So here is the dealio.  I haven't been the best about updating this little blog of mine in terms of our current kitchen situation.  OK, so that is obvious!  In all honestly, the entire process has been a huge learning curve for us and I have been feeling emotionally paralyzed about the whole thing.  Not in the excitement category, because each day I wake up giddy about what is ahead.  This has been on my mind for years and seeing progress is fabulous!   I am talking about the challenges in making decisions and practicing patience arena.   I really thought that things would be moving much quicker than they are, and that I would have something amazing to blog about each week.  Hahahaha.  Sigh.

So I thought I would play catch-up today, and then attempt to document something new each week going forward, whether a project is done or not.  Because I really do want to look back on this someday and revisit the ups and downs and lessons learned.  And those bigger projects and reveals don't mean anything without the in-between progress stories anyway.

Here we go!

About 7 weeks ago we put the infamous hole in the wall!  It was essentially an initiation hole.  The kind to celebrate the start of the project and to say out loud, "There is no turning back now".

We had marked a small spot in the wall where we knew there was no electrical or plumbing so we had no concerns with this (we had also already confirmed with our home builder that the wall was not load bearing), however, we knew that we couldn't go any further until we applied for a building permit with our city.  So we did that, and we waited.

As we waited for the permit, we took a trip to IKEA to finalize our cabinet order; you can read all of those plans here.   We opted to go with IKEA cabinets for a portion of our kitchen based on reviews, installation and their 20% off sale.  One thing to know about ordering from IKEA is that you need to be prepared to take home as much of the kitchen as they have in stock at the store.  For us, that was about 80% of our order.

The remainder of the kitchen was going to be shipped in waves to an off-site warehouse over the course of another month or two.  More on that later.

As we continued to get excited about the kitchen, Bryan started pulling apart the wall...

While I emptied cabinets, organized and cleaned... Imagine my eyes twitching at this point...

And before we knew it, Christmas was approaching and we started receiving our shipments of appliances and floors!  Merry Christmas to us!  However, we were also forced to make a personal decision and take a break from the renovation until after the holidays. #familyfirst

After the holidays had come and gone, we asked friends to come help us move our furniture around (sectional swap up and down stairs as well as some of our larger dining room pieces to our guest room), which opened up the two spaces and allowed us to really start our gut job.

With a full demolition taking place, we decided to rent a dumpster.  Once it arrived, we had a very small window of time to get as much done as we could.  After our first day of demo, our kitchen/living room looked like this.

Once we got started, the tear down process went really quickly!  Like so quickly I forgot to take any action shots with my phone.  We were able to remove all of the walls, some of the studs and majority of the cabinets during the first day.  However, before we could remove the base cabinet in the kitchen or the remaining studs in the center, we needed to wait until our plumber and our electrician could join us.  We know our limits.

Because we plan on keeping the sink in a similar location, we had our plumber disconnect the dishwasher and sink plumbing.  We didn't want to risk ruining anything that we may need to utilize again during install.  But once that was done, we were able to remove the remainder of the cabinets!  And have our little Peyton chip away all of that awful backsplash.  Then, because the cabinets were out we were able to tear out the linoleum floors.  That was something I left to my husband and an oversized crowbar (similar to this one).  While he worked on the kitchen floors, I removed all of the trim and floating laminate.  Go team Jones!

When the linoleum was pulled, we were initially left with this beautiful mess...

So. Many. Staples.  Seriously, I could cry just thinking about them.  Why?  Because every last one had to be pulled before we can lay our new flooring.  Every. Single. Staple.

We are talking DAYS of freakin' staple pulling.  Where were the Property Brothers at this point?  Have you seen how fast they can demo a room?  Who pulls the staples on that show?

To ease the process I found the following tools to be helpful.  Knee pads, a rolling pliers, hammer and gloves.  Aside from blowing everything up and starting over, I don't think anything but the awesome pliers would have made this process any easier. 

This was the most boring and tedious task of the entire kitchen demo.  Everything else moved so fast I forgot to take pictures.  This was so slow, we took them every time to document the comedy of it all.  Funny stuff!

And that is about that with demo.  Our electrician has come and gone and done as much as he can until we have our cabinets assembled and installed.  While he was here, he wired our hanging sconces, added can lights in the living room (because there was never any overhead lighting prior), and another can light over the sink area.  He also removed all of the wiring from the studs in the center of the two rooms and disconnected the electrical that was wired in our previous kitchen peninsula.

Here is another view looking back into the living room.  Pretty sweet dining table eh?

We have already been without a functioning kitchen for about two weeks.  The appliances were disconnected and prepped to be sold on Craigslist and we haven't unwrapped any of the new ones because we are waiting for cabinets and floors.  If anyone is interested, I can try to plan a future post on how we cook for a family a five with this setup.  And in case you are curious, it has helped tremendously to set up a pantry/temporary kitchen in our guest room.

This has worked SO GOOD for us.  The shelves hold pantry items and dishes while the cabinets (previously used as school cubbies) are now filled with small appliances, pots and pans.  And because the room also has an attached bathroom, all dishes can be washed and put right away.

Aside from the staple pulling pliers, my other favorite tool from this entire process has been my dish scrubbers.

OK, so I am sort of kidding.  But sort of not.  My kids are a bit spoiled and have never had to wash dishes by hand.  They can load and unload a dishwasher like the best of 'em, but hand wash?  Say what?  Both wands are soft sponges that work great when they get wet, and one has a dispenser that pumps out soap with a push of a button.  Now my kids can head right to the bathroom after they eat, and very easily rinse and wash their dish without having to fill an entire sink.  We were letting the dishes pile up for a day or two at a time, and trying to do a pile of dishes in this tiny area made me a crazy lady.  Dispensing brushes guys.  That is the answer to any renovation dilemma (OK, so not really, but it is the answer to making the dish washing process easier on kidlets).  I found mine on Amazon and HomeGoods (here and here although they are about half the price if you can find them at HomeGoods), and the trick to them is wetting the sponges before washing and following the dry instructions; I have had the dish one for almost a year now.

And as much as I wish the guest room was really as neat as it looks above, the other side is what I like to call, "Organized Chaos".  Say hello to everything else that was unloaded from the reno space.

OK, so now what?  Well, in really exciting news, the planks for our ceiling arrived TODAY!  So we are hoping to get them all installed this weekend.  We know we want to plank and add beams, we are leaning towards white....


But I can't help but majorly swoon over the dramatics of the darker beams.  However, as much as I love them, I am just not sure our space can handle it, or if they would make it feel smaller.  Thoughts?


After the ceiling is installed, we were hoping to start on the cabinets!  We have some sheetrock to patch due to the tile removal and electrician work, but that should be quick (famous last words).  What will take a lot of our time is attempting to piece together our IKEA cabinets, one small package at a time.  Send us sanity vibes please.  And cross your fingers the remainder of the cabinets will be in soon.  Our order was lost and consequentially extremely delayed (which I just found out yesterday), so that is putting a small kink in our very loose timeline.

As for the rest of the kitchen, I have swatches painted everywhere, a basket of counter samples and a stack of island cabinet door options waiting on my brain to make some big choices.  We did decide on a floor, which you can see below. I will share more specifics about what we selected once we get to floor installation day.  Everything else is making my head spin.  I have so many visions and ideas, yet because we have been saving for this for so long, I don't want to pick something I am going to regret.  This is truly the best type of problem to have.  

OK, I suppose I should leave it at that.  We have a stack of ceiling planks calling our names bright and early in the morning.  It feels AMAZING to know that we are finally installing something!  And to be about done with all of those staples!  Have a great weekend everyone!