Why laminate?

We recently had new countertops installed at our house!

white greek key countertop.jpg

Yes - that is the new countertop, and yes it is laminate!  Why would we install a laminate countertop?  I'll tell you!

Here is a picture of the kitchen from before we moved into the house.

kitchen.jpg

Our master plan for the house includes a complete renovation of the kitchen at some point in the next 5-7 years.  With that in mind, when we moved in two years ago, we decided to have fun with space and paint both the cabinets and the countertops.  For the cabients, we chose Sherwin Williams, Lupine 6810 - a French blue with a hint of periwinkle.  And we painted the countertops white.  Here is a close-up of the cabinet color:

french blue kitchen cabinets.jpg

Why did we paint the countertops? The original countertops were beige with a subtle leaf pattern to it.  The only close-up picture I can find of them is from when we were tearing them out.  

original countertop.jpg

The laminate itself was in decent shape, but the pattern?  Well, let's just say it wasn't our style!  We had other expenses during our move-in (you know, like adding a water heater, replacing plumbing, and gutting two bathrooms!), so at the time, we needed a quick and inexpensive fix.  After exploring a few other options, we decided to go ahead and paint them.

The paint was fine for a while, but over the past two years of wear and tear, it had started to stain and chip, and they were looking pretty shabby.  I actually don't have a picture of this phase, but trust me, they were bad!

With our long-term renovation plan in mind, we did not want to invest in any type of stone countertop, so we decided to stick with laminate.  

french blue kitchen.jpg

We wanted to keep the blue cabinets, so I needed to find something that would work with both the cabinet color and the beige tile floor.  The tile, while mostly neutral, actually does have the slightest hint of pink to it.

white countertop beige tile floor.jpg

We knew we didn't want:

  • a stone-look laminate
  • to add in another color to the mix

When looking at samples, there were a few things that didn't work:

  • anything too grey
  • anything too beige (trying to match the floor was impossible)

Taking all of that into consideration, we decided to stick with a true white background.  Eliminating anything that looked like stone or marble, we were only left with a few options.  We certainly could have gone with a solid white, but...anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a more unique option, that's what I'll go for!  

Andrew is the cook in our family, and at this point in the process I think he was just ready to not have to look at a stained and chipped countertop.  So, he agreed to the Greek key, and we were ready to go!  (The pattern is Formica 9498-58, but it's actually discontinued now!  I think we put our order in right before it was discontinued.)

french blue kitchen2.jpg

The Greek key pattern is very subtle, but adds a touch of fun and funkiness to the space.  They are durable and easy to keep clean, and there is no maintenance or resealing for laminate countertops. 

french blue kitchen3.jpg

With this upgrade, I have started to think about other additions and finishing touches we could do to the kitchen until we're ready for the full renovation - some sort of backsplash? a window treatment?  We'll see!

When we moved, we brought the lantern from our old kitchen with us, so whatever I do, I'll have the Greek key of the countertops and the quaterfoil in the lantern to be the guide for the next step!

grey moroccan lantern.jpg

There are so many options for countertops right now (quartz, granite, laminate butcher block, concrete, and more!).  They all have pros and cons ranging from price to durability to ease of maintenance.  If you are considering replacing your countertop (kitchen, bathroom, or somewhere else) and have questions, feel free to reach out and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

french blue kitchen5.jpg
CGI monogram.png

Baby Boy Green #2's Woodland Nursery

Almost a year ago, Andrew I welcomed Baby Boy Green #2 to the world!

(Photos by Beth Furgurson Photography)

It’s hard to believe it has almost been a year, and I am just now getting to posting his nursery pictures…well, his former nursery!  When you own your own business, have two young boys, and tackle renovating a new house and moving, some things (like the blog) get put on hold.  We moved to a new house back in April, so it makes me a little nostalgic to look back at this pictures.  His new room is similar, but a work in progress, with a few boxes still to be unpacked.

