The Bulk of the Budget

Don't we all love budgets?! And kitchens aren't cheap! But we have a budget, and we're sticking to it (so far...). We decided that the bulk of it was going to go toward cabinets, since we use them every day, several times a day. 

I started by getting quotes from a couple of kitchen design centers near us, and after removing all of the options that we really wanted, we finally got down to a number that was affordable for us - but that left us with the basics, and no personality. Not extacly what we had in mind!

So, my father-in-law suggested to meet with the guy who was renting their old store, because they make custom furniture and cabinetry. Great idea! Well, that is until we met with the guy. I won't go into details, but let's just say sometimes I am as easy to read as a picture book, and my husband could sense I wasn't exactly impressed. Yeah, the cabinets actually came in at a workable price "$350 per cabinet!", and the quality was decent, but something just diiiiiidn't feel right!  

My hubby tried to convince me that this was a great deal, and that we could get what we wanted, but I wouldn't budge! There were filler strips on each cabinet, when we went to see a model house. Gosh!  I sound snobby!  But, if you're paying for custom cabinets, I would rather not see a 2" piece of wood that could otherwise be useable storage space!

From the start, our friend (and wonderful electrician!) Mike kept telling us about a guy up in Hart who could have done his cabinets for thousand less than he paid, and he regrets not going with him. He's seen his work, and it's awesome stuff! (my words, not exactly Mikes) After our previous meeting with... "Bob" we'll call him, I'll be honest, I wasn't thrilled to meet with another cabinet maker.

Jeff called and scheduled a meeting with him anyway, and I tried my darnest to keep an open mind! Well turns out Mike and Jeff were both right!  We got to his shop (a barn about 20 feet from his house), and he had a kitchen full of cabinets that were ready to be painted and installed in a house on Lake Michigan. They were FABULOUS! All solid wood, dovetailed joints, NO FILLERS! The wood was sanded so nicely, it was as smooth as a baby's behind! :)

We discussed the drawings of our kitchen, and got a quote from him a few days later. It fit within our budget wonderfully! What a relieving feeling to have finally found the backbone of our kitchen. Greg is not only talented, but easy to work with as well! 

My father-in-law and I went up to visit our cabinets a few weeks ago, because that's what Greg expects his clients to do - super exciting! You're probably thinking, quit typing, and start uploading pictures! Because really, it's all about the pictures, right? Here ya go....

These fabulous cabinets are the sink and fridge wall, and that tall giant cabinet off to the right will be the wall oven's future home. Greg also added extra special roll out shelves just for kicks!

Again, the wall oven, and to the right of that, the cooktop's future home.

The cooktop cabinet, with plenty of storage below for pots, pans, and cutting boards, and above the tall skinny cabinets will be roll-out "pantrys" for spices and sauces. No more emptying the spice cabinet to find the beloved dillweed hiding in the back!

On the far left is the peninsula (with the flip side on top, "junk-drawers!"), and to the right, the base drawers of the pantry. The top of the pantry is behind these cabinets, but it just looks like a large rectangle for now!

A nice shot of the corner cabinet which will sit to the left of the sink.

It's a box! No, no, no!  It's the wine rack!  Imagine two X's installed, flip it on it's side, and fill it with a few dozen bottles! :)  Artwork at it's finest!

A detailed shot of the cooktop again.  Check out those cute little feet on the furniture base!

And again, the pantry base, with it's cute little feet! :)
The cabinets were originally supposed to be installed the first full week of April, but it looks like Greg will be done spraying next week, and plans to install the base cabinets at the end of next week! Don't you LOVE when contractors come in ahead of schedule?! Then we can get the countertops measured and installed, the upper cabinets installed, and the backsplash tile! Ooooh the backsplash tile.... hmph, that's another story, which I think we're actually winning (as Sheen would say) this one.

