Monday, June 28, 2010

Kitchen Reno Part 2: The good, the bad and the ugly

Now that we've seen the 'after's', here are my kitchen before's:

Like I said, not terrible, just not my taste. The cabinets were 25 years old and in need of an update. I was not a fan of the oak, and the cabinets were showing their age. The flooring was a bluish laminate. We moved the stove top off the island as I wanted a larger workspace there. We opted for a range vs a separate stove top and wall oven. I would have loved a gas range, but alas, we do not have the gas lines in our neighbourhood, and we didn't want to have to deal with having a tank outside that we needed to keep filled.

I was NOT a fan of this corner cabinet. I much prefer the corner cabinet we have now. It has so much more storage too!

A reminder of what my kitchen looks like now. You can see more pictures in my previous post. Notice the reconfiguration of the range. I now have a beautiful, big island which is great for prep work, baking etc. It also has room for one stool at the end. I would have loved to have had room for more, but we can't have it all can we?

Here we are at a during stage. I sure don't miss this! We lived in various stages of the reno for 4 months. We asked our cabinet makers to stage the reno. We removed a section of cabinetry and they installed the new, before moving onto another section. That way, we always had some storage and a counter space. We used MDF temporary counters while we awaited our granite countertops. We also kept our fridge in the dinette area and used the microwave and hotplate a lot for cooking. Our laundry room sink was our substitute for our kitchen sink. Luckily, our laundry room is pretty close (not in the basement, thank goodness!)

Notice how plain the cabinets look without that beautiful thick crown molding.

We opted for an undermount sink. Although it was more costly, I am so glad we chose this option. It is so easy to keep clean!

Ahhh, our crown moldings are up!

Although I love the look of range hoods, I think the cabinet makers did a beautiful job of incorporating the microwave above the range, and still making it look like a feature with the moldings and details.

I also wanted this same detailing to flank our fridge. I think it is details like these that give our kitchen a truly custom look.

We did as much of the work ourselves as we could: The hardwood floor installation, removing the old cabinetry, venting for the range, painting. We hired out the electrical, cabinets, and backsplash installation. Truthfully, we could have installed the backsplash ourselves, but at that point we were so sick of the reno and thought it would just be quicker to hire it out. We hired a retired couple who did tiling as a hobby. They were very reasonably priced.

Betcha thought I was done posting about my kitchen, but heck no! The third and final post is all about the custom details of the our kitchen. Thanks for sticking with me through my kitchen renovation!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

House Tour : My Kitchen, Part 1

Slowly I will be taking you on a tour of my entire home. Some rooms are 'done' (they never are truly done, are they?) while others haven't been touched since we moved here 4 years ago. We have slowly been transforming our house into the home of our dreams. When we first saw our house, we fell in love right away. It wasn't perfect, and it needed renovation. The previous owners maintained it beautifully, however, it still needed some updating. We also wanted to make it our home to fit our tastes and lifestyle.

The previous kitchen wasn't terrible. It just wasn't my dream kitchen. In part two of this post, I'll share before pics as well as reno pics and hints. For now, I present to you, our kitchen:

I had always wanted a classic white kitchen. I love it!

As you'll see in part 2, we changed our lighting, flooring, cabinets (not just the doors), layout, countertops and appliances. It was pretty much an overhaul.
I really hoped for stainless steel appliances, but alas, hubby wanted black and I had to compromise somewhere as almost the entire rest of the reno was to my taste (he, as most men, would have preferred natural stained wood cabinets).
The countertops are granite and backsplash is slate. I did give hubby some wood cabinetry. I like the contrast between the white (actually cream) cabinets and dark island.

I love the Tiffany-style pendant lamps. Soooo much better than the previous 80's era sunshine ceiling.

This is a peek at the corner cabinet. I am still working on making the interior display fabulous! Stay tuned for my progress!

Grandma's old bean pot for my!! We had many yummy baked bean suppers out of this pot.

A peek into our dining room built in. I designed it to match the style of the kitchen cabinets. The window above is at an awkward height, but it is a dark room, so I didn't want to close it in. I love how this turned out. It displays my inherited china and glassware so beautifully. It has a lot of needed storage too.

There you have it. Tune in for part two, where I show you the good, the bad, and the ugly of my kitchen renovation!

{Edit, March 2012: I am sharing my 'old' kitchen at Sarah's Kitchen Party.  Due to a certain 2 week old babe in the house, I didn't quite have time to do up a new current post on my beloved white kitchen, but wanted to join in, so have linked up my old post.  How I miss this kitchen! I do have a trick or two up my sleeve for our kitchen in our new house, though, so stay tuned!}



Linking to:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pretty-up those hose hangers!

