Re-visiting the kitchen

I’m not going to say anything about how this is post #2 in as many days, for fear of jinxing my progress.  Whoops- guess I did just say something.
Anyway…a room that is constantly changing in our house is the kitchen.  Well, kitchen and dining room actually, since they are one room.  The kitchen was the selling point of the house (that and the big backyard).  We really loved the custom wood cabinets, layout and the storage space.  What we didn’t love were the counter tops, appliances and the paint color- the counter tops were 21 year old white laminate that had lost its finish and was separating from the plywood it was attached to.  You could set a coffee cup down and leave a permanent ring.  Awesome.  We knew that we could only live with these for so long (and lucky us, all the counters in the house were white laminate!)  Unfortunately, new counters are expensive, so we’d have to let that one wait awhile.  The easiest (and least expensive) thing to change was the paint color.  Because blood red just wasn’t workin’:
The blood red dining room with previous owner’s furniture

The blood red kitchen and lovely white counter tops.  Plus old, inefficient appliances.

 I’d always wanted to do a kitchen in green, so off I went to get a million paint chips and tape them to the walls.  My husband actually made the color choice, going with Mother Nature by Behr.  The ceiling is actually a couple of shades of green lighter- I’m not 100% on the color, it’s either Corn Husk Green by Behr or Rejuvenate by Behr.  Whatever it is, it’s pretty.  I do wish that either a. I’d chosen a shade or two lighter for the ceiling, because only in certain lighting can you tell there is a color difference or b. that we had crown molding in the dining room to better separate the two colors.  The crown molding idea is still on the table, we’re just not 100% sure how to do that because our cabinets already have crown that meets the dining room wall- installing crown in the dining room would involve taking off the crown on the cabinets and cutting it.  Not to mention I would like white crown for the dining room- and that cut would have to be perfect in order to match up between the white and wood crown.  It makes my head spin, I tell ya.

Anyway.  So we painted the kitchen (and discovered part way through the process that there was wallpaper under that blood red color.  Awesome.  Since it’d been painted over at least once, we just painted right over it, because removing it would have been a PAIN) and purchased a couple of appliances.  The fridge we inherited was small, inefficient and dirty.  That got moved to the garage and is now the extra fridge/dog treat holder (yeah, our dogs are spoiled).  The stove was also inefficient and dirty.  I cleaned it up and we gave it to a friend of a friend (who was using a stove from the 50’s…).  Oh and we also updated the lighting- taking the kitchen lighting from fluorescent strip and can light to track and pendant (I used one of the can light converter kits to install the pendant).  So here’s the kitchen after we did all that:

Kitchen with new paint, new appliances and new lighting.  You can see here how the dining room is right next to the kitchen.

 The dining room didn’t get much of an upgrade- we painted and installed the light fixture in the opposite direction.  Not my favorite light fixture but it worked so we went with it.  Oh and we also changed out all the door hardware from brass to brushed nickle and light switches/outlet covers from almond to white (this trick is by far the cheapest, easiest thing you can do to instantly update a room).

Dining room and a kitty- that’s Amber.  She loves to be the center of attention.

At Christmas, my parents generously gifted us with a new dishwasher and microwave, rounding out the stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.  About a month later, we’d had it with the laminate counter tops and bit the counter top bullet.  I’d been eyeing Corian countertops for several months- I liked the solid surface (no way was I going to deal with laminate again) and the fact that they are man-made.  Plus the color goes through the entire counter, so if there’s ever a scratch we can just sand it out.  We even went to Home Depot** a few months prior to our purchase and picked out a bunch of tiles to choose from and then harassed asked everyone who came to our house to pick their favorite.  Once we’d narrowed it down to 3 choices, I ordered 10″x10″ tiles directly from Corian.  If you’re going to make a large investment in counters, you won’t regret spending the $15 per tile to see a bigger version of your teeny tiny sample tile.  2 of the colors we thought we liked were gross in large tiles, and the one we were just so so about was gorgeous in a large tile (the tiny tile left out SO much detail).  And we actually use the sample tiles all the time as trivets for our hot pots and pans- bonus!

Anyway- lucky us, Home Depot was having a counter top deal.  We ended up with a free sink, a discount on our color choice, 12 months no interest financing plus I think another 10% off the entire order or something like that- it was a great deal.  We went with a single basin, under-mount stainless sink.  LOVE.  I’m never going back to a double basin sink again.  The faucet is this one– we both wanted something with a pull out sprayer (not pull down) and only one hole cut in the counter (so we didn’t have the soap dispense installed).  So far it’s been a great faucet- no complaints.  Ok, without further ado:

 

Kitchen after counter top installation.  The color is “burled beach” and is 10,000x prettier in person.  Our kitchen doesn’t get a ton of light because we have a lot of trees, so we went with something light to keep it from getting too dark in the kitchen (because painting the cabinets is 100% out of the question)

With the pretty new counter tops, the rest of the kitchen was looking a little bland with only wood, stainless and green.  I had to spice it up a bit- we don’t love clutter on the counters so colored accessories were out.  One day I happened to stumble upon a shade at World Market** that I knew would be perfect!  Lucky me, it was on sale and the perfect size for the window (they’ve since sold out of this shade- insert giant sad face here).

Here’s the shade installed.  One thing that gives me hives about our kitchen- WHY is the light not centered between the cabinets??  Seriously folks…

The shade was SO pretty I quickly snatched up 2 more for the dining room windows, because the dining room was looking sad in comparison.  I installed them as outside mounts because they were the wrong size for inside mounting- I think they worked out just fine though.  We also just recently updated the chandelier in the dining room- the one we’d flipped always hung slightly crooked and too high above the table.  I found this one on sale at Home Depot and snatched it up.  LOVE. 

New shades and chandelier in the dining room make things feel more cozy.

And that rounds out the tour of our kitchen and dining room.  We love it.  The only thing left to change is the flooring (which is about as annoying as the counter tops were) but that’s something that’ll have to wait awhile- for now we’re pretty happy with our pretty kitchen and dining room!

**Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated in anyway by these companies for this post.

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