Kitchen Reno: How will I ever decide!?

It’s official. I am ridiculously torn on how to remodel our kitchen. I am confident I want to paint the cabinets before we get new counter tops… but I am not even close to making a decision on if I want to go black——
or white!

You’d think since they are literally opposites it wouldn’t be so hard. But I am so unsure its insane. I actually think no matter what I decide, I will end up putting the island as the opposing color, so I really just need to pick which one I want to see more of. I am leaning towards white [today] but we will see how long that lasts. I also have to decide if I want to try to tackle it myself, or hire someone…. I wonder how long each would take…

Anyways, we are also investing in new granite countertops and a sink, but I cannot pick those until I pick my cabinet colors. There is so much inspiration out there I am definitely NOT at a loss for ideas.

Some of my favorite black cabinet kitchens include:

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I love the green too :) and the shelves! via Kiki’s List
(above)

 

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again with the shelves <3  via Pinterest

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and kitchen 3 from Shannon Lowe on Pinterest

Now, on a much brighter, whiter, maybe even a little “happier” note- I like the white cabinets just as much. They were my original desire, but then I got nervous white/cream was just a fad and by the time we go to sell our house, people would not love it anymore. What do you think?
As long as I love it, is it worth it?

My living room is very “light” too. So maybe they will complement each other. But would that be TOO much white? I’ll have to take a picture for ya’ll.

Here are some white kitchens I am drooling over:

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Love the pendent lights, backspash and, of course, the cabinets. Via Houzz

San Jose Res 2 traditional kitchen

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I like the shade of white in the one above, and our hardwood is that color.
Via

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I included this one because we have those floors AND I love the countertops :)

So, who is going to help me decide!?

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Stenciling the 1/2 bath

Update: I decided not to backsplash the kitchen right away… I want to make sure I am in LOVE with whichever stone and color I choose and I just cannot rush that. So instead, we are just going to take the old BS down and paint :)

Moving forward– I am 99% sure I want to paint and stencil our downstairs powder room. It is a decent size but not big enough to bring in too much furniture or decor so what better way to add character than a stencil!?

Now, I just have to choose one… All input is welcome. I am not even sure on colors yet! This will be a made from scratch bathroom. I may go picture shopping and choose my paint based on it… hmmm. All I know is the sink and toilet are more of an ivory color, so I am avoiding white. I would love a bold color because the rest of the downstaris is will be pretty nuetral. This bathroom is near the dining room which will be mostly light colors i.e. white and natural wood table, burlap placemats, and color coming in from the navy or yellow runners and/or dishes, which I alternate.

Here are some options I am looking at:

(All images and stencils from Royal Design Studio)

Option A:

OPtion B:

Option C:

Sooo, they are very Moroccan if I do say so my self. I am obsessed with this pattern. And the Trellis. I am madly in love with the top one, but I am afraid it will look too much like this pillow I have, and the future backsplash… and this rug I just bought…

**edit, sorry I should have said I got the rug at Overstock!

See what I mean? :) They are ALL in different rooms though. But I am starting to see a pattern…

hmmmm… now what for colors?? There are no windows in there, I should add… What do you think!?

New Home with a side of Kitchen Renovation

As most of you know, Josh and I are in the works of buying a house! :) We put an offer in a few weeks ago and they accepted. The house passed the inspection last week,  so we are moving right along. We are in our condo until the end of March, so we requested the closing date to be mid-march. Although we are not in it yet, I am already planning away.  I tell myself not to get too carried away because things may not work out, but I just can’t help it; I am so excited!

Lord willing, we will be in there this time next month and renovating in full swing. :)

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you and maybe get a little advice on my ideas and hear your thoughts on colors for the kitchen renovation.

First off, I feel like I should introduce you, so here she is–
So lovely. The bay window goes all the way upstairs and is in a beautiful guest bedroom.

It is such a blessing, and I try my best to remember to thank the Lord every single day. I love so much about it. It is so different than the houses that are popping up all around, and I especially love the light brick and the back yard. :)

One funny thing though, you guys will just love this: I always thought I would never have a red door… because…well, I don’t know where I got this, maybe a book I read or something, but I thought once upon a time a red door was the mark of a harlot. Or “the house with the red door” was how you found the brothel…

Did I make this up? Someone tell me…

Well, I looked it up, of course, and could not find how it originated (way before it was in style, I mean) but several articles brought it back to Feng Shui, good luck, and the welcoming of visitors.

So maybe I can ignore that harlot thing and leave it the way it is…
or not. I haven’t decided yet :)

Anyhow, back on topic//The first week will be ALL cleaning and painting, but after that it is KITCHEN RENOVATION in full force!

Although our [hopeful] future home has gorgeous bones, the kitchen needs a few updates and TLC. When we walked into this house I completely fell in love. It is open with lots of windows and there are no neighbors behind us. After seeing only the downstairs, I screamed upstairs to the Realtor that I wanted it.
(I did end up looking at the rest of the house, and yes, it was just as charming.) Slyman Real Estate, wins again :)

My plan is to pretty much redo the whole kitchen. New paint, new counter tops, new cabinet hardware, new backsplash, sink, etc… (the counters and the gold hardware are the WORST…) it is almost hard to see past them. You can’t see in the picture, but there are little green leaves on the counters haha; I guess that is the camo edition.

