Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Kitchen: A Labor of Love

When we purchased our home, we knew the first major thing we wanted to change was our kitchen.  We decided to make it a total DIY effort, and it has been an adventure! It has taken a long time, but has been 100% worth it.  

This is what the kitchen looked like the first time we walked into the house.  Please notice the wallpapered fluorescent light.  Yikes.  And the old laminate counter top/back splash.  And allllll that oak.  Not cute.

After we had closed on our home but before we moved in, we decided to do a few major things, like paint the whole upstairs and replace the kitchen counter top.  DJ went up to Brigham City almost every night after work to get the counters done.  First, he ripped off the old counters:

 Then he installed new wood counters.  OH my gosh.  I love them!  

He sealed the under side of the counter tops twice where the dishwasher is, then stained everything a few times and sealed it several times.

After contemplating several back splash ideas, we decided on bead board.  I'm SO glad we did!  I love it so much and it fits the overall feeling of our kitchen perfectly.

After the counters were done, we moved into the house.  Within a couple of days of moving in, I started painting the cupboards white.  It was a big project, and it took a long time.  I did it mostly during the afternoons while the girls were sleeping.  I started with this one cupboard, and did all the painting and then glazed it with the same stain we used on the counter tops.  After this one was done, I was so excited to see the rest of them completed!

In the process--with the back splash ripped out too.  It was a messy week in our house.  It's not super easy to overhaul a kitchen while you're living in the house and still need to USE the kitchen, but it's better than going back and forth between Ogden and Brigham every day.

All the uppers completed, as well as the light:
It took me one day to do the bottom cupboards, and the difference was awesome! But the kitchen still needed to have the walls painted-- you can see in the picture below that it's painted grey up to within about a foot of the cupboards.  I had to paint the rest of that wall, around the window, and above all the cupboards.  Also, I couldn't get the little pull-out drawer things under the sink out, and so I couldn't take off the drawer pulls and paint the faces of those drawers.  I also didn't paint the cupboard and drawer to the left of the oven at this time, because the counter above it still needed to be sealed.

As of yesterday, I finally got the painting finished!  DJ helped me with the drawers under the sink.  For the handles on the cupboards, I was originally thinking of buying all new ones, but they are expensive!  In the end, the style of the handles actually matched my kitchen well, but they were hideous brass and so I spray painted them!  I wanted to do oil rubbed bronze, but worried that it would look weird with my silver sink.  So I spray painted them a brushed nickle to match the sink, but I put them back on a few drawers and hated them so I decided to go with oil rubbed bronze after all.  They look SO GOOD now!  

A close-up of my awesome counters and back splash:

I decided to stain the base of the cupboards the same color as the counter tops rather than paint them white, and I'm glad I did.  

One day I'd like to have can lights in my kitchen, and obviously the light over my sink is ugly brass and needs to be replaced as well.  For now, I've refinished the fluorescent light to match the cupboards and I'm happy with it.  

I want to talk about my counters for just a minute.  At first I was hesitant to do wood, because I was worried about them warping or getting scratched up.  Initially I wanted granite like I've had in my other houses, and figured I'd just wait til I could afford it deal with the laminate until then.  Then while I was looking at granite, I realized I wasn't in love with any of it, and really wanted to try something different.  I love the warm look of the dark brown counter tops, and paired with my white cupboards and bead board back splash, I think my kitchen looks so warm and inviting!  Like a cute little cottage kitchen or something! And yes, we'll have to re-seal the wood periodically, but you have to do that with granite too, so no big deal.  After using them for a month and a half, I'm SO SO glad I chose to go with wood, and I'm SUPER grateful I have a husband who not only went along with my idea, but put it into action for me!  He obviously has never built counters before, but he did such a great job.  I love my kitchen now SO much!  Eventually I'm going to get a new oven and paint my fridge white to match the cupboards (I ran out of white paint so I have to get some more!) but for now, my kitchen is just great!  It was fun that DJ and I could work on it together, and now that it's done we can enjoy the nice space and have pride in the fact that we did it all ourselves!


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