Hello Monday!  I hope you all had a warm and relaxing weekend.  It was fantastically spring-like in Wisconsin this weekend and we were very grateful for the beautiful weather and the ability to get outdoors.

This week our kitchen looks like a completely different space in the best of ways.  It really is starting to come together and it is so fun seeing items that we have been dreaming about in our minds, finally come to reality.  It is always a bit scary when you build up with excitement about certain elements (ahem, the island), and then see them in person for the first time. 

In the photo above, you can see the floors from the adjoining living area, and how they will look when installed through the kitchen side.  The beautiful gray island breaks up all of the white while those floors will bring in loads of warmth and character.  Just what the kitchen has been craving for months now!

I have so many things to chat about, so let's start with the insane-amazing chandelier.  It is a WOW moment, that is for sure.

Before this renovation started, Bryan and I talked about wish list items over and over until our heads were spinning.  We were on the same page with most things, and some things he just handed over to me because he just trusts my design choice.  He was completely on board with my thoughts of white cabinets and the beamed ceiling and the floors and completely shot down my idea of doing a fun color on the island.  I appreciate that he knows when to speak up and that he also gives me a little freedom and trust.  He was even on board with my thoughts of bringing in something that makes a statement and something with age, history and meaning.  Until I told him I wanted an old chandelier.  Then I received the eye-brow raise...

Whenever I spout out an idea, I try to find some images to sell it.  Bryan is very visual and can't always see what I see in my mind.  He wasn't sure we could pull off a fancy chandelier (heck, I wasn't entirely convinced myself), so I showed him examples of various homes I loved that rocked a little bling.


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Then I took a trip to Texas to work with my friend Grace, and noticed she had beautiful lighting throughout her home, as well as old chandeliers over her island.  Her home is gorgeously designed, yet you can still feel that a family of six lives there through other elements.   I was feeling more inspired than ever.

We talked about stepping out of our comfort zone and being risk takers.  About trying to find a balance of a more grown up home yet keeping it family friendly.  About finding ways to fill our home with items that don't just come from big-box stores and that feel more "us".

So, I began searching Craigslist and local thrift stores for chandeliers, keeping in mind a certain style and specific dimensions.  Last winter while visiting my in-laws place in Florida, I decided to do a random Craigslist search there as well.  Wouldn't you know it, I spotted the winning piece! 

However, we had no way of getting it home.  I purchased it only a few hours before our plane was set to depart on a Sunday with no time to package and ship it.  So we left it knowing that with all of the visitors traveling back and forth between Wisconsin and Florida, that someone would be able to drive it home to us someday.  That someday was just a few weeks ago.

We found the piece at a vintage shop and it is beyond lovely.  You can tell it has aged and it definitely has become a talking point in our new space.  I also deeply appreciate that we have something in our home that traveled from our family favorite destination.  It has meaning, and although it feels a little fancy compared to what we typical decorate with, we (yes, Bryan too) couldn't be more thrilled with it.

I think it is especially fabulous when paired with an old banquet table, folding chairs and cheesy faux flowers.  Moving on.

Let's chat about the island!

We ordered the island through a building company who then works with a local cabinet maker (we went with the Wellington style door in Slate finish).  The island was designed and built custom for our kitchen given our dimensions and storage needs.  It will eventually house our oven and cooktop, as well as oodles of other kitchen gadgets.

It is always one thing to tape things out on the floor and see design plans on paper, and then seeing it in person in your space.  It was quite amazing how quickly the kitchen area changed.

As you can see above, this island is jam packed with storage.  Every last inch is used.  In fact, I am quite positive that I won't be able to fill all of the cabinets in our kitchen, we have more storage than we know what to do with.

On the back side of the island we have a total of three cabinets; two deeper cabinets with pull out drawers and a narrower center cabinet. 

We will eventually have three bar stools for three little boys, so these cabinets will be great for storing items that are not used daily.  I also love that they appear to be decorative panels when closed.

In the kitchen side we have drawers, cabinets and our pull out spice rack.

I typically gravitate towards white cabinet interiors, but these really turned out so very beautiful!  Big fan here!  And of course, we went with the soft-close option again.

We debated about the pull out spice rack and decided that we really want to keep the island counter as clutter free as possible, and needed a place to stash oil, condiment and spice bottles.  We are excited to fill this little gem of a storage spot.

The last cabinet is narrow and will be perfect for baking sheets and cutting boards.

As of right now, the island is just floating.  We have to have our HVAC experts come and do a lot of work below before we can screw them together and set them permanently.  But now that we at least have it set in place, we can also be measured for counters.  Once they are installed, we can attach the front toe-kick, finish up the flooring and add decorative moulding details.  Although it took many weeks to plan out the entire island, order it, have it built and delivered; it was well worth the wait to get something that balanced out all of our IKEA cabinets as well as fit our storage wish-list needs.

Speaking of decorative elements, we still have a lot of small touches to add to the remainder of the outer cabinets.  Once our counter depth fridge arrives (the one we first ordered was damaged so we are waiting on a replacement), we can add the final side panels above and to the right of the fridge to box it in.  And when that is done, we can add some crown moulding to the tops of the cabinets and trim out the window.  We will also be installing toe-kick to all of the white cabinets for a seamless cabinet to floor look.

Remember I struggled with the initial hardware for our glass faced cabinets?  The cabinets were too far apart to accommodate the latching option I initially ordered.  I finally found a beautiful replacement that fit perfectly!

The "shutter latches" were ordered from Historic Houseparts and again, I am happy that they are a little different than typical cabinet hardware.

The latches are gorgeous for our display cabinets, but definitely not something we want to use on our everyday dish cabinet with the kids.  We ended up using the same knobs as the rest of the kitchen for the other glass faced dish cabinet.

It is beginning to feel more and more like a finished kitchen with each added detail.  I think I am starting to see the light at the end of the renovation tunnel!

Because we only have a few more things to do before final reveal day, I thought I would start keeping a running list each week to keep us on track:

  • Install HVAC/Oven/Cooktop
  • Install counters
  • Set island cabinets
  • Install hardware on island cabinets
  • Replace garage door
  • Install flooring
  • Frame in refrigerator
  • Finish installing cabinet side panels
  • Install cabinet toe-kick
  • Install cabinet crown moulding
  • Trim floors, doors and windows
  • Install backsplash
  • Install coat closet door
  • Add shelving and doors to nook above coat closet

Easy peasy right?  #chuckles

You can follow all of the kitchen progress here.