Archive for the ‘our life’ Category

Remodel 2015: The Kitchen

We’re remodeling!

Starting next week, the contractors will be here to:

  • Pretty much gut our laundry room, kitchen, and formal dining room to make more of a mud room and a bigger eat-in kitchen.
  • Re-do our master bath by removing the “plastic” shower and making a tiled, walk-in shower.  It’d be nice to get a tub in there, but I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice the closet!
  • Start finishing off our basement.

There’s much that we want to do with the basement, but this will be just part of it.  We’re removing a window and installing an egress window to make a conforming bedroom and walling off a storage room.  The rest of the basement will be mostly unfinished.  In a few years, we’ll carpet it, install a kitchenette and a bathroom.  The plumbing is all roughed in down there; it was just more than we wanted to pay for right now.

Here are the basic plans:


We’re just making a couple of changes to this plan:

  • The island will be shortened slightly on both sides to make “traffic” flow easier.
  • We aren’t installing the cabinets by the kitchen table right away.  I think I want a furniture piece (if anything).  That’s easy to add after the fact if I change my mind.

Here are the things that I think we’re going with.  When it’s all said and done, I’ll let you know what we really use!


Some cool 3D renderings:

Circle House-Kitchen6 3d view 1

From our living room, looking into the kitchen area. Current floor plan is totally different.

Circle House-Kitchen6 3d view 2

Standing at the soon-to-be island, looking into the dining area. Next to the fridge will be a walk-in pantry.

Circle House-Kitchen6 3d view 3

From the dining area, looking at the island. We put the dining area here because there are windows (on the wall “behind” this picture) that look out to a wooded area – great view!

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No More Moving Parts!

I am stressed these days.  (You can tell by my Pepsi consumption, unfortunately.)

  • Projects are blowing up at work.
  • Changes are happening there that affect me and got me worried.
  • People there are being snippy.  I’m being snippy.
  • Sammy’s potential upcoming surgery weighs on my mind.
  • Our big remodel is starting in 2 weeks.
  • I have things to pick out for the remodel with lots of confusion on my lighting choices.  (It’s tough to find something that you LOVE!)
  • My sister recently moved to South Carolina, which really stinks as she was a huge part of my life, having lived just up the street and was my babysitter.  Really stinks.
  • Finn had really been acting up and potty training was just dragging on and on and on and on.  (Seriously…we’re 10 months into this and still having 5-6 ‘accidents’ each day.  We’ve had some recent success in the last 2 weeks which has made this much better.)
  • Sammy’s stopped sleeping through the night.  He had been waking up once each night, wanting a bottle and then being WIDE awake.  Now he’s just waking up once a night, getting stuck in the crib and needing help.  But it’s still interrupted sleep.

I’m just ready for no more moving parts!  I’m ready for January – things will be much calmer then!

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This is a completely untouched room.  We’ve moved in and haven’t done a thing to it.  Not a thing.  There’s wallpaper peeling from the walls.  I haven’t even stood in the shower.  It just needs re-done.  And it will be this fall.  Hence, the whole “I haven’t done anything with it.” look it has now.

But here it is!


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I love, love, love white woodwork.  I know I went back-and-forth on whether to paint my woodwork at the old house, but when we moved into this one, it was a no brainer for the bedrooms at least.  They were in horrible condition and the timing was excellent for painting them.  We had plans to replace the carpet.  We had plans to paint the walls.  So we removed the carpet and just painted the woodwork.

We could be as messy as we wanted!  Because the subfloors were about to be re-covered and since we hadn’t painted the walls yet, we didn’t have to tape off anything! Not a single thing.  It could NOT have been easier.

It took 3 coats and it looks great!  I have some touch-ups to do after some not-so-careful movers and carpet layers, but that’s minor.  I’m so happy I went with this.

I was afraid of how the oak wood doors would look next to the white trim, but I don’t mind it a bit.  And the doors are in fabulous condition, so I don’t want to replace them and I don’t even want to paint them.  Again, I’m so happy I went with it!


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In this new house, the master bedroom didn’t undergo that big of a change.  Sure, we:

  • Replaced the pink-ish carpet.
  • Painted the walls the same Behr Almond Wisp
  • Replaced the light fixture with a ceiling fan
  • Painted the woodwork white (except for the windows, which I thought I’d replace, but also re-thinking that decision)
  • Painted the ceiling white (the upper right picture shows how white the ceilings really weren’t – before we finished the paint job)
  • Installed wood blinds
  • Hung curtains


Maybe it doesn’t feel like that big of a change because it’s the master bathroom that will undergo a big change.  It’s in horrible shape (but more on that later).

What I love most about the master bedroom is the view!  If the blinds are open, it’s a gorgeous way to wake up in the morning.


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Okay, I got some better pictures than the ones yesterday – I realized how bad they were at showing what the kitchen really looks like.

Here’s better ones – with our table!


These pictures pretty much show the 2 walls that will be removed for the remodel – the one between the kitchen and the living room.  Then the one between the kitchen and the “dining-room-but-we-use-it-as-a-toy-room-right-now-see-the-Little-People-house-in-the-corner”.

And we won’t be keeping that light fixture!

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This is the other room about to undergo a massive transformation.  This fall, we’ll:

  • Knock out the wall between the kitchen & the living room to make an open floor plan.
  • Knock out the wall between the kitchen & what-should-be-a-formal-dining-room-but-its-really-a-toy-room to make a big kitchen.
  • Expand the laundry room a bit to have a “mud room” kind of area.
  • Remove all the cabinets and countertops and go with a completely different floor plan.
  • Move the plumbing from the wall it’s on to a different wall.
  • Install a long island for food prep and with a “breakfast bar” kind of seating.
  • Install a walk-in pantry for food and small appliance storage.
  • Get all new applicances.  All new flooring.  All new cabinets.  All new countertops.  All new lighting.  All new everything!

But here’s what it looks like now:


The upper left picture is from the living room looking in.

The upper right picture is from the garage.  To your left is our laundry room and straight ahead you can see into the its-a-dining-room-but-really-its-a-toy-room.

The bottom picture is the view from the kitchen onto the back deck.  A bad picture, but it gives a glimpse of the trees!

The only thing missing in these pictures is our kitchen table. I took these pictures when our table was still at the old house since it was still on the market.  You’ll just have to use your imagination that we have one.

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