Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Everything that's coming out of my kitchen must be replaced by something else.  And there are approximately 11,579,473,284 choices out there.  Where, oh where, to begin?

The cabinets are the biggest thing, therefore, they're the most important choice.  We've gone down the cheap white laminate road before, so white cabinets weren't at the top of my list.  (Though I did give serious consideration to white beadboard cabinet doors.  So pretty, but probably always dirty.  Scratch those off the list.)  We currently have two-toned cabinet doors:  cream on top, and cocoa on bottom.  I also thought about doing a light cabinet on the uppers and a dark cabinet on the lowers, but wanted something fresh and new this time around.  All light?  All dark?  Country style?  Modern style?  Fancy?  Simple?

After much deliberation, this is what we chose:

American Woodmark "Reading", in maple.  Espresso finish.  
Totally gorgeous, right?

I can't find a picture of the cabinets in an actual kitchen, but here are the same cabinets in a different finish.
So pretty.  We got the five-piece drawer fronts, too.  Much nicer than the slab drawer fronts.

The cabinets need topped off with something.  Solid surface?  Quartz?  Granite?  Laminate?  After some research, we quickly eliminated solid surface and laminate from the race.  Too many issues with durability and staining.  Plus, frankly, they're BORING.  And I don't want boring anymore.

That left quartz or granite.  After looking at the colors and patterns, and comparing pricing, we decided to go with granite.  I like quartz, but found the uniformity of the engineered product is boring.  The ONE pattern I fell in love with was also at the top of the price scale, which was nearly double what I had budgeted for counters.  So we revisited the granite.  Having picked my cabinets made it easier to choose the countertops.  Because we went so dark with the cabinets, I wanted to keep things light with the counters.  Our final choice was Stonemark Granite's "Moon White".  It's white with gray and purple that looks like amethyst.  
A terrible representation of the granite we chose.

For 19 years, I've been cooking on an electric stove.  We have gas in our house, but because the previous occupants had an electric stove, in the interest of getting stuff done quickly, we bought a new (and cheap) electric stove way back when we moved in.  When the time came to replace it, we stayed with electric but upgraded to the smooth cooktop.

Until now.

We're gettin' gas, baby!

I've been coveting a five-burner gas stove ever since my mom got one, and I told the hubby that the time had come for us to get rid of our electric stove and upgrade to gas.
I cannot wait to cook on this bad boy.

The stove is the only appliance we're replacing.  Everything else is relatively new (the fridge is not-quite five-years old) and I refuse to replace something that is still functioning perfectly.  The dishwasher isn't even three months old yet--we're definitely not getting rid of it!

So where were we?
Cabinets:  check.
Countertops:  check.
Appliances:  check.

Floors!  We'll need something to walk on.

We currently have cheap laminate flooring in our kitchen.  I hate it.  It was crazy cheap (we bought it at Sam's Club--that should give you some idea of the quality) and while it's served its purpose, I'm so totally over it.  Again, I agonized over what to replace it with.

Hardwood?  In a kitchen?  Ehhhhh.
Ceramic/porcelain tile?  Too high maintenance.
More laminate?  Expensive, because there was no way we were getting cheap stuff again.
Sheet vinyl?  Oh, heck NO.  Been there, done that.  Got the tears and holes to prove it.
Resilient vinyl tile?  BINGO.

We used the resilient vinyl tile in our laundry room and we loved it.  But a 12x12 tile seemed too boring.  (I want EXCITEMENT in my kitchen!)

Then we found out that Trafficmaster makes a 12x24 tile.  SOLD!
Trafficmaster Ceramica in "Concrete".  I loved the bigger tiles, and I feel like they're different enough to really jazz up the kitchen.  12x12 felt dated, but the 12x24 feels much more modern.  (Next blog post, you get to see the pattern we're going with!)

We have never had a proper backsplash before, and since we're going all-out in this kitchen, a backsplash was imperative.  But tile can be super expensive, and since I am already about $3,000 over budget, I knew this was a place where I could regain some ground, financially speaking.  I wanted something simple that wouldn't detract from the beautiful granite we chose, and also something neutral so that if we ever decided to make changes to the kitchen, we wouldn't have to tear out the tile because it was clashing with the new decor.  4x4 tiles are definitely the most inexpensive option, but again, BORING.

Enter the 3x6 subway tile:  
Simple, yet elegant.  And so many ways to install them!  I had originally thought I wanted to do a staggered installation, like above, but then I searched Google and found so many other patterns.  (Our final choice will be revealed later.)  And at $.22 each, they're a really budget-friendly option.  (That ends up being just $1.76/sq ft!)

One of the last big decisions was wall color.  Previous colors have included cream, green, yellow, and blue.  When I put everything together, I kept feeling drawn toward purples and mauves.  (Have I mentioned how totally in love I am with my Sherwin Williams paint fan?  I feel all professional and stuff when I whip it out and start looking at paint chips.)  Choosing paint color is so hard, isn't it?  I knew I wanted a purple-y color, but there are so many choices.  I narrowed it down to two, bought sample pots, painted a piece of foam board (how can anybody choose a color by using those teeny tiny little chips?!) and presented them to the hubby.

Here is the winner:
Chaise Mauve, SW 6017
It brings some color to the room, but it's not a color explosion, if you know what I mean.  And it's a nice warm backdrop to all of the grays and whites in the floor and countertops.

There are still some decisions to be made, the main one being cabinet hardware.  Again, there is a veritable cornucopia of options and it's really difficult to pick just one.  But since that's pretty much the last thing that will be installed, I still have time to make up my mind.

If you made it all the way to the end of this, I thank you!  I'm so excited about this project I could go on and on and on and on...

(Oh wait.  I already have!)

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