Category Archives: kitchen

Saturday’s Shopping Trip

Jimmee and I went to Dallas on Saturday for one final trip to Ikea to return a couple of things and buy the last few items for the kitchen.  We bought an island (more like a table I guess), some wall shelves, and a couple of things for our bedroom, and I’m really happy to say that I think that will be our last trip!  :)  The weather was perfect on Saturday- in the 60s and sunny-  so we went into the city to look in a couple of other stores that I’d been looking at online.  We ended up getting a coffee table and two (really cute) yellow pillows for the bedroom at West Elm.  We are so happy with the purchases, especially because we’re hoping they will be the last of the big purchases for awhile!

Here are some photos of the new coffee table in the TV room.

We got it for 20% off because they were having a sale on coffee tables, but it was still a splurge for us.  It’s called the “Y” leg coffee table for reasons you can see below.

I also took some photos of the island table, but it’s not completely finished yet.  I’ll just give you a quick look, and then I’ll post the finished look later… the shelves are missing in this one and we have plans to change the top by painting or staining it a different color.

This side will have two shelves for cookbooks and other things that we want to display.

Later this week I’ll post photos of the new look for the master bedroom and hopefully we’ll get the shelves hung in the kitchen.  I don’t think there is anymore snow in the forecast, and although I won’t miss the snow, I will miss the snow days.  It was really nice being able to stay home all day and work on projects.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

ps  Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!!





Filed under kitchen, TV room

Grouting and Caulking

Last week I ended up having four days off from school (due to the snow) so it was like a very extended weekend, except that I was sick and couldn’t take full advantage of the days off.  I finally started to feel better on Saturday so we decided to finish the last of the tiling and then start the grouting.  As usual, these two tasks ended up taking most of the day and by the time we were done it was dark outside and we were starving.

Here is my tile cutting space… complete with two cups of tea and lots of scattered spacers.  I was really trying to rush to get all the tiles up so we could start the grouting process, and there were definitely a LOT of tiles that needed to go up on that wall.

Here are our grouting tools- pre-mixed white grout, sponge, and spreading tool.

It’s kind of hard to see the tiles in this photo because the white grout makes them fade away, but most of the right side of the wall has been grouted at this point.

I didn’t take many photos during the grouting or caulking process because there really wasn’t much to document, and once you get started it’s hard to stop and take breaks.

Here is a before photo just to use as a comparison since it’s more of a subtle change.

This is the end result, complete with outlet covers and caulk on the joints.  The photo doesn’t quite do it justice, but you can get the idea.  :)

Here are some more photos of the kitchen with the new backsplash!

Here’s the view from the living room.

And one last kitchen view.

Oh man, I was so happy when we finished that last little bit of grout!!  It took forever, but I think it was definitely worth every minute and now we can sit back and enjoy the result until it’s time to start the next project.




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Snow Day!

We have been hit by a big winter storm here in OKC so Jimmee and I are getting an unexpected break from work/school.  Although I’m feeling a little under the weather, we still managed to get some work done on the backsplash and other things in the kitchen.

I haven’t been going outside because it’s too cold for me and my sore throat, but our animals have enjoyed playing out in the snow (until they start shivering and want back inside).   This is what it looked like when I opened the back door yesterday morning.

Here are some photos from the front…

Also, I took a few photos of the backsplash from when we worked on it this weekend and then some from yesterday.  We had to stop working on it because we ran out of boxes of tile, but we’re going to try to get the whole thing squared away this weekend.

Yesterday we were able to start the other side of the backsplash and add more height to the side by the sink.  The range hood is also about half-way up, but we are going to have to take it down when we tile behind it.  It will be pretty easy to take the bottom part down again since there are just two screws holding the whole thing up.   Jimmee also cut the baseboards to size, but we haven’t actually attached them to the legs yet.  It’s really easy to attach them so it will just take a second today to do that part.

I’m really loving these snow days (but not this horrible sore throat!).   I’m thinking that we’ll go back to school tomorrow since I haven’t gotten an e-mail saying that it’s cancelled, but it’s been a really wonderful break.  Hope you all are staying warm and safe!


