Monday, November 21, 2011

Counter Shopping

J and I have been debating kitchen specs for so long I can't even remember half of the ideas we've tossed around.  

Do we reface the cabinets?  Get all new ones?  Just paint the existing ones?  

Do we get all new appliances?  Just replace a couple or leave them be?  

And countertops!  Granite?  Laminate?  Recycle glass or paper? Onyx with that sweet under-lighting feature? Tile?  And if it's tile you have to deal with the grout and does anyone really want tile countertop with that much grout to clean?  Does the countertop even matter when selling the house?  

Then naturally, you have to make sure the kitchen fits the theme of the house.  And in our neighborhood, you have to make sure the kitchen not only fits the house but also the neighborhood.  

It's all so overwhelming.

If you've been paying attention, you already know that we opted to paint the cabinets ourselves.  You can read more about that here.  So now it's time to discuss the remaining elements of this wonderful space.

Since we plan on flipping restoring this ol' house, I don't get to put in my Viking range, solid granite countertops, brand new cabinets with frosted glass that light up and that sweet fridge that has the interlocking doors and the freezer in the bottom and also has a screen that tells you the weather and has a USB connection that lets you put pictures of your kids in a mini digital photo frame... you know, something similar to this?  Yeah, I get none of that until we complete a few more houses and we're in one to stay.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for expensive things.  Moving on.

We've decided that whatever countertop we choose will determine whether we need to update the appliances or leave them be and also what type of backplash we'll end up with.  So we've been looking at everything from DIY concrete to granite and everything in between.  For a while we thought we'd go green and do a recycled paper or glass but depending on vendor and material, those aren't as budget friendly as you might think. 

So after a weekend of relaxation, we took a Sunday afternoon trip to The Tile Shop to check out some options.  The one thing we are heavily considering is purchasing 2' x 2' granite tiles and doing the countertop ourselves.  This way we get the granite without having to have a professional install it, it's within our budget, and you avoid the look of a smaller tiled countertop with all those spacers and all that grout.  

Here is a sample of the laminate we currently have:

It's a tan/brown color with a darker, speckled backsplash and bar countertop.  Here's an up close shot of it:

The two together does not a pretty kitchen make.  

I've done some online looking and this is the theme I would like to achieve:

{image via Google images}

It has everything we're looking for/have:

  • Cream/white cabinets
  • Black appliances
  • Dark gray/black granite countertops.
  • Darker wood floors
Now unfortunately, we've only been able to find light gray or solid black granite--nothing in between so the search continues.  But all of that looking did lead to something right up my alley:

STAINLESS STEEL PENNY TILE!!! I could hardly contain my excitement when I found this.    And it was all happenstance because J told me that unless I could find penny tile in stainless steel, it wasn't going to happen.  And he was pretty sure none existed in that store.  So I meandered over too the stainless section and  THIS was just sitting on the shelf.  Like, "no big deal, Melissa.  I knew you'd find me."  I asked the sales rep how long they'd had it and he said all of 3 days.  It's fate I tell you, fate.

In summation, we're still working out the details of the countertop but it's quite possible the granite tiles are going to win.  How I wish money grew on trees because whereas most homeowners take their time with these projects, we're a little more on a timeline.  And when your wallet and your timeline don't coincide, you end up in a mini project lull like the one we're in.  But the good side to that is that this gives us time to make rational, thought out decisions, comparison shop, and time for J to play bad cop--his favorite role.  I have another name for it but now's not the time.

You can see the original kitchen here with the white refrigerator and black everything else. Updated shots are forthcoming, just gotta find that darn camera charger.  The iPhone can only do so much, people.  

Do any of you plan on renovating a kitchen space?  What hiccups have you run into, if any?

Happy Monday everyone!


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