If you have a yard, you need them. And, like most of them, they are not meant to be decorative, but rather functional. Well, I'm here to say they can be both beautiful AND functional. I'm talking hose hangers. Yep, that's right, for my third blog post, I'm talkin' hoses. One may think I should be showing the rest of my house, or reno projects, but my mind is stuck outside right now, with the lovely, hot summer just starting.

Here's what I'm talking about:

One could purchase this at a big box store for $4.99, or......

You could have this lovely instead. It was more money, at $40.00 but well worth it. This hose sits near my front door, so I really wanted a nice holder. I bought it last year at a local garden decor store.

You could have this, for only a few dollars, or......

This, which admitidly was costly. It was bought at Canadian Tire, originally around $120, but we got it on a really good coupon sale. I did see the exact same one at Costco for around $70 (gotta love Costco!) This holder is on the side of the house, where we need a long line of strong hose. All the hoses were professional grade ones bought at Costco.

These holders are still cute, but only cost $11.00. They are not as robust, but do the job nicely in the areas where the hoses are more obscure. Still cute!

I bought this one at Home Sense (another favorite store!) for $12.oo. The previous owner of the house had put on this bird tap, and I thought the two together were sweet.

Notice how many hoses we have? That's not even the half of 'em. We live on an acreage, so you can never have too many!

So there you have it. Cute, functional and beautiful hose hangers to prettify your outdoor spaces. It's these little details that turn a nice home into a gorgeous one, inside and out.

Enjoy the summer heat! Perhaps a frolic through a sprinkler would be nice?

Linking to : My Romantic Home

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's Treasures

Some people shop at a retail store. Others may prefer a thrift store, or even a garage sale. I, on the other hand, shop at my mother's house. She is the queen of the treasure hunt. She mainly finds her wares at garage sales and thrift stores. It runs in the genes, I suppose. My grandmother furnished her entire (gorgeous) house with second hand finds. So, after a visit with mom today, here's what I came home with:

Now, I must admit, that there are two new purchases here, that I couldn't resist. The bumble bee picture and the iron crown are new. The frame, wire basket and urn are from chez mere.

The urn and basket she got FREE....told ya she was good!

Who can resist a bumble bee? It is destined for my laundry room. This room was recently renovated. I'll be posting it as soon as I'm done the last details.

I love this old frame. I think I'll be glazing it, and plan on either a bulletin board (burlap? Grain sack?? hmmm) or a board copied, or rather inspired by, Centsational Girl.
Linking to: My Romantic Home

Happy Summer Solstice!

With the summer solstice happening today, I thought that my first 'real' blog post should show one of my outdoor spaces. This is our back patio, which is one of my absolute favorite spots to sit back, relax, and lounge (well perhaps less lounging and more running after the little munchkins, but one can dream, right?) I love that this space is covered, so it can be used year round.

This shows a corner of the space which will one day be transformed into our outdoor kitchen. I see a built in grill, bar fridge, concrete counters......hmmm, maybe I can convince hubby to start construction on this sooner than later?

We're lucky enough to have an inground pool (not very common in these parts). The girls (and us big kids too) love it. I can sit in my 'lounge' area and watch the girls swim.

With 2.5 acres, it can be hard to call in the troops when you need to. This handy dandy bell sure helps with those 'it's time for dinner' moments.

One of the gardens, pool-side.

Another view of our patio. We bought the furniture at Sears, and the outdoor rug at Home Depot.

Love the outdoor clock. On the other side, it's a thermometer. Bought at Costco a few years ago.

When we moved into this house, 4 years ago, the ceiling fans were indoor fans. The fan blades had warped over time and were 'hangin' limp'. I absolutely love these new indoor/outdoor fans (Home Depot) which keep us cool on those hot summer days. We also have pot lights in the ceiling which is great for lighting. Truthfully, I prefer the glow of candle light in the evening anyhow =P

I love this lantern, which was bought from a local artisan. The rain chain makes such a pretty sound when it's raining outside. Peeking in the background is our guest house. It's a great space which will be the focus of many future blog posts as we renovate it.

So there you have it. I'm so excited to show you this space and to actually have figured out how to post and create a blog! Much easier than I thought. Now, if only I can get some readers....I think I will need to attempt to link up to some party's and 'get out there' in blogland!

Enjoy the longest day of the year...perhaps a nice Iced Tea, a BBQ, a swim...hmmm, sounds like a plan!


Attempting to link to these party's:
Between Naps on the Porch
A Southern Daydreamer, Outdoor Wednesday
The Shabby Chic Cottage
I'm still working on trying to get the thumbnails and direct links....ugh!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Under Construction

We're under construction here at Willow Wisp Cottage. Stay tuned for a glimpse into our family's journey to the home of our dreams! I can't wait to get started and join in all the inspiration found here in blogland!