Monday, July 29, 2013

Home Improvements: The Kitchen

This is one of my very most favorite things that I've ever done to my house.  It's incredible.  Sometimes I just sit at the dining room table and look into the kitchen, admiring its beauty.

The backsplash.

Backsplashes are what take an ordinary kitchen to a kitchen with character.  It automatically makes a kitchen look high end.  From the very beginning I have wanted to put up a backsplash, but I always thought that tile was the only way to go, and that seemed kind of daunting.  And messy.  And easy to mess up when you have a lot of space to cover.  And hard to change when you get tired of it.  But when I saw one of my favorite bloggers do a tutorial on how to install a bead board backsplash, I knew I could do it.  Bead board went right along with the farmhouse style that my house is turning out to be.  And it was so inexpensive.  It cost me less than $30 and only took two nap times and two evenings!  And I did it by myself, with no help!  Ok, so Nate helped by pounding in two nails in the corner where my left-handed swing couldn't get the job done.  But as long as you can use a circular saw, you can do this!  And if you don't know how to use a circular saw, just ask me.  It is easy, and will open up a whole new world of possibilities!!!

I had originally planned on using liquid nails to adhere the bead board to the walls, but Nate was hesitant.  He wasn't convinced that he would like the bead board, so he wanted me to use something less permanent.  Come on, hubby!  Show a little faith!  I've never led you astray before!  I knew we would love it, so I just said "ok" and used nails.  You can see where the nails are if you look closely (despite the fact that I countersunk them, patched the hole, and sanded them before painting), but you won't notice them unless you try.

This is the "before" shot.  It doesn't show much of how the kitchen looks, but you can see the plainness:

And the after:
 We have a seriously huge kitchen with loads of counter space.  It's awesome.
 Cutting the holes for the outlets was by far the hardest part of the installation.  If I had a jig saw it would have been a piece of cake, but I did it with a knife.  Unfortunately (and fortunately!) our kitchen has a lot of outlets.  Oh, well!  I also had to buy these little spacers to put behind the outlets so that they could be pushed out far enough.  Note: Lowes doesn't carry them, but Home Depot does.
 Calk is your best friend when doing a project like this.  Any imperfections can be hidden with just a bit of calk.  I also put a small piece of wooden trim along the exposed edges of the bead board, to give it a finished look.
I love plants in the kitchen.  It's so much easier to remember to water them when they're there.  ;)  I have something decorative, aloe vera, and basil.  

Our second kitchen makeover project:

Replacing the hardware.

I don't know why I didn't do this sooner.  I guess I just didn't know what direction to take it in.  But once I got a little more confidence in my decor tastes, it was a cinch.

The before:
Rustic.  Sooo rustic.  Like everything else in this house was.  I think this was the "splurge" from when the old owners completely renovated the kitchen.  These handles were something like $5 each.  And there are a lot of cupboards in my kitchen, people.  A lot.  Well, I removed them and sold them online to a very eager buyer for $20, and I replaced them with this!:
 The vertical handles were in a multi pack from Target, which saved us a bundle.  The horizontal handles were bought individually from Home Depot and were a bit more expensive.  But I love them so very much, so it was worth it.  With as many cupboards as there are in this kitchen, it would have been a bit overwhelming if the horizontal handles were the same as the vertical ones.  It needed to be changed up a bit.  And this makes it seem a little more custom, too, which is a very good thing!

And last but not least...

The curtains.

When we first became homeowners, I felt this itch to get curtains for every window, but I just couldn't find any that I liked.  I had a distinct idea of what I wanted, and you can't just find something in your mind like that at Target.  So, I bought a sewing machine for my birthday, learned how to sew, and scoured the internet for the perfect inspiration.  I found it here, and I've since followed her blog and it has helped me identify my own style preferences.  It's been great!

So, I whipped up these curtains, and another set over the sink to match, out of some nice linen:

I used the same fabric to make curtains for the dining room, but I sewed them in a different style:

A lovely view of the backsplash, the hardware, and the curtains along with the numbered bar stools that I gave new life to:

And lest you think my kitchen is always this spotless, this is how it looked after a very good cleaning:
If only it would stay that way.  Just keepin' it real, kids.  

So, let's be honest.  Do you love it as much as I do?  Because I love it.  A lot.  There is nothing I would change about it, and that is a wonderful feeling!

TDC Before and After


Alice Anne said...

I think it looks great!! This is totally random, but do you know what kind of plant that is? Your decorative one on the left??? We had one that looks pretty similar to that and it lived for years and years even when we set it on top of the fridge and forgot about it for a whole winter. I can't remember how we eventually killed it, but it was a very very sad day and I didn't know where to find a replacement for him (we named him Cletus) because I didn't know what he was!

Anna said...

Alice Anne, I wish I knew what that plant was! I've had it for at least three years. It's a great one. There was a time when it wasn't doing so hot, but it's been doing well for a while now.

Kari Pike said...

I absolutely love your kitchen and the way you are creating such a wonderful home for you family. You inspire me!

Gloria said...

GORGEOUS job. You should be very proud! --and what a huge, great kitchen! :)

Gloria said...

p.s. I signed in now with my other account/signing in now with my blog account so you can see that I AM a blogger! :) --albeit I haven't done a post in a while!

Emily Miller said...

What a wonderful huge kitchen! Wood work is really awesome. Use of white color really look nice and good. Everyone should must read this blog. Use of plants in kitchen look very innovative idea. Great use of special materials and textures. Did really good job.