In our old house, we had three bedrooms – two very similar in size, and one tiny room that we used for Boy #1’s nursery.  When we found out I was pregnant, we decided to move Boy #1 to the bigger room, and put the baby in the nursery.  You may remember what the nursery used to look like:

It took a little finagling, but I somehow convinced Andrew that we needed to redo this room.  I think there were phrases like “This is going to be our last nursery that I design”, “It won’t be that much more painting for you”, “Boy #1 needs his nautical theme to go with him to his new room.”  So, that’s what we did – moved Boy #1’s décor to the bigger room with him, and I started to gather new ideas for the nursery.  When I started searching for inspiration last January – mint green was nowhere to be seen.  Now you can’t walk into a store without seeing it on every isle!  I guess I was just ahead of the trend ;).

My jumping off point for the room was these adorable photographs of baby animals from The Animal Print Shop.  I pinned them years ago in hopes of using them for a project someday, and decided that there was no better place for them then our own home!

Once the woodland theme was decided on, I needed a color palette to coordinate with it.  We settled on this tree fabric for the window treatments, and pulled the mint green (Olympic Rolling Hills B62-2) for the top half of the walls from there, and kept it soft with light gray accents.

The dresser was a perfect fit for the space between the wall and the radiator, so we kept it in the room and gave it a fresh coat of paint (Sherwin Williams Passive SW 7064), and Boy #1 got a “new dresser for his new room”!

The reclaimed wood owl is from The Cheeky Nest on Etsy. They were so wonderful to work with and created exactly what I had envisioned!  I made the pennant banner from scraps of fabric after Boy #2 was born.  (He was 3 weeks early, so I had expected to have a little more time to finish his room!)  The two pictures on the wall are his birth announcement, and a name sign with all of his birth information.  The changing pad cover is from Land of Nod.

We kept the door to the closet off of the hinges, and we were able to reuse the gray baskets from Boy #1’s nursery to hold baby blankets, sheets, and toys.

Boy #1’s crib converts to a toddler bed, so we decided to let him keep that one, and found this one off of CraigsList (I think it is this one).  It was in great shape, I loved the straight lines of it, and the storage drawer was an added bonus.  We hung 6 of The Animal Print Shop’s photos over the crib (wolf, raccoon, deer, bear, fox, and porcupine a.k.a “porky-pine” as Boy #1 calls it ;)! ), and added the owl near the door.

Two other things we kept from Boy #1’s version of the room were the wall shelves on either side of the crib and the light fixture.

Oh, Etsy…what did I do before you?!  I wanted a similar mobile to the one we made for Boy #1.  I found Sweet Bauer Knits’ shop and loved her little knitted animals.  It was once again, a delightful experience, and she worked with me to create the animals and colors exactly like I wanted (taupe bear, gray fox, lime green owl, brown hedgehog, soft green bird (behind the fox), and a few acorns).  I added the same felt balls I used with Boy #1’s mobile and put it together on an embroidery hoop wrapped in gray ribbon.

I also found his quilt on Etsy, from Kathryn Audrey Quilts.  I liked the modern feeling the stripes on the front have, and I’ve used the back for all of his monthly pictures.  (The top picture reflects the true colors – I’m still working on my photography skills ;)!)  (Hipster woodland animal month stickers from Camera Ready Shop.)

The view I had every time I walked in the door.

And then this sweet face was there to greet me ;).  He was about 4 months old in these pictures.

It was fun to re-do this room and give it a new look.  It was a tiny little room, but I have such sweet memories of our time in there.  I certainly spent many hours in there with both boys.  I really loved the navy and green version (and it is quite popular on Pinterest with over 26,000 repins!!), but this soft and sweet mint green and gray was also special to me.

I’ve been asked, “What is your approach to design?”  It is an always evolving answer that combines trends, my own personal experiences, and the client's needs and wants, but one thing that stays constant is this: I see the world in color.  Everywhere I go, I notice colors, and patterns, and shapes.  The colors I see are used to influence projects and create new room designs.  With my friends and family, in my head, I assign them a color that is ‘their color’.  It represents who they are, their personality, and what makes them unique.  These two versions of the same room have come to reflect each of our boys’ personalities.  Boy #1 will forever be ‘navy blue’ in my head – rich and bold, strong, and full of depth.  Boy #2 will carry the light green and gray – he is more sensitive and observant, soft and cuddly, yet ready to explore the world as his woodland theme suggests.

