Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve been here - almost been a year since I was last posting regularly. A lot has happened in that time, and while I’ve really wanted to keep up with the blog, it just hasn’t happened. Between doing the entire kitchen renovation ourselves, starting a new job, some international travel, a death in my family and Xan’s, and some mental health changes, I just haven’t been able to get to it. But, after lots of ups and downs things finally feel like they’re leveling out. Or, maybe more accurately, I'm doing my best to create some extra space in my life. Whatever the reason, I’m finally optimistic about being able to blog regularly again. Which is really exciting.
I’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about the blog and where I want it to go. And with that there will be a few changes around here. The biggest being that Xan is officially joining me in this endeavor. Up until now this has been completely my thing. I would often post about things that we were doing together at home, but the direction and content was all me. But, we have decided to focus even more about what’s happening to and in our house and it seemed like a natural fit to have Xan join in. This means we’ll be able to do even more DIY building and construction posts (because, let’s be honest, anyone who knows us, knows he’s the one with those skills!). I plan to continue with design posts and content because that’s what I love and get so excited about sharing. And then we’re both hoping to share even more about entertaining. That’s a place that really hits passions for both of us. Xan loves cooking; I love bringing people together and have so much fun making it look pretty while we do it. So, cooking and entertaining posts will be thrown in as well. If there are posts you like please comment or “like” the post (you can do that at the very bottom without even logging in). We want to share the things that are the most interesting to you and by liking or commenting on our posts we’ll be able to share even more of your favorite stuff. We’re hoping to post at least a couple times each month on Saturdays, because I don’t know about you, but I love laying in bed on Saturday mornings and catching up on my favorite blogs.
Small Kitchen Renovation Update
So, with the official resurrection of the blog, what better way to start than with a big project I totally left you hanging on? A TOUR OF OUR NEW KITCHEN! To recap: we moved into this house about 2 years ago and when we did we knew we would have to renovate the kitchen. It took us about a year of living here before we were sure of what we wanted to do, which was to move the kitchen to another room in the downstairs. This meant we were basically building a kitchen from scratch (which you can read more about here). And other than the countertops, we did all the work ourselves (with copious amounts of help from our friends and family. We love you, friends and family!) That includes:
Designing the kitchen
Installing the cabinets
Running the electrical, plumbing, and gas
Installing all appliances
Reinforcing the floor
Tiling the backsplash
We were hoping the kitchen renovation would take about 4 months, but in the end it was twice as long. Looking back, I know we were being very ambitious given that we both work full-time jobs and were working on the kitchen during our nights and weekends. However, a snafu with the tile was what really set us back. In this post I shared the tile we were going to use. However, after three deliveries from the company that were each wrong (which took an extra two and a half months) we ended up parting ways and using something else entirely. I was so sad about it because the tile we chose originally was a gorgeous shape and color and was so unique. And surprised because everything up to the delivery had been perfect. Honestly, I think it was a really unfortunate series of coincidences and I would still consider using them again in the future. It was the one thing we really splurged on and was meant to be a statement in the room. So, if we had known we end up with a very neutral tile we probably would have made a few bolder choices throughout the rest of the kitchen. But, that said I’m still really happy with it and really do love that little matte hex.
So, that’s the backstory on why it took us so long to complete. We were extremely lucky, though. Because we moved the kitchen into an entirely new room we still had our old kitchen to use throughout the renovation, which is the only thing that made it bearable to be living in a construction zone for that long! I’m so happy we’re on the other side and just adore the kitchen. The joy of cooking, baking and entertaining in there really makes all the hard work and frustrating days feel like a drop in the bucket.
About the Kitchen Renovation
We do a lot of cooking and baking and have a lot of kitchen things so we really needed storage space. Because the new space is still pretty small (12’ x 12’) and after living with open shelves in our old kitchen, I was not ready for all the up keep. I wanted doors! So we went with all closed cabinets. Our ceilings are 9’ so we used 40” Ikea cabinets to get as much storage space as possible. And all the storage has been such a dream! Having a place for everything (from pantry space to cookbooks) brings me so much joy (Marie Kondo would be so proud).
All the lowers are drawers which is the best decision we ever made. If you’re putting in new cabinets definitely do drawers anywhere you can. It makes the space so much more usable and it’s much easier to get to the things stored in there.
The countertops are an insanely gorgeous quartz made to look like marble. And it looks JUST like marble, I love it so much. We went with some really cute little knobs from Rejuvenation that we ended up using on both the cabinets and the drawers. Xan and I just couldn’t agree on a drawer pull but we both loved these cabinet knobs so we decided to use them everywhere (ha, the reality of marriage). For the record I wanted these and am sure they would look stunning in here 😜
All of the foundational elements of the kitchen are white/neutral so I was really adamant about bringing color in through the accessories. The rugs came from Lulu and Georgia, utensil crock is from Takeawei. I’m a minimalist when it comes to the countertops and pretty obsessive about keeping them clear so those are the only things we keep out, except for our Nespresso maker which Xan adores. I don’t drink much caffeine, but occasionally I’ll have a decaf and I love it too. If you’re an espresso/latte/cappuccino lover I highly recommend it. It makes specialized coffee drinks so quickly - it’s really indulgent and the Nespressos look better than most of the other automated coffee makers out there. This is not sponsored, just a tip!
Knobs (in aged brass, though if I could have convinced Xan it would have been unlacquered brass - it’s gorgeous!)
Flower vase (made by Xan’s parents!)
Soap dish (old - similar here)
Soap dispensers (label maker I used - it comes with black tape even though it looks like it’s red)