It's been 3 weeks since I announced that the house we've been wanting for quite some time, was officially ours. The day our offer was accepted was a very exciting and emotional day, simply because the road leading to ownership was so long and frustrating. When we looked at it back in January, we instantly saw its potential and fell in love. We actually wanted to make an offer that night, but our realtor encouraged us to wait.
The situation with this house was unlike anything I've ever heard of before. And I didn't bother sharing updates with the buying process, because things seemed to change on a daily basis. To make a long story semi-short, it was owned by the bank and sat empty for quite some time. In fact, my father in law is the one who found the house about a year and a half ago. He was interested in buying it for investment purposes, but for whatever reason, didn't. Much later, he told us about it (and I'm so glad he did!).
About a month before we looked at it, the electric company came through the neighborhood to work on the gas lines. Unfortunately, they failed to tell the realtor what they had done and since the house was vacant, no one was there to relight the furnace pilot light. The temperature at the time was -10 degrees, so pipes ended up freezing and busting. Needless to say, water went everywhere. The floors, kitchen cabinets and a lot of the drywall was ruined and then ripped out. Since the damage was their fault, the electric company agreed to fix the entire first floor, a real "win" for whoever bought the home. But after months of waiting, the bank decided to just get rid of the house. We put our offer in as soon as it became available and it surprisingly, was accepted.
We ended up purchasing the house AS IS, which wasn't our original intent, but honestly, we're happier with this turnout than the alternative. With all that being said, we are now in the middle of a major renovation. I'm talking floors, paint, all 3 bathrooms, kitchen, plumbing, windows, the list goes on and on. As much of a dream come true this is for me and Dave, it's easy to get overwhelmed, because let's face it, this isn't HGTV and we don't have Chip and Joanna Gaines doing this for us.
To stay sane (and because it's really fun), I've been obsessively posting to my Pinterest board. I absolutely love decorating, home decor, DIY projects, old furniture and fixer uppers. So like I said, this is a dream come true! Today, I decided to start a series of posts focused on the individual rooms in our house. I'm going to post BEFORE photos, as well as, images from my Pinterest board that inspire us. Later, when its complete, I'll post AFTER pictures.
So let's start with my favorite room in the house, the kitchen! Believe it or not, the first thing I noticed was not the toilet in the middle of the room, but actually the window. My heart skipped a beat when I realized the sink would sit below it. Call me a total cheeseball, but I've always had this image in my head, of me watching my kids play in the backyard, while standing at the sink washing dishes or cooking. It's always been something I've wanted in my kitchen.
The image above (via bhg.com) is my ideal sink space. It's bright, airy and fresh. I specifically love the farmhouse sink, butcher block counters, the shelf and hanging antiqued window. Who wouldn't want to wash their dishes (or baby!!) here? This look is a mixture of country/rustic/vintage/chic and it's exactly mine and Dave's style. This space is an absolute dream.
In the BEFORE photo above, you can see the general layout of where the cabinets once were and we plan to keep it that way. There was brief discussion over knocking down the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining room, but for so many reasons, we decided against it. The space is large and open enough as is, and I actually like the kitchen and dining area separate from one another. We plan to install hardwood floors throughout the entire house, with the exception of the bathrooms and paint the entire house white (the color we have picked out is, Thistle Seed by Valspar).
As far as cabinets and counters are concerned, we know for sure what we like, but are torn on what we like more. We want white shaker cabinets and some open shelving, but are torn with what color our lower cabinets should be. In our old home, we painted the upper cabinets white and painted the lower ones a minty blue. In this house, we are playing around with the idea of grey lowers and white uppers.
I like the image on the left for many reasons. One, the open shelves are exactly what we are looking for. In our old house, Dave made two shelves for our living room, that looked very similar to the shelves on the left. The wood he used for our shelves, was salvaged wood that he literally found on the side of the road (he has a serious eagle eye for stuff sitting on the side of the road). We'd love to recreate that look in our kitchen and the picture on the left is very close to the look we are trying to achieve. I also really like how the white counter tops in this picture pops against the dark cabinets. If we went with white counters, we would probably go with quartz over anything else because of it's durability and consistency in color/design.
The image on the right (via residencestyle.com) though is so clean and fresh and screams, "farmhouse kitchen". I especially love the butcher block counters and farmhouse sink. They used bead board for the back splash, which really adds to the rustic feel of the room. It's tempting to do the same in ours, but we plan to use subway tile for our back splash. We had made plans to install subway tile in our previous kitchen, but never did, so we actually already have the materials for it- yay! One less thing to buy!
So what do we get? Grey cabinets with white counter tops or white cabinets with butcher block countertops? It's seriously so hard to decide.
A little over a month ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across an account of this super dreamy home. The kitchen, specifically, was my favorite part and I especially loved their refrigerator. In the comments on the photo, the user shared where the refrigerator came from and within minutes I had it pulled up on Home Depot's website. The power of social media! The refrigerator was part of a matching set called, the GE Artistry Series AND it just so happened to be on sale. I showed Dave, and the next week, we found ourselves at Lowe's purchasing all 4 pieces. The kitchen above (via thenester.com) is not the kitchen I saw on Instagram, but it does have the appliances that we purchased. Aren't they the cutest? I love that they look retro, but modern at the same time. I'm partial to Lowe's because I worked there for several years, so we decided to buy from them, but you can also order through Home Depot.
Our refrigerator is going to sit on the right side of this wall (where the green square of paint is) and a lower cabinet will sit to the left of it. We like the idea of having a coffee bar in this space and hanging open shelves above it. We would also love to cover this wall in shiplap and paint it white, but we'll have to see what our budget let's us do. Next to where the fridge will sit, you can see a door frame. The actual door is missing, so it's kind of hard to tell what's going on here, but that space is a pantry/broom closet.
Again- try to overlook the toilet in the room and instead envision this space as a breakfast nook. This corner is the perfect size for bench seating and a small, round table, like in the photo below. We also have a hutch from our old house that I'd like to put on that wall. I'm not sure if both a table and a hutch will fit, but we'll see. The door will have to be replaced, but we plan on replacing it with something similar and maybe even painting it. I'm not sure what color yet though- maybe a minty blue, like in the picture below or grey? Having all white walls makes me want to add some color to the room in an unexpected way. I'm thinking a painted door would do the trick. What do you think?
As far as details + decor is concerned, Dave and I are trying our best to incorporate as many authentic farmhouse + vintage pieces into our new space as possible. We've been going to a lot of thrift stores and yard sales in hopes to find things like light fixtures, table/chairs, hardware and even kitchen tools/utensils. I love the light fixture in the photo below and the kitchen utensils in the photo on the left.
So that's it for now! I loved pulling the images that I've been staring at for the past few weeks into one post. Seeing it all together makes me so excited for our future kitchen space. Next up is the dining room.
If you wanna see more of my obsessive house posts, you can follow me on Pinterest.
Have you ever renovated a space? Where do you find inspiration?
Until Next Time,
R + D + E