Which version is your favorite?

Kitchen Renovation ~ Final Reveal

Our kitchen is finally complete!

(A huge thank you to Beth Furgurson Photography for all of the photos in this post!)

white kitchen

Here is a recap of the four phases of the project:

white kitchen 4 phases

part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4

For details and sources of our kitchen renovation project, please visit the posts above. Otherwise, simply enjoy the photos of our brighter, bigger, airier kitchen!  It was a long process, but we are so happy with the final results and have been enjoying the space with family and friends.

blue stenciled dining room
Charlie was a good helper during the photo shoot! :)

white kitchen and blue stenciled dining room

white kitchen from dining room

white kitchen peninsula with stools

A close-up of the cork board/chalk board/mail center that Andrew made.

diy mail center

white kitchen

Our backsplash and granite:

marble backsplash & luna pearl granite

We found the lantern over the sink at an antique store and spray painted it gray to match the rest of the kitchen.

kitchen sink

Even though it is skinny, the pantry next to the refrigerator gives us a lot of extra storage. I am so glad we were able to fit that into the design plan!

white kitchen refrigerator

I searched for a while for the perfect window treatment fabric.  Once I found this one, I knew it was the one!

door window valance

The view from the backdoor:

white kitchen into dining room

And one more time, just for fun...Before:

kitchen before

After!

white kitchen

º Have you ever completed a kitchen renovation?  How long did it take you?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

 

Boy Green's 1st Birthday Party

Now that he’s officially a year old, I guess I can’t refer to him as “Baby Boy Green” anymore. (All photos in this post by Beth Furgurson Photography)

boy green

While this is not my typical design post, throwing any party certainly has its own design elements involved, so I wanted to share a few pictures from Boy Green’s 1st birthday party.  Between Pinterest and Etsy, there are so many options for creating adorable children’s parties.  Since he is only 1, I tried to restrain myself and not go too over the top, but I found a few cute things that I couldn’t resist.  We chose to do a woodland theme for the party and it all started with this adorable invitation from Tiny Fox Print Shop on Etsy.

woodland invitation

I loved the hipster woodland animals!

I created this Welcome sign for our front door.  The cross-section of wood is from Michael’s, I painted the letters, and the adorable owls are from the same shop (The Happy Star on Etsy) where we purchased the animals for his mobile.  (Kristen was once again great to work with and was happy to accommodate my custom order!)

woodland welcome sign

The chest by our front door held a framed copy of the invitation, the picture below, an owl stuffed animal that was a baby shower gift, owl birthday glasses, and the goodie bags.

woodland welcome table

I wanted to recreate one of his newborn pictures that Beth did for us.  Our hydrangeas didn’t bloom nearly as beautifully as they did last year, but we were still able to get some fun pictures.

newborn to 1 year

The goodie bags were a last minute detail.  I used brown paper lunch bags, decorated them with woodland stickers and stamps, and closed them with fox and owl mini clothespins from Michael’s.  Inside the goodie bags was a laminated picture of Boy Green on the trunk along with two woodland magnets from Cherry Cute on Etsy.

woodland gift bags

woodland magnets

From the mantel, using the same fox and owl mini clothespins, I hung each of his month pictures.  Everyone enjoyed looking at those and seeing the progression from month to month.  I also included a few other pictures and his name sign that is on the door to his room.  Do you see the sign that my sister and brother-in-law’s little boy made for Boy Green?  He is 5, and is such a great big “cousin-brother,” as he calls them!

birthday mantel

month pictures

We had the party in the afternoon, so we didn’t need a big spread of food, but we did want to have a few snacks for our guests.  Not all of the food followed the theme, but I picked a few things I thought were cute.  We had two trail mix options (I loved those mini easels – from Michael’s!).

