house to home | the kitchen, part 1

 This is where we begin sharing what we've done to make this house our home. Read on if you like long, over-detailed, moderately worldly posts about what we are doing to make this place our home. I've always loved reading about and seeing these kinds of updates--- after all, one of my favorite shows as a child was This Old House on PBS on Saturdays. And I would always choose the Better Homes and Gardens magazine at the dentist office. Lame me, huh? Anyways, if you have no interest, come back in a few weeks when I'll resume my normal posting about all of our other normal life happenings.

Here goes:

It's been nearly 2 months since we've been in our house. What a 2 months it's been. When we look back to all we've done, we think, "Wow, we've come a long way." And then we realize how much more we want to do. I guess that's how it is with a house--always more to do. We've got to learn to enjoy the journey and not just be content when things are DONE. Because if there is anything we've learned through this process, it's that it's never DONE.

At this point though, the kitchen is the room that is the most done. So we will start by sharing that.

This is kitchen on the day we moved in.

There were lots of great things we loved: the stainless appliances, the hardware, the granite counter tops, the faucet, the sink, and light fixtures. The cupboards were in really good shape.

What we didn't love--the black diamonds everywhere!

Well...     IF   YOU  GIVE   A   MOUSE   A    COOKIE...............

Ever read that book?  It all started with deciding to paint the cupboards white.  I've always wanted a white kitchen and we had a painter friend who gave us a bid that was too good to pass up.

But it didn't stop there. We thought, well, if we are painting the cupboards white, maybe we should update the backsplash as well. As we were letting that sit a few days, we realized, if we update the cupboards and backsplash with a more modern look, it would probably clash with the floor.

So it came to this...we either do it all or nothing. We debated changing out the floor later, but we knew that if we didn't remodel the kitchen before we moved in, it would never get done.

We decided to go for it since we have been saving up for the last 5 years. And I'm so glad we did. Of course, it's easy to say that now, but the process was looong. And in the middle of it, we wondered if we made the right decision.

We closed the day before Thanksgiving, stuffed our faces on Thanksgiving, and then started bright and early the day after by getting the cupboards ready to be painted.  My brothers and Dad were anxious to help, so we happily obliged. We couldn't have done it with their help.

We started by removing the hardware and moving the appliances into the family room.

Removing the backsplash was next and they all seemed to enjoy that part.

Meanwhile, while the boys did the dirty work, all the cousins got to run around together. And want to hear something funny? Do you see that butterfly on Blake's shirt? We had a room full of vinyl butterflies and he insisted on taking one off every time we came to the house. Thankfully, all of them are gone now so my little boy isn't gallivanting with butterflies on his shirt.

The backsplash was the quick part. Then came taking out the floor tile. It was messy and loud, but it went much quicker than we thought it would.

I wanted in on the action! Ok, so I only took out 1 tile,  but I would have done more if I didn't have 2 kids to watch :) 

 That was all done before lunch. Our makeshift lunchroom was held in the living room.

We were much farther along at this point than we thought we would be. But that pride got to us and we were humbled very quickly.

Thankfully I was not there with the kids at this point. We didn't realize what a mess we would soon have. My brother called and told me the mud room was literally a MUD room. We rented a floor scraper to remove all the grout and that is when we began to rethink what we were doing.

The machines uses diamonds to scrape the grout off, but you have to apply water to keep it running, so it turns all the dust into a big, muddy mess. All you DIYers, is there a better way?

Mud was everywhere. 

They  tried really hard to keep it from getting on the carpet. 

It took hours and hours and hours. Because you can't just grind it once. They had to go over every inch multiple times to get the floor perfectly smooth.

They had to then squeegee all the water out, which meant they kept the door open, which meant it was freezing inside.

If I remember right, they finished about 12 am. We felt bad that everyone had spent so much time helping. We sent them all back to my dad's house and I came down with Evelyn to help clean up all the mud before it dried. It was everywhere.

My kind dad refused to go home until it was done, so he stayed with us until 3 am until all the mud was wiped down. I use "all" loosely--we are still finding mud 2 months later. 

Admiring all the work done

What a great first day to home ownership, right?


  1. Wow! Seeing your before and afters just made me jealous and it's easy to forget all the work that goes into it when you're not the one doing it! Awesome job and what a great family you have!

  2. Ah the joys of DIY. ;) Can't wait to see what you ended up with!


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