James kitchen remodel

Are you ready for a dramatic transformation? I sure hope so, because this project is one of my biggest transformations to date. Designing the remodel of this space for my friends/clients (frients with a long I, maybe?) was really such a joy!

Above is the before picture and below are a couple of pictures taken during the remodel.

The original kitchen was cramped with two narrow islands that did not accommodate my clients and their large family.

We moved the refrigerator from it’s original space to create a more fluid work triangle. The sink remained under the beautiful double window and we replaced the two small islands with one beast of an island with cabinets on the front and on the back. 

We opted to replace the tile flooring with a high quality luxury vinyl plank because this kitchen and living room area is adjacent to an outdoor pool. The LVP that we selected has a limestone core and is extremely durable in high traffic, and sometimes wet areas. It is the most wood-like LVP that I’ve found and I had lots of help from my friends at ProSource with finding just the right flooring.

For the cabinets, we chose to paint the surrounding cabinets white and stain the island a natural shade of wood. This combination could not have turned out any better. For the backsplash, we went with an understated, textured subway tile that’s classic and timeless with just a hint of shimmer. My client LOVES her workstation sink, as well as her GE monogram 48” double oven and range.

We used a mixture of hardware, being careful to keep scale and functionality in mind. For the countertops, we went with a neutral builders’ grade granite. Granite is really an unsung hero in the kitchen world. It can handle heat, water, oil and a whole bunch of abuse. Plus, the builders’ grade price is a serious value. 

My clients also opted to add a few special features to the cabinetry, as shown in the videos below. 

This remodel, from start to finish, took several months and lots and lots of phone calls, meetings and texts with my clients. It was absolutely worth it in every way. I enjoyed being around my clients and their sweet family. Seeing them enjoying their newly designed kitchen is just icing on the cake!

Our Kitchen Renovation, Part Three and We’re Done!

Our Kitchen Renovation, Part Three and We’re Done!

We finished our kitchen renovation a few weeks ago and I’m finally ready to share an update and pictures. If you’d like to see the process, here’s a link to part one of our kitchen renovation and part two of our kitchen renovation. To finish up this stage of our renovation, we needed to:

  • Build and install open shelves to replace the bank of upper cabinets that were removed
  • Build and install shelves to replace an unused desk area directly behind the sink
  • Paint the ceiling…this little job was made necessary by an overzealous bottle of kombucha that exploded all over my kitchen. 
  • Paint the wall behind the open shelves

I’m happy to report that we got every bit of this done and we are loving the result! Here’s the before:

And some after shots:

Overall, we’ve been so pleased with how our renovation turned out. I’m enjoying our quartz counters from Traders Market. They were very reasonably priced and are holding up well. The open shelves make me smile on the daily because I love seeing all my china on display. I also love the lower open shelving. That little space is a power house of storage. One basket holds bread, one basket holds crackers and chips, one basket holds onions and potatoes and one basket holds lunch box snacks. I love the convenience of having each one of those things close by when I’m cooking.

It’s worth noting that my man is a beast who gets it done. He spent hours upon hours working in the kitchen to make my plans come to fruition and I’m so thankful. He even wore a mask before the coronavirus hit! Isn’t he the trend-setter??? It’s been so nice to hear feedback from you all about our kitchen renovation. I can’t thank you enough for following along on our journey.

Tween Room Makeover

Tween Room Makeover

My husband and I recently set aside a day to give our girls’ room a makeover. Our twins have shared a room their whole lives and I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to keep their room organized. Before I jump into how I spruced up their room, I’ll share a few tips on how to tackle your kid’s room.

First things first: toy cycling….if I want my girls’ room to stay neat, I can’t let them keep all their toys out all the time. What this means for our girls is that they have a few big bins of toys that take turns being stored in the top of their closet, or some lesser used toys are stored in the garage or attic. Each bin holds a different category of toys. For example, they have a bin full of dolls and doll accessories, another bin for stuffed animals and another bin for crafts. At some point, the girls will ask to switch out their toys or I’ll notice that they’ve not played with the toys that are in their room. We’ll get the bins down and swap out their toys. This has saved me so much time over the years and it definitely helps my girls keep their room neater.

Another way I’ve kept their room from getting overwhelming is by periodically going through their rooms and getting rid of things that they aren’t using. Sometimes I involve them in this process, and sometimes I don’t. Of course, I don’t get rid of anything that is particularly special to them if I can help it. If you are familiar with the Marie Kondo method, this is what I used when we organized the girls room recently. We brought everything in their room other than clothing and furniture and organized it in our dining room (see below). This process took hours and I really felt like I deserved some type of medal by the time it was done. My hubs and I started out with the girls helping us, but we eventually sent them to go play in another room so that we could really organize all this random stuff.

The girls also have a shelves in their closet where the bulk of their toys are stored. These bins came from Target over 10 years ago and, while they’ve seen better days, they’re still going strong. Quick tip on how I keep my sanity where a kid’s room is concerned: I don’t spend a ton of money on my kid’s rooms. If I want to really invest in a space in my home, it’s usually a main living area or the master bedroom. My kids play in their rooms a lot, so I find it’s best to keep the spaces fairly utilitarian. In the bins below my girls have stored makeup, crafts, hair bows, shopkins and who even knows what else? Note the bookshelf in the right of this picture. I intentionally left a good part of the shelf empty. I know this space will eventually be filled with something, be it library books or art projects. Keeping space open in our kiddo’s rooms gives them space to breathe and gives us the freedom to not feel like the room is packed to the gills.

Lastly, I highly recommend being very choosy about kid’s clothes. A child’s room can be overrun by clothes in a hurry. My kiddos each have a smallish chest of drawers and I try to keep their clothing limited to what will fit in their chests and what will hang loosely in their closets.

As for decorating their room, I bought them new curtains and rearranged their furniture just a bit. Before we spruced up their room, I had a chest of drawers on each side of the room, but their long, narrow room felt crowded. I moved the two chests together and hung a photo ledge that my husband made years ago above the chests. I styled the ledge with artwork that was already in their room. Hanging the ledge above the chests unifies the two pieces to make them look like one unit. This also helps the room to feel more open and airy.

For their bedding, we’ve had good luck with these soft sheets from Amazon. I made their quilts for them a couple years ago and my sister knitted beautiful afghans at the foot of their beds. Again, I keep their bedding very simple. We have duvets and duvet covers that they use in the winter, but for now they are folded and in the closet.

We bought the majority of their bedroom furniture at a local furniture store that is now out of business. The girls’ desk was made by a cabinet-maker several years ago and we got their desk chairs at TJ Maxx.

Revamping my girls’ room has been such a fun process. I mostly used what I already had on hand, with the exception of buying new curtains. They are enjoying having a freshened-up space and they’ve each thanked my husband and I multiple times for helping them get better organized.

Below is the design board that I created for this space. I had such a good time pulling all of these elements together in a simple, kid-friendly, inexpensive way. If you need me to help design your kiddo’s room, shoot me a message and we’ll work together to create a space that you and your kiddo will love.