Welcome back! If you’ve been following along with our little adventure, you already know that we’re at the point in our story where we bought a fixer-upper, hired a contractor, and survived the extreme sticker shock of how much remodeling really costs! Now it’s time to figure out what we’re actually going to do with this house.
(If you’ve missed anything, you can find the full series here)
Of course, first we have to decide what style we are going for. We’ve always loved the modern/contemporary theme so it was just a given to me that that’s the direction we would go. However, my husband suggested a beach theme (since of course we are Floridians now) and I wondered how I could have even thought about anything else! How fun! We decided that we wanted to be subtle because we’re just not “over-the-top” kind of people. So the very next day we immediately went out to a furniture store specializing in coastal décor and bought this fabulous mermaid lamp…like I said, subtlety is important! (FYI: If you are planning to stay in our guest room, you will definitely know you’re in Florida…you’re welcome!)
Now that we’ve decided on the direction we’re taking, it was time to get to work! First order of business, cabinets and countertops. These were the most important changes on our list because we knew there was no way we could live with what we had now. Just take one look at the “before” pics and you’ll understand what I mean!
Side note: Please ignore those horrible air fresheners! They came with the house and I took these pictures before I had ever planned to blog about the remodel. Who even uses those things anymore?
Anyway, we decided to go with white cabinets. I’ve never particularly cared for white cabinets before but since our kitchen is on the smaller side, we thought a lighter color would make it look more open and spacious. Plus, the white goes better with our new “beach” theme. The look of the actual cabinet was left up to me and so I went to Lowes (Keira and I have become regulars there) to get some ideas before I met with our cabinet guy. Here’s what I discovered…all white cabinets look exactly the same. Okay, well that’s not entirely the truth because they can be flat or, well, not flat. Seriously, there were about 20 different cabinet styles that looked exactly the same to me. I know that this might make some people crazy and they would spend hours trying to figure out all the little nuances in each cabinet. However, for me it was exactly the opposite. Since they all looked so much alike to me anyway, I didn’t feel the need to spend hours scrutinizing each one. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…I picked one and went with it. Then I went home, showed the picture to my husband and he gave his seal of approval. Done! Check that off the list.
Next it was time to look at granite. We were so excited that our project was finally getting underway that we just took it upon ourselves to drive out to a couple of granite warehouses. Here’s what we didn’t know. You have to bring your own granite guy or they won’t tell you how much anything costs. I’m sure there’s an excellent reason for this but I still haven’t figured it out. They’ll still let you look around of course, but how on earth are you supposed to look at a giant slab of granite and know if it’s in your price range or not. I felt it was probably safe to assume that all the slabs I liked were the most expensive…that’s usually how it works!
Again, we went back to Lowes to get some basic ideas. We actually found something we loved pretty quickly…a granite called Blue Pearl. It was a pretty grayish blue that had bits of sparkle throughout. However, we were just looking at a little sample. If you’ve ever picked a paint color based on the color swatch, you may have discovered (sometimes too late) that looks completely different once you paint an entire room. My daughter’s bedroom turned out so pink, that on a sunny day it completely lit up her end of the hallway. It’s the same with granite. When we saw our granite sample full sized, we realized that even though we really liked it, it was way too dark for our kitchen. The tiny sample that had looked so pretty before, looked entirely different when viewed as a large slab in natural sunlight. We were going for a light, airy feel and immediately knew that this one wouldn’t work. Back to square one!
Our contractor sent us to a couple more places and we quickly came across a granite that we both loved. It’s light colored but has some hints of grayish blue running through it. We decided that it would look great in our new kitchen (and bathrooms) and the coloring went nicely with the white cabinetry. Not to mention that the hints of blue made it perfect for our “beachy” look. Yay…check another thing off the list! (I wish I had pictures to show but we picked the cabinets and granite before I knew that I’d be blogging about the renovations)
Next we had to pick out our flooring. We went to the design center and even though I spent most of the time taking my 3 year old to the restroom (she has some kind of fascination with going in public bathrooms, much to my dismay, and wants to go every 2 minutes), we reached a decision quickly. While we love wood flooring, we ultimately decided to go with a porcelain tile that looks like wood. We really loved our selection but apparently everyone else in Florida loves it too because we got a call a few days later from the design center saying that it was unavailable. This particular floor is so popular that it would be months before we could get it. We were bummed because we really liked it but not so much that we were willing to delay our renovations. Again…back to the drawing board. Ultimately, we just went to Floor and Décor and found one that was very similar, but less expensive, working out better for us in the long run. It’s already being installed by a very nice man named Attila from Hungary. Yes, Attila the Hungarian is our floor guy and I don’t know why I find that so amusing, but I do. What can I say, I’m easily amused! Anyway, it looks awesome so far and I can’t wait to see it when it’s all finished!
I have to say that feel very lucky that my husband and I have such similar tastes. I remember listening to a DJ on my favorite radio show talk about buying a house with her fiancé. Their tastes were so different that they just couldn’t agree on anything and finally decided that they would each just pick rooms to decorate on their own. I am way too much of a perfectionist to be able to live in such a mismatched house…that would drive me nutty! Wow, this has been a lot easier than expected so far. I was feeling pretty good about how quickly we were making major decisions without even a second thought! Of course, that feeling came to a screeching halt when we had to start making some smaller, seemingly less important decisions. My husband told me to just get what I wanted, which was great except for the fact that I had no idea what I wanted. Stay tuned…