Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kitchen Wars

Ok, so I'm not at war with my kitchen, but it seems like it, ever since we've moved into the new house. I feel like I haven't been able to really settle into the kitchen space since we've been doing so many projects and then in early August, we had a huge setback due to a "flood" issue.

Anywho, we are close to completing the kitchen, all we have left is that darn glass backsplash. Micah and I will be installing that ourselves (we're gangsta, yo) and hopefully it'll come out looking ah-mazing!

So this is what the kitchen looked like when we moved in:

{not awful but definitely needed a little pick-me-up}

Large but no upgrades (which might explain why we got the house for a good price!). We knew we wanted to redo the kitchen countertops and we knew we had to tackle those wretched cabinets.

First up, was the countertops. I know a lot of people LOVE granite, but I'm not one of those people. We didn't want to deal with having to reseal and all those news stories about radon in granite scared the bejeezus out of me (not really). Besides, I really like the look and durability of quartz, did you know some quartz is actually more expensive than granite nowadays?

After looking at a lot of samples, we decided to go with Cambria Collection in Edinburough, through a local vendor. We were really debating between the white and black, but decided to go with the black since if fits the house and cabinets a bit better. White is gorgeous in the right kitchen, though.

Since I've been using the countertops for 6 months now, I can say that I really enjoy them. They clean up nicely and I don't have to freak out if I accidentally put a hot pot on the counter, although I still use trivets and mats, just in case.

{who needs granite? look at that shiny quartz! Disregard the non-existent backsplash.}

Next up were the cabinets. We looked around on the interwebz and found some blogs about the following product Cabot Polystain - walnut color. So for the next month, my project was to stain all the kitchen cabinets! I'm just glad I had Pandora to get me through this tedious task. We liked how the cabinets turned out, but one shade darker might have been even better.

{L: original cabinet, R: with one coat of stain}

Tips on using this stain:
  • Use a foam brush
  • Be careful about the corners of the cabinets, they tend to collect the stain and get darker than the rest of the cabinet, so I had to break out a small craft paint brush to get those nook and crannies
  • Let the stain dry completely between coats - allows for better coverage
  • Make sure your cabinets are clean - you know cabinets get all that goop on it, especially the ones near the stove.
  • We did three coats in the walnut color
  • It is a lot of work, so get your time and patience ready before taking on this project
Since we were making this our (my) dream kitchen, I knew I wanted better shelving/storage for the cabinets. We looked at getting Ikea pull out drawers, but Ikea has different specs for their cabinets, so nothing was going to fit in our standard size cabinets.

We trekked to Lowe's and found these Rev-A-Shelf pull outs and they fit our lower cabinets perfectly. We outfitted four cabinets with the different shelving (3 of the two tier shelves and 1 cookware organizer).

They were fairly easy to install and they have made my kitchen life an organizing dream! I can actually pull out one Lock N Lock without jumbling up the rest of my enormous LNL collection (it's out of control, I need therapy). Quick Tip: QVC has a great collection of LNL's. Just sayin'.

{now my LnL's have a home}

My cookware organizer is a great asset as well, since I don't have to stack all my pots and pans on top of each other and I don't have to on a safari hunt to look for the pot's matching lid.

{no more loud clanging when I try to get a pot out}

So those are the biggest things we've done in the kitchen. We also got new appliances, but I'll get into that when I can show you pictures of the new backsplash... once we actually get to installing in. This is the tile we'll be installing!

I do love that I can keep my KitchenAid mixer on the counter at all times now. Who knew extra counter space can make a girl so stinkin' happy?