When we were looking at houses I had a very intense “must have” list. Like, Must Have: Duel vanity, granite counters, updated kitchen, three car garage, big grassy backyard, and I do NOT want to be in Mesa. Guess how many of those things I got? Not. One. We bought a small (I’m talking about 1200sq ft.) home in the heart of Mesa that was straight out of 1989, the year it was built and a year before I was born. We have a vanity in our bedroom with one sink, nasty oak cabinets everywhere, and a backyard that could double as a junk yard. I talked about that more here. We knew we had a lot of projects in the future and we’ve been tackling them one by one. In January we started the kitchen face lift. Our goal was to have it done by Nixon’s second birthday (Feb. 15). I laugh at myself now, that was just ridiculous! Jim and I aren’t exactly the ideal candidates for DIY, but I read enough on pinterest that made me completely confident that I could tackle our countertops with no problems.
Boy was I wrong. I had no idea what I was doing. but eventually I figured it out! Jim was so kind to build up two waterfall edges for me. I always hated that weird gap between the upper counter and the “backsplash” of the normal counter. I then started a concrete overlay. Once I got the hang of it it wasn’t too bad, but I got sick of doing it after awhile and Jim had to take over the final steps. It took about two weeks I believe, and then we had to seal it. I kick myself everyday about that process. Long story short, we didn’t put a wax seal on top of the seal we did use and so we’ve had a lot of things soak in a leave a stain (I’m looking at you bacon grease). So I need to sand it and do a few more layers, seal it, and then seal it again with wax this time!! I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting it off for MONTHS because it’s so time consuming! We bought a new sink and faucet too. Our old sink was only 5” deep. 5” people. Do you even realize how hard that is to work with? and our faucet wasn’t much better but I realize it could have been MUCH worse. We bought a nice 9” deep sink with a pretty faucet and my life changed and the amount of dishes left in the sink somehow tripled. It looks so so much better and I LOVE it.
Next up was the cabinets. I read on pinterest that a really easy way to update your kitchen with minimal effort is to replace the doors! DONE! Alas, pinterest failed me again. It was hard to find somewhere that made just cabinet doors, and forget about figuring out what kind you need! Eventually we found a place in Payson that does just that! Unfortunately because of the way our boxes were made we couldn’t use the hidden hinges that make your kitchen look that much better! I came to terms with that and we ordered the doors (in January) and they came and were perfect and beautiful! This was the kick start to busy season so I knew they wouldn’t get done for awhile. Fast forward to August and we were ready to start the process of the doors. I planned on using the existing hinges we had and just spraying them to match the pulls I found! Wrong again, these crazy hinges attach IN the door as well as ON the door. I eventually found hinges that would work with our door/box situation and wouldn’t you know they only came in ONE finish, not the finish I had in mind for the handles. My sister-in-law had the genius idea to pain the hinges with the cabinets, just like some pictures she had seen on pinterest. They looked great and it seemed easy enough!
As august kept progressing and we were getting deeper and deeper into fall busy season we began to realize that we weren’t going to be getting this project any time soon! I decided that we were not going to be able to paint them and have them turn out the way we wanted. I called a painter recommended to me by a friend and that was that! We were having the cabinets painted and it was going to take 3 days and not 3 months like if we were going to do it. We had to hang the doors ourselves and I don’t know if Jim will ever forgive me for that. It’s not that he CAN’T do it, it’s that he doesn’t LIKE to do it, and claims it doesn’t turn out right. Well he spent a Saturday tackling the project before an ASU game and I think it turned out great! All that was left was deciding on a color, and that is by far the hardest part!
Last summer as I was walking out of J. Crew at station park in Farmington I looked at the door and it hit me like a ton of bricks! THAT was the color I wanted my kitchen, with brass hardware. The door was a dark dark gray, almost black depending on the light. I went home and found a few pictures (the one above was like the one that did me in. Concrete counters and dark cabinets) and pinned them right away and I had my heart set on white counters and dark cabinets. It actually really surprised me. I’ve LOVED white kitchens for years, no shocker. My favorite thing to do is look at homes on zillow and pick apart what I hate and how I would change it before I moved in. My first thought is still “it doesn’t have a white kitchen”. But for some reason, this kitchen in this house needed to be dark gray with white counters and I absolutely love it! I picked the color “cavernous” by Dunn Edwards (the middle color) and I would pick it again and again! For now we have nickel hinges because the painter said it would chip and he wouldn’t paint them. We will remain hardwareless for awhile because of that. I want so badly to have brass hardware, I love the look of mixed metals, but I don’t think you should mix your hinges and your handles, that’s just too weird. I’m also having a hard time letting go of my brass hardware vision. I do think that nickel would look really good too though. So instead of making holes in my amazing new doors for something I’m just not sure about, they will remain empty!
I really really really love how everything turned out! Our house isn’t very big, and because of the location and surrounding homes putting the money into a full kitchen reno wouldn’t be smart! We just wouldn’t see our money again, and we wont be here long enough to enjoy it! It’s not our forever home, but having an updated modern looking kitchen makes it easier for me to stay for a little while longer! Also, if anyone is looking for a good painter let me know! I will definitely use him again in the future!!