Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fall Festiveness!

We went to Cornbelly's with some friends during Fall Break and had a blast!  So many fun things to do there, and we actually ran out of time and had to rush through the maze!  I was really impressed that there were so many fun things for so many different age groups.  Nice job, Corny! 

Halloween 2012!

Superheros unite!

D as Thor

M as The Hulk

S as Super Girl!

L as Catwoman
(ok, not technically a super hero, but she looked AWESOME!!!)

The whole fam!  Me as Wonder Woman (natch'ally!) and Hubby as Superman (of course!)

M's Baptism!

Not to be overshadowed by a major remodeling project, we had a wonderful experience with M's baptism this last summer!  He is such a cutie pie and was so excited to be baptized.  We went to the temple to get pictures for the event and since we were in the middle of remodeling, didn't have much time.  We ran and shot a few, the effects of which are seen in the picture of him with S! ; D

 Daniel gave the baptism talk and memorized the entire thing! He was such a sweet brother, and gave M the new penny that we've done as a tradition now for all of them.

L gave M a "comforter" and told him about her experience when she was baptized.  S was a good helper! : )

The Big Reveal! Kitchen Remodel, final post!

I am embarrassed to admit that I don't really have any good pics of that final reveal.  But for good reason!  Here's the lowdown:  I told every contractor that this project HAD to be done by May 26th.  I was having a huge party at my house and I had scheduled everyone according to that plan.  Cabinets were supposed to be done, painting was to be finished, tile dry and walkable, carpet in, etc etc.  That's a really big white lie, but I'm sure you all have heard horror stories about contractors and deadlines, and I couldn't afford to join that club.  So here's the truth:  We had L's birthday party (NOT at my house) on the 28th, and M's baptism on June 2, which was the actual deadline.  On the 26th, we had everything done except the final grout around the bottom of the tile, a couple lower cabinet doors, and a few missing glass pieces in the upper cabinets.  Everything else was done--framing (obviously), painting, granite, etc etc.  There was the one granite piece that is in the pantry that had to go on for the upper cabinets to be put in.  The granite was later than I thought they would be (installing on the 25th instead of the 18th), so that put the pantry install on the next week.  Good thing I told them a week ahead, huh? : )  We got the pantry in that next week, and my sweet mom helped me put the place back together, working from dawn to midnight that entire week!  She ran all my errands, grabbed the last few decorations, painted chairs, painted the sofa back dresser (six times!), ran returns and more errands, and seriously saved my sanity!  So the only pics I have of the baptism were taken by my sweet little ones.  I'll post a few, then show you what it looks like now, decorated for Christmas!

A corner in the kitchen, next to the cooktop.  The jelly bean jar was a hit!

Decor on the sofa back dresser, looking into the family room.  The mirrors are out of the front room and back up on the wall, thanks to my awesome painters!   I love love love my new curtains--there are a few more pics of them coming up.  I also love how we painted this white bowl--it used to be black, and on a weird stand.  It was Mom's genius idea to cut the stand off, glue some felt to the bottom, and paint it to match better!  I also love the "artichoke lamp" that we found--sorry you don't get a good shot of it here, but it's awesome!

One of my favorite new features (as if there weren't a million!) our own little art gallery, courtesy of my kiddos and their amazing art teacher!  This is in the family room, and used to have the black and white pics of my kids above the piano.  Piano is now in the front room and the pics are on the stairs.

More fun decor--on the left of the tv.  The stripey pot came from Tai Pan and was all black--we taped off stripes in increasing sizes and spray painted it!  Also, the little bird was brown and black, and got an update with more spray paint.

Fast-forward a few months, and here we are!  This is the new improved office, new shelves, new carpet, painted chairs from a consignment store reupholstered and at the desk.  I so love the splash of red from the one chair, accents in the bookshelf, and entry.  (I am also madly in love with my chevron rug in the entry! Happy sighs) : )

The front room:  red tapestry relocated from the dining room, homemade two-tone curtains...

Other side of the front room--empty bookshelf (has really cool geometrics!), new coffee table, painted the bottom of the sofa and the music storage box darker to match better, discount pillow adding a splash of red (also in the tapestry and other decor that's not here because of Christmas!)

The kitchen complete!  Love my frosted glass on the top cupboards, the horizontal pulls, the sink, the cooktop, the functionality of it all!

My orange dining room--did I tell you we painted it orange? : )  I put two of the shelves in here that were on the wall we tore down, got a new tapestry on the wall, you can see the side of the pantry on the right of this picture.

 Another view of the dining room--cool curtains again, shelves with Christmas decor, gingerbread houses : )

Looking back across the family room--you can see more awesome curtains, the yellow in the alcove, the seamless transition of the ceiling where we took the wall down, and a cool new shower curtain I got for the main bathroom! (matches the yellow in the alcove) : ) 

I love love LOVE my new kitchen!  It kind of turned into a main-floor remodel, instead of just the kitchen, but that was necessary in order to create a seamless transition between the rooms.  I've heard of the "snowball" effect of remodels, and can testify to its truth, but it was SO worth it!!  I love the look and feel and color and functionality and hosting ability and the complete transformation of it all!!

Kitchen Remodel Part 3

The Granite comes!
I wanted my island countertop to be free-standing, with no corbels or supports to hit your knees on. : ) So to make that happen, we had to add an extra sheet of plywood to the base, with steel supports running across it.  My cute granite installer asked me a few times if I was ok with it being 3/4" taller than usual. (To his credit, it was already a 3 cm granite, so it was going to be taller than an average install.)  Well, we are tall people, and if that's what it takes to get the support it needs, I'm more than in favor of it! : )

Here's the perimeter pieces going in:

The steel supports in the island--there's three horizontal ones running the width of the counter top, and one running vertical on the far right side.