The wonderful (I'm not being sarcatic when I say that!) people over at Virginia Tile ordered a few tiles wrong. For the frame around the accent behind the cooktop, 2 corners were ordered instead of 4. Mind you, these tiles took 6 weeks to come in, and we don't have another 6 weeks to wait. They are made to order... eek! But they assured me that they will be made in a week, and shipped to us within 4-5 days! And with an aditional discount! Hey, that works for me!  As long as the UPS man doesn't break them, we're good to go! :) Check out the tiles....

How lovely are these?! Ah!
Okay, I gotta go paint now!!  Updates of that to come!


Our Kitchen - 3 Years in the Making!

So along with the demolition of our bathroom, we're also remodeling our kitchen.  I couldn't be more THRILLED!

Let's start at the very begining. :)  When we first walked through our house, nearly 3 years ago, I instantly fell in love with the layout and all of its character. After putting in an offer that was shot down, we were slightly disappointed. Because it was the first house we looked at, and it wasn't even technically for sale, we decided it wasn't meant to be, and that we should probably look at other houses.

Naturally, being a designer, I had a long list of criteria for our future home.  I started by looking on the internet, and could only find newer houses that lacked character in subdivisions that lacked trees! If you know me, you understand know my beef with homes in these "subdivisions".  But that's a whole 'nother post, and I won't even go there!

Anyway, after we searched for months, we couldn't find a house that we really liked, and decided maybe we should just stay put until the right one comes along.  Weeeeeell, much to our surprise, the owners of our dream home called back after meeting with a realtor and decided maybe our original offer was worth it! WOOO HOOOO!! So we went to the bank, signed a million papers until our hands felt like they were going to fall off, and the house was ours!

Oh, I forgot to mention, when we first walked through the house, we knew we wanted to eventually redo the kitchen! Hmm, so that leads me into the photos! The most interesting part, right?!

So here she is before:
Standing in the Dining Room. The Kitchen, under the lovely glow of the fluorescent light! Ew...

The old layout didn't exactly make sense to me. When you take hot meals out of the oven, where do you put them?! Well, I guess on that little counter...

Oooh the solid green countertops and solid red floors will not be missed... you were so hard to keep looking clean!
So now the construction is underway! We've had nearly 3 years to think about the layout, materials, colors, hardware, appliances, etc., etc.! And rethink.... and I'm glad we had that time, looking back! Here are some sketches I drew up of our plan, and although they've been altered a bit, you get the idea.

There should also be a pantry drawing, but  for some reason it is missing! Hmmm...  If I find it, I will post it.

I'll leave you with some moooore photos of the demolition. Let's see the mess!!
I forgot to mention, we're tore out the tile throughout the living room as well, and will be replacing it wil hardwood.

Yaaay deconstruction!

And the tile in the entry, powder room, and laundry room went as well!  New tile to come!

More pictures to come! Since I've fallen behind on the remodel, I'll probably be posting more updates tomorrow! :)  Well, maybe not!  Drywall is done and ready to paint, and my mother-in-law is coming to watch the babes while I run into town to prime and paint!  Because the cabinets are also being painted right now, and looks like they will be done a week earlier than expected!  Eeeek!  I have to update you with the progress and story behind the cabinets!  Oh man... this blogging thing is tough! ;)


Bathroom Remodel - Week ....? Sorry!

 So I am a teensy bit late on uploading the design idea board for our bathroom, but here it is! Not as interesting as I had planned to make it, but we moved out of uur house 2 weeks earlier than planned, and time got away from me.

In my search for inspiration, I found this wonderful circular/teardrop fabric at Stonesthrow, where I used to work. Ookkay, maybe I didn't find it, my old friend did (she wouldn't like if I called her my boss, hehe!). I looooove the colors in it, and the shapes are so fun and dynamic! I wanted a fabric that was whimsical, but could grow from baby to teen to guests, because we don't plan on revamping for quite sometime again!  I also purchased the polka dot fabric from Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off, woot woot!! And I already sewed the window treatments out of it. I was a little excited, and it only took about an hour for two windows.

The boys hard at work!
I will try my hardest to keep the posts coming, so stay tuned! :)