Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kitchen Redo

You may have heard me say that I feel like I've been treading water since Christmas and, well, my kitchen is part of the reason why. 

Here we were, chugging merrily along. Sure my faux painted walls were getting old and ugly and we weren't fond of the black, granite-tile counter top. It showed every little speck of dirt and those grout lines were a pain. 

But we'd worry about that in a few years when we sold the house.
(See, there's always a pair of shoes laying around somewhere)

Then, the tiles started coming off. Not only was it very unsightly, working around it was a challenge. So we decided it was time to bit the bullet and move forward with new solid-surface counter tops. 

We studied the pros and cons of each, as well as price, and decided to go with the Silestone Quartz. 
And definitely not black.

The counter top would be installed and we'd be on our way.

Uh...not quite. 
When they installed the granite tiles, for some odd reason they used two layers of Hardy Backer. Which raised the level of the counter top. So when it was removed and the new installed, we were left with this.
Yep, about a one half to three quarter inch gap between the counter and the back splash.
Naturally, we had no spare tiles, and we would have needed a bunch anyway, so we searched different stores for similar tiles, hoping we could just fix it. After all, we liked our back splash.

After an exhaustive search (all during revisions and edits of my upcoming release), my husband looked at me and said, "Well, we may as well go ahead and get a new back splash, too."

Okay, maybe this is wrong, but inside I was doing a little happy dance when he said this.
So another search ensued for the perfect back splash. And mind you, we're selling our house in three years, so we had to look at things from a resale perspective. 

But, wait... This also meant I was going to have to paint the kitchen. Not just paint, but texturize, then prime, then paint. 

I love to paint. I really do. But since I had done the faux finish over existing wallpaper and I wanted a single color this time, I figured I'd add some texture. You know, smearing joint compound on your walls with some sort of spreading tool, hoping you get the right look.
Had I ever done this before?
No. But I'm a DIYer. How hard can it be? (You know where I'm coming from, don't you, Virginia?)

I know you can't really see anything but the white here but, personally, I think I did a horrible job on the texture. Maybe I'm my own worst critic, but it could have been better.

But, after four months, the kitchen is finally complete.
I don't usually have flowers on my island, but hubby gave them to me for Easter and they're so pretty.

Things are lighter and brighter.
It's kind of hard to see with all my stuff on the counters, but the mosaic is only solid over the stove.
The rest is a strip with subway-style tumbled marble above and below.

And best of all, this new counter top hides everything. I kid you not. Sometimes I can't tell something is there unless I run my hand over it or the light hits it just right.

In the end, it was worth it. Yeah, the timing could have been better, but at least it's done.
And hopefully, in a few years, someone else will love it as much as we do.


  1. Wow, what a difference the lighter countertop makes!!! Talk about immediate facelift! I love reno stories -- and brave DIY stories. :-)

    Your kitchen looks great. You'd die if you saw mine. It's so small you can't open the fridge and the oven door at the same time. Bonus though -- you don't have to move an inch while prepping food -- everything's in arms reach. The worst thing about my kitchen is that the landlord tiles the counter with floor tiles, grout and all. Yicky to clean. And the cupboard doors don't meet...good half inch gap between some of them. I could go on...but I won't.

    Blissful sigh -- I have a wee yorkie head in my lap. This dog is going to be so spoiled he won't want to go home when the time comes.

    1. Are you sure that's not part of your evil plot, Kav? Spoil the Yorkist so much he'll want to stay? Not that I could blame you. :)

      So are you saying you have a one butt kitchen? We might be able to get three butts in mine, but they'd keep bumping into each other. Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that's happened a time or two. :)

    2. Snort -- one butt kitchen -- now there's an elegant way to put it. And butt and one small dog kitchen. But it has a window over the sink. That's something, right?

      Yorkie gone. :-( But it's raining to beat the band and I don't have to walk him so...yay. But snow flurries tonight so...boooo.

    3. Snow flurries? That is so not right. Guess I shouldn't mention that it's 90 here, huh?

  2. Mind I love this. I'm on my new phone and it's crazy...but I love this counter top and the whole new look!

    1. Thanks, Ruthy. I'm just glad I get to enjoy it a bit before handing the reins to someone else. :)

  3. I hate my kitchen. It's small and shaped weird. Definitely a one butt kitchen though my mom would always crowd in so I'd leave so her butt would be the only one. Maybe I need a new house...this is all your fault!

    1. Susanna, there is nothing wrong with one-butt kitchens. I love one-butt kitchens. Just not when my whole family decides to join me. :)

  4. Beautiful kitchen,Mindy!

    It's a big job, but it's worth it when it's done, isn't it?

    1. Thanks, Jan. And yes. I am SO glad it's done.

  5. GORGEOUS!! I'll be right over to cook!!!

    1. Whoo-hoo! Tina's gonna come cook for me! I can't wait. :D

  6. I don't even have a window! above my sink is a 'fake' one - where the kitchen cabinets end like they would in a 'normal' kitchen. mine's on the side of the townhome so no view. :-( I still want a new house :-( the kitchen is the worst thing about my home and when I looked at the place it didnt' bother me because I didn't cook.

    1. Susanna, I've had kitchens like that. I just hung a picture of something I really liked looking at over the sink. ;)

  7. I thought your old kitchen was beautiful. But the new one looks great! It really does brighten the room! Nice job!

  8. I was thinking the same thing, Missy- the old kitchen was beautiful! But the lighter counters make such a difference!
    And this is a great post because I've been making noises about replacing counters for AGES. Our kitchen is such a disaster... No, really... There is not one thing we can change without changing it ALL. It's all put in together like a jigsaw...
    Anyway, two pieces of my cabinetry are hand-me-downs from someone else and I tiled over their nasty 70's vinyl... but I didn't know what I was doing (can you imagine?? lol) so it's not a great job at all. It looks 100 times worse than your black tile job. Anyway, I'd really love to take off the top and replace it, but I'm not sure how. Hmmmm

    Great post and it's a beautiful redo!