If you follow me on Instagram then you know about all of the progress that’s been going on in our kitchen in the past week. One of the big decisions that we made was the one that we weighed in on here. We ended up going with Option One, which was not the most popular option. On the post, most everyone wanted me to paint all of the cabinets white. In real life, my friends were trying to talk me out of the green island hard. It’s so colorful they said. It’s a lot!
Well, here I am. I am Morgan, I am colorful, I am a lot.
The green color makes me happy. If in ~5 years when we go to sell this place our realtor advises us to change it then painting it white is a one day $30 fix. Until then, I am decorating to make me happy. Take a look in my closet and you know that safe white just isn’t my jam.
So, I painted the island the same Watery as our front door. An honestly, y’all, it’s stunning. If I hadn’t already bought the white paint for the other cabinets, I would be mighty tempted to do them all this color. I haven’t painted the other cabinets yet – I’ll be doing those white this weekend – and then I’ll be back with an update for you. But until then, here is some gorgeous inspiration that helped push me over the edge towards this decision:
I am so excited to be working on a DIY makeover of our kitchen over the first couple of months. I have previously shared my mood board for this space but I still have a few decisions to make!
While I know what finishes in general I want, I have been trying to decide about some of the details. For example, I had a huge debate over the counter tops and cabinets. Should they all be the same? Should the island pop? Here were my (rough photoshop) ideas:
This is the first option, including recycled glass counter tops throughout (the glass chunks will be waaaaay smaller I just stretched my photo of a sample to fit this pic). The island is painted watery and the rest of the cabinets are white. Is it too much?
this option tones down the look with all white quartz on the main cabinets and only the recycled glass on the island, which is still Watery. It really makes the island pop! But is the white too boring for me? Does the cabinets and countertops being different make the space feel too disjointed?
This option includes all white cabinets and all recycled glass counter tops. It offers the most consistency – but is it too boring? Are the counter tops too much?
The other debated though less time sensitive decision is about the back splash. I love the idea of tiling to the ceiling but Sean wants to just keep it under the cabinets. I see what he means – the peek through window makes it kind of weird on the left side, and we plan on having a lower but not an upper on the far right (probably tiny open shelves instead).
I am so excited to start our kitchen makeover this month! I have tried to break up the DIY to-do list into one major task per month, along with some hired-out tasks in between. The major task for January was removing the wallpaper and painting the walls.
Funny story about this wallpaper that I love telling. Our house was a rental prior to us buying it and the previous owners made a lot of great updates like replacing 90% of the flooring (everything but the kitchen actually) and having all the walls painted a neutral color. We met them randomly before the house even went on the market and they let us tour it. On that tour they showed us the wall colors and floor samples and told us what they planned to have done. Sean pointed at the kitchen walls and said “and remove this wall paper, right?”
And the owner said “Oh no, this is really nice wallpaper!”
I don’t know why I think this is so funny. On one hand, Sean’s not really usually the one to suggest doing anything that will cost extra or take more time, so for him to say to remove the wall paper tells you that it was bad. But the owner really really loved this wall paper. I imagine that she picked it out and convinced her husband to buy it and we know they spent a lot having it hung (we got their invoice in a packet of house-related papers at the closing).
It just screams 1995 to me. If wallpaper is your jam, good for you, but I change my mind too often to handle anything as permanent as wallpaper. This particular specimen was way too beige (warm colors while I prefer cool colors) and honestly just looked like a crap ton of palm trees to me. Like, I get it, we live at the beach. No need for the constant reminder. If only they had planted an actual palm tree in the yard….
I digress. Removing the wallpaper was a job. It wasn’t particularly difficult. I think that our popcorn ceiling removal has put everything into perspective. It took portions of 3 days but we could have done it in two if we wanted to, but we spaced it out and didn’t try to do steps before the previous step was dry.
Day one was the actual removal. We made a video explaining how to do it, but here are the steps:
use a scoring tool to score the wall, using small circles over the entirety of the paper
spray a mixture of *HOT* water + fabric softener all over the walls
let it sit
let it sit longer
peel off large pieces using your fingers
use a flat edge scraper to get any remaining bits
go back through and spritz a little more water on parts of the wallpaper backing that didn’t come off and lightly scrape those off with the scraper
Our biggest problem was, shocker, being patient. At one point early on, I think Sean really decided that this wasn’t coming off and was trying to figure out how to repair the scoring. It came off, it just needed to sit ~ 30 minutes.
We let the walls dry over night before moving on to the next step. Day 2 was really a half day and Sean spackled any messed up bits of drywall and also sanded the whole wall gently. I painted the edges and everything that needed to be hand-brushed, like trip and small areas, with one coat.
Day 3 we sanded the spackle and then rolled paint and did painting touch ups and final touches. This was actually really easy at this point. Everything was already taped, edges were done and it was clear. We discovered a few more pieces of wallpaper backing that were still stuck to the wall when we painted it. It was pretty obvious that something wasn’t right, so we just grabbed the scraper again, scraped it off, and painted over it before it dried. You could tell right away.
In the end, it looks great. Just like with a bunch of the other projects in our house, like the scraped ceilings, torn down walls and extended fireplace, we found ourselves immediately saying, “Wait, what did this look like before?” It’s just one of those things that seems like it was supposed to be that way, so we can’t believe we had to spend three days making it happen, but we’re very happy we did.
