There are some problems only bloggers face, like stressing out over the quality of old photos. Cedar & Moss asked to feature my kitchen in their lookbook, since our kitchen showcases a pair of C&M alto brass pendants above our island. It was the perfect excuse to retake photos of my kitchen, since my photography skills have improved a little bit over the years.
I get a lot of questions about the color of our cabinets. The navy is Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams which we color matched to Kelly Moore Dura Poxy paint (for it’s durability and rave reviews on handling high traffic areas). Depending upon the time of day, the cabinets read a super dark, moody navy, and during the lightest part of the day they read much brighter. I like these photos I’m sharing today because they show the truest color of our cabinets. I personally love a paint that changes color throughout the day.
If you’re interested in reading the renovation story, here are some quick links for you:
- We’re finally remodeling our kitchen & living room!
- The wall is gone and the beam is in!
- The kitchen take-down
- 5 kitchens influencing our design
- Countertops & 3D rendering of our plans
- Walls are up, floors are bare
- Cabinets installed!
- Painted cabinet drama
- Kitchen (pre flooring)
- Why wood tile
- Initial kitchen reveal
Sources: Cedar & Moss pendant lights | Roman shades | Delta faucet | Wood tile floors | Carrera marble counters | subway tile backsplash | farmhouse sink | exhaust hood | refrigerator | range | lower cabinet paint color: Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams color matched to Kelly Moore Dura Poxy | Target Windsor style counter height stools | Lew’s brass hardware | CB2 bell flush mount light | brass globe chandelier | dining table | dining chairs – vintage | brass vase | vintage rug
Have you forgotten about #projectmykindakitchen? Well I haven’t! We’ve hit a weird lull between finishing the kitchen installation without the finishing touches, like window treatments, counter stools, chandelier, etc. Those items are key to the full reveal, and I’m hoping they all get sorted out/installed very soon!
Last we talked, I showed the design plans and how we selected the cabinetry for the kitchen. Let me dive into the demo of the kitchen, as this is one of my favorite parts of the process! Remember the before?
Day one of demo and all cabinets were torn out quick. There’s nothing as satisfying as creating a blank slate. Can you imagine having that florescent lighting in your home? The homeowners were so happy to see it go.
Notice that pocket door in the top left? Another major improvement to the flow of the kitchen was eliminating the pocket door and opening up that wall more so that the kitchen better connects to the living room. Unfortunately (for the budget) this wall is load bearing, and we needed to insert a beam to allow for the weight of the house to continue to rest on this wall. A lot of folks choose not to mess with load bearing walls, but sometimes getting you don’t have a choice if you want to get that open concept. (Remember? We removed a load bearing wall too!)
It always gets worse before it gets better…
We took everything down to the studs. Below is the china hutch wall, can you see it?
When the walls are open like this, it’s the best time for the electrician to come in and install all the boxes. The hutch wall would have outlets and undercount lighting on the upper cabinets. We had boxes added flanking the window for sconces, and can lights throughout the kitchen. Very soon after the electrician was finished, new drywall was installed, then taped and textured.
We were all eager to get the kitchen cabinets installed, but we needed to prep the floors. My client chose the same faux wood tile flooring that we installed in our house last year! Coincidence much? This flooring is fab and we couldn’t recommend it enough. It just so happened they loved it just as much.
Installing tile flooring can be tricky, and pricey, but when done right it will seriously last a lifetime. My client’s home had some minor leveling issues. I forget off of the top of my head, but I recall the contractor mentioning anything over an inch typically needs to be floated, which is just another major chip away at the budget. Rest assured, they no longer have any leveling issues!
Now that the floors were leveled, we could start installing the CliqStudios cabinets!
My client chose the Dayton cabinet profile in two colors. The upper cabinets are “painted white” and the lowers are “studio gray”. We ordered a half dozen samples (free for everyone, by the way!) in various colors, and were surprised that studio gray read more of a light grayish green than it appears in the online swatch. I always think it’s a good idea to order samples outside your comfort zone, you never know! Originally we were thinking of white uppers and “urban stone” lowers, but once we held the sample in their kitchen, the amount of light was an issue and they ended up reading more dirty white than greige. Studio gray was the winner anyway, everyone fell in love with it quick. I love that CliqStudios offers so many options when it comes to cabinet finishes and colors. I think they just need to add a navy to their lineup and all would be perfect!
