Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kitchen/Dining Reveal!

It's time!!!
(I'd like to apologize in advance for the quality of photos in this post- our camera charge-cord pulled a houdini during the move, so all of these were captured with my phone :)

In the fall-out of selling our house and putting a down payment on the new one, God provided just enough extra for us to pay off the remaining few years of our school loans (woot!) and update the kitchen at the new house. When we bought this house we knew the kitchen needed help... we just didn't know quite how much help we'd be providing! 
C'est la DIY!

To refresh your memories, this is what we started with:

Tile counters with crumbling grout in a dark, dingy kitchen not your thing? 

Mine either. 

However, I did love the size, storage and layout, (with the exception of the Seinfeld-style overhead cabinets), and could even see potential in the chipped, sticky, solid-wood cabinets. 

So, I healed them :)
Every chunk of missing veneer filled with wood epoxy and sanded level. Every inch of grimy surface sanded clean. 
A week of prime, sand, paint, repeat, plus five hours installing cabinet hardware later, and we had achieved this:

However the rest of the kitchen still looked like this:

When we removed the tile backsplash, we found who ever had installed it had opted for glue instead of mortar, meaning when the tile came off most of the plaster wall did as well. I won't bore you with the details of that repair, let's just say it was messy and frustrating. 

Anyhow, next step was demo- Paul's favorite part :)

{insert angel chorus here}

Countertop demo was next. Unfortunately, when we removed them a previously inaccessible portion of the cupboards was revealed
and we found this:
Which caused me to hyperventilate. 
(See those brown spots in the upper right corner? 
Those would be poop. IN THE CUPBOARDS!!!)

It's clean now. It's fine. 
It's clean now. It's fine.

Fortunately, it was long abandoned (probably due to the abundance of 5-10 year old mouse poison we found) and filled with cobwebs. 

Also, the turn-off for the kitchen sink was rusted through.
We didn't figure that out until the sink was removed. 
My husband was displeased. 

It's clean now. It's fine.

The good news is, we finished a few days later... 

...AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

View through to our dining room and office wall:

We were able to replicate a 10 foot, $2500 desk I loved online for under $100 using some Ikea trestles and an old wood bench-top I found wasting away on the side of the house. 
(And I like mine better!)

Actually, we were able to do both the kitchen and this desk for under $1000! No gimmicks or sponsors, just 3 weeks of really long days and carefully deciding where to splurge (the marble backsplash) and where to save (the Ikea countertops). That and being incredibly blessed with fairly new appliances and a kitchen that only needed cosmetic updates and manageable repairs.  

I am one happy girl :) 
And so glad it's done. 

Before I go, a few side-by-side before-and-afters for you :)
Thanks for checking out our new kitchen! 





Saturday, April 9, 2016

Our New House!

It's been awhile since I've dusted off the old blog (almost two years!!!) but it seems the best venue for home photos. 
So here we are again! 

Many of you know we recently moved and while I've shared the story of how it happened many-a-time, it's such an awesome example of God's leading that I wanted it to preface my reveal.

About this time last year Paul and I began looking at the option of renovating and adding on to our home. We loved living there, love home improvement projects, and wanted little extra space so we started the process of applying for a home reno loan. This project was going to involve a lot of money and a big strain on our family so we spent quite a bit of time praying that God would make it clear whether this was the direction we should be heading.

To make a long and incredibly frustrating story short, we spent almost 7 months trying to make it happen with nothing to show for it. Everyone involved was dumfounded as to why this was happening. Our finances were in order, everything should've clicked along nicely, but there was always some ridiculous delay. From paperwork getting lost, to a key person leaving on vacation without finishing a time sensitive document, to appraisals scheduled out three-and-a-half months, we kept hitting walls.

Finally, we threw up our hand and said "FINE!!! We get it! Your answer is NO!" and we made the call to pull the plug on everything. We decided to refinance with a lower interest rate and be content with what we had. 

When our appraisal for refinancing came back we were shocked that our home equity had skyrocketed. Still with no real intention of moving (because we hate moving), we decided to see if by chance there was a home in our kids' school district that blew us away. And we fell in love with this place.

Our realtor warned us that there was only a slim chance we could buy it, considering how fast the market was moving and our house was not yet listed. We decided to give it to God, and asked that if He wanted us there it would happen, and if not we'd be content where we were at. 

Literally seven days later we had sold our house and bought the new one. 

This entire process has been such a blessing, with dozens of moments along the way of seeing His hand guiding us where He wanted us. Like selling our house to the first viewer for a full price, cash offer, no repairs requested! Whaaaat?!!! Or that there is quite a bit of evidence that this house was designed by my grandfather (something we didn't know until after we'd bought it). We still have to do some digging into the city records to know for sure. He passed away just a couple of years before Paul and I started dating, and I've often grieved that the people I love most will never know someone who left a such unique stamp on who I am- but living here it feels like they kind of will. 

This new house is so much better than anything we'd ever ever pictured for ourselves,  it feels like God dropped a beautiful gift in our laps. Just the process of buying it has been an incredible journey, I can't wait to see what He has in store for us here!

I've debated sharing much about the actual house because I don't want to come across as boastful. Please know that I am sharing to complete the story of what God did here, not to stir up a spirit of "keeping up with the Jones's". To answer the basic questions: the house is 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 living areas, and almost 2500 sq ft. Today I'm just going to post a few photos from the original listing, there's not many areas that feel like "our home" yet. However, we have spent the past three weeks updating the kitchen and dining rooms by our blood, sweat and tears (quite literally), photos of which I plan to share later this week :)

Main Living Area 
(we first fell for those exposed beams!)

(so thankful to have room to host dinners now!)

(update photos coming soon!)

Daylight Basement

Kid's Room

Master Bath 

(they did such a beautiful job landscaping)

(and a fire pit!! We've already put this to good use several times! :)