Kitchen- First stop on our home tour!

Oh hi there- blog much lately?  I’m pretty sure that’s what wordpress thought whenever I logged in today ;)  I know most of you are here to just look at before/after pictures…so just scroll past the novel I wrote, I at least know my Nana will read it.

So here we are, one year later, in our first home in OKC.  If you know us (or even kind of know us because you see my pictures on social media), then you know that we haven’t been the type to really settle down in one house.  We really loved our previous home in Norman, but we really felt like our life was in OKC, so once again we were on the move!  Since we weren’t working against any type of deadline to find a home, we took our time with the search.  We had an idea of the general location we wanted to live, so started casually looking at houses in the fall of 2013.  Technology is unbelievably helpful when house hunting, it’s so easy to determine if a home has potential just by looking at pictures on a website.  One afternoon I was spending a laid back day with a friend in OKC and ended up browsing on zillow to check out what houses were for sale close to hers.  I saw there was one 4 minutes away and contacted my realtor to see if we could look at it.  She heard back immediately and I was able to look at the house that afternoon.  Having looked at the house by myself, I told Bart that I thought it could be “the one” and wanted him to come see it ASAP.  Not surprisingly, he was not as enthusiastic about the house as I was.  It was overpriced and was in need of MAJOR updating, so he wanted to keep looking.  However, I felt the house had great potential for updates and if we put in an offer that account for the investment we would make updating the house, that it could all work out in our favor.  So we pursued the house, and surprisingly our low ball offer was countered and then accepted and on June 3, 2014 we once again became new home owners!

So beginning June 4 we were in our demolition clothes and went to work tearing out floors, knocking down walls, scraping off hideous texture, and hoping that the end was near soon ;)  We had some great crews come in and do some of the hard work for us- Dog Days Heat & Air put in a completely new AC system for us (moved the vents from the floors to the ceiling.  Old World Floors laid GORGEOUS hardwood floors throughout our house, and a kind, hard working man named Wayne brought in a crew to replace our windows.  These guys all came out the first week after closing and got everything situated for us so we could really begin putting the house together after tearing it apart!  It’s funny that 3-4 days of demolition then equates to probably 50x the amount of time to rebuild!  We painted, put in new baseboards, closed walls, opened walls, completely redid TWO bathrooms…I mean, we were basically nuts for everything we took on.  We finished as much as we could in June and July and moved into our home the second week of August whenever we sold our house in Norman.

Anyway, I’ll try and save some of the story for posts about other rooms, so as promised, here’s the kitchen!

001002So we took down the entire left side of this wall (It was load bearing and all…minor oversight, but we fixed it!) and also expanded it a bit on the right.  Oh, and we also added the little bar top, it’s nice to have a divider between the dining room and kitchen, but to still have a nice open feeling whenever you walk in the house.  I look at this after picture and think “Oh wow, that’s crazy…did we really buy a house that looked like that?”  From the golden parquet floors to the turquoise countertops- it’s kind of unreal to me that we really did this!004One thing I will give this house credit for, is that it was kept in impeccable condition…we actually lived with the kitchen like this until December/January whenever we had our new countertops installed.  Our countertops are amazing we knew we wanted a light refreshing look to our kitchen and had looked many times at natural stone selection and felt like any of the durable ones were too dark/brown and knew we didn’t want marble because I’m a little messier than marble gives you grace for.  So we gave up on natural stone and decided to check out quartz.  We had quartz countertops in Norman and they’re basically indestructible (unless you use them to pop lids off beer bottles…I won’t name names).  From what we had seen in quartz before it was like all these little flecks of stone/glass, and that wasn’t exactly the look we were going for.  Fortunately the master quartz makers had been hard at work formulating new designs for countertops and came out with some that look more like natural stone…and specifically, white marble yay!  So that’s what we have now- and a big thank you to TNL for the beautiful installation! 005So look at that (and ignore the fact that we used trash bags for curtains)!  Beautiful countertops and we’re finally ready to find a paint color for the cabinets and put up our backsplash!  There are so many options for back-spash tile…it’s overwhelming.  And despite the options, there was not a single one that really stood out to me.  I had seen a couple of houses on houzz that had bead-board back-splashes.  I always liked them.  I think the look is so simple, and cozy, and charming…and totally customizable to the color you want!  So we decided to go with the bead-board knowing if we ended up not liking it that we could replace the back-spash in the future and we didn’t spend $12 a square foot on glass tile we ended up thowing in the trash.  Thanks to my dad and his wife for our Christmas gift card to Lowes that completely covered the cost of our back splash and then some!006Holy moly, that’s our kitchen.  As you can tell, we pushed the wall to the left back.  There had been a little built in china cabinet/buffet behind there and the space was totally wasted…so we took advantage of getting a little more square footage in the kitchen.  Since we pushed the wall back we decided to extend the counter top to the left of the dishwasher.  We put in a built in trash bin that I love (especially with dogs in the house).  So then we were left with the problem of what to put above it because now it didn’t feel balanced…we considered extending the cabinet (because who doesn’t need more cabinet space in their kitchen), but to furr down the ceiling and then continue the same ledge above the cabinet and this and that and all the things that make a remodel hard…we decided to build some fun little shelves.018025Oh look at us!  Since we weren’t going nuts working on a dozen different projects at once, we decided to take some pictures of ourselves working! 020022023024027These shelves were pretty simple to put together and I think finish off that space in the kitchen just right…and yes, we have to keep our dog treats on the top shelf so they don’t get into them ;)