woodland birthday snacks

Chocolate peanut butter acorns…these were super easy to make and really yummy! (mini Nutter Butters, Hershey’s Kisses, mini chocolate chips, and melted chocolate chips to ‘glue’ each piece together)

chocolate peanut butter acorns

We also made these owl crackers (big round crackers, cream cheese, slivered almonds, Ritz Bits, and craisins).

owl crackers

And last but certainly not least…the cake, from Shyndigz!  The cake toppers are from Mia Sophias on Etsy, and the gnome and mushrooms are again from Kristen at The Happy Star.

woodland birthday cake

The big cake was for the guests, and we baked a small smash cake just for Boy Green.

1st birthday smash cake

I‘d say he loved it :)!

eating cake

We had a great day celebrating with friends and family.  It is hard to believe that he is 1 already!

Green family

(Boy Green’s adorable owl shirt is from Isaac Original Designs on Etsy.)

Why don’t we reveal Boy Green’s name?  I read many blogs where the bloggers use their children’s names on the blog.  While I personally know many of you who read my blog, the internet is vast and there are many new people who visit my site.  Most of my visitors are friendly and are truly interested in a design or project I have done; however, others are not.  For the sake of his privacy and protection, Andrew and I have decided to keep his name off of the blog for now.

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Kitchen Renovation ~ part 4

My last update on the kitchen featured this ‘progress’ picture… new cabinets

…and the post ended with this question: “Any bets on if we’ll get the kitchen complete before the baby arrives?”  That post was on June 14, and Baby Boy Green (a.k.a. BBG) was born (10 days early) on June 24; so, if you put your money on ‘no’ to the previous question, you guessed right!

We’ve slowly worked over the past few months make progress on the kitchen.  I still want to add a few accessories, and we also have a few touch-ups to finish, so we’re not calling it 100% complete yet, but I’d say we’re at about 95% done.

One more reminder of the ‘before’:

dining room wall to be removed

And now, when you walk in the front door, instead of a wall of stencil, you can see straight into the kitchen!

white kitchen

It has been so nice to have a more open space.  We were able to steal a few inches from the dining room and gain a little bit of extra cabinet storage as well.

white kitchen

One of my favorite things is the tall skinny pantry to the left of the refrigerator.  It doesn’t seem like a lot of space, but it’s given us a good place for food storage.

kitchen refrigerator

The floor tile is a 12” x 24” gray porcelain tile from Mosaic Tile, (Folio Artistica Meteor, color: Silver).  They gray does a much better job than our previous white linoleum of hiding all of the dirt that the dogs bring in through the back door!

kitchen sink wall

Here is a close-up of the countertop and backsplash.  We chose Luna Pearl granite countertops from Colonial Granite, and 3” x 6” Arabescato Marble also from Mosaic Tile.  The Luna Pearl granite has a white background with gray and black specks all over.  Whereas some granite selections have veining through the slab, this color has a more consistent look.  Andrew installed and grouted the backsplash himself (when BBG was about 2 weeks old).  Looks pretty good for his first time!

kitchen backsplash

And here is a detail shot of the cabinet hardware.  We purchased the handles from Pleasants Hardware, and we found the knobs online at PullsDirect.com.

kitchen hardware

There are a few finishing touches that we still want to add to the kitchen.

kitchen to do

  1. We bought the counter stools at Garden Ridge.  They originally had a wood tone seat, but we wanted to add color, so we tried painting them white and adding a blue border.  We decided half-way through the painting process that we didn’t like the way it was turning out. (If you look closely, you can see that the blue border on the stool on the right only has one coat of paint.)  So, we are going to change the seat color to something different – we’re thinking a green to tie into our family room.
  2. Before the ceiling was closed up and drywalled, they wired for a light fixture over the sink.  We have a pendant light that I’ve been waiting to use somewhere in the house and this is the perfect spot for it.  We actually made progress on this project this weekend by spray painting the light fixture gray.  Hopefully, we will install it soon!
  3. We had our cabinet guys add a piece of wood to the right side of the refrigerator to give it a built-in look.  We have found that mail is collecting on the peninsula, so in an effort to be more organized, we want to build a mail center & cork board to hang on that part of the cabinetry.  We have most of the pieces for this project, so now we just need to find the time to build it!

