by christine victoria alexander

Thursday, November 19, 2020


HUGE HUGE update today on Our Great Kitchen Makeover! We have a backsplash, we have lighting, we have new appliances and WE PAINTED THE CABINETS (ourselves)! A week and a half ago this project felt like it was taking f o r e v e r... and then boom! We're sailing towards the finish line! I realize I'm overusing exclamation points but if you knew how exciting this was?! It feels like a new house, but more importantly, it's starting to feel like US. I've shared before how this space, this home, is where I spend so much time with my girls. We cook, we read, we play, we learn, we entertain. It feels so good to pour a little love (and money) into these walls and create something that feels like an extension of us, our taste, our style. The girls would be as happy in a tree fort as they are here, but as a wife and mother that spends so many hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, it is so so nice to work in a space that makes me smile. 

Here's a look at the progress...

Lighting went in last week. Four recessed lights in the main part of the kitchen and two pendants over the island. Lighting is one of those things that can change the whole feel of a space. Traditional design can overlap with many other design styles. Here were my three top choices for the pendants:

These rattan and rope ones from Pottery Barn which would have made the kitchen feel a lot more California casual or coastal.

These linen drum shades from Rejuvenation which would have felt softer and more traditional. I actually loved these so much I ordered one to swap out the light in our breakfast nook.

And, the ones we went with in the end, these polished brass cloche pendants from Restoration Hardware which tie in with our sink faucet and add a little touch of glamour. Also love that they have a diffuser on the bottom so I'm not staring up at a bulb while I cook. We had the pendants and the recessed lighting installed on dimmers - life changing. 

Doors are still in progress so the dining room is (still) heaped with all of our belongings while we finish up. Our double oven and cooktop never really worked right since we moved in so we had that all sorted out when we had the new oven installed. Thanksgiving prep is going to be a breeeeeeeze this year! P.S. I hate the microwave sitting out. I really want to get rid of it since I think microwaves are gross BUT I use it daily (gasp) to melt butter and make a mug of tea before bed. Even if I started doing those things a different way I can't seem to talk Isaac into any other way of reheating leftovers. SO I'm going to ask our electrician if he can wire an outlet in the pantry for me so I can put it in there! Hoping it's not against code or anything...

I almost cleaned this counter off before taking a picture this afternoon and then thought WHAT AM I DOING? This is our reality right now and I promised to share all of it with you so here you go. Without drawers we've been stashing all our necessities on the countertop and it's driving me crazy! I'll be the first to admit I am not a super organized person all the time but I can't stand clutter. And right now it's clutter everywhere. EEK 

I ordered these slide-out drawer thingies for some of the cabinets and a few rolls of shelf paper. Once we put those in I can start loading the cabinets back up. So excited to make things pretty and organized! 

The backsplash is done! It's so subtle and pretty. I brought a few organic looking subway tiles home but none of them really felt right to me. Then I was up in our master bath looking at the progress in our shower and realized the shower tile is exactly what I've been looking for. So I ordered a bunch more and we had the guy installing the shower tile come down and do the backsplash too. It's this pretty honed marble tile from Lowes. 

A few words about the cabinet painting. I know several people interested in doing something similar including our neighbor who asked if he could come "watch". Here are the details:

We followed this tutorial from Chris Loves Julia (because when you want to DIY right you do it like Chris and Julia). We bought everything on their supplies list and even splurged and bought a fancy paint sprayer so we could do it like professionals. The part that is definitely not talked about enough is the taping / papering / plastic-ing before the spraying! It took us 4+ hours on a Saturday night to get things taped off and we still ended up with overspray EVERYWHERE. #amateurs

Isaac does not enjoy DIY-ing, he does not enjoy painting, and he really doesn't enjoy anything messy, except gardening. This was not Isaac's favorite project. In fact, this was most likely Isaac's last DIY. 😂 I think some people like the creative, "figure it out" part of DIY where you meet challenges head on and have to break through to create something beautiful in the end... and some people don't. Isaac doesn't. 

We have a very nice paint sprayer for sale if anyone is interested. 

Just kidding. I'll probably stash it somewhere and pull it out for a quick project whenever he golfs. Hehe

So if you're thinking about doing this take into account that the prep time is insane. I think it might have been faster for me to roll everything. Chris and Julia did not paint the insides of their cabinets but we wanted to. The sprayer didn't work super well for that so I ended up going over the insides with a small roller afterwards. We also ended up with a few drips that needed to be sanded down and touched up too.

We haven't sprayed the doors yet, but I imagine that part will go a lot more smoothly. We're doing it in the garage so we don't have to worry as much about overspray. Also everything will be laying down so maybe less drips. 

My two cents. Roll your cabinet boxes and either roll or spray your doors. I do not think the sprayer is worth the taping-off insanity that has to happen spraying inside. If you're set on spraying make sure you grab a painting partner that loves the mess and the process as much as you do! 

That's my update! Next up: finishing the cabinet doors and having the ceiling patched & painted! We are so close!


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