Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kitchen Obsession - Part 1

Hi friends!
If you recall from my last post, I mentioned being quite consumed with several projects around the house this summer.  As I'm sure you can all attest, these types of things never quite go as quickly or as easily as planned.  There were several hiccups and delays - and this wasn't even a full renovation. Just a "cosmetic refresh".  But, I think I am finally to a place where I feel happy with it - at least the things over which I have some control;)

So, let's go back to the starting point.  When we first moved in, we were working with forest green "faux marble" laminate counters, the current white cabinets, tan walls above the chair rail and lovely floral white and green wallpaper below the chair rail.  The's 90's in all their glory.  The flooring was and continues to be the bane of my existence, white tile with white grout.  Seriously??  Why would you do that in a kitchen?  The one room with with dirtiest floor in all of the house!  I have hated it for 7 years now and will continue to hate it, but we have about 300 sf of it and can't afford to replace it.  So, I am trying to find a way to live with it/ignore it.  Yeah, right.  It haunts me.

I set to work transforming as best I could, with the first project being the counters.  We spent a chunk and went with quartz, which I still love.  Then I taught myself to tile and did the simple backsplash shown below.  The wallpaper came off and I painted the whole space a rich red, which at that point, made my heart sing.  I also removed the window treatment hardware and installed rattan blinds inside the frames.  Simple and classic.

Ok, so fast forward to a year or so ago, and I am getting antsy for some change in the kitchen.  I was itching for something fresh, a little eclectic and a way to boost the architectural features without spending a boatload.  Then I saw it...the dream kitchen.

 I could picture myself walking through that door and whipping up a cake or soup and salad, while my friends sat at the island sipping coffee.  Heaven.  I mean, look at that oven hood and island finish!  And the grey and white with wood accents is stunning.  My wheels turned to...what if I won an HGTV kitchen sweepstakes and could completely change the footprint of my kitchen?  I knew exactly what would need to be moved to achieve the same look.  Then, I snapped out of it and asked myself how I could fake it. Then, I set to work.

First up, paint.  Let me tell you, grey is hard to get right.  The big pics are coming later, but I am very happy with the result.  A medium grey that grounds the room a bit since there is so much white in the cabinets and flooring. As I was painting, I realized that I kind of liked the white below the chair rail, so I decided to teach myself how to do a board and batten effect.  It's fairly easy to do, cost effective and really elevates the architectural integrity of the space.  The boys and I made it a summer project.

We started with measuring how we wanted the battens spaced, taking into account the outlets, windows, etc.  I think we ended up with about 14" between each.  We purchased unprimed lattice from Lowe's and I had the boys measure out the lengths and cut them with a miter box.  They did a great job.   

Next, we used our spacer stick to place our battens and tape them in the place.  I then borrowed a friend's nail gun and compressor.  Wow!  What an amazing rush being able to knock out a project so quickly.  It took me about 1/2 hour to nail all of the pieces in place!  Last was caulking the edges to give a finished, professional look.


After all the construction was completed, I really struggled with what color white to paint it.  I tried several samples and finally landed on Natural Tan from Sherwin Williams.  I chose it to help pick up the slight bisque color in the floor tiles.  I still don't love it, love it, but unless the floor were darker, I don't think I ever will. Ce la vie.

I have become quite long-winded this post, so I will sign off for now.  Stay tuned for phase 2, coming soon!


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