Progress Update: Layout and Kitchen

It’s been several weeks since demolition has started on our new house and about time I document the work so far. If you’ve seen my Instagram, you’ve seen a lot of the work that our contractors and their guys have been doing. It has been so exciting yet so scary all at the same time. There's a lot of time, money, and emotion going into this house (well, emotion for me, but maybe not for Kelvin). I'm so glad that we've hired a project manager and contractors to do the work for us. Hiring people can be a daunting task, but lucky for us, our people are confident, professional, and skilled in what they do.

When we first bought our house, we just wanted to update and relocate the kitchen. It was a small galley style kitchen right in the middle of the house (see the "Before demo" graphic and photos below). It made the living, dining, and family rooms feel small and compartmentalized. So we thought we could just move the kitchen to one of the corners of the family room. However, relocating the kitchen turned out to be much more work than we thought. It would involve removing walls, moving plumbing and electrical, redoing the floors and more. 

When it came to choosing the right spot for the kitchen, our designer showed us that the front of the house (originally the sunken living room) provided the maximum amount of space versus one of the corners of the family room. Kelvin and I love to cook, so the bigger the kitchen, the better! We just needed to have the sunken living room floor level with the rest of the floor. Additionally, we are turning the family room into the living room and putting the dining room in the middle of the whole space. We want it to feel clean and open.

Layout Changes - Before and After!

Here are my sketches of the house's original and new layouts (not to scale) with actual photos below. (Learn from my mistake and take before and after photos from the same angles.. argh!)

Before demo: Original layout of our house

Before demo: Original layout of our house

After demo: New open layout! (Kitchen cabinets and appliances have not been installed yet)

After demo: New open layout! (Kitchen cabinets and appliances have not been installed yet)

Before demo: Family Room (from the right)

Before demo: Family Room (from the right)

After demo: Family Room (from the left)

After demo: Family Room (from the left)

Before demo: Kitchen (from the left)

Before demo: Kitchen (from the left)

After demo: Kitchen is no longer in the middle of the house (from the right.) So long, closed off kitchen!

After demo: Kitchen is no longer in the middle of the house (from the right.) So long, closed off kitchen!

Before demo: Sunken living room, soon to be kitchen

Before demo: Sunken living room, soon to be kitchen

After demo: Future kitchen space - you can see the layout of cabinets, stove, oven, etc. written on the wall. The floor is being filled in! 

After demo: Future kitchen space - you can see the layout of cabinets, stove, oven, etc. written on the wall. The floor is being filled in! 

Kitchen Finishes

Previously, I posted about kitchen design but had a very difficult time picking out a backsplash. It was genuinely a struggle for me, but I learned a lot in the process and in the near future will post some different ways you can choose the right tile. We recently finalized and ordered a lot of the finishes, so here is what we are going with. Click the links at the bottom to see the sources.

one - two - three - four (similar) - five (similar) - six - seven - eight - nine (similar) - ten (similar)

Are you doing or have you done any home renovation projects? What kind of work have you done? Home projects can be exciting and scary all at the same time. I'd love to read about your experiences.

Renovation Plans: Kitchen Finishes and Backsplash Help Needed

The time has come! Last week, we closed on our new house and met with our designer to pick out the FUN STUFF!! By fun stuff, I mean flooring, counter tops, etc. And yes, we are working with an amazing designer not because we have oodles of money to spend (her services are very affordable), but because we have no clue what we're doing and want to do this the right way and not the white way or wong way (sorry, couldn't stop myself). 

Here we are in front of our new house, which you can't really see in these photos, or in real life, because it's hidden in shrubbery!

Inside, the kitchen/living layout is pretty compartmentalized, complete with a galley style kitchen in the middle of the house. (Check back for a post about that later!) We're opening up the kitchen/dining/living space and moving the kitchen to the front of the house.

The kitchen finishes are the most exciting part for me - below are similar finishes to what we plan to use in our new kitchen. Nothing in this post is sponsored, but click the photos to see where these products are from. We're aiming for a clean contemporary feel that's still soft and airy. 

Flooring - this is linked to hardwood, but we're planning to do porcelain tile that looks very similar to this.

Flooring - this is linked to hardwood, but we're planning to do porcelain tile that looks very similar to this.

Drawer pulls

Drawer pulls

Countertop

Countertop

Island color!

Island color!

<3 <3 <3

<3 <3 <3

Could I just say that picking out a backsplash is exciting but so tormenting? For me, it's one of those decisions that feels next to deciding what to do for the rest of your life, which is not a decision that often "just feels right." I was only interested in a couple different countertops and flooring types and wanted white cabinets. Those were decently easy to choose. But backsplash? Where does one even begin? I love white subway tiles, but our designer believes we should steer clear of all white in the kitchen. I'm fine with all white, but I also trust our designer since we are going for something that will add a little more dimension and contrast. We picked out a back splash when meeting with our designer on Friday, but I think I picked it out just for the sake of picking something (I couldn't find a picture of it online, otherwise I'd post it here). It's kind of a funky take on subway tiles, which is interesting, but I feel like it's just not me. So, since meeting with our designer last week, I've been scrounging through online beautiful tile world but have had great difficulty finding the right one.

Here are a few I'm interested in but still not sure of:

This is so pretty when arranged vertically! I'm nervous of how it'd go with the island color.

This is so pretty when arranged vertically! I'm nervous of how it'd go with the island color.

Not sure how this one would go with the counter top

Not sure how this one would go with the counter top

Not sure about this one. I like geometric stuff, but this might be too math-y for me.

Not sure about this one. I like geometric stuff, but this might be too math-y for me.

    *Drool* but it's white :(

    *Drool* but it's white :(

Any advice on picking out "the one" backsplash? Are there any good quality and affordable tile sources you know of?

Help. Please!