To be fair, the kitchen was fully functional by June, and 99 percent of the work is completed. Crazy work and travel schedules have impeded us a bit - but we are almost there. Our final details that need to be attended to are: replacing the quarter round on the floorboards, securing the crown moulding, securing the cabinet toe kick, touching up raw molding edges, touching up tile around the window/back splash and committing to window treatments.
All of those are minute details, the large strokes are done. And I must say, we are darn happy.
Andy worked his rear end off on this kitchen - it was his design and his vision that got us to where we are.
The new cabinets are from Ikea. We had to assemble every darn piece ourselves, from the hinges to the handles. We assembled and installed the cabinets on our own, and amazingly, we didn't raise our voices at each other and I managed not to cry. The cabinets are a red/brown with polished nickle pulls. We added a lazy susan cabinet to the upper cabinets and installed a functional lazy susan cabinet to the base. We also chose a tall pantry-like cabinet with pull out internal drawers - it holds an amazing amount stuff. We added an island with a butcher block counter top and a small buffet area on a previously unused wall.We decided to go with a lot drawers, as opposed to cabinets and are loving that choice, with the small exception that drawers are very easy for an almost one year old to get in to.
We went back and forth for a long time on whether or not to hardwood the kitchen floors. We decided instead to go with large square ceramic tile. The official color of tile is something like earth from Home Depot and our grout is in a medium gray. Initially the grout was in a nutmeg which was actually a terracotta color - a huge misstep (and totally my fault). Luckily for us the guy laying our tile thought it looked off and had us come look at the floor before grouting the entire thing. The floor is super easy to keep clean, but also camouflages mess well. It is varied in color and I think it resembles leather.
We initially were going to have Kashmir white granite counter. It looked like marble and had veins of black and spots of cherry running through it. When we saw it as huge slab, both Andy and I got nervous that it looked too "formal" for us, so we called an audible and changed to Venetian gold granite, which had a warmer feel to it. We also decided to go with an undermount sink. It makes cleaning the counters so much nicer; I love not having the build up of gunk at the sink seam like we did previously. The crown jewel of the sink/counter top, however, is the touch faucet. It was bit of a splurge, but it is so convenient and wonderful, especially after handling raw meat. Addie loves it, and I swear she now drinks more water because it's fun to tap on.
Our back splash is also from Home Depot. We spent hours and days running from one specialty tile shop to another trying to decide on back splash tile. At one point I think I had a dozen samples lined up on the island. Without a second thought Andy and I settled on the mosaic from Home Depot. It was the right mix of colors and textures and the price could not be beat. The same gentleman who installed our floors came back to install the back splash. We lined the interior of the window with glass subway tile and added a strip of subway tile above the window for a bit variety. The back splash adds such a nice dimension to the kitchen and may be one of my favorite updates.
Finally, we switched out all our lighting fixtures. We changed the canned lighting above the sink to drop pendants; we removed the fluorescent off centered light from the main part of the kitchen, replacing it with three flush mount pendants centered over the island; we got rid of the drop fixture over the table and installed a five light pendant bar matching the island lights. All of the fixtures have amber tones to the glass, making the kitchen lighting very soft and warm.
It has been a long haul on this kitchen, and we are so close to done. Of course once you update one space you see the need to do even more in the house. Piggybacking on the kitchen update, we hired painters to get rid of the faux finishing in our entryway and hallway. It went from what my mother in law described as "peanut butter" to color shifting brown green. The official color is macchiato but depending on the light there is a mossy green that shines through. We also painted over my beautiful butter yellow kitchen walls to a mushroom bisque, which is just a fancy way of saying beige.Without a doubt changing the kitchen has changed the entire look and feel of our home. It also inspires me to to try to keep it all looking a bit nicer, which is no easy feat with two tornadoes of little girls, a husband who likes to take his socks off at the couch and a cat who sheds endlessly.
I, of course, have no faults at all and am the very model of a perfect homemaker.