kitchen remodelpatiently waiting

This week our kitchen work has reached a feverish pitch. After passing inspection it’s finally time for installing the floors and the drywall. Next week they come measure for our white quartz counter tops and then it could be only 7-10 business days before installation–it’s possible we could have a working kitchen by…



Here’s right after we tore down the old kitchen walls. Remember?


Late night floor laying the other night.

These are 1/2 inch thick, 12 inch wide pine floors milled from trees that grew on the property here and cut here at the sawmill years ago. The kitchen was the only floor downstairs that isn’t wood so when we noticed that the mudroom was planked with the same wood, we sacrificed its walls in order to use the wood on the floor. They are tongue and groove and we installed them the same way they were installed in the rest of the house. Simply nailing them in by hand with cut nails. This is my favorite part of the kitchen!


And now, a ceiling!!!

DSC_8749Shawn & Chad making the ceiling & walls!


And walls!

It’s so fun to finally get a feel for the real shape and size of the room. Back there where the fridge is was a closet with a washer and dryer, to the left of that was a pantry with a big closet door. That wall is phase two of the kitchen, I still haven’t decided if I want white or grey cabinets on that wall and I’m not forcing myself to decide until I get a better feel of what we have. Once it’s complete that refrigerator wall will have a pantry and be a place for the mixer, making pizza dough and storing stuff.




This is the wall where the range will go all tucked into that inset part.


There is some discoloration where the ends of the wood were covered up on the walls of the mudroom so the sunlight didn’t darken them yet. We can sand and address that in the future, for now it’s nice to have floors almost done. Plus, I secretly LOVE the imperfection and story of it all.


We had one super yellow board, he’s down at the threshold to the kitchen now, a perfect spot to show him off.


This week I’m not really even trying to make dinners, our kitchen is covered in plastic and dust and I’m not stressing over it. Mom & dad have brought dinner over a few times and we can live with take out a few more days.



This will be an inset shelf one day. The backside is the stairs to our basement. So it was a wall that had to stay.

DSC_8792southern living

We’ve never planned a kitchen before and I really don’t know what I’m doing. Funds are limited, we are paying cash for everything and we didn’t plan on doing the kitchen until after we closed on the house. That’s the long way of saying that I am and was unprepared to do a new kitchen.

However, I have lived in 13 other houses with kitchens that had lots of pro and cons. I knew what was important to me (I wrote about it here: natural light, lots of counter space, & a place for people to gather) and made sure I could incorporate it. I’m sure I’ll have some regrets– but if I waited until I knew I had the perfect design I’d never be able to start. And now that we are knee deep in it, I’m so glad we won’t have to deal with this mess in the future.

When it came time to plan the kitchen, the first thing I did was find some good inspiration. I really needed a plan for the space once we knocked out the walls. Southern Living to the rescue with their July issue. I also pinned kitchens like crazy to my Kitchen Pinterest board.

Here are the steps I took in planning our kitchen, I’m sure I did it all wrong but so far it’s working:

1. plan the shape that would allow the kitchen to open to the rest of the house and use all the space we had (removing two walls and two closets and incorporating a hall almost doubled the size of the kitchen)

2. find a layout that works within said shape (thanks Southern Living!)

DSC_7264a mock up of the sink placement. I ALMOST purchased a really tall faucet but after using my umbrella to visualize the height, I felt like it was too much for the space

3. make at least ONE big decision

I’ve found when I’m doing any creative project that once I have one decision made, all the other decisions become much easier. It’s a Lovely Limitation really. I don’t always get to choose what this decision is. But I KNEW I wanted white cabinets. And I KNEW I wanted to use the walls for the wood floors. Once I had those decisions made it was really easy to pick appliances and counters and other items for the kitchen.

wes priddy lake norman Wes Priddy & Kent from Total Renovations of Lake Norman, if you need an honest review of their work, email me, I’m happy to share our experience

4. hire smart people to help

My husband is SUPER handy. But he doesn’t care to learn about electrical wires and plumbing. We hired out for that. Chad’s done drywall once years ago so we are paying a family friend to come teach him how and work with him.

workers with Wes Preddy contractor lake normanJake & Josh, thrilled to have me take their picture

5. assume it will take twice as long as you imagine

a45213f033fb6eb95cf8c05d7593b517southern living, see more of the kitchen here

This kitchen layout was exactly the push I needed to move forward. At first glance you can hardly tell it’s a kitchen! But see how the island is parallel with the range wall? And the range wall is inset? That’s how our range wall will be in relation to our island. In our kitchen, the range wall is smaller due to the basement wall on the left. Also, our range is larger. So we’ll have the range flanked by two 15 inch cabinets and that’s it on that wall.. It will be offset compared to the center of the island. I’ve had to deal with that.

Our island will be considerably longer than my muse at 10 feet. We’ll have a big hood over our range that takes up most of the wall, so no long expanse of shelves. But, I think I’ll be able to have 4 counter stools instead of three, plus two cabinets on this side of the island flanking the stools. Win!

floor and cabs

We went with Ikea cabinets and the Adel fronts. Here’s a door front next to our floors. Once the kitchen is done and I actually use them, I feel like I’ll have a better place to talk about them from. But so far I’m really happy with our choice.

I haven’t picked out the hardware yet because I want to feel the space once more things are installed.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 9.47.39 AM

Here’s kind of where I’m going. But I can’t afford any of that lighting so in the next-ish post I’ll fill you in on how I’m thinking about lighting.

I’m really happy with the progress so far and mostly, I’m secretly thrilled and surprised that I’m confident in my choices. I KNOW I’ll wish I did things differently or made different choices but that’s not stealing any joy from me about having the privilege of creating my own kitchen–and that kind of shocks me. I am THOROUGHLY enjoying getting to do this! I think I’ve just reached a place in my life where I know that done is truly better than perfect and no matter which shade of white I choose for the tile, this kitchen will look so much better and serve our family well.