Thursday, September 05, 2013

Kitchen Update

Over the summer we have worked on updating our kitchen. When Jake bought the house in 2006, the kitchen was a hideous baby blue color, walls and cabinets included. So, when our friend who flips houses offered us some cabinets that he was taking out of a house, we jumped at the chance to change out those old ugly cabinets and put in something a little more our style. We also repainted, took out a wall, and planned to get a dishwasher, new counter tops and a back splash. That was five years ago, and to our shame, that is where our kitchen renovation stalled for quite a while.

 We had set the old counter from the other cabinets back on (we didn't even worry about securing it too much since we weren't planning to have it there very long) and the other part of the counter where we had added a new section of cabinets was graced with a piece of plywood covered in some leftover linoleum flooring from my parents' kitchen. There was also a hole where we planned to put a dishwasher and an awkward corner that needed closed off since we didn't have a corner cabinet for it. So finally this summer we decided to go for it. We wanted to get this thing tackled once and for all. The first step was taking off the current counters so that we could fill in the corner.

We did all of this in a pretty short time frame so that we wouldn't have to deal with no counters for a long period of time, hence the new counters sitting on the cabinets in this next picture. They had been delivered but not installed yet. That's my dad in this picture by the way. He is super handy and loves helping his kids out with things around the house, so he comes over and works on projects with us sometimes. He even built our upper open cabinets for us when we realized we would need more than what we got from our friend. Anyway, back to the kitchen, Dad came over and put in the corner piece and also replaced the side piece for the dishwasher since the one we had gotten back in the day wasn't going to be quite the right size.

The next day the guy from Lowes came over to install the counter tops (Lowes actually hires out their installation, but I don't know the name of the company they use in our area). We could have installed them ourselves, but since it was only about $100 more to have them professionally done we decided to save ourselves the headache. Some things are worth doing yourself while others are worth having the pros do, and for that price we decided to have a pro do it. It was also nice having them install it since that meant they would come out and measure the space for us, so if the counter came in the wrong size it would be their responsibility to fix it, not our fault that we have a counter that is four inches too short. The counter we went with was a laminate. I know some people can't stand laminate, but it was quite the upgrade from the laminate flooring that we previously had as a counter top, so I have no problems with it whatsoever. They have also come a long way with laminate in the last few years, so it doesn't have to be a cheap looking one tone counter, ours looks kind of like some sort of expensive granite, but without all they annoying upkeep of granite. We went with Ebony Fusion from Wilsonart Laminate.

I really like the marbled look and the subtle browns and greys that it has in it, it really gives the counters some depth. Our system for picking our counter was very simple, we just grabbed several samples we liked at the store, held them up to display cabinets that they had in the store that were the same color as our cabinets and found the one we liked the best. We both really liked Ebony Fusion at the store, but we went ahead and brought it home to look at it in our kitchen so that we could see it with the lighting, wall and cabinet colors before we made our final decision. We are very happy with the results. 

After the counters were installed the kitchen was looking much better, but the sink that we had ordered to go with our new counters still hadn't arrived. We ordered this sink from Lowes and it was supposed to be delivered in store the same day the counters were installed, but it took an extra couple of days to come in, so we just set our old sink in the hole, but we didn't use it since it wasn't sealed in and we didn't want to mess up the new counters. Once the sink came in, Jake got right to work installing it, unfortunately, since the basins are different depths, the plumbing underneath took a little more time and more trips back to Lowes than we anticipated. After a couple hours he got it installed though and we had a sink and faucet that fit much better with our newly upgraded counters.

I couldn't find our exact faucet on the Lowes website, but it is basically this one. We picked it out at the store and splurged a little to get the pull down faucet with the different spray options. I've never had a faucet that does anything but just spout water normally, so the fact that if pulls down and has three different spray options makes me feel so fancy, it's like I should be cleaning dishes at the White House or something. Just look at its curves, meow!

After getting the sink installed we ordered our dishwasher. Because our house is small and these cabinets weren't made for this kitchen, we ended up having to get an 18" apartment sized dishwasher instead of the standard 24". Any dishwasher is definitely an improvement over no dishwasher though, and it actually holds quite a bit. We rarely have problems of it not holding everything we need it to, even when we have people over. We got this whirlpool because the reviews we read were good and it had a pretty good price. Unfortunately, even though our dishwasher is smaller, since it is more of a specialty item it costs more than a standard size dishwasher, so $650 for it wasn't really a bad price. My dad came over to do a little cabinet work before we installed it and then he and Jake installed it after Jake got off work. They also had a little helper.

So that's where the kitchen is at now. We still need to put up the tile back splash, we have all the materials, we just need to get it done, so hopefully we will get that done pretty soon. So there's our kitchen updates so far. I can't wait to get the back splash done and we get to see this kitchen all put together and looking good for the first time in this house's history!

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