Kitchen Progress: Ooooh We’re Halfway There!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

So much has happened since I last shared pictures of the kitchen! I’m happy to say we’re about half way finished with this space. The big news this week is that our Home Depot appliances will be delivered! Before that, our excitement revolved around new Corian countertops being installed with a PINK undermount sink (that’s right!) and a butcher block island top from Lumber Liquidators.

You know things are looking up when you can make coffee at home, but not only that— your pink coffee creamer carton matches your sink!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

While I really enjoyed the industrial coiled-pull-down style of our last sink’s faucet, I decided to get something more sleek and easy to clean. (The last faucet was perennially dusty and difficult to clean around the coils.) The faucet I chose for our new kitchen is elegant, but design-wise it’s understated and lets the pink sink take center stage. I can’t wait to see this area with the tiled backsplash in place! We chose this wide 3×12 subway tile that we’ll lay in a modern stack-bond pattern with off-white grout. We’ll lay that after the appliances are installed and after I’ve built the box around our hood vent. (More on that later!)

Just a reminder of what this space used to be! The first thing we did when we moved in was to take down cabinets and rearrange them to better suit our needs for the space. The cabinets we aren’t using in the kitchen anymore are being repurposed in the garage and basement. The style is not my choice for cabinetry, but I wanted to use what we had if at all possible, and I didn’t feel like the lower cabinets were cramping my style too badly. So they stayed!

As you can see in the floor plans below, we gave the eat-in-kitchen more space to serve as our main dining area, as well as removed all of the large cabinetry on the entry wall. Then we drywalled in a pantry where the butler’s cabinet use to be. (It used to have a wet bar inside!) I will be building a wall of shelving to act as an open pantry system for prettier things (like dry goods in jars as well as serving bowls and pitchers), but that will be the last of the details I finish in this space.

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

This is how the space looks now. We’ll lay maple engineered hardwood flooring for starters, but with the addition of doors, trim, appliances, lighting, and finishing details like shelving and tile, this space will look pretty close to my original renderings

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

Above is the wall where the open shelving system will go. The verticals of the shelves will anchor into each stud in the wall, and then I’ll instal horizontal shelves that will go above the doorway too, to completely surround the entry to the kitchen. I think it will be quite cozy and the perfect way to balance out all of the white in this space!

kitchen appliance trends

I spoke last time about my thought process behind selecting appliances for the kitchen. I’m fortunate to be working with The Home Depot on appliances for the space, and true to Mandi form, I began my hunt by searching online. I knew I wanted a slide-in range and counter depth refrigerator. I was able to narrow the search parameters to view only those models, and selected these two models based on looks and reviews. My favorite part about shopping online (besides the fact that I can do it at midnight) is being able to confidently make decisions based on the experiences of those who have gone before me. :) After deciding on the two appliances that mattered most to me (fridge and range), I selected a dishwasher to match. Thankfully the one that matches is also well reviewed, or I may have selected a different model. But from what I’ve seen and experienced, KitchenAid is a great brand I can trust.

Before I placed my order, I did go into a Home Depot store to check out the appliances in person. I was able to see the dishwasher and counter-depth refrigerator I chose, but they didn’t have the commercial range in store for me to check out. But obviously it’s a dream range that I’ll be happy to have in our kitchen! I had been worried about the stainless steel handles on the fridge I liked (not trying to clean smudges all day long), but in store I was happy to see that the handles are etched and not prone to smudging!

Here are the appliances I chose:

All Home Depot appliance orders over $396 come with free shipping, and I was able to select my delivery date online, along with appliance installation and hauling-away of our old appliances. After weeks of deliberating, everything was ordered within 5 minutes. So excited for their delivery this week!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

I also decided to upholster the tops of my counter stools with this vintage fabric which reminded me of my parents’ bad velvety sofa from the ’70s. Stool cushions are the perfect little spot for a nostalgic pop of funk like this, and will add a soft touch to a mostly white room. I love that they’re the first thing you’ll see when you want into the room!

Thanks for following along with me on the journey! My next kitchen update will hopefully include a finished backsplash and my gorgeous new lighting. Wish me luck!

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program for appliances. As a part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

 

Living Room Plans

mandimakes new house

You guys! We’ve been living in this destroyed house for only a week, and it already feels like home. I think it’s probably not normal to feel this way when living with subfloors, exposed wiring (breakers are turned off— no worries), holes in the wall, and doors missing, and no kitchen to speak of. But, hey! I’ll take the warm fuzzies whenever they come my way.

Lately I’ve been very excited about some decisions and progress we’ve made in the living room. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in.

mandimakes new house

mandimakes new house

Okay, so actually there was a big red plaid cornice board and blinds on that window, so this isn’t quiiite a true before. I had to rip out the cornice immediately (nothing against cornice boards, but this one was SO early ’90s.), so it didn’t quite make it into my before pictures. The next thing I did was rip out the carpet, remove the mantle and cabinet from the fireplace area, and attempt to rip out the platform that was below the cabinet. That was very frustrating. Below the platform was a cinderblock wall that went right up to the subfloor of the platform, as well as the vent for the basement bathroom shower, the vacuflo system (which I will probably never even use!), wiring, ductwork, and ceiling beams/floor beams. It would’ve been a HUGE undertaking to remove that platform, so we decided to keep it, and I sat around  feeling sad about it and frustrating with this whole corner of the room. I literally laid awake at night pondering how to not hate that corner of what was otherwise a very cool room.

