Monday, June 24, 2013

She Will Make a BIG Change

When Matt and I first moved into our house we knew there were several things we wanted to change/upgrade, but the biggest item was the hardwood floors.  The original floors were an engineered hardwood that had not held up well at all over their 10 year life span.   Plus, we wanted to expand the hardwood floors into the dining room which is currently covered in carpet.  We originally contacted a company about refinishing them, but were told there was only a 50/50 chance it would work and we would be out the money and have to replace the floors completely if it didn't work.  Replacing the floors was the only feasible option, but it was an expensive one and would have to wait until we felt financially ready. 

Fast forward 1.5 years to when Matt and I finally feel we are ready to make a change.  We met with several contractors to get pricing on the floors and decided to ask about adding granite countertops, a backsplash, and finishing the basement.  The basement is currently half finished with one bedroom and a full bath.  Our thought process was that we may as well get the quotes for all the projects we want completed to understand the full cost and then make an informed decision on what projects we want to tackle. 

After reviewing all of the proposals, Matt and I pulled up our big boy/girl pants, chose a contractor and communicated that we wanted to move forward on ALL proposed projects.  We knew this would cost a much larger chunk of money than we originally planned and would take a little longer, but in the long run it would make us love our house even more.  After signing the contract, we were given 4 weeks to select designs, order products, and finish painting all of the trim on the first floor and basement white....WAIT...WHAT?!?  Did you just say paint all of the trim white?  Yep, that's what I said!  We decided to paint the trim in the house white when we were decorating Amelia's nursery and started with her room.  Matt did all of the painting himself to cut down on cost.  Since we weren't on any real timeline, the process has been incredibly slow.  Until now...we obviously had to speed up our process and get the trim painted more quickly.  Matt was painting trim left and right.  He didn't really trust me to help out and to be honest, I didn't really mind! 

Fast forward 4 weeks, we have picked out tile from the Debris series at FireClay Tile, easily decided on a granite color, agonized over a 4 3/4 inc hand scraped floor in a deep brown shade, ordered & returned a half bath vanity from Home Depot 3 times, argued over a kitchen faucet design and finally decided on paint colors for the half bath and basement!  It's been exhausting and I've never felt so uncertain about my decisions, but we made a pact early on to make decisions that fit us and not to constantly think about resale.  Not sure it will help in the long run, but it will definitely make the house more "us" and really make it into a home we love.

Without further ado, I'm going to share pictures of the kitchen as it has progressed.  We still have more to go, but this is by far the room that has shown the greatest visual improvement!

The kitchen is bright, but a little too monochromatic for our taste.   Plus, you can't really tell, but the engineered hardwood is very worn.  I think it's normally supposed to last 25 years, but I was getting worried the girls would get splinters and it had only been 10 years since the house had been built.

During - Phase 1
I took the before picture and Matt has taken the after pictures.  We obviously did not discuss the point of view shots we wanted so you won't see the same before shot again until the very end.  We took this shot the night before the counters were installed and right after all of the original flooring was removed.  I'm getting pretty used to wearing shoes all through our house!

During - Phase 2
Granite countertops in Black Pearl were installed in about an hour and a half.  I'll have to try and get a close up to show you the variance in the granite.  Matt "loves" it and is constantly wiping it down and admiring it.  It may mean more to him than his golf clubs (this is not true of course, but I'm sure the countertops are a close 2nd).  This picture was taken before the faucet was installed.  We went back and forth on the faucet and ended up going with the Delta Trinsic Single Handle Pull Down Kitchen Faucet.  It is touch sensitive and so far we LOVE it.  It takes a little getting used to, but not using your hands to turn on and off the faucet is a big help when you've got a big mess on your hands (literally)!

Just for fun I thought I would share this shot of Amelia enjoying the freedom the open kitchen allows.  Since we are renovating half of the first floor and the basement, pretty much everything from those spaces is crammed into our carpeted family room and play room.  Check out the chaos below:

 Family Room DISASTER!  Yes, those are CD's in the corner over there.  I guess I should go through them and figure out whether they're really worth saving.  Maybe I'll find a classic Ace of Base album!

Play Room HAVOC!

During - Phase 3
This gives you an almost decent shot of the faucet, but does let you see what is going on today.  We ordered the Debris Series Fireclay Tile in the 2x6 size and we are going with a 3/8 inch white grout.  It will be a lot of grout, but the tile can be a little dark, so it was important we had the white grout to balance it out.  Before we committed and ordered the tile, Matt drew out to scale drawings of each of the different tile sizes and we hung those up on the wall.  We actually kept them up for a couple of days before agreeing on the size and placing the order.  The Fireclay Tile was definitely a splurge, but in the end we think it will be the biggest part of the renovation that screams us.  It's bright, it's fun, and most importantly, it's green!

Stay tuned for more tomorrow when I'll show off where we are on the basement reno!

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