Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I had to work this weekend, so Matt got to celebrate Father's Day with several hours of solo parenting. At one point on Saturday, I called to check in and found out that Matt had taken the kids on a field trip to the Riverwalk along the Great Miami River. Judging by Natalie's reaction every time she sees water, she must have loved it. In fact, on my way back to work from an errand, I drove by the Riverwalk to spy on them. Matt was pushing the stroller and Natalie was running along side him. She looked so excited. They were having so much fun.

So as much as I hate working weekends, I know it's good for the kids to see this side of their Daddy. Solo time, just them and him. They love it, and they always have a cool adventure.

Happy Father's Day!
(Natalie had a hard time keeping her hands
away from Daddy's special cupcakes!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kitchen makeover

I used to hate my kitchen. It used to be my own personal pit of despair. But now, for less than $400 worth of fixes, we have come a long way. We're not even done, but it looks so super fantastic (and we are so overextended on other jobs around the house) that we're going to take a break and enjoy it. And brag about it. (hee hee!)

The day we closed (April 2008).
When we moved in, we were faced with wallpaper border. We tore it down and painted it (what I thought at the time was) the perfect shade of sagey green. The window treatments that came with the house matched, and all the appliances were included (and worked beautifully). Not much changed except the color and lack of wallpaper border.

Shortly after we moved in (April 2008).
Between April 2008 and June 2012, there were several small things that happened in the way of kitchen renovation and/or redecoration. Our dishwasher died, so we replaced it. The sun rises on the back of our house, also known as right in your eyes when you're trying to make breakfast. So I bought fabric and made a curtain to replace the valance. The cabinet handles were like something out of the middle ages, so I replaced those. The chandelier above our eat-in kitchen table was lovely, but we decided to replace it with a ceiling fan for functional reasons. Lastly, the ice maker on the fridge quit, so we got a new fridge.

But that wasn't enough. So we changed a few more things, and this is what our kitchen looks like now...

Our kitchen now!
What a difference, right?! First, I painted. The old sage color was dragging me down. Along with the dark cabinets, it made the whole room feel smaller and darker than it actually is. Up went the beautiful and versatile Asparagus from Behr. After the paint color was on, it didn't quite gel with the dark cabinets. We used Cabinet Transformations from Rustoleum to paint the upper cabinets white. It worked beautifully. No sanding! No scraping! No dust! It took a lot of time and several coats to cover the darkness, but I am very pleased with the results.

We also swapped out the hinges to match the new brushed nickel handles, removed the weird wavy thing from between the cabinets over the sink, and applied a cute little decal over the stove. And I enjoyed buying a teapot to match the walls. (P.S. I'm delighted that I own a teapot!)

The original plan was to paint all of the cabinets white, then get a dark counter top and wood floors. However, I'm kind of loving the dark base cabinets. What do you think?

What is still on our list?
  1. Paint the base cabinets. If we don't go with white, they still need to be painted. The stain has worn unevenly, making them look pretty awful up close. 
  2. Paint the stove. It's in good condition, but the almond color doesn't really fit. We'll either paint it to blend in with the stainless look or maybe I'll paint it black to match the base cabinets or white to match the uppers. What do you think?
  3. Do something with the floors. I like the easy cleanup of vinyl flooring, but I also like the look of hardwood. So we'll probably go with something like wood laminate. What color flooring would look best? Honey colored? Dark wood? Blonde wood? What would look best if we painted the base cabinets white? What if we decided to leave them dark like in this picture?
  4. Do something with the counter top. Whatever color or material we decide to go with, it cannot stay the way it is. Even a new laminate option would be welcome.
  5. Eventually, we'll put the microwave above the stove. Matt wants it that way. I'd rather have a range hood, but it's a compromise I'm willing to make. At least we can get ride of the microwave cart (bottom right hand corner).
As I mentioned, we have a lot of other projects going on right now. There are outdoor projects aplenty, and we've almost finished putting a built-in bookcase/entertainment center in the basement. After the built in is framed out, I picked a lovely shade of greige to paint the walls (yep, I'm painting wood paneling... more on that as it progresses). So with all of that (and a one-year birthday party to plan, and a full time job to juggle, and a trip to Europe just for funsies), the kitchen will stay as-is for a little while. And I couldn't be happier with that!