Home Sweet Home: Kitchen & 1st Floor Project

August 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Hi All,

It is finally here, the long awaited blog about my kitchen and 1st floor renovation project that was done back in 2017. I've been meaning to post a blog all about the journey of this project when it was completed back in August 2017, but there were a bit of life changing things that occurred which prevented me from sharing the experience. But, it is finally here!

Now I know this is not "photography" related, so If you're un-interested in reading further, I'm sorry and thank you for checking in. If you are interested, thank you for your time and effort to read this post. I hope by sharing my personal experiences, you can get to know me, the person behind the camera, just a little bit more and to perhaps be inspired. 

I want to start off by saying that this kitchen and 1st floor renovation was something I've always wanted since day 1 of moving into this house back in 2009. Before buying, when we looked at this house I did not like the cosmetics of it at all as I knew it was going to be a lot of work and effort in trying to make it semi-perfect to how we would like it to be. So, to me it was a huge deal breaker. However, my husband promised that he'll make changes and will make it however we want it to be in order to make it our very own. It did have a lot of potentials for us being 1st time home buyers, so after much convincing from the husband, eventually we were sold on it!

The changes we made to our house didn't happen overnight, every year was always a new project or something new hindering us from completing this huge renovation. It finally took 8 years to see the vision or promise come true. Oh by the way, if you haven't already yet, you can read the previous blog posts about my home renovations and projects by typing in the search field (top right corner) - Home Sweet Home.

Let me take you back to the past on how this house use to look like... this was our past owner's furnishings and how it looked like the day we came to take a look at it.

Carpet in the dining room? yuck! I hate carpet, it is a lot harder to maintain. I wanted all wood or ceramic surfaces throughout this entire 1st floor and wanted everything to flow into the kitchen. It's not a very big space either so I knew that re-doing the flooring wasn't going to cost us an arm and a leg. It was the kitchen itself that I was more worried about since we needed to gut out everything and get all new things.

Below is a picture of the living room, right off or next to the kitchen; this was how it looked before all the renovations began...

Here it looks like during renovation. Carpet and everything's been ripped out.

Here is a inspiration picture of what I wanted for my kitchen. I wanted dark flooring, white cabinets, white counter tops, silver handles/hardwares, grey walls, and stainless steel appliances. I love white cabinets and it was an absolutely must have for the new kitchen.

We often got asked why we didn't just paint over our old cabinets as it will save us some more money. We did paint over them to a brown dark color when we moved in, however, our cabinets was not functional anymore. It lived its time and was completely falling apart, leaving us very little storage and room to store any of kitchen supplies and utensils. We pretty much did not have a choice but to buy all new cabinetry. A handyman even suggested it wasn't worth fixing and for us to just buy all new cabinets. Take a look...

Look at those sharp needles sticking out. I got poked by those on several occasions (too many times). So unsafe! :(

Looking at those photos, I can not believe I had that kind of kitchen and stuck with it for 8 years! How did I even managed? My biggest pet peeve in a kitchen is "cluttered" counter tops. Because of our broken drawers and cabinets, we had little room for storage so we had no choice but to clutter our counter tops with things. It was overwhelming and such a huge eye sore. Oh, and we didn't have a dishwasher too, so installing one was on the TOP of our must haves for the new kitchen. I spent 8 years scrubbing dirty plates, pots and pans and standing for hours on my sore feet while doing so. Before this project, I've always wanted a dishwasher that could spare me some more time with my kids.

The above picture was what Home Depot had originally designed for us and it was the layout I absolutely wanted. It was the ideal layout for our tiny kitchen. However, after speaking with several contractors, it was going to cost us a ton of money to do that exact layout. We were on a tight budget with this kitchen and 1st floor renovation so we ended up not doing this layout. I was pretty heartbroken, but my husband and sisters did point out that this isn't our forever home. If it was, then yes, we'd be happy to spend the extra $10,000.00 on it. And, Yes, it was going to cost us that much, 10 grand extra on top of our original budget for this project. So, no way!

We eventually went with a different contractor, a small business local one: RBS Kitchen & Bath Designs in Racine, WI. What is our experience with them aftermath? Lets just say, I will never ever recommend anyone to use their service for any kitchen or bathroom makeovers. After all that was done, I regret going with them in the first place. The struggle and headaches caused on their part was extremely traumatizing and emotionally damaging. If you google them, you'll see really bad reviews and if you're on Yelp, you'll also see a very bad review on there too. I hate them, especially the owner  Mark B. I don't want to elaborate it on this post, because I can go on forever and will never end how I strongly feel about their corrupt business and professionalism. So, I will leave it like it is.

 

Anyway, continuing on...the cabinets we chose is the Koch Express in white. I love this style! I think it paired really well with the hard wares I chose. I ordered the hard wares from Home Depot and the contractors were able to installed them for us. We also updated all new lighting fixtures. Finally, the boobie-like lights are finally gone! :P

The counter top we chose is granite. I forgot the actual name of it, but it has a pretty tint of blue/grey and little sparkles of gold and silver in it. Can't see it in pictures, but in real life the counter top is actually really pretty!

We also re-did our patio door too. Our old one was super heavy, dirty, and had a few broken things to it. We could barely slide it open and close it. We got the new patio door and frames from Home depot and they came and installed it in two days.

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And, here is the final reveal of my kitchen and 1st floor!

The flooring is laminate and it is a grey color by Inhaus. My husband chose this type of flooring and color. He did a great job choosing the right flooring for our kitchen, which by the way, it was his only job. We got the flooring from a small local flooring business, called R & B Carpets and Flooring. They did a fantastic job at answering our questions, installing our laminate and cleaning up after themselves. I would totally recommend them for any of your flooring projects.

All decorations are from Hobby Lobby, Target, Home Goods, H&M, and Ikea. Oh and I spray painted the bar stools to a silver metallic color. It saved me some money from having to buy new bar stools. They aren't cheap either, roughly around $50-$150/one bar stool. Personally, that's a lot of money for one bar stool. Might as well just spray paint them to save me some dollars.

I absolutely LOVE love LOVE my dishwasher! It takes about less than 5 minutes to load and then it does its thing! No more standing on my feet for hours on end trying to scrub, wash, dry and put dishes away. I do love the little extra time I have with my two boys. It is truly the best investment ever and is probably my favorite thing about this kitchen now!

Here is the finished look of our family room. My bookshelves needs to be styled a little bit more, I am still working on it. That is an electric fireplace, which is unplugged at the moment due to my naughty 2 year old son who just loves to press those buttons on it. Most of the decorations are from Homegoods, Target, Amazon, and Wayfair. The black and white area rug and electric fireplace are both from Wayfair.com. I wanted the same area rug in this room as the one in our Family room so that it has a better flow throughout our house. I also spray painted the baskets underneath the end tables to a gold metallic color. They were a mint green color before and I'm so glad I spray painted them to that gold color. I think it toally brightens up the room.

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So there you all have it. This long awaited huge project is finally over and done with, but our house is not perfect or even close to perfection yet. We still have some minor paintings to do but we've been procrastinating on it for awhile now. We'll probably get to it sometimes this fall season, or if not, then next year? we'll see? ;P

Hope you all enjoyed this blog post and is inspired by it. One advice for you all though... if you are looking to hire a contractor to do your kitchen project... do your extensive research and ask for the contractors references! It'll save you the headache and drama in the long run, and good luck!

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