Hey y’all! I am excited that it is January because that means that we can officially start working on our kitchen! We aren’t going to power through it like it’s a One Room Challenge, but I have identified one or two sub-projects that we will focus on each month. It will take us the first half of the year, but we will end up with a beautiful coastal kitchen!
Wall color – We will flow Sherwin Williams Online in here, which is everywhere downstairs and will also flow into the upstairs hallway. I am trying to be cohesive here!
Cabinets – we plan to paint the cabinets white.
Island – we are going with a light aqua color for our island! I am leaning towards our front door color, Sherwin Williams Watery, but might venture one shade lighter to Tidewater.
Knobs – I already got these knobs and these drawer pulls. I am thinking that the dark finish will tie in well with the dark floors (and match the lighting).
Cabinet additions – As a compromise, since we decided to save money by painting our cabinets, we are building 2 additional cabinet add-ons. I will get a bookshelf in the island and a pull out trashcan next to the sliding door. Yay!
Countertops – I am very interested in going with recycled glass counter tops. We are hoping that we can get them locally within our budget (at least for the island!) but we haven’t made it to the show room yet.
Floors – We are going to run the dark wood floors that are in the rest of the house into this space, so the whole first floor is cohesive. This is one of the parts of this project that I am most excited for!
Backsplash – I am SO excited to tile a backsplash. I want to tile the one wall all the way to the ceiling and think that the Tile Bar seafoam frosted subway tile is going to look divine.
What about a phase 2? We are going to address the kitchen eat in area as a phase 2 project. For now, we really aren’t sure how we want to use this space. I have been toying with the idea of a built in booth for eating, but our new dining room table is so lovely we’ve been eating there. I want to really think long term with this space so it is just chilling for now! We also want to replace the slider with french doors, but will wait and do that with the eat in.
Here’s a reminder of the current state of the space:
I am so excited for this project and know that it will be one of the biggest transformations in our home. I can’t wait to share!
It’s funny how far a few complaints and “subtle” aggravation can go. We aren’t planning to remodel our kitchen until spring, but one of our biggest problems in the house has been our pantry. The pantry was full of shallow wire shelves and when we moved in all we did was just cram our food in there. That led to frustrations whenever we were looking for something we needed to cook with or when we realized we had just bought a box of something we already had but couldn’t see before. So, we decided to put that to an end and go ahead and remodel our pantry now.
Our big goal for our new pantry was to create a custom storage solution that we could organize what we had, but also create more space for the future. Back in the condo, we created a custom pantry and ripped out the wire shelving there too. We wanted to go with the same plan and do wooden shelves with wooden railings to hold them up. Since this pantry is wider and deeper, we knew we’d also be able to add some storage to the side walls as well. But in order to do anything, I had to start with demo. That included taking out all the food then ripping out all the old shelving.
Then, I patched all the holes from the wire shelving’s screws with spackle and then painted the walls with the same grey that we used in the front room and dining room. We plan to take it throughout the downstairs.
I also got to get back into the swing of scraping popcorn ceilings! Super fun. Haven’t done that since we did our master bedroom.
Once everything was all painted, it was time to reconstruct. We designed a layout with the proper spacing we wanted in between each shelf. With that, we took things into account like a tall shelf in the middle where we’re going to keep our coffee maker and toaster. We have an outlet in the pantry and we didn’t have a place to keep those two appliances after we had the walls taken down. Once the walls were open to the dining room, we didn’t like having the toaster oven and coffee maker be the first thing you saw when you walked into the front door. Putting them in the pantry tucks them away while still making them readily accessible.
We used 1″ x 2″ boards as the railings for each shelf along the back and sides. We nailed them up in the “L-shape” we wanted for deep shelves in the back and thing shelves on the side.
Once all the boards were up, we painted them the same color as the wall to “blend in.”
Last thing was the actual shelves. We used boards that were 1″ thick, 36″ wide, and 16″ deep for the back, and 1″x 3″x 25″ boards for the side shelves. We stained all of these with our favorite Dark Walnut stain to bring out the texture. The long term plan is to run the laminate “wood” flooring in the kitchen when we remodel, so the shelves will match the floors pretty closely at that point.
We also added some shelving to the lefthand wall. These are made from 4″ wide boards cut to go from the end of the back wall shelves to the wall next to the door. This allows for some additional storage about 1 can deep (just over 3.5″ deep). Then, we tossed the shelves up on the railings with no problem.
We also added one additional shelf over the door. It’s hidden when you look in unless you look up, but it’s a little bonus storage for little-used items like a drink canister or soft cooler.
The last thing to do was to stock our shelves!
We’re thrilled with how our pantry remodel turned out. It really wasn’t hard at all, but we needed three days to allow for various drying times. Now, we have custom pantry that fits everything we had before and more, plus allows for rearranging in the future.
A few things to note – we are on the lookout for a shorter extension cord for the appliances. The current one is 6 foot and has a lot of excess, but we haven’t been able to find a 3 foot 3 prong 2 plug cord yet. Also, this set up works for us because we really don’t have a lot of pantry food. We have baking stuff, a selection of similar cans that we buy in bulk, oils and spices, and a few dry goods. We primarily eat fresh foods or freezer meats. If we had a lot of pantry-items, the large shelf in the middle probably wouldn’t have worked for us. That’s why it’s great to go custom!
We completed this makeover on Sunday and have since decided to add a few more things – including one more spice shelf, a magnet board, and our measuring cups. Stay tuned for Thursday when we share a couple other details we did to accessorize and complete our pantry!