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Photos from the Weekend

I just have a few minutes before I need to head to clinic so I thought I would do a quick update of the things that we’ve been working on.  We worked on one side of the backsplash on Friday night and then we got the range hood up on Sunday night (well part of it up at least).  We also hung a light over the dining room table — the new black drum light.

Here are some photos:

I don’t have very many photos of the fan that used to be over our dining room table, and I forgot to take one right before we took it down.  I generally tried to crop it out of photos of the room, but this photo gives you an idea.  It was much worse in person.

Our new light:

We started working on the backsplash this weekend, but we didn’t get as far as we had hoped.  The plan was to go all the way to the ceiling with the tiles, but Jimmee’s not 100% sold on this idea.  We decided to stop at the cabinet height and then live with it for a week or so to see how we feel.

We had to use a lowes paint stick to get the adhesive into the small space left under the window.  I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that tiling is fun, but it’s surprisingly not so bad.

This is our handy $25 tile cutter which worked wonders for making clean cuts on edge or window tiles.   Jimmee used a tile cutting blade on the jigsaw in order to make the weird size cuts around outlets.

Hmmm.  I just realized I didn’t take a photo at the end of the night so I’ll have to post a more finished photo later.

I’m actually running a little late so I’m going to post the photos of the range hood tomorrow.  Plus, we might have the whole thing up and running by then so it will be a little more exciting.  As exciting as photos of a range hood can be, I guess.

On Tuesday they’re forecasting snow for OKC so I’m really pulling for a snow day (or maybe 2??).  I have 2 tests on Thursday so it would really be convenient to have a day or two off.   :)

This is my new favorite spot to sit and work on things, well and eat of course.  I really can’t wait to get the window seat set up and buy new chairs. This is my last minute studying/eating/blogging before I head to clinic.  Hope you guys have a great week!!!


Filed under dining room, kitchen

Countertop (finally!)

I started school on Monday, and I was really hoping to keep up with classes and the blog but as usual the posts came to a dead halt as soon as classes started.  It seems like I have a really hard time managing to do school and the blog in the same day so I’m hoping to still update on Fridays and the weekends.  We’ll see how it goes…

Well, that was a little bit off topic because my real reason for this post was to show you guys our new “Amazon gray” countertop!!  It took them about 4 1/2 hours to install it, but that included cutting the hole for the sink and faucet and making other small adjustments to the quartz slabs.

Here are some pics…


Here is the sink and the faucet, but I just stuck the faucet in the holes so you could get the idea.  We have to wait 24 hours to connect the plumbing, but I’m already counting down the hours until 2 pm tomorrow!

We chose quartz silestone because it’s really low maintenance and reasonably priced.  I really like the darker color with the white cabinets and the warmer feeling that it gives the kitchen.

We’re hoping to start the backsplash this weekend since I don’t have much homework/studying to do yet, but there are also several other things on my list (hanging lighting, hooking up faucet and dishwasher, putting the pulls on…) so we’ll see how far we get.

Have a wonderful weekend!!


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Cabinet Doors

We finally got all the doors on the cabinets, and although some of them still need to be adjusted,  I think it made a big difference.   It’s nice to be able to move some of the kitchen stuff out of the office and put it back into cabinets, where it belongs.

I also took down the last bit of wallpaper that was above the fridge (next to the big pantry) and painted the wall white.  It really cleaned that area up and gave it a nice clean look.

This photo is a little fuzzy, but you get the idea…

Here is the pantry area without the wallpaper and with a fresh coat of white paint.  We have a little piece of tape of the door to use as a pull until we get the hardware on.

We finally put some food in the pantry!!

And here’s the other side of the kitchen…

Now we’re going to try to focus on the other corner of the kitchen- the one with the table and benches-  while we wait for the countertop to come in.   I have to go back to school next week so I won’t have as much time to devote to the house, but I’m hoping we can get the big projects done on the weekends.

My friend from college is coming into town tonight so I’m going to take the weekend off and enjoy my last few days of freedom from studying and homework!  Hope you guys have a great weekend!!


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Kitchen Inspiration Board

This was my first attempt at doing an inspiration board, and (thanks to Savannah’s advice!) I think it went pretty well.  I had tried using this website called that lets you create 2 free moodboards, but I didn’t have any luck transferring said moodboard over to the bog so I opted to use powerpoint instead.  Basically I just moved the photos into a powerpoint slide, and then saved the slide as pictures and voila!

