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Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Downsizing Chronicles: Before And After Pics

It was only fitting that our former next-door neighbors of 10 years be our first, official guests to entertain.  It feels like another milestone has been achieved in that we can now have people over!

Here are the before and after pictures - thanks for looking!

Taking down the walls/partitions really opened up the space fully, making it seem much larger.

We got a great deal (.99/sq foot at Home Depot) on hickory laminate with a 'handscraped' finish and we had this installed throughout the entire place.  Handscraped is intentionally designed to show more 'rough' spots, grain and texture which makes it look more authentic that typical laminate.

I sold the old oak cabinets to a friend for her rental property for $100.

IKEA was our main supplier in this renovation and we spent countless hours there!  They have a great online kitchen planning tool that we used to 'drag and drop' cabinets and appliances into place.  We were able to design our space using our actual specifications and room dimensions.  Beware, you are 99% on your own at IKEA - it is truly a do-it-yourself experience.  No hand-holding and  minimal input and advice from them.  As a result, we had several glitches.


An island was a must and is now the focal point, gathering spot, food-prep and command central of the space.

We also gained precious living space by replacing the traditional swing-out door with a slider.  We bought an inexpensive hardware kit online then used a door from Home Depot and matched the handle with our kitchen hardware.

We created a banquette for our dining room table utilizing 2 walls as seats. We used IKEA bookcases with basket inserts that happened to be the perfect height and width for bench seating.  We had custom cushions and pillows made and it is very comfortable.  The glass table top also makes the space seem larger and more open.

Baskets underneath for storage

Bookshelf Banquette

Our white ADEL IKEA cabinets are awesome and even our installer was impressed with the engineering, function and quality.  All of the drawers and organizers keep everything in its place, which I love.

We chose 'Coventry Gray' by Benjamin Moore as our wall color - I love that its a true gray as we've had mishaps before with gray paint looking too purple or blue on the walls.


We also ordered our 'Absolute Black' granite through IKEA too - had a bit of an issue with the installer/granite vendor.  Again, you are on your own with IKEA so be ready to advocate for yourself!

Mark created these beautiful blue, glass, light fixtures.  These were $3 each at IKEA as candle holders.  He bought a glass-cutting drill bit to make them into lights.

The Houzz website was my idea-generator as I'm not a creative person and need to see what I like from the creativity of others.  It's like Pinterest for designers and interior decorators - outstanding resource and gorgeous pictures!  This is where I got the ideas for the banquette, sliding 'barn' door, our glass tile backsplash and wall color.

We live in our StrengthsFinder paradigm and I'm a Maximizer.  I absolutely love taking something that is good and transforming it into something great.  My thrill is seeing the improvement, the gain, the potential come to life and this satisfying process is addicting for me.  I have to admit, there's even a touch of sadness and restlessness that its over!

Again, thanks for looking!

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