Although making progress on the kitchen has been a slow process over the past few months, we are truly enjoying our kitchen and are so happy that we decided to go through with the renovation!

Here is a glance at the four phases of the project:

kitchen phases

(part 1  /  part 2  / part 3)

Removing the wall and painting the cabinets white have completely transformed the space.  I can hardly remember what it looked like before!

º What projects did you work on over the summer?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Baby Boy Green’s Nursery

For the past two months I have been spending time with this sweet boy!  (My sister is an amazing photographer and we have been spoiled with so many adorable photos of him :)!) baby green

Beth Furgurson Photography

I can hardly believe it’s been two months.  It seems like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.

Let’s take a tour of his room!

nursery entrance

 (That’s me, just two days before he was born!)

His nursery is at the end of a hallway.  I love the view into his room – the combination of the light fixture, window treatments, rug, and wall color makes me smile every time I look down the hall.

The room is small (about 7’ x 10’), so we had to fit a lot of function into a small space.  (Click here to see my first post on our nursery ideas.)

I knew I wanted to use navy blue as the main color in the space.  With that as the starting point, I searched for fabrics for inspiration.  Andrew and I both really liked this argyle fabric, and I fell in love with the modern blocks pattern.  I decided to use the argyle on the crib skirt and the blocks on the window treatments.

nursery fabrics

argyle fabric / modern blocks fabric

Once the fabrics were chosen, we were able to start pulling the room together.  For the walls, we chose Benjamin Moore Admiral Blue 2065-10 to use above the chair rail.  It’s a really rich navy blue color that is not too dark and not too purple.  Below the chair rail, we used the white out of the can.  Some people think that the white out of the can is too harsh, but I like the crispness of it.  We used an eggshell finish on the walls and a semi-gloss for the trim.

nursery crib

My sister and her husband had saved the crib they used for their little boy and they were nice enough to share it with us.  The crib sheet is from Land of Nod, and I used Young House Love’s tutorial to make a no-sew crib skirt.  The quilt was a special gift from my parents and my sister and brother-in-law.  A local quilt maker custom made it just for us! I love how she used modern fabrics in our color scheme to give a traditional quilt an updated look.

For the artwork above the crib, we framed three different fabrics that coordinate with the colors in the window treatments.

nursery art

animal fabric / stripes fabric / tree fabric

A very special thank you to my friend and super-talented seamstress, Christine of Iron Gate Interiors for making the Roman shades for us!

nursery window treatments

There is not a lot of space for storage in the room, so we hung 6 wall shelves to hold books, stuffed animals, and toys.

nursery shelves

wall shelves

I searched and searched for a mobile for the room, but I just couldn’t find one that I loved.  I found two shops on Etsy that had exactly want I wanted, so I ordered the pieces from them to make a custom mobile.  Andrew and I had fun putting it together – I think it was the last finishing touch we did for the room (4 days before he was born!).

nursery mobile

I used an embroidery hoop for the ring, and wrapped it in navy ribbon.  The crocheted animals are from The Happy Star on Esty.  The owner, Kristen, was as nice as she could be and made a few of the animals as special requests for us.  We used a whale, a penguin, a polar bear, a walrus, a seal, a turtle, and an octopus.  Not all arctic animals, we know, but they are just ones that we liked!  The felt balls are from FELTSUPPLIER, and the owner Michal, was equally as nice.  They are actually located in Poland, and I was a little nervous about the delivery time, but Michal assured me that they would arrive in about a week, and they did!  (What did we do before Etsy?!)

nursery mobile

I love how it turned out and know that we’ll enjoy making up names for and stories about these adorable animals!

nursery mobile

Another important piece to the room was the dresser and changing table.  Andrew and I love to browse antique stores, so we really wanted to find a piece that we could repurpose and paint.  We found this dresser at The MarQet Place and knew that it was the one – it was in good shape and made of solid wood, we liked the lines and the hardware, and it had a good price tag ($189).

dresser before

With the navy and white walls, I wanted to choose a color that would stand out, so we decided on green.  I looked for the perfect green that wasn’t too bright and wasn’t too muddy.  We chose Olympic’s Asparagus B68-5, and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

nursery dresser

To create the changing pad top, Andrew used 1”x3” pieces of wood, screwed them together, and painted it the same Asparagus green.

