Our kitchen renovation is finished!

Hey guys! I am here to show you the final kitchen before and afters. We are pretty much finished with the renovation. We have small stuff to finish up (painting the baseboards, painting the walls, small random finishing touches), but for all intents and purposes, this renovation is D.O.N.E. And I couldn’t be any more relieved. We’ve never tackled a renovation of this magnitude, and although much of it was hired out, we did do a fair share of the work ourselves. Living in this chaos for the past 3 months has taken its toll on my sanity.

We hired a local builder to oversee the project. He sent over each of his crews to do all the work, and then we paid each crew individually. This allowed us to squeeze in there and do as much work ourselves as possible to save money. Anyway, I’ll stop blathering on and on and just show you the money shots.

We haven’t installed the under-cabinet lighting or tile yet. They will get wrapped up as soon as we have the funds and as soon as I’ve recovered from the trauma of this renovation and am ready to jump in and DIY something again.

I don’t know what my favorite part of the new kitchen is. It’s a toss up between the desk area, those chunky shelves, the actual style and color of the cabinets, all the fun pull-out organizers… Honestly, I can’t pick a favorite part of the kitchen. I am just obsessed with every inch of it.

White and two-tone (such as grey on bottom, white on top) kitchens are so popular right now, but I just really wanted a dark rich kitchen. I feel like this kitchen will stand the test of time and will still look fresh and current 5 years from now. White kitchens are classic as well, I just really love the look of rich dark cabinets.

All the barstools and chairs are temporary until I find some that I truly love and go with this new style of kitchen. I love the industrial stools but I don’t feel like they really go with the look of the kitchen. Also, we now sit at this bar multiple times a day and those stools are not very comfortable. I’m on the hunt for new stuff but it will be awhile while we save up.

Ah, the desk area… Desks in kitchens are so polarizing. Who would have thought? This one works for us though for a variety of reasons, the two biggest being a) we want the kids to enjoy their computer time out in the open so that we can keep an eye on them, and b) the desk is on a completely separate wall in the kitchen, so it’s in its own little area and doesn’t ever get junked up with kitchen stuff. I am 110% happy with our decision to put a desk in our kitchen.

Between the island and the oven is where I spend the majority of my time while in the kitchen. Everything I need it at arms reach and it makes food prep so easy. I can prep a quick meal, then turn around and serve it to everyone sitting at the barstools.

Here’s our sink area. It is the hardest working space in the kitchen. I chose a single-basin sink and was a little nervous about it, but I am now totally sold. I hate washing dishes in a split sink.

Instead of another cabinet, I told the cabinet maker I wanted some open shelves. What he created is so beautiful. Seriously, I was expecting some thin shelves. These chunky ones take my breath away.

I don’t know if you remember, but the bar behind the sink use to be bar-height and we dropped it to counter-height. This choice had me up with anxiety each night for weeks but as soon as the granite was installed and I saw the finished version, I knew I made the right decision. I love how open the kitchen is to the family room now.

We also added cabinets in the dining room. I was going to build my own and even waxed poetic about it here, but Ben suggested we get the cabinet maker to do them so they all matched. Good call, Ben. We originally planned to have open shelving for the uppers but added doors as a last-minute plan change. I’m so glad we did because those cabinets are great storage!

Pretty much all the chairs (and the table) are filler for now until we can upgrade everything to stuff that works better in there. For now though this situation works great for family dinners and game nights.

I just have to throw the next few photos in the mix. Check out this before and after looking in from my front door:

  

Look how far the living room and kitchen have come from last year when we bought the place:

  

And just because I can’t end this post without some serious before and after action, check out where we were and where we are now:

Before & After


Before & After


Before & After


Before & After


Before & After


Before & After


Before & After


I’m going to do several additional posts that break down individual areas and topics, but this post was so overdue I just wanted to quit the suspense and show you the whole area finished. If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below. I know I sound annoying droning on and on about my love for this kitchen, but seriously. This is my favorite kitchen in the entire world and I now love my house more than I ever thought possible. Good thing because I am seriously never moving ever again!


     

A family room update

Hey guys! I realized I haven’t updated you on the family room – where we spend the majority of our time – since we moved in.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

I have spent 4 months moving chairs around and decrapifying all the piles of decor and frames that got dumped in there. Coming up with a chair configuration was making me a little insane. You can see from all the before pictures that I kept moving chairs in, then out, then swapping them, then changing their angle, etc.

In this photo from the house tour everything has been moved around again. It’s always so hard to get your furniture to fit properly in a new house. Sometimes it takes me several tries. (I have moved my office and craft stuff 5x times already.)

About a month ago I pulled down all the blinds in the family room. We left them up for a few months just to see if I would ever want to close them, but we realized we love the huge windows and all the light pouring in, so I took them down. Here’s a picture before removal.

