12 July 2016

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

I'm back after a 4th of July weekend filled with birthday celebrations for the Sailor and boating on the lake...followed by a stomach bug that hit us hard last week!  We were away three weekends in a row, so it felt great to be hanging out at home this weekend-- even if it meant cleaning and catching up on other chores around the house.

Now that we've had time to adjust to this parenting thing and catch our breaths, I am finally ready to start doing some home improvements again. Sigh says the Sailor, who will be roped into  eagerly volunteer for handy work. Lucky for him, I've mainly been thinking about decor and design changes. Since we spend the majority of our time in the kitchen, I've been eyeing replacements for our battered, uncomfortable old dining chairs. And, ugh, tops on the list of updates-- getting rid of that dreadful boob light in the middle of the cooking area.

It's tough to find something that will complement the drum pendant light over our kitchen table. But now I am wondering whether it's even necessary to have lighting that "matches" because there's an archway between the dining space and the cooking area where we need to replace the light.

The fixture doesn't need to throw off terribly bright light because we had recessed lighting put in when we renovated. So I'm in search of a two or three bulb fixture that is somewhat similar in design to the drum pendant. Here are a few options I'm considering.

More about the Kitchen Nightmare (remember this renovation dreams post?) ... I realize I never did a kitchen "before" and "after" when we updated back in fall/winter 2014. Here's the "in progress" post. But I guess I never did the total reveal because I didn't feel like the kitchen was completely finished. I was still in search of lighting and wanted to make a few other small changes before showing completed photos.

Before/After - Cooking Area

But when are rooms completely finished anyway???  If you're anything like me, there are a few things in each room in our house that I am constantly thinking about changing, like the search for the perfect piece of art to hang near the t.v. (or the "framing project" that I never get around to) or looking for the right size nightstands in our bedroom or the quest for hall rugs in the pattern that I can picture in my mind but can't find anywhere. 

Here's a long overdue before and after shot of the dining area...

Before/After - Dining Area

The biggest change to the kitchen was the cabinets. Because we're not sure how long we will be staying in this house, we didn't make the huge investment in replacing the oak cabinets. They were structurally okay, just totally outdated.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the Sailor used a Rustoleum kit to repaint them, and they've held up quite well over the past couple of years. The edges need touching up, but the kit is a solid buy if you're looking for something to give your kitchen a refresh. Add some fancy molding and new hardware to complete the look.

We've unfortunately been less thrilled about the floor, which has shown signs of wear and tear. We selected an Armstrong linoleum product that has a lifetime guarantee...we need it. The installers came back last year to replace a couple of the tiles, and we have another two or three that currently have gouges and need to be replaced. Although it's supposed to be durable and able to withstand high traffic, it's been pretty disappointing to see that it's not very resilient. And that was before we had a babe who will inevitably be dragging toys and scooting across it soon....

The forest green laminate countertops were replaced with granite installed by a local kitchen remodeling company. It's not the carrara white marble I had my heart set on, but it's far more practical and matches the floor well. 

And finally, the Sailor used another Rustoleum kit in kona to refresh the oak wainscoting.

Our kitchen updates obviously weren't a complete reno but rather some cosmetic upgrades that have made the space so much more modern and pleasant. I'd still love a more functional layout and new appliance (hello, gas range!). But I'll settle for finding the perfect light fixture, maybe a new backsplash (pretty please?) and some under the cabinet lighting. (Doesn't this DIY make it look easy?)

Check out this post from Emily Henderson for one of my favorite before/after kitchen remodels ever! 

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