.
3) Blake and I picked out our pendant lights and ordered them. Since shipping was the same and we can return the ones we don't like, we ordered them in 2 different sizes to get them in the house before we decide.

4) Most excitedly, Sandra and I choose our color palette on this day! She dropped off, early in the morning, about 12 boards painted with different colors we had narrowed it down to and I packed them up and over lunch we met at the granite place to choose with the quartz. It was surprisingly easy process when you see all the colors next to one another and the different undertones they all had. We knew we wanted grey with warmer (browner) undertones since my overall color scheme to dark brown (hardwood floors,) white, beige (existing couch we love) and grey. It was surprising how many have olive and violet undertones some greys had. All the colors we decided on were all Sherwin Williams. The cabinet's color is INCREDIBLE WHITE, the light gray for the main living room is FUNCTIONAL GREY and the darker tone gray to be used in the dining room and entry is BACKDROP. Here are the paints with the counter top.
Overall a lot accomplished in a days time!

5) Sandra dropped off a mock up of the cabinets early on Day 9 and they look great.
Nothing else was accomplished on Day #9, as we decided to wait and texture once 100% of the holes had been made and old ones had been patched late next week when we decide on the last of the recessed lighting and pendents.

Next week, has promised to be a big one, with floors being finished Monday and Tuesday, cabinet bases being installed Wednesday, counter top templates being made on Thursday and our final big decision being made for the back splash. Even with a slower week to start, this 2nd week pressed on the gas pedal we are right on track and hope to have counters fully installed before Thanksgiving! We'll see....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deciding on Counter Tops/Overall Inspiration - Post 6/15

For me, this was by far the most difficult and stressful decision. It was the area I felt I knew the least about but after about 5 nights in a row on the computer until midnight, I felt like I had become quite the expert and could sell anyone counter tops.

FIRST, I wanted to share my 5 MAIN INSPIRATION pictures over these multiple month process. These were the pictures, I studied and LOVED. Throughout the entire process, with ALL the millions of decisions, I referred to these pictures so that I could stay consistent in the look I wanted. It is sometimes easy to get confused when you are having to make so many decisions. The five words I wanted to use to describe our future kitchen was CLEAN, CLASSIC, TIMELESS, WHITE & FUNCTIONAL.

This is the picture I first fell in love with marble and the cabinetry style...
This was the room where I visually saw the island I knew we would love...
This was when I knew I wanted contrasting counters on the island and back wall & again solidified the type of cabinet doors I loved.

These next two pictures served as my MAIN overall look I loved and served as my overall inspiration...

SO back to the counter top quest:

During my initial counter top prep process on line, I kept being drawn the the look of MARBLE (the first above picture and the one below here)!! Even in actual granite and marble yards, I was like a marble magnet. I kept finding myself drawn to it. I compare it to shopping for boys clothes when I'm at Target or GapKids.... somehow, without a doubt, I end up in the girls' section, every single time.

The good thing I had going for me, is that  in all my initial research on cabinets, I was 110% certain that marble was NOT right for me or our family. I didn't want a reason to be more nit picky or have another reason to have to constantly be looking over Blake and the kids shoulder if they came within 10 feet of the kitchen. I decided I had enough on my plate. See, MARBLE, is very well know for ETCHING or in lam ens terms, absorbing anything and EVERYTHING you use in your everyday life and if you let it set about 20 seconds too long, you end up with a reminder of what you were enjoying for forever. For instance, wine, marinara sauces, lemon juice... really anything. So I was very confident that although I LOVED the look of it, I would not add the stress of marble to me or my family.... I love them too much!

So after hours and hours of more online research. Thanks to Consumer Reports, I knew I had 3 choices for us to narrow down, man-made surface like Caeserstone, GRANITE or something called QUARTZITE. First I ruled out the super durable man-made quartz surfaces (Caesarstone & Silestone). They just were a little too of a man-made look for me, personally.

Then, we turned our focus to the super durable and what would have been, very reasonably priced granites...
See, I learned the less movement and swirls, granite have = the more static, the less expensive it is.
The problem is as much as I liked it, I didn't LOVE it. I wasn't doing a happy dance when I saw it and I being the counters that I would have for 10-20 years, I wanted to love it so much that I did a happy dance. So I kept looking and researching on the Internet.
But no matter how I tried to stay focused on the whiter granites... I kept finding myself drooling over the marble... like this...
Then, one day, I found out there is a counter top material out there that is called QUARTZITE, a natural stone that is harder than granite, second only to a diamond. I saw it and immediately started doing the happy dance.

I further learned, though, that there is way more to picking out counters than seeing one you like and writing a check. You have to make sure there is enough of it and if it is good enough quality, for you to want to buy. See the above peace, failed both tests. But I stayed upbeat confident now that the perfect piece was out there waiting for me and Sandra to find it! One day, over lunch, I popped back into Youngstone, a well-known place, I had already visited 2 weeks prior and guess what I discovered had just been delivered that morning!??!?!?!?
To  me it was perfection in the form of a rectangle... 5 pieces of WHITE QUARTZITE, they had renamed Calcutta Quartzite because it so highly mimicked the look of the highly sought after Calcutta marble. Except this rock was pretty much indestructible, perfect for my young family.
Like Maverick, when he was 6 weeks old, I got the pick of the liter. With the excellent help of my 2 amazing granite fabricators and Sandra, we chose the perfect slab below.
Then, I just had to wait for the final counter measurements from Hank, our cabinet guy, to make sure this one slab was enough because buying 2 wasn't an option! That was pretty stressful....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kitchen Remodel - Day 5-7 (Week 2) Post 5/10

Before we move on to Week 2 (work days 5-9,) we brought the kids over to the house Friday evening to show them the progress...


It looked about the same at the end of day 6... not much had happened. Bruce, the electrician had come over for a couple of hours Tuesday and Wednesday and that's about it. I guess we got way too much accomplished last week. But, in hind sight, I am glad Sandra planned a couple of cushion days in, just in case there had been a surprise uncovered after the major demolition.
The beams were cut down to about 12'X16', the smallest we could safely go structurally.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Demo Party! Post 3/15

The night before demolition, happened to be Halloween, hence, why no huge front yard bash like we usually do. After trick or treating, it was only appropriate to have our very best friends, whom have shared many of meals in this kitchen, over for have a special kitchen demo party. Mike talked us into doing a real demolition, which of course, turned into SO MUCH FUN!!!
Carter's turn...
For this rule bound boy, you couldn't wipe the smile of excitement off this face...
Ella's turn...
 The last picture of the four of us ever in our old kitchen...
 We were anxious and excited for the next morning.
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