Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I love our new kitchen.  It was so much fun to do.  Some decisions were tough but I can honestly say that I'm happy with everything we did. 

I spend A LOT of time in here.  I would say 90% of my day I'm cooking, cleaning, doing art projects, homework, talking on the phone, paying bills, making lists.  With that said, it's pretty much a mess all day long.  By 9pm each evening I scrub it clean ready to start all over again the next day.  This particular morning I decided to shoot some photos while the morning sun came shining in and I had it fairly clean...  

We kept the sink in its original place.  We choose a knock-off Kohler single basin stainless sink but splurged on the Kohler bridge faucet.  I love my sink.  I can hide a whole lot of dirty dishes in there and easily scrub big pots and pans.  
I initially wanted open shelves along this entire wall but feared it could be a negative point to such a nice kitchen if we had to sell.  We decided to do open shelves here and I'm so glad we did.  I love that it breaks up the monotony of cabinets and gives me the chance to give the kitchen more personality.
I have yet to change out these things since the summer.  All of the colors are just so happy!  I'm thinking about stacking all of my white dishes next.  It will be wonderfully functional with the dishwasher right there.
This is our new entry from the kitchen to the dining room.  It used to be off to the right, a much smaller swinging door.  This has made a HUGE difference to the flow between the two rooms.  We debated installing doors here but decided they could be added later.  So far, we haven't missed them.  I love that one can be in the dining room and still have a conversation with someone in the kitchen.  And, this end of the kitchen has another drawer of flatware and the shelves in the dining room hold cups and dishes making it super easy to serve meals on this end.
I really wanted marble countertops.  I know they are high maintenance but I really love them.  We decided to go with soapstone instead.  The black counters with white cabinets were a classic look that  matched our classic 1930s colonial.  On this small section we decided to try the marble.  We had it honed so it would be less maintenance.  I have no regrets.  I love that I fit marble in somewhere and so far it has been easy.  Also, it makes this area designated for baking and the marble is wonderful for that.

The hardwood floors might very well be my favorite new part.  They were matched to the rest of the floors in the house.  They still look clean when dirty and they bring a lot of warmth to a very white kitchen.
This is the view coming into the kitchen from the dining room.  It's almost the same layout as before. We just pushed the counters down and created the peninsula where the place for a kitchen table used to be. It's a great big peninsula with room to seat four.  We also chose to do all drawers here in the cabinets, foregoing the lazy susan cabinet.  Instead, putting a hidden cabinet in the corner behind the peninsula.  It gives it a much cleaner look.  I looked for a long time for wallpaper on this wall and knew immediately this was the one as soon as I saw it.  The green mimics the green drapes in the dining room perfectly.  If I could have afforded it, I would have wallpapered the entire kitchen in it but it would have been way, way too expensive.

I think the lighting decisions were the hardest.  Only because we had the electrician wire for fixtures before I even decided what those fixtures would be.  The entire house has much of its original brass fixtures and door handles.  I love them and have no intention changing them.  I didn't think silver fixtures and hardware would work so we decided to go with oil rubbed bronze.  These green pendants, however, were the exception.  I was stuck on what to do here but when I found these at Land of Nod for $35 each, we decided to go with them.  They are fun, cheerful, current and can easily be replaced.  That goes for the hardware too.  We ordered our cabinets at a time when they offered to throw in our hardware for free.  I immediately chose these not knowing they were they only ones that were solid brass and would have cost $1,500 if we had purchased them.  I guess others chose the same because they were backordered for a long time and it was like pulling teeth opening cabinets for a while.  We figured we'd use them for a while and eventually replace them.  They've actually grown on me, I really like them!
Now you'll have to see the before pictures because opening this wall really changed the feel of the kitchen and the entire flow of the house.  It used to be a small wall with openings of either side.  Now it's wide open.  It makes the kitchen feel bigger and the mudroom feel bigger.  The train station clock is wonderful here because we can check the time while eating breakfast and check the time on the other side when putting on shoes and coats.  This wall used to have a wall of closets with folding doors.   I really wanted a bench, a place to sit and take off shoes.  After the tall cabinets were installed George built the bench and shelf in between.  I made the cushion from an old couch cushion and covered it in fabric I got at a Florence Eisemann factory sale.  I found the hooks at a garage sale for six dollars.  They were solid brass so we just sprayed them with oil rubbed bronze spray paint (which does a great job!).  I used old Trader Joe peach boxes, sprayed them white and stenciled 1, 2, 3, 4 on them.  The hall ceiling fixtures (we needed two, the hall extends in the other direction) were a wonderful reproduction of the original schoolhouse light.  I found them at Lowes for under $30!
This space has been wonderful to get the kids shoes on, take naps, or curl up with books while I cook in the kitchen.
My mom passed along an oil on canvas that really wasn't good.  I painted over it and then traced our hands.  I dated the underside and hung cup hooks for a place to serve not only as some colorful art but hang our keys.
I hang out here a lot.  One of those drawers is my junk drawer and my cookbooks are here too.
Having new countertops we needed some cutting boards.  I picked up a couple at various stores but George was inspired to make his own.  The one you see here he made out of, I think, hickory.  I LOVE this board.  It's such hard wood, you can never see the cut marks.  The grain is beautiful to boot.  He also made his own "brand" which is pretty cool.  I swear he could sell these!
Here's another cutting board he made.  I love the rustic edge on this one.  Very cool, very one of a kind.  I got one heck of a gem for a husband!  :)
So, there you have it.  Sorry it took so long.  I guess I've been so busy enjoying it I haven't taken the time to share it with you!

I should mention that it was my brother in law who did all of this fantastic work, it was fun to work with him and I'm so grateful that our first remodel was by someone we know and trust.
Sure made it easy!!!  Thank you, Tim!!!

(here is our kitchen before)

Thursday, February 09, 2012


 Magnolia 11 mos.
George 10 mos.
Where does the time go?  It's flying by every second of the day and I feel like I'm racing to keep up, not wanting to miss a second of it.  Not wanting it to end so soon.  Wanting to enjoy it as much as I can.  I do my best, I really do.  Looking back at photos makes me always so grateful that I've taken so many.  It sparks a memory I might not always remember.  Like Magnolia spoon feeding George when he was a baby or climbing all over their daddy as soon as he comes home from work. So many memories and so many stories to tell...

I'm so happy with the life I've been given.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

It's official!
Our house is now available to rent!
I've created a new blog devoted entirely to Washington Island, Wisconsin.
Check it out here (or the link on the sidebar).

Or, bypass our blog completely and head straight to Door County Vacation Rental to get more info on our house.  We're #116 Judy.

It's a wonderful place to be.  Spread the word to anyone you know who really wants to get away.