The four animal prints above the dresser are also from Etsy – NikoAndLily.  They’re pretty cute - a whale, a polar bear, a penguin, and a narwhal!

nursery & baby

The light fixture we chose is from Land of Nod.  It is fun and playful, and taking the advice of the reviewers online, we put it on a dimmer switch.  (This is a tip I would recommend to anyone for their nursery!)

nursery light fixture

Because of the position of our stairs, the closet in this room is cut in half.  We decided to take the door off of the closet and use it for storage, instead of for hanging clothes.  We didn’t think this little boy would have too many hanging clothes right now ;)!

nursery closet

The closet already had two shelves and we added one more to increase the storage.  I found the gray baskets at Garden Ridge.  They are the perfect size for the shelves and are great for holding toys, books, extra sheets, and bath supplies.

nursery closet

We are so happy with how the room turned out!  I’ve been spending a lot of time in there lately, and I just love looking at all of the pieces.  I think we picked a color palate and patterns that will grow with him, and I hope he loves it as much as we do!

nursery crib

Thanks so much to Beth Furgurson Photography for all of the wonderful pictures!  I know we'll cherish having these special nursery pictures.

º What is your favorite color combination for a nursery?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Baby Boy Green

I am excited to share that Andrew and I welcomed Baby Boy Green into the world on Monday, June 24.  He was 7 pounds 15 ounces, and 20.5 inches long.  We are all doing well and adjusting to life at home! Here is a picture of me in his nursery- taken just two days before he was born!

me sitting in the nurseryAnd here is a picture of Baby Boy Green!

baby & nurseryOne more I just had to share :)

smiling babyI will follow up soon with more photos and details of the nursery.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

 

Kitchen Renovation ~ Part 3

We’ve been slowly but surely making progress on our kitchen renovation. In the past few weeks, the kitchen has gone from looking like this (May 4, 2013):

kitchen progress may 4

To this (June 14, 2013):

new cabinets

Andrew worked hard to prime and paint our existing cabinets.  Here they are after the primer coat (we used Zinnser Cover Stain Oil-Based Primer):

primed cabinets

And after two coats of paint (we used Benjamin Moore, Advance Formula paint):

painted cabinets

When painting cabinets, it is important to use the right paint in order to achieve the best result.  An oil-based primer helps the new paint stick to the cabinets better than a latex-based primer would.  Benjamin Moore’s website best describes the benefits of their Advance paint: “ADVANCE offers the application and performance of traditional oil paint in a waterborne formula that cleans up with soap and water…It flows and levels like a traditional alkyd with the extended open-time required to achieve high-end finishes.”  (John and Sherry from Young House Love give a great tutorial and explanation on painting cabinets if you're thinking of tackling the project yourself.)

Painting your cabinets means that everything from inside the cabinets has to be removed.  After Andrew primed and painted, we allowed the recommended curing time for the paint of 3-5 days.  That meant our dining room looked like this for about a week!  Yikes!

stuff from cabinets

We've been working on some of the small things that needed to fixed and adjusted while we waited for the new cabinets.  And yesterday, our new cabinets were installed!

The before:

before new cabinets

before new cabinets

And the after:

new cabinetsnew cabinets

We are excited to finally have the new cabinets!  Thanks to the guys from Integrated Millwork for their great work.

