Saturday, April 19, 2014

And Away We Go! Kitchen Remodeling - Day Zero

The Kitchen Demolition starts Monday morning at 7:00 AM!

Recently, I told you that we have finally decided to remodel our 25 year old kitchen.
You can read about that here.
It's suddenly really happening and there's lots to do.

Let's call today "Day Zero".
We are frantically emptying cabinets and closets and shelves 
and trying to get semi-organized before the demolition begins.
I'm excited and nervous and my head is spinning with decisions still to be made.

In the meantime,
I would like to thank you all for the many, many comments and emails I received 
sharing your favorite parts of your kitchens...
There were so many good ideas and very thoughtful replies 
and I appreciated every one!

Here's a sneak peek at the choices we've made so far.

Beaded inset doors like on this new, unfinished display at Amish Custom Kitchens:

The paint color in the display is SW Alabaster.

Our cabinets will be painted to match Benjamin Moore Mountain Peak White:

This is the door style- a flat center panel with a detailed inner edge.

I'll tell you how I chose the cabinetry and the color and the door style in another post.

We'll use Amerock Antiquities Twisted Wire Mega Pulls 
for the refrigerator and the drawers.

These Hexagon knobs for the cabinet doors are from Rejuvination. 

I'll tell you more than I know about hardware selecting in another post...

We've chosen Mystery White Stone for the countertops.
It's really hard to photograph well but you can see it in these hardware pics.
It's very white with streaks of cream and a greenish gray.

We'll talk about selecting countertop materials in another post.
And the layout- the thought process that went into that.
Then there are faucet, sink, lighting and flooring things to discuss, too.
So many details to consider when planning a kitchen...

This project will be a real bonanza of material for me to share on this blog- 
so get ready for the blow by blow process of a major kitchen remodel.

Stay tuned for scenes from Day 1!

Linking to:
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Inspire Me Tuesdays at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beach Balls Made of Ice!

Get your jacket on and come along with me 
to see beach balls made of ice on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I know it's April, but its been a long, long winter 
and the ice has just recently broken up along the coast of the lake.  
I have read about the phenomena of ice balls forming on the beach 
and I had to go see it for myself.

The frozen edges of the Great Lakes are absolutely otherwordly.

These "mountains" of ice form every year along the coast.
They are very dangerous to climb on, but very compelling to explore.

The action of the wind and the waves creates a churning, sloshing cauldron 
of bone chillingly cold water
that spews out globules of ice in infinite sizes.

It's pretty darn amazing.

My faithful dog, Burly was happy to come along.

To see her romp around on the beach and clamber over the ice
is to see JOY in it's purest form.  
She is in heaven when she is at the beach.
Come to think of it, so am I....

But I digress.

These photos offer a glimpse of the amazing, majestic power and beauty of the Great Lakes.
I was captivated by the sparkling, splashing water
and took endless pictures trying to capture it.

Always changing, always astonishing.

The waves were roaring and the wind was powerful.
It was fascinating to see.

These aren't rocks, they're balls of ice!

A view to the south, showing the other side of the ice "mountains".

We had a great day, Burly and me.
We never saw another soul on the beach.  The solitude is remarkable.
I'm so grateful to have this place to visit and to share.

Back up the dune, or BuzzKill Hill as we like to call it.

One last glance back before we go inside to warm up.

Truly, Just Grand!

Linking to:
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Inspire Me Tuesdays at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Kitchen Planning

Big News
A Question for my Readers...

First the big news-
It is really happening!
We are finally going to remodel our much loved but worn out 
and outdated 25 year old kitchen. 
It's time.

And I have to say- 
I love having a kitchen designer helping me with my kitchen remodeling plans.
I have been designing kitchens for many years 
and when it comes to figuring out what my customers need, 
I can usually zero right in and make recommendations without hesitation.
For my own kitchen, not so much...

Enter Sharon, from Amish Custom Kitchens in Chicago. 
Sharon has been patiently and thoughtfully working with me 
as I evaluate and re-evaluate and re-re-evaluate layouts and designs.

I have been very busy not blogging while I agonize over every inch of my kitchen plans.
And now, we are very, very close to actual dream kitchen status.
The cabinets have been ordered and will be delivered in May.
Demolition is scheduled to begin in late April. 
The whole project will hopefully be complete by June 
so we can get plenty of Michigan time in this summer.

My kitchen has served us well for a long time.
Remodeling it was the first thing we did when we moved into this house. 
I was not yet a kitchen designer but I worked with our builder 
to create the new space and include as much as our budget allowed.
We moved in in September, and about a week later the remodeling began.
The kitchen sink was installed on Christmas Eve and I had never had a better Christmas present!
As you can see from the picture below, Oak was king and we had it in spades!
I was quite proud of it for many years. 

Fast forward to 2014.
My kitchen is dark and dated.
Soffits, laminate countertops, and oak everywhere.
The appliances began to tire out and have been replaced.
I have been nursing the cooktop (above) along for several years- 
it's the last remaining original appliance.
New ovens, a new dishwasher and a new refrigerator have all been in place for months  
while we debated the value of remodeling the kitchen.

One of the things that bothers me most about the kitchen is how dark it is.
It's in the middle of the original part of the house so it has no windows, 
only light borrowed from the adjacant family room that we added on to the back of the house..
Look at that dark corner between the oven and the refrigerator!
I'll explain the green tape in a bit.

When we painted the powder room vanity recently, 
we were thrilled by the way it brightened up the room.
The same red oak cabinets in the kitchen were used in the powder room.
I wrote a post about painting the doors that you can read about here.

Let me refresh your memory...
Here is the before picture of the vanity:

And here is the After:

If we had any doubts about what white cabinets could do for our kitchen, 
they were erased by this project.
Time to pull the trigger on the kitchen remodeling plan.

We have spent hours debating layouts and trying the changes on for size.  
Mr. Grand has been remarkably patient with me...
The green tape in the picture below was used to simulate the dimensions of one island option. 
Adding an island is our number one reason for remodeling the kitchen.
In order to fit an island into our kitchen, other things must be sacrificed. 
The wall on the right, below, is going to be removed as is the penninsula on the left. 
The refrigerator will be moved to the wall where you see the two vertical pieces of green tape. 
There will be lots of other changes that I'll share as we go along 
but this gives you a basic idea of what the plan is.

I haven't been this excited since we bought our little cottage...

And now, on to my Question for you!

I have a few more days until no more changes can be made to the cabinetry order.
(Poor Sharon thinks we are done.)
And I keep thinking, what am I not thinking of?
Is there anything else I should be including?
So now, dear readers, I'm asking for your input!

Please tell me-
What is your favorite part of your own kitchen?
Is there one thing you have in your kitchen that you cannot do without?
I would love to hear from you!

Linking to :
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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