Remodel Woes

10 Lessons Learned From Building a Kitchen

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Melanie from Washington recently wrote this to me:

“Hey Kate, I read that when you remodeled your house a few years ago, that you designed and built your kitchen.  We’re in the beginning stages of gutting our very dated kitchen and we’re starting over from scratch!  We’re so excited!!  My question for you is, were there any pitfalls you ran into?  Anything you learned along the way you’d be willing to share?  What should we know about building a kitchen starting from four bare walls?  Help!”

Great question Melanie!  Me and my Mister built our kitchen over five years ago, so to answer Melanie’s question, I had to dig through the archives and pull out all my files to refresh my recollection of the process of building our kitchen from scratch.  It resulted in a mild rash and minor heart palpitations, but I’ve since recovered.

No, I’m kidding.  I absolutely love kitchen design, and loved the entire process of choosing all the details of the one in our own home.  I’m one of those people that if I overheard at the grocery store you were building a new kitchen, I’d butt my ponytail right into the conversation and want to chat all about appliances, countertops and the exact style of door front you’re choosing for your cabinets.  “Really?  Oh, fabulous!”

Building a kitchen from scratch is an enormous task.  Unlike throwing the latest most popular shade of paint on your walls, a kitchen must be a space that can stand the test of time.  My kitchen suits the style of my home, and also my own personal tastes as well.  While there are a few things I wish I’d done differently, for the most part, I really love the floor plan and finishes we continue to live with every day.

Ten Lessons Learned from Building Our Kitchen

cg kates kitchen

 

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How I Met My House

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

My friend AnNicole over at Our Suburban Cottage is having a party tomorrow called ‘How I Met My House’.  I prefer to be fashionably late to parties, however this time I’m showing up early due to some delays with my latest project.  But I brought jalapeño poppers, so I’m sure I’ll be forgiven.  :-) 

So here is the story of how we met our house, but first, let’s take a little detour.  When I was growing up, I would whiz past this amazing property on the freeway on my way to school each day. 

This is not my house. 

kj tasting room

This is the Kendall Jackson Tasting Room and it’s one of my favorite properties in the entire universe. 

Oh my word, I could just stare at it all day.  Those arches, those French doors, those keystones, those dormers, that rose garden, I can’t stand it, it’s just so beautiful. 

*Sigh*

kj roses

 

What does this tasting room have to do with my house ?  It inspired us in many ways when we first built our home over a decade ago, down to the exact color of the stucco. 

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Grand Tour: Master Bath

Monday, October 5th, 2009

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a big believer in making your home your personal refuge from the world. I’d rather spend my money on feathering my nest than taking a grand vacation.  Those new to this blog should know that we expanded our home in a (nightmarish) remodel back in 2006, but never got around to finishing the master bath, mostly due to lack of funds.  Over the past year, we’ve slowly been finishing the space.  And this past weekend, we put the finishing touches on the master bathroom.  Yippeeeeee !

Five years ago, before we expanded our home, our master bathroom was not a pleasant prepping area.  At least not for me.  It was so so very tiny.  So small that Mr. CG and I were elbowing each other and quarreling over counter space.  I finally resorted to primping in the children’s bathroom.  But not any more darlin’.  All of that has now changed.

We’ve purposely doubled the size of our bathroom and budgeted in room for a separate primping zones.  One year ago, the space you’re about to tour was nothing more than sheetrock and a plywood floor.  At last, at last, at last it is finished !

Welcome to our sanctuary.  Away from the world.  Away from the kids !

Come on in !

I feel like I’m living in the lap of luxury in here.  We had the cabinets custom made.  They are alder wood with a walnut stain.

We topped the counters with inexpensive cultured marble instead of the real thing.  Modern cultured marble is easeir to maintain and you can get the lastest versions with a pure white surface and with bullnosed or ogee edges.  The mirror is the Florentine by Hitchcock Butterfield.

The toilet is hidden behind a door for privacy.

 

And you’ve seen the bathtub zone before.

This inexpensive chandelier over the tub is a favorite detail – found at a local home improvement store.

 

 

And you’ve also seen the master shower before too.

This pair of towel hooks are another favorite detail.

 

Here is my personal vanity, in an old Hollywood style where I prep and powder my nose and also paint my little girl’s toenails.

 

Beauty products are organized with kitchen drawer dividers:

Now if only I could keep these little munchkins preoccupied elsewhere. But it’s totally not happening.

 

Double vanity.  Plenty of elbow room.  And they lived happily ever after!

The paint color is my own custom blend.  1/3 Behr ‘Mountain Creek’,  1/3 Restoration Hardware ‘Silver Sage’ and 1/3 ‘Swiss Coffee’ white. 

So there it is, the whirlwind tour.  It’s quite a big change from a year ago!  And it is a dream come true for both of us.  After ten years of marriage, it’s nice to have a little sanctuary to call our own.   At least, until we’re invaded by you know who.

 

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