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of the final look that we’re shooting for.  The fabric swatches pictured are for the roman shades and the bench cushion.  I still haven’t ordered the fabric, but I’m pretty sure those are the two I’m going to go with.   I’m thinking the larger print will go on the windows and the striped fabric will be for the bench cushion.

We decided to go with white subway tile for the backsplash (shocking, right) because it’s beautiful and cheap.  What else can I say?  The price per tile is only 20 cents so that puts the price per square ft at about $1.68 which seems like a pretty good deal to me.   Due to the affordability, we decided to install the tile all the way up to the ceiling on the wall with open shelving– this is the wall to the right of the sink.  The other wall will have it under the cabinets (like a normal backsplash) and then all the way up to the ceiling behind the range hood.  We’ve never installed tile before, but I’m really hoping it’s not too hard.  Chelsea over at This Fresh Fossil posted a great tutorial about installing subway tile a couple of weeks ago so I’m going to head back over there to refresh my memory on the steps and materials.  Her backsplash looks fabulous by the way if you want to check it out.

As I’m typing, Jimmee is installing the last of the cabinet doors!!  I feel like we should have a champagne toast to celebrate the last door (and the fact that we only have one very small pile of IKEA things left in our living room!!!).  I’ve been living with those boxes for way too long!


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Kitchen Progress 3

In the last two posts, we covered the floors, dry wall, appliances, and some of the cabinet building, and now we’ve finally reached the present state of the kitchen.

Here is the view from the dining room:

We still have a bunch of work to do, but at least the heavy lifting part of the renovation is done.  Now we need to do things like painting, adding the finals doors and drawers, adding hardware and lighting, and installing the open shelving.  I could go on and on…

Here are some photos from the past couple days:

Jimmee hanging the bar that the cabinets hang on.  That actually the only thing that holds them up- pretty amazing!  Ikea has all of these things figured out, and they make (almost) everything so easy!

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you guys the other side of the kitchen.  This is the pantry area by the fridge, eventually we’ll get rid of that wallpaper (I just hate taking that stuff down).

This is our new pantry!!  I love how it pulls out, and you can see everything inside without having to dig around in dark corners.  All the drawers pull out, but the top and bottom ones pull out automatically because they’re attached to the door.

It’s probably hard to get the overall feel for how this is coming together from these photos, but in the next week or two it should start to look a lot more like a real functioning kitchen.  I ordered all the lighting today, and I also bought the range hood after going back and forth between several options.

We found one on Overstock that was the right size and height and it seemed to have the look that we’re going for….

Tomorrow we should have all the cabinet doors on so stay tuned for a couple more cabinet photos, and maybe some kind of kitchen inspiration board so I can show you all the aspects of the kitchen on one page.  I need to poke around on the internet and figure out how to do those types of things…

Hope your week is off to a good start!  :)




Filed under kitchen, Uncategorized

Kitchen Progress 2

Yesterday, I posted photos of the wall and floor tear-out and also the wood floor installation.  It was a lot of work, and now we’re onto the easier part (well mainly just because we hired someone!).   We had someone install the drywall for us because  Jimmee had a crazy busy week at work and I was studying for finals and didn’t want worry about one more thing!  I’m happy that we did because they got it done so quickly, and we were able to move forward with other tasks, like getting the cabinets built.   At the end of the day, the drywall set us back about $350, which isn’t bad considering the time that we saved and the stress that we avoided.

Side note:  I went to download the photos of the drywall, and they seem to have gone missing!  Sometimes my camera “loses” photos because the memory card doesn’t connect to the camera properly (or something like that)…  Anyways, I probably need to get a new camera, but for the meantime I’ll have to show you this one which already has the new stove and some of the cabinet boxes in it.

Since I don’t have the other photos, I’ll just go ahead and show you more shots of our recent progress with the cabinets and some of our choices for appliances, countertop, etc.

We had seen this range at Home Depot for $900 and decided it was too expensive, but then when I was searching around online I found it listed on Conn’s website for $600.  I immediately drove up to the store to see if they had any left, and she said the floor model was the only one available and she would sell it to me if I wanted it.  I said yes, and we had it delivered a week later.  We got the dishwasher from Sears (also on sale for $550 down from $800), and here’s a photo of it.

For the countertop, we decided to go with silestone because they have great color choices, and it’s low maintenance and inexpensive.  We took home as many samples as we could because it’s really hard to decide in the store without seeing the color in the space.  Lowe’s was out of a bunch of their colors so that was a bummer, but we ended up finding a nice neutral color at Home Depot called Grey Amazon that helped to balance out all the white in the kitchen.  My mom and sisters helped me to pick out the color… thanks guys!!  It’s kind of hard to see it in this photo, but I’ll have to wait until it comes later this month to show you it in our kitchen.

(Photo from here

For the sink, I decided to go with Kohler Simplice because it’s simple and sleek and has a pull down faucet head.

(Photo from

We are still trying to decide on the range hood and some of the other details.  We’re also waiting on the new fridge because we didn’t include it in our original budget, and I don’t think we’ll be able to purchase one until a later date.

Okay so now we’ve reached the cabinet making stage.  This took us longer than we thought it would due to the usual snags and unexpected glitches, but overall it’s gone pretty smoothly.  At this point, all of the cabinet boxes are up and in their positions.  The lower cabinets are done, and the upper cabinet boxes are attached to the wall.  We need to make a decision about the range hood before we can attach the doors and permanently screw them in place because things may have to shift one way or another depending of the hoods exact size.  Also, the two large pantry cabinets are assembled and attached to the wall, but they still need their doors put on and their drawers put in.

Here are a couple of photos that I didn’t lose, and I’ll post better ones tomorrow with all the cabinets in place.

Check back tomorrow for more photos…  Hope you guys are having a wonderful week!



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Kitchen Progress 1

I’m so excited to finally share some photos of our kitchen renovation, which we have been working non-stop on for the last couple of days!  We had a nice break from all the tearing out, cabinet building, and painting while we were in Houston, but as soon as we left my parent’s house we were back in renovation mode.  We stopped in Dallas on the way home and picked up the final load of boxes, which included the two floor to ceiling pantry cabinets that will sit on the far side of the fridge.

Okay, so I’m going back to the beginning for now, and I think it will take me 3 posts to get you all up to date.  When we left off last time we had just taken out the wall and were ripping out the last of the lower cabinets.  After we got all the cabinets out, we had to remove one layer of tile, one layer of laminate, and one extra layer of wood (that we might have been able to refinish had it not been rotting).  This was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but we got it all taken out just hours before they were coming to install the new wood floor.  We literally took out the last board at midnight, and then they showed up at 7am to start the installation.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that while we were taking out the old flooring, we went ahead a ripped out the plaster on two walls because it had some holes in it and other issues.   Here’s what it looked like with most of the plaster and wood strips gone.  You can see the tile on the left that used to be behind the stove.

You can see how dusty it was in the room…

Here we are getting out the last bits of the last layer of floor.  We felt like celebrating, but we were too tired.

And there is the pile of new flooring which we picked up from Lumber Liquidators.  They have great prices for unfinished hardwood flooring, and we ended up paying $2.50 a square foot for premium quality red oak.   We picked the wood up the two days before because they recommend that you let it acclimate to the temperature in the room before installing it.

The next night, we rented a sander from Home Depot and sanded the top to get rid of any unevenness.  The floor seemed pretty smooth to me, but apparently there are little spots where some wood sticks up just a bit higher and you won’t see them until you apply the glossy finish. Here it is after using a satin polyurethane finish and one small can of golden oak stain.

Next Jimmee put insulation in the open exterior wall because we could feel a draft of cold air coming in.  The insulation was surprisingly easy – it comes in a roll that’s already the right size and you just push it into the space between the studs.  We didn’t even need nails to hold it up, and it definitely helped to keep the heat in!

What do you guys think of the new floor?  It turned out to be a pretty good match to our existing (60 year old) red oak floor.  I’ll post some photos that show where the old floor meets the new floor in an upcoming post.

Next up is the dry wall installation and then cabinets and appliances!!


Filed under kitchen