Another kitchen update – Floors, counters and exterior

The kitchen renovation continues! I think we probably have about a week and half left at this point. Here is the current state:

photo 1 (28)

We are thrilled with it so far, and truly these pictures don’t do it justice. I told my mom this kitchen reno is very much like the half marathons I’ve run in. I am doing great the whole time, exhibiting mental strength, feeling good, and then I get to mile 11-12 and I start shutting down. I lose the mental energy and suddenly the race becomes a thousand times harder. Those last two miles are killer! That is exactly how this is. I’ve been fine up until this point. Now that the finish line is near, I am losing my mental strength and just want a kitchen! I want easily accessible ice and milk! I want a SINK! Oh, how I have missed a decent sink. The small bathroom sink in the playroom doesn’t cut it. 🙂 I just want to be done and I want my house organized again. It’s incredibly difficult to come home after a long day of work, and the last crazy hours with children before bedtime (why are they the craziest before bedtime???) and never feel like you can relax in your own home! However, after my last half marathon, I told Brian I was pretty sure I could have kept going for another few miles. I am trying to remember the lessons running has taught me through this – the finish line will come and you won’t remember those last difficult miles!

Now for some details.


I will preface this by saying that Brian and I have never lived in a house/apartment with anything other than formica. I’ve never lived anywhere that had tile floor in the kitchen!!! Only linoleum, so I basically don’t know what to do with myself over all this stone and there has been a big learning curve for me.

In selecting the counters, we went with a two-tone look. Different slabs for the L-shape and for the island. For the L-shape, we chose absolute black granite from India. I liked this particular slab, because there were no purple tones, just a few white crystals that would coordinate nicely with the marble on the island. That was a pretty easy choice. We decided to go with a leathered finish, because I’m not a huge fan of shiny granite. I know, that’s weird, but I prefer a matte look. I am so happy with how they turned out!

photo 1 (29)

photo 2 (29)

When you touch the black counters, it feels liked a honed countertop. It is still smooth, but feels matte. I am obsessed with it. I keep walking in there just to touch it. Oh, and we went with beveled edges, which ended up being a great choice.

photo 5 (8)

We chose a 60/40 sink because it is the most functional. We used to have one big sink, and I imagined it would probably be similar to having a farm sink and I absolutely hated the functionality of it. I like having two separate spaces. I would have preferred the look of a true farm sink in our colonial house, but chose function over form! We’ve got three holes waiting on a instant hot water dispenser, soap dispenser and the one piece faucet.

For the island, we chose carrera marble. We looked at a few slabs of Brazilian marble, but ultimately liked the carrera the best. It is one big piece and I promise to post better pictures in the final kitchen post. It’s hard taking pictures because there is no lighting in here at all, except all the sunlight. The veining in it is beautiful! So much movement in the stone. We will apply a special sealer on it that also gives us a 15 year warranty.

photo 1 (31)

photo 2 (32)

The floors

We went with 12″ x 24″ slate tiles. We chose slate because of the texture and unevenness. Also, it feels like a natural, outdoor material which I like. The slate has caused us the most issues so far. We way over ordered because slate varies so much I wanted to hand choose each one. Well, my choosiness ended up in defeat when we ran out of slate and had to order more. We need 20 more pieces that meet my standards. I just didn’t want any that had purple or red tones. Some of them have minimal brown portions, but I was okay with it since we’ll tie in a little brown with wood barstools and accessories. I have no idea when the rest of the slate is coming in, but appliances are on their way, so we went ahead and grouted what we had installed! We went with a dark gray grout. These pics are WITHOUT the sealer applied. The sealer will enhance the colors.

photo 3 (24)

photo 3 (21)
We installed a window seat under the bay window with drawers for added storage. This is already such a sweet little spot. I can’t wait to decorate it! This is the view from the sink. Perfect for seeing the kids in the backyard, now that everything is so open.

photo 4 (11)

Patio and walkway

Landscaping is on the list – I promise! One day it will happen.

A few weeks into the project, we decided since we would be using the french doors a lot more now that they are off the kitchen (bringing in groceries, kids running in and out) so we decided to extend the tiny patio that existed and put in a more functional walkway. Last fall, we had a big gumball tree removed from this area so we have a lot more light and space now.

So, we installed a new lantern by the back doors that had more light. Then widened the patio enough to add a grill and a couple chairs, and put in a flagstone walkway with pebbles. It looks so much nicer to have all that awful monkey grass gone. We still want to do some work to this bed – add an herb garden, put in some nicer landscaping. The guys that ripped out the monkey grass got poison ivy (sorry!) but it is everywhere in our backyard! So, Brian and I are scared to do anything ourselves.

All we had was a monkey grass lined walkway with a few stones leading up. They ripped out the grass and put the metal dividers down. Also, note the top right of this picture. Our next door neighbors are having major work done to their house and even hosted us for dinner one night while we had no kitchen! Happy to see all the progress in our neighborhood with home updates, but our street looks a little crazy right now with all the work trucks coming and going!

photo 2 (30)

Then they installed the stones and laid the concrete. It will be so nice having a grill off of the kitchen! We’ve had to walk through two rooms from the kitchen to grill the last five years, so this is exciting for Brian.

photo 4 (14)

photo 5 (11)

Eventually, Brian wants to add a deck to the side off of this area. In a few years! I swear our house will never be done. No rush though, because we the screened porch that we enjoy so much. But the kitchen will be done SOON! 🙂



3 thoughts on “Another kitchen update – Floors, counters and exterior

  1. wow! what a transformation since your last update! It looks amazing, friend! Hang in there with the timeline…you are SOOOO close!!

  2. Looks amazing! You are going to love having the grill off of the kitchen. In our old house we had to walk through the living, laundry, and mud room to get out back. That was one of my deal breaker requirements for the new house. Deck must be off kitchen. It is so much better now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s