Monday, January 20, 2014

Remodeling just like real adults do!

You know what happens when you spend your whole Christmas vacation watching HGTV at your parents' houses? Yeah. You end up deciding to remodel your own home and join in the fun!

It was kind of a domino effect of projects starting with the terrible vinyl flooring in our kitchen and laundry area. We've never liked it all that much, and have grown to hate it the more disgusting it gets each year. It's texturized so dirt settles in the divots and unless you're Cinde-freakin-rella on your hands and knees scrubbing it, it looks filthy constantly. So that was our top wish list item for the house. But if we're replacing the flooring in the kitchen and laundry area, we may as well replace the not-so-great Ikea laminate in the playroom/office, right? It's all about continuity and not having four different flooring choices in a 1650 square foot house.

And if we're moving everything out of the kitchen to pull up the flooring, we may as well just demo the old cabinets and tile countertops out and replace them with new, modern ones that fit your new dishwasher, right? Don't get me wrong, I've always liked the style of our vintage kitchen, but it's just not so functional. The drawers stick, the shelves are at weird heights, and the cabinets don't fit the appliances. New cabinets will make life easier.

And then if we're hiring a contractor to manage these projects, we may as well have him add in a half-bathroom where the laundry area is to make our house finally have two toilets, right? So you can see how this has gone down, but even though it sounds like a lot, it's not major construction. Just a few wall tweaks (no load bearing walls need to be removed) and a little bit of demo, keeping everything in the original footprint of the house. We have a fair bit of equity in the home and rates are good now so why not!?

Here's a pic of our current laundry area which we will be closing off to make the half-bathroom (imagine a wall with a door right in front of the machines, preserving the hallway connecting the office/playroom to the kitchen, and keeping the utility closets across from the machines). It's the ideal location for the new half-bathroom because the water lines and sewage drain are there already (our full bathroom is on the other side of this wall), making it a much less expensive addition.

Doesn't look big enough though, right? That's because it's not. It's deep enough (you need a depth of 30" according to LB building code), but it's not long enough (you also need 24" of space in front of the toilet, which in our case will be 24" in between the toilet and sink which will face each other).

In order to get those extra 10" or so, we're going to bump out this wall that the fridge and pantry currently are on in towards the kitchen.

Because moving the laundry machines to the garage/studio is not at all an option for us (Jeff would be so mad!), we decided to make this corner of the office/playroom the new laundry closet. We'll get new machines that are stackable, and hopefully will do pocket doors that slide into the closet with some added shelving. This is also an easy/cheap option because again, the water lines are right there. These are a few inspiration pics:

On to the kitchen! Here is my inspiration picture to give you an idea of some of the finishes we're going for:

So my vision is black painted Shaker-style cabinets, oak butcher block countertops, a white apron front sink, and brushed brass cabinet hardware and a matching sink faucet (all just like the ones in the picture above). Almost no upper cabinets, and a white subway tile backsplash. I think the contrast of the black cabinets with the white appliances and sink will be sharp, but warmed up and less stark looking when paired with butcher block counters, cork flooring, and gold hardware.

I'll do another post about Ikea vs. non-Ikea kitchens and how we decided to go with Ikea (along with the all-important budget breakdown), but for now just accept it and don't ask questions. I've been obsessively playing with Ikea's Home Planner 3D software mocking up different kitchen layouts, and I think I'm finally happy with the following:

This viewpoint is as if you're standing in our dining room and the wall between the dining room and kitchen is invisible. You can see the light sketch-out of the doorway to the right in between the two rooms, and the window in front of the sink (which isn't moving) to give you some perspective.

This view is if you're a creeper in our bushes looking through the kitchen window on the side of the house. You'll see that where the range and dishwasher are now, becomes the new location for our floor to ceiling pantry and the fridge. The range then goes to the opposite wall (goodbye chalkboard... :*( We'll miss you.), with two 24" deep cabinets with three drawers flanking it, and two 12" cabinets with slide out drawers next to those to hold our garbage and recycling bins. We'll have a range hood and the subway tile backsplash from the cabinets up to the ceiling, and probably a pot rack attached to the wall to the right of the range.

If you look straight ahead, that's where the fridge and pantry are right now, and what will become a bank of three shallow (12" deep, because this is the wall being bumped out for the bathroom) cabinets for storage with a butcher block top to be used as a buffet. Two sconces and an awesome piece of art will go above them.

Next to the fridge will be another 24" cabinet with 3 drawers, then the sink, then the dishwasher, and one more 24" cabinet with 3 drawers. I like the pull-out drawers for cabinets so much more than just shelves and doors. They are so much easier to organize, and the ones at Ikea come with the soft-closing mechanisms so little fingers don't get smashed.

Above the last cabinet will be our only upper cabinet. We decided to do one here to balance out the pantry that goes to the ceiling on the other end, plus it's a good spot for our glassware. I don't want a cabinet above the fridge because no one can reach that. Instead I want a lovely maiden's hair fern plant on top. Underneath the glassware cabinet is where the microwave will go on the cabinet's shelf. I think I want this cabinet to be white, to blend in with the white walls and white tile. I really like the look of kitchens with no upper cabinets and I think one floating black cabinet on the white wall here would be kind of an eyesore.

Lots more to talk about with all the choices going on in this remodel! Jeff is a big meanie-head and won't let me start this project until his Prigus show is done, which isn't until April 25th!! Argh! Even though we're hiring a bunch of professionals to do this work for us and Jeff's studio where he will be painting is outside of the house, he still wants to wait. So right now we're hoping to start demo as soon as Jeff and Elsa go to the Bay Area the week before the show when he's doing the set-up. I have to stay behind and work, so it's a perfect time for the house to be torn apart without Elsa underfoot. Another benefit to having to wait is that Ikea will likely have their kitchen sale before we get underway so I plan on making the most of that. Until then, and until the home equity line of credit comes through, I'll be finalizing decisions on the details and hunting down some discounts, pinning all my finds to my secret renovation board on Pinterest. I'd make it public so that you could see it, but then when I post stuff on the blog, you'll all be like "BORING! Saw it already." So it stays secret and the blog stays exciting.

More to come!

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