My awesome backsplash--this is under the hood where the cooktop will be.

 I seriously have new respect for granite installers--you should have seen the team that brought this rock in!  There were about ten guys on it, and it was very impressive! 

They put the island in, the perimeter by the sink and cooktop, the piece in the pantry, and small slices on the window sills.  Each piece was finished differently:  the window sills were finished at size, which means they have a 3 cm finished edge, no extra. The perimeter and pantry pieces were finished at 2", and the island at 2 3/4", which is huge and chunky and I love it!  The corners and edges were all squared off, and finished flat to match the contemporary look of everything else.

Onto the final reveal!

Kitchen Remodel Part 2



Words cannot express how amazing it was to stand across the room and see through the entire kitchen!  The best way to describe it is that it felt like I could breathe for the first time.  Like my house could breathe, after being restricted for so long.

Remember how I said my pantry was along the wall we tore down?  I moved everything except the bare necessities down to the storage room in the basement, and kept boxes in the office, which had to be covered to attempt dust reduction.  With all of the cabinets removed, my plan was to use the oven/stove, sink, and fridge that were still there to make meals for my family.  I found that soon there was too much dust, paint, sheetrock, dust, and more dust that even getting food out of the fridge felt gross.  I never thought I would see the day I’d be sick of eating out, but we definitely got there!  Soon the stove and the sink had to go anyway, so it worked out that we only ate out for two weeks.  Still way too long!

This is the "fridge wall". We tore down a section of wall on the left side, next to the dining room.  (you can see the drum light, and the lighter mud patching on the ceiling and wall)  This opened that side up as well, making the dining area feel more a "part" of the kitchen instead of it's own separate room.

This is the view from above the family room.  We tore out all the carpet, and put tile around the perimeter.  This is just after the base has been put down, and tile came the next day.  See the large box on the left with the light on top?  Those are my new ovens.  Yaay!!!

Funny story about the tile, though--we ordered the size to match what was already laid in the kitchen.  See the stack of boxes by the ladder?  Those are a full 1/4 inch smaller than the tile I ordered.  We had a last-minute panic (one of those things you can't plan for!) and had to run down to a different tile store and find the right size.  The only problem was it came too light, and too dark, but was the right size.  I decided to get the too dark option, and it has blended quite well.  I can see the difference, but it's not noticeable unless you look closely.  I love how adding the tile perimeter has made the family room and kitchen more cohesive, like they were meant to be that way from the beginning.

This is the office, with bookshelves and computer desk covered with the blue and white, and my "pantry" boxes in the middle.  Obviously no one is working when I took this picture, or all you'd see is tarps and bumps : ) We ended up painting the ceilings here and in the front room (not part of the original plan), but it makes a huge difference and I love it!

Other side of the office, looking into the entryway and front room.  You can see more tarp usage here, railings covered, and front room full of furniture, including the mirrors from the family room wall.

If you look closely here, you'll see a 13-year-old's footprint or two in the wet mud, then onto the floor.  We think he just wanted to preserve his shoe size for future anthropologists.

Remember this?  It's the alcove above my fireplace in the family room.  I removed all the arches in the entire house--this one, and the others were over the doorways in the office, entry, and front room.  It was really a little thing, but it made those doorways seem bigger, more open, and again, felt like we had more breathing room!  I made the alcove about two feet taller as well--you can see the old line in the picture on the right.  I'm not an arch-style girl anyway, and it felt like it clashed with the contempo kitchen I was installing.  I absolutely love them now!

My painters working on the alcove.  They were fantastic!  And yes, we painted it bright yellow.  Wait until you see what I painted the dining room!

Cabinets coming in--hooray!! They sat in my garage for a couple days until the installers could come up, and it was so fun to walk around and identify exactly which cabinet went where.  Because I lost so much storage with the wall out, I had to be extremely creative about where everything was going to fit in the new space.  I used drawer organizers, cabinets to the ceiling, and pull-out cabinets to maximize my storage options.  It is amazing what I can fit now, and find that I have space left over! Maybe I just wasn't that organized before because I didn't have to be : )  But I much prefer this way!

No, I'm not putting in hanging barstools, that is the base for the cabinet that opens up at the back of the island.  Again with maximizing my space, I have cabinets on both sides--drawers on the front, and shelves on the back.  This is my cookbook and paper product storage, and is under the barstools.

I had so many horizontal lines in my kitchen--the pulls, the grain on the cabinets, and the long parallel lines--I wanted to make the backsplash a little different.  I made it higher than usual, so from under the hood it kept the same height all around, and turned the tile vertical.  If you've been to the new City Creek in SLC, this tile is similar to what they have next to the elevators.  In fact, I considered that tile but it was too wide and wouldn't give me the look I wanted.  City Creek has good taste, though! ; )  I also put a small silver strip around the tile to finish it off.  Love love love how this turned out!  Note to self for future reference:  because of our timeline, we put the tile in before the granite.  It really didn't matter in the end, because we got the exact specifications on where to have the tile start so there's enough room for the granite, but it caused a serious panic attack when the granite came in and there was a large gap!  I found out it wasn't that large, that it was actually quite normal-to-small, and after being filled in with grout like it was supposed to be, it isn't even noticeable.  *sigh!*  There is much to be learned on projects like this!

Tile is in!  We did a little border on the left side there where it connects to the entryway, and blended it as best we could where I'm standing next to the kitchen.  I love it!!