So I came up with a solution! Hooray! Below you can see my plans drawn overtop of the space as it was before. It required embracing the platform we couldn’t remove, and doing a little drywall work around the nook beside the fireplace. (The walls in the corner column don’t match up with the walls above it, and it was driving me BONKERS.)

fireplace before

fireplace after

And just to verify that I was on the right track with my plans, I drew up what the space would look like, using Photoshop overtop of a photo of this area as it currently stands. I wanted this space to feel fresh and modern, adding sleek built-in shelving around a big screen tv (no shame), but also adding mid century flair with the stone veneer and hearth expansion. I can already envision friends perched on the long hearth during game nights— cushions a plenty beneath the tooshies, of course!

Now I’m SO PSYCHED about this corner of the room. And my eyes won’t twitch when I look at the walls in the corner not matching up. Because in our future living room, they WILL match up.

living room mockup

I created a few mock-ups while planning furnishings and decor for our new living room. This isn’t the exact arrangement of the room, but I wanted to gather all of the elements together to see how they blend together. Making this simple mock-up on Photoshop really helped me determine big design choices, like— green sofa or yellow sofa? Dark floors or light floors? Wall sconce or table lamp? What style of fireplace stone? I had planned on using modern sixties-inspired shag rugs, but with a few clicks, I realized that more traditional rugs would balance out the space much more to my liking.

living room mockup

The furnishings I settled on are the ones in the first mock-up (with the yellow sofa), though I did fall in love the with bright background of the bottom mock-up, which convinced me to choose white washed bamboo flooring over the darker material.

Some of these items are things I already owned (the Jimmy Stewart poster and the vintage photobooth panel), but basically everything else is new to me— though quite a few are vintage. I’ve rounded them up for you below!

living room progress

And because I feel like it’s not fair to withhold progress photos from you all, here’s a snapshot of what the room looks like currently! The next steps are to paint the removed baseboards, build out the drywall as described above, and instal the stone veneer. Then it’s simply a matter of decorating! So excited that this room will be finished in August!

The Sunroom Plans

mandi makes a sunroom

Now that we’ve finally closed on our new home, we’re ready to begin work making all of my plans a reality! The first room we’ll complete beginning to end will be the sunroom, because it’s a small space that will be a bit easier to tackle. I think having one chaos-free space (with a dining table to boot!) will be great for us, because we’re planning to move in to this wreck of a house in a week or two, and I have a feeling it’ll take a lot of effort to keep my sanity. :)

Each part of the process is so fun for me, but planning is the most enjoyable part for me! It is definitely a mentally consuming undertaking, designing for oneself. But so much fun! Once I settled on plans for each of the rooms we’re gutting, I found my mind much more at ease, and began sleeping better at night. That’s a relief because I need all the rest I can get during these days of hard work! (Check out my kitchen plans here.)

mandi makes a sunroom

The sunroom is a narrow 7′ wide and 15.5′ room in the back corner of our home, separated from the great room by a lovely pair of wood and glass french doors. It leads out to our currently un-utilized patio area, but we do plan to build bench seating and planters in that area in years to come.

I plan on situating a nice chair for reading on the side of the room where you can currently see a little plastic slide. It’ll be situated among a few houseplants and a side table for docking my coffee and books I’m currently reading. On the opposite side of the room (as seen below), I’d like to have a bench area with a small table and chairs for the kids to enjoy books, games, puzzles, play dough, and snacks. I plan to build the bench with storage inside, and will probably deck it out with plenty of extra pillows for comfy reading sessions.

mandi makes a sunroom

The soffit on this side of the room would be a perfect area to tuck in an upholstered wall to act as the back of the storage banquette. I had planned on just building a standard upholstered bench back, but then I saw this pink dining nook on Pinterest and it completely changed my life! Ha! Channel tufting feels very late ’70s, but in the right setting feels very ahead of the latest design trends.

sunroom banquette elevation

My goal for this space is to create a refreshing environment that feels comfortable but not cluttered, modern yet inviting, and very bright. I like a little minimalism, but also will never lose my love for mid century classics. A little bit of boho feels right for a sunroom space, so don’t be surprised if you see some embroidery, wicker, and other natural elements in here. It’s a place where plants and people can be equally happy. Aren’t those the best kinds of spaces?!

 

sunroom planning

  1. IKEA linen curtains
  2. White wicker pendant light
  3. Minimal fabric wall sconce
  4. crewel embroidered pill0w (vintage from this Etsy shop)
  5. Olle Eskell poster
  6. Faux marble tulip table
  7. Vintage wicker bucket chair from Main St. Modern
  8. Cowhide rug
  9. Flooring- Island Pearl Bamboo from Lumber Liquidators
  10. Wall color- Benjamin Moore Super White

sunroom chairs

Choosing a chair for the sunroom is bringing out my natural over-thinking tendencies and giving me sleepless nights. Quintessential first-world-problem, I know. But the channel-tufted banquette wall and the sleek tulip table are such statement pieces, I want to find a pair of chairs that both stand up to those bold elements, but don’t make the small space feel too try-hard or overwhelming, stylistically speaking. I can tell you now I am most drawn to chairs 1, 2, and 4.

My brother has a set of 6 original Bertoia chairs (chair #2), of which he’s only currently using four. He has offered to let me foster two of those chairs until the day he moves to a different home more accommodating of his collection. How fortunate I am to have a brother with such impeccable taste and generous spirit! But I am also very tempted by these chairs and need to keep a style in mind that I’ll need to one day purchase to replace my borrowed chairs.

  1. Thonet bentwood chair
  2. Replica Bertoia wire chair
  3. Rattan chair
  4. Wicker cantilevered chair
  5. Patterned chair
  6. Upholstered tapered leg chair

Have you been following along with my renovation videos on Instagram? They expire after 24 hours, unfortunately, but be sure to check them out from time to time! We’ve been busting things out left and right, and today I ordered countertops for the kitchen! I can’t believe it’s all finally happening! Woo hoo!

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