At first, I wanted to redo/paint the cabinets too, but Josh talked me out of it…. maybe later :)

Major things first, and then we will slowly update appliances… like the white dishwater. Take a look at that beauty–

Okay, so it isn’t beautiful yet, but it will be by the time I am done with it. It is even a little dusty because no one is living there now, so don’t hold that against me.

I have spent days and days looking at images online to find the look I am going for. I want it to be light and “welcoming” somewhere in between a traditional country kitchen, and the modern, more contemporary look… I am loving gray right now but do not want to over commit in case it is not as popular when we sell.  But I cannot help but put it in some places–

I found this blog by Abode Love and she had redone her kitchen entirely, even using the same back splash I am looking at! Check that out here.

That said, I want something that will bring the gray walls together with the brown cabinets. I am looking at counter tops with a little bit of that natural gray stone color, but also with the warmth of a taupe brown or tan.

I know there are 8, but we are just beginning– some have warm browns and others have that cool gray I am interested in; ideally I would like to pick one of the few that has both:

(sorry I could not figure out how to NOT get the other pictures to show up in this gallery)


What do you think of these?

Josh and I are so overwhelmed with all the choices and he did me the favor of traipsing around home depot on Valentines Day :) We even looked at new saws and sanders, both on the soon to be bought list.

I think I am getting my hardware from overstock.com, they seem to have a good selection. You can see them here and here.

The backsplash that I am in LOVE with is all white, so we are still trying to decide if it is “too” white.

If it is, I may just try something like this:

I love the shape. So romantic.

We looked at other mosaic tile and such but it was just so BUSY with a granite counter top.

Remember, these are all just aspirations and ideas. If you have any ideas of suggestions I am open to any of them! I have only seen light (white and gray) kitchens with white cabinets, so I really am not even sure this will all work out with our oak ones.

Do you think it will?

If you like, you can even click on the granite samples and “like” your favorite!

**update: this is a bigger more accurate picture of my current favorite, Kashmir White:

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I’m giddy!

Homemade Vanilla

First off, I must give credit where credit is due. My all knowing, home making, garden growing, egg hatching mother-in law got me started on making vanilla from “scratch”. She originally gave me a jar at a bridal shower and I was hooked. I give it credit for many of my recipes turning out so well. I am about to make some for my mom for Christmas; she has been asking for some since she saw mine but since the beans and vodka can be pricey, I decided to do it as a formal gift instead of a give away.

Even vanilla extract at the grocery is expensive for its size, running anywhere from $4-$10 depending on brand and purity. So you can guess, as mentioned, that vanilla beans are expensive too…so do yourself a favor and order in bulk. I got mine from Atlantic Spice Company for a good bulk price… and (sidenote)  I hear they have great nuts too. :)

Depending on what size bottle you are going with, you could need anything from 5-15 beans. Even after the package is open you can store the rest to use later.

Today I am making a small amount in about an 8 oz bottle which uses 5 beans and is the perfect size for a gift.

You will need: cheap vodka, vanilla beans, a knife, and a bottle with some sort of secure lid.

Step One) Slice the beans long ways, it helps release the flavor. (I am using 5 beans)

Step two) For this size bottle, you will fold the beans in half so they will fit, then place them in the bottle.

Step Three) Add your vodka.

Close lid.

and you’re done! vuala!

You can deliver it as is, informing your friend to let it steep 6-8 weeks, or make your bottle 2 months in advance so it is ready when you give it. I personally loved “waiting” until mine was ready, so that is what I do.

Christmas

This Christmas has already been so so different and possibly more fun than any Christmas in the past, and it isn’t even here yet!

First off, this is Josh and my first Christmas together. I went shopping AFTER Christmas last year to get most of our decorations, and the rest, well, we can all thank Pinterest. So I have decorated the house, the tree, the kitchen table, and on top of that, never, ever, like in my whole life, have I ever sent Christmas cards. ever.

and this year I did :)

I enjoyed making them so much. From the pictures, to the word web, to the writing on the outside of the envelope. It is just my thing. We sent 60 this year and I have a feeling that # is going to be a one time thing. I just figured since this was the year we got married and so much has changed; it was the appropriate year to go overboard.

I first started out with a picture form all the “big events” this year, but it was just too many images; so, I went with wedding pictures and one of us in the snow. :)

The first few I addressed, I sent out normal; but I wanted to add a little more personality to them so I did. Some people might hate me when they open their card, but I might have sprinkled in the TINIEST bit of glitter. Finally, to top it all off, Christmas lights were needed around the return address.

Okay, that’s it. I promise.

I am so excited for everyone to get them!

oh! I forgot to tell you about our Christmas tree experience! That will have to wait. We are going to Nama’s to get Sushi with friends.

Until then, in short:

We came.

We saw.

We Conquored.