Andrew will work this weekend to prime and paint the new cabinets, and also finish up painting the doors of the original cabinets.  Colonial Granite came today to template for our new granite, which should get installed in about a week and a half.  We chose Luna Pearl granite:

luna pearl granite

After the granite gets installed, retiling the backsplash will be the last major element!  Let’s hope it gets done before Baby Boy Green arrives…nothing like cutting it close ;)!

For more details on our kitchen renovation project, see part 1 and part 2.

º Any bets on if we’ll get the kitchen complete before the baby arrives?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Kitchen Renovation ~ Part 2

Earlier this week, I shared our ideas and progress on the kitchen renovation. kitchen and dining top view

Today, I want to take you through the steps we've done so far.

Here is a reminder of the ‘before’:

dining room wall to be removed

And where we are in the process, as of this morning:

kitchen renovation progress

(I was out of town for much of the demolition process, so I asked Andrew to take pictures me!)

Andrew and I had done as much as possible to prep for the arrival of the contractor.  We emptied the cabinets that were attached to the wall that was being removed, he took down the crown molding, he was also able to remove some of the cabinets himself.

Once the contractor arrived on Saturday morning, they put up plastic sheeting to protect the rest of the house from as much dust as possible.  They also set up a ventilation system to push air out one of the windows.  In order to protect our hardwood floors in the dining room, they laid down Ram Board.

protective plastic for renovation

With the plastic up and the floors protected, they were ready to start.  They removed the oven and the dishwasher:

dishwasher and stove removed

They cut the countertop, and removed that and the cabinets that were adjacent to the wall.

countertop removal

Next, they ripped out all of the old flooring.  Andrew said there were three layers of linoleum, then hardwood, and then the subfloor.

kitchen floor removal

With everything out of the way, they were ready to remove the wall.

wall removal

Andrew said this was his favorite part!  Isn’t using a sledge hammer and a reciprocating saw every man’s idea of a good time? ;)

wall removal

wall removed

We decided to pull down the ceiling and redo that as well while we were in the renovation process.  The ceiling had a popcorn finish to it, which we did not like and wanted to change.  Ripping it out and replacing it with drywall would also allow us to reposition the lighting in the ceiling more easily.  This step is also where Andrew and our contractor found the ‘surprise’!

cracked beam

Our upstairs bathroom is located above the kitchen.  At some point in the history of the house (it was built in 1941), the radiator in the bathroom had leaked, leaving cracked and damaged beams.  The ceiling had begun to sag and was two inches lower than it should have been. We were lucky to find this ‘surprise’, because at some point, the radiator probably would have come crashing through the ceiling!

cracked beam

two cracked beams

In any renovation project, it is always good to budget for and expect surprises.  We were thankful that this was fairly minor and not too difficult to repair.  So, how did they fix it?  First, they jacked up the ceiling to get it level.

jacking up the ceiling

Next, they sistered-up the beams with new 2”x8” beams and lag bolts.  Due to sistering-up the beams, they also had to reroute some of the plumbing.

new ceiling beams

Then, they added new studs under the old cracked beams, in order to even out the ceiling level.

ceiling beams

With the support beams in place and the ceiling level, they could install the drywall.

drywalled ceilingSince I was out of town through all of this part of the project, Andrew wanted me to know how things were going.  He sent me periodic updates, and one morning, I received this picture with the caption: “Don’t worry, I was still able to make coffee!”

construction coffee

With the ceiling fixed, they turned their attention to the floor.  We chose a gray tile (from Mosaic Tile, Folio Artistica Meteor, color: Silver).

laying tile floor

Over the past few days, they’ve worked to:

-grout the tile -finish the drywall behind the sink -spackle the new drywall and ceiling -fix some of the electrical and re-hook up the disposal and dishwasher (yay!)

What we still have left to do:

-finish the spackling and sanding of the drywall -paint the walls and ceiling -install the new cabinets -paint the cabinets -choose and install new cabinet hardware -have the new granite countertops installed -Miscellaneous & accessories -Clean up!

We are excited for the progress and are happy to have the hardest parts of the project behind us!

One last look at where we are now:

kitchen renovation progress

º Have you found any ‘surprises’ during a renovation?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram