Friday, January 19, 2018

Kitchen Remodel

This post is long overdue (I remodeled my kitchen last April/May), but better late than never, right?  This post will share before and after pictures, plus go over the process for those thinking of going through the same thing.

When I first moved into my home, I did a LOT of remodeling, so I decided to leave my kitchen for the time being and remodel it at a later time. I will NEVER do that again when moving into a new house, mainly because remodeling the kitchen creates so much dust, mess, chaos, and you basically don't have a kitchen to cook in for a few weeks. Not ideal.

My home was built in the 90s, so it had the typical white tile and grout counter-top, which I hated-- mainly because the grout starts chipping after a while, stains easily, and food bits get in there. In addition, the sink was white porcelain, which looks pretty, but is the worst because it stains so easily that you have to be careful. Anytime I would cook anything tomato based, it would stain and I would have to scrub it to make it decent again. So I knew that when I remodeled the kitchen, I wanted a stainless steel sink. My kitchen also did not have a back-splash.



The first step in the process was deciding who I would work with for the remodel.  I decided to go with Home Depot because they provide everything-- it's a one-stop shop.  They work with the warehouse, counter installer, and back-splash installer.  After putting down my deposit, a technician came out to measure and document everything.  I had to choose the sink style (under-mount vs. over-mount), curvature of the bar top, thickness, bull-nose detail, and dimensions (I ended up widening the narrow part of the bar-top area so I'd have more room there).

The next step was deciding on the counter-top material.  I was between marble, granite, and quartz.  Marble I learned is too sensitive in a kitchen and can crack/chip easily, so I moved on to granite vs. quartz.  Price-wise, both are very similar.  I ended up choosing granite because it looked more natural and I found a color I really liked.  Since my cabinets are a reddish brown color, I wanted granite that was beige and had reddish hues.

After choosing my granite color, I went to the slab warehouse to choose my two slabs.  I am SO glad I did this (it's not required, but recommended).  The initial slab that they had chosen for me was more rose than beige.  I ended up rejecting that one and choosing these two slabs instead:





The next step at the warehouse was choosing a back-splash style and color to match.  I decided on subway tile because it's neutral and simple (to contrast with my granite which had lots of detail in it).

Then I had to choose the color and trim pieces.  I went with the lighter beige color on the bottom (vs. the gray piece on the top).  The color is alabaster glossy.



For the trim, which "frames" the tops and sides of the back-splash, I chose the 1x6 bead tiles (2nd row from the top).



Then came the fun part...demolishing my existing counter-top.  I could either pay Home Depot to do this, or I could do it myself and save a good chunk of money.  I ended up doing the latter (with the help of my dad and brother).  It doesn't look too messy here because I was a freak who would clean up each day after the demo.  We discovered during the demo process that there were four layers of material to remove:  the top tile pieces, the cement underneath (which turned into rubble/a million pieces when removed), and metal wiring.  After removing all that, we got to the wood base underneath, which we were told we also had to remove.  Here is the kitchen before removing the wood base during the demo process:





A few days later, the installers came.  It took one day to install the granite and the sink/faucet, one day to install the back-splash and grout, one day to patch the walls and touch-up the paint, and one day to install the electric outlets.  I choose new outlets to match the back-splash (my old outlets were white and I needed beige ones instead).  I also chose some that were iPhone-charging compatible...best decision ever!



And finally, here are the before and after pictures.

Before:


After:


Stacking snack jars available here.  These are great for both kitchen and bath.

Before:


After:


The three jars sitting on the counter were a little gift to myself.  I bought them a few days before the remodel because I saw them in another kitchen post and LOVED them.  You can find them here:

Small
Medium
Large

Before:


After:


Finding a faucet took FOREVER.  I must have looked at hundreds of styles before settling on this one because I loved the form, and I found a matching sprayer and soap dispenser to go with it.  It was little on the pricey side, but well worth it.  Faucet and sprayer can be found here.  Soap dispenser can be found here.

Before:


After:


Details on the items shown above:

Nespresso machine (on sale!)
Nespresso capsule tower (the best part-- it spins!)
Tea kettle (sold out, similar style here)

Thanks for stopping by!


Jasmin

Thursday, January 18, 2018

2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year! I can still say that even though it's mid-January, right? ;) I'm a little late in my 2017 year in review post, but decided to do one anyway because years later, looking back, I will be glad I did such posts to remind me of all the adventures I had in 2017.

January
Lake Arrowhead trip with friends. There was snow...lots of snow.





February
Work trip to the East coast, where I was met with...more snow. In fact, it was so bad my flight was cancelled due to a snow storm and I had to fly in the next day.



March
This was a chill month. The highlight was meeting up with some old friends I hadn't seen in a while and catching up.





April and May
While March was chill, April was NOT. I renovated my kitchen which started in April and went into May. I will do a full blog post on the before and after, what I thought of the process, etc in another post soon. In the meantime, here's a couple of before and after pics.

Before:


After:


June
Work trip to the east coast again. But this time I got to do some sightseeing on the side as well.



I also went to Las Vegas where I got to see the Backstreet Boys concert (and re-live my high school era). It was fab. #noshame





July
July was Harry Potter month. I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood (walking through Hogwarts was the highlight) and then saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the big screen at the Hollywood Bowl with a live orchestra. It was amazing.









August
August was a busy month, AND my birthday month, so it's near and dear to my heart. I went to Las Vegas with friends (we saw the Michael Jackson 'One' Cirque du Soleil show) and to Palm Springs and stayed at the J.W. Marriott Desert Hills (separate post reviewing the property coming soon).

Venetian hotel in Las Vegas-- so pretty!


Dining at Del Fricos where they have a James Bond wine table that spins and plays music from the movies.


Michael Jackson's 'One' show


J.W. Marriott Desert Hills








Birthday celebrations
 





September
September included another Las Vegas trip (this time for the J.Lo concert-- she was fab) and a bridal shower that had the most amazing photo booth backdrop (the bride-to-be made it herself!).

J. Lo's infamous dress.




View of Bellagio fountains


Bridal shower




October
October is one of my favorite months because I love all things Fall and Pumpkin spice. This month included an L.A. Kings game in downtown L.A. and Halloween parties. I went as a cat (I wanted an easy, comfortable costume). Boring, I know, but I am not much of a costume person.

L.A. Kings game


Halloween parties




November
November was super busy with family visiting from out of town and a wedding. I also bought a new car, which was long overdue (my old car was 13 years old). I have named her Fifi because she is white and reminds me of a French poodle.







December
December was filled with lots of holiday parties (I attended one with a Gingerbread House decorating contest-- I won!), a trip to Universal Studios again to see Hogwarts lit up for Christmas, going home for the holidays, and spending NYE in Big Bear with friends (where there was plenty of cold but NO snow, which was odd. But we had the best time staying in the cabin and playing board games. We did venture out a few times to eat and the food was awesome (who knew Big Bear had such great restaurants?). I'll have to do another post dedicated just to that.









Happy New Year! Hope your 2018 is off to a blessed and wonderful start.

Jasmin
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