Ahhh! It’s taking shape! Up next: counters, backsplash, and all the little details
*CliqStudios has partnered with us on this project by offering us a discount for sharing our story on the blog. CliqStudios couldn’t have been more of a dream to work with and I am thrilled to share our experience. This post is two of a four-part series. Read part one here.
I’m happy to report, the benches have been sanded & stained! The only task remaining is sealing, but I am letting the stain cure a little bit. I spent literally the entire afternoon yesterday working on this side of the backyard. Last weekend I worked on the other half. No workout will make you more sore than 4 straight hours of sanding. I think my hands have finally stopped tingling, thank goodness.
This is what happens to wood when you don’t seal it before the season changes. So stupid of me, I knew better but never carved out time to do it, then the sun and rain over the last year bleached them out. GRR.
Here’s a happy GIF for ya 🙂
What do you think of the stain color? I’m on the fence, but no way am I sanding that beyotch down again. I didn’t have a scrap piece to sample off of, and I had used a version of the stain mix we used in our sunroom and thought it would turn out similar. It’s slightly different, a little darker. The floating benches are made with redwood while our sunroom benches are made with fir (I think). Whatever! Anything is better than sun bleached wood in my opinion.
OH, and look at the growth on my cactus! He’s only been planted for 3 weeks, and the only one that looks to be growing. I hope the others are as happy 🙂
I know you’ve been thinking about all the moms in your life lately, Mother’s day is coming up quick! I’ve made your life a little easier with 9 gift suggestions for your favorite mommy out there. Any of these are bound to please. I know I could certainly use more brass & fringe in my life 🙂
We’ve been working on our backyard these last few weeks, nearly every chance we get. I hear a few of you shout “show us the after already!” which I totally get. Trust me, I’ve been waiting way too long to share!
Let’s begin with our turf. I’ve received a lot of questions about it, and wont be sourcing ours just yet (I’ll do that in the final before & after post, sorry) but I will say It’s not from any big box hardware store. We did a lot (a LOT a lot) of research on turf (different blade structures, thatching densities, etc) as well as weighing the options of sod vs turf. We chose turf for a few reasons:
- we are low maintenance people and turf is the lowest maintenance option for grass out there
- we live in California where it’s almost illegal to water your lawn and we weren’t about to pay thousands to lay a sprinkler system and sod just to watch our lawn die
- because we had a dirt wasteland back here before, the cost of sod/sprinkler system + perpetual landscaper fees vs laying turf was pretty much the same cost.
- and lastly, NO MUD
Before showing you the full before & after, we have one last (big) task to do which involves sanding, staining, and sealing our floating benches because, stupid us, we didn’t do it last year and now they look like this – dry, sad, and sun bleached.
Not a fun project, but once it’s complete it will make a world of difference.
Now, since I feel bad about not sharing much of the afters yet, let me share photos of my backyard as of now, according to my phone!
See that guy on the bottom right in the above photo? I snapped this pic the day after these guys were planted. Two weeks later he’s grown!
All those new little buttons, pads, fronds, whatever they’re called, make me SO happy! Grow kiddo grow!
The perimeter of our backyard consists of a LOT of space, and I knew if I wanted to fill it up I would have to find some “filler” plants that still fit with the modern desert-scape theme I was shooting for. This guy above was $40, not too bad for such a wide sculptural plant. I bought a bunch of mini versions at $10/pot and peppered them around the perimeter of our yard, with the hopes they’ll grow like this dude.
Other filler plants I found were these wispy tall plants (I’m terrible remembering plant names and tossed the pots too soon, so if you know what they are, please leave a comment!) These were $30/pot at Lowes, and the aqua colored grasses were $5 pot, also at Lowes.
And guess what you see in the back?! MY AGAVE! He was my biggest individual purchase. Someone asked me how much one of these guys cost. In this size, I’ve seen them sold for as high as $900 and as low as $175, so it’s hard to say how much a mature guy like this should be. I bought mine for $175 (after negotiating a little) at Dry Garden in Berkeley (I love that place!). They currently have others with not so long of a neck for $200.
Besides my pet agave, I will say this euphorbia cactus garden my favorite little nook in the entire backyard. Oh, and for those of you concerned about my kid falling into these plants, do not fear! Almost all of these plants I’ve had for over half a year sitting in my sunroom where Zano frequently hangs out, and has learned that these plants are off limits. Right now we’re now working on him not throwing the rock all over the yard. Ha! That kid.