My little DIYer-in-training helped take them down. He is almost 12 now and is quickly becoming a great little side-kick when I tackle projects. If it involves a screwdriver, or climbing a ladder, or using a power-tool, or better yet, doing anything that he thinks is out of the ordinary, he is all over it. His favorite? Any reason to get on the roof. Eek.

Removing the blinds made a huge difference. The windows now have cleaner lines, and even though it was only about 6-inches-tall worth of blinds, the light just seems to pour in so much more now.

  

Here is how the room currently looks:

I added a few new pieces of furniture, and then raided my accessories stash. I think just adding a coffee table, some decor, and a few pillows really takes a room from boring and unfinished looking to polished. And ps, yes, I realize the rug is ridiculously too small for the space. I’m workin’ on it!

Granted, I have loads of work to still do in here. As you have probably noticed by now, I am trying to pick a paint color for in here. Because of all the natural light, the colors look very different throughout the day. A color I thought I would love looks great at 10am but I hate it at 3pm. This is a tricky room! I am pretty sure I have chosen a color though, so now I need to start painting.

In addition to needing to paint the walls, I painted the back door black and the trim around the door a new coat of white. The black still needs a second coat so don’t look too closely. This picture was taken while standing in our piano room (it’s suppose to be a dining room but we are using it as a piano room).

Like I said, I purchased a few new pieces of furniture to give the room a more finished look (it still has a long way to go, but you know what I mean). I bought the bookshelf next to the tv, and the coffee table and side table from ikea. I quickly stuffed a bunch of chachkies and decor on the shelf, but it is in no way finished being “styled”.

And here’s one more of the family room, but from the opposite angle looking towards the front door and piano room. Do you spy my orange curtains? I temporarily tacked them up yesterday to see if I will like them in there (I do!) so once that room gets a fresh paint job I will permanently hang those curtains again. Did you think I would leave them at the old house? Heck no!

And just for fun, here are the official MLS photos of the family room. Isn’t it so crazy how two people can make a room look so different? I obviously have very different (and less formal) taste than the previous owners.

I love seeing the befores and afters next to each other so I don’t have to keep scrolling up and down, so here you go!

previous owner & currently:

before & after:

before & after:


     

The final before & afters of the old house

Well folks, it’s the end of an era. The old house will officially belong to someone else by Thursday. We had a good run, this house and me. I have the final photos of the old house that were taken last month for the MLS listing. I thought it would be fun to compare them to the “before” photos from three years ago when we bought the house. It’s come a long way baby. I am so pleased to see how much nicer the home is now. But honestly, I just can’t wait to start rolling some paint on the walls of the new house. :)

I’ve got a few more tutorials of the old house to share with you guys as soon as I can get them together, but in the mean time, enjoy this one last walk down memory lane (que some sappy Enya-esqe music now).

It’s an MLS photo face-off. In one corner we have the Old MLS photos, and in the other corner we have the New MLS photos. Who will win? Team crappy or Team Now (aka Team Awesome)? My money’s on Team Awesome.

The House Now:

Three years ago:

Now:

Three years ago:

The Backyard Now:

Three years ago:

Another “Now” from the backyard:

The Foyer Now:

Three years ago:

Dining Room (aka the Barney Massacre) Now:

Then:

Piano Room Now:

Then:

Family Room Now:

Then:

A few more Family Room Nows:

Kitchen Now:

Then:

Kitchen Now:

Then:

Downstairs Guest Bathroom Now:

Before:

Ben’s Office Now:

Mustard Yellow Before:

Master Bedroom Now:

Way back when:

Master Closet:

Then:

Master Bathroom Now:

Before:

Laundry Room Now:

A long time ago:

Guest Bedroom Now:

It’s Smurf blue past:

Gameroom Now:

Then:

Upstairs Guest Bathroom Now:

Then:

The Boy’s Bedroom Now:

Before:

Kid’s Bathroom Now:

The Boring Before:

The Girl Bedroom Now:

The Football Field Before:

It has been a LOT of hard work to get the house to where it’s at now. I really hope the new owners enjoy the home as much as we have and that they create just as many memories there as we did. When we moved in our babies were 5 and 7. Now they are almost 9 and 11. We have a lot of sweet memories with our little family in this home, but I am excited to look forward and create even more sweet memories in our new home.

If there is anything that you noticed in these photos that you have a question about, please ask in the comments! We scrambled to get the house ready to put on the MLS, so we did a lot of last minute tweaks to it that I may not have blogged about yet. Your questions will help jog my memory so I don’t forget and leave out any details in the small handful of posts I have left to write about wrapping things up here.

Thanks for following along the last three years as I turned an ugly foreclosure into this beautiful house I’ve been proud to call my home. I hope you stick around and follow along as I turn our new Ranch house into our {hopefully} forever home. New rooms, new paint, new moulding, and new DIYs! I can hardly wait to get the sledge hammer out and turn this place into “Ours”.


     
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