Speaking of dogs…here comes a cameo from Olaf!011014It wasn’t in our original plan, but we switched places with the refrigerator and oven.  I think it’s nice to have the stove and oven so close to one another for cooking meals, and also whenever we opened the fridge the light switch would turn on an off because the door hit it, so it was kind of a nuisance.  Anyway, since we switched places the oven didn’t fill up the same amount of space as the fridge, so we knew we needed to become creative again.  We had a measly 6 inches of space in width, and 26 inches in depth…so it was kind of a strange problem to have.  Our immediate thought was to put in another cookie sheet cabinet, so we did that on the bottom- but 3 additional seemed kind of wasteful because we kind of didn’t even need the second one to begin with.  And one day genius struck…I don’t remember if it was me or Bart…but whenever you’re married you share credit for ideas, so I’ll say it was the both of us!  We made a pull out spice rack!  We have sooo many spices that we rarely use and a lazy Susan can only hold so much, so this was the perfect solution to tuck away all of our little spices and leave our spice cabinet open to what we use on a daily basis and we never have to hunt for anything.  I think we have a great amount of cabinet space, but we really don’t have a lot of drawer space, so we also made a little utensil rack so they’re neatly tucked away too! 028030032033034

Phew- almost through the kitchen tour…now you know why it’s taken me so long to begin sharing our new house! 007008009As much as I wanted to preserve the original cabinetry, whenever we decided to swap the oven and refrigerator we decided we had to say goodbye.  It was better starting from scratch since the oven we put in was a double and not a single, but I would have made it work, I was very determined!


I had hoped to use cabinet doors from the former cabinets, but none of them worked, so we ended up ordering new cabinet doors online to put around the fridge to make a nice big pantry on the left (no longer a tool cabinet).  The door style isn’t an exact match (though I’m sure if I wasn’t “over it” I could have found a local carpenter to replicate them), but they’re the a relatively similar style, the same color and on a different wall, so hopefully my secret is safe with you ;)016Okay- so I guess that’s it, I’m going to have to take a nap after thinking about all the hard work we did.  And just in case you haven’t had enough- here are a few close up of little accessories in our kitchen that I love….038Tea kettle kitchen towel from Anthropologie, I bought it on clearance this spring so they don’t have it in stock anymore, but they always have fun kitchen towels!037B&S mugs are from Anthro too, they have black monogramed mugs year round and the gold ones for the holidays!  The super cute “I Woof You” mug is from Home Goods- That’s also where the rest of my kitchen towels came from you see on the lower oven and dish washer. 041And wouldn’t you know this adorable ring holder is from Anthropologie too?  Luckily it’s one of their signature items I think they’ve had in stock for years- it’s a steal at $8! 039Oh how I love this calendar!  Bart’s sister in Atlanta had one that I saw last December, so I jotted it on my Christmas list just before Santa came ;)  Thanks Melissa!  These calendars are really cool because after the months are over the back side of the calendar has a template so you can reuse the pretty paper in creative ways.  And OH MY GOSH- I just took a sneak peek online at the 2016 calendar and for February they have LLAMAS and it’s a leap year!!!  I cannot think of a better way to end this post than with that news :)))

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