Thursday, September 14, 2017

My Kitchen Renovation

I have been meaning to blog about my kitchen reno for forever! It has been finished for a couple of months now (well, mostly finished, do they ever really completely get finished? I have a few things on my list for the main contractor to come back and look at.)

This is what I started with, as a refresher: 

 lovely little drive thru window:

Then, I took down that wall that divides the dining room and kitchen. Now, it's essentially one large space. 

I wrote about it before, but I had to have a 16" header. Everything is painted white, so it's not too annoying, but I wish it could've been flush (way more $$$).

As you can see the kitchen floors were porcelain tile. It wasn't terrible, but I decide to remove them and put in hardwoods to match the rest of the house. The house has original hardwoods, and they had recently been redone. I'm happy to report the new kitchen hardwoods match seamlessly with the old (phew). 

Here is a progress photo from when the wall came down (DUST) and the header went up (DUST), but pre-kitchen remodel. 

This was right before the rest of the reno began. It was actually supposed to start in a couple of weeks from when I took this picture, but soon after I took it, my cabinet girl called and said, "If you can get your demo guys over there, I can get the cabinets in in three days!" So, acting as my own GC (I actually really like it because I can mostly control everything ;), I called my demo guys and asked if they could come SOON. He assured me they would be there that weekend. So one Sunday morning, bright n early, my entire kitchen was removed into a giant island of cabinetry and flooring into my backyard. 

They did it so fast, and this is what it looked like within a few hours:


On a whim, I decided to paint interior of the back door pink. My main contractor said, "Pink? Really" And kind of rolled his eyes. I guess not every shares my sensibilities. :)

Like I mentioned in my last post, I had a great cabinet contractor and she really helped me a lot with the placement of things. I knew I wanted:

1) hidden trashcans/recycling
2) a peninsula 
3) (most importantly) STORAGE

We created a plan to have a wall of relatively shallow (17") cabinets across from the sink for LOTS of storage. Believe it or not, I can store everything in this kitchen that used to be stored in my old house's kitchen. That house was 1900sf and this one is ~1100sf! Booyah.

Anyway, next came floors, then cabinets. Not walking on the floors for a few days and dealing with the fumes wasn't easy.

Pretty new floors, YESSSSSS

Apparently I don't have any photos of just the floors, but you get the drift. 

Finally it was time for the cabinets to go in. They came back and guess what? They mismeasured for the pantry area across from all of this, so that had to be reordered and was installed a couple weeks later. I was so excited and happy about this, that I really didn't even care. 

Finally, they came back to finish the install and also to add hardware (which is Martha Stewart for Home Depot). 

I love the fridge being boxed in. I kept all of the electrical and plumbing in the same spots because I liked where everything was and also I didn't want to spend the extra $ on that. My fridge and stove are not fancy, but they work fine. (Do wish the stove was gas, though! In a house that has gas, why is it not?! Argh)

I asked the contractor to leave the spots that needed patching for me. That, I can do! Also, I had him move/add can lights. They had added can lights before I bought the house, but they were in the wrong places for my new cabinetry, and I also wanted one over the sink. Holes holes holes to patch. 

I also painted this wall completely white, and had my contractor install a vent that actually vents outside, instead of recirculating smells/food back into the air like my old hood did. (dumb)

Post-patching and painting :) 

 I forgot to mention before that I added a dishwasher to the kitchen when I first moved in. The house didn't have one and I'm a snob and REALLY enjoy a dishwasher. So sue me.

Here is an almost-done pic with the countertops installed! This is when I really started getting excited. The new peninsula is a huge game-changer and really gives so much space, and I love being able to sit there and chat and have dinner. 

I looked for pendants for over the peninsula everrrrrywhere (well, every where that had relatively fast lead times). I couldn't find anything I wanted. Let's also not forget this was towards the end of reno and I was tired of spending money. 

I bought these white pendants from IKEA and carefully spray painted them hunter green (love the Montana spray paint line which you can buy at art supply stores).  I taped off the little lip on the top and bottom of the fixture to keep it white, because I felt like if it had originally been painted green, that's how it would've looked. 

I also spray painted the tops of the fixtures gold (previously also white). I loved how they turned out. My contractor was also a little judgey about my spray painting my fixtures, but whatev. We clearly don't have the same taste ;) He looked at me like I was a crazy person when he walked in one morning to see this sitting out for him.

Soooo, drumroll.... end result! And some of these pics have been edited (admittedly, for my instagram account {@kfddesigns}, not for here) and some haven't at all. I need some pro shots of the space, but this will have to do for now! I need to bring out the ol' Canon again, but my trusty iPhone seems to do most of the work these days. 

 I had the back walls tiled in white subway tile ... hard to see in these photos, but I love it. Timeless.

pink door! Wall of storage, I love you. Also - that microwave is the fanciest appliance in the house. In order to do the wall of cabinetry like this, and to also get the microwave off the counters (for more counter space) we had to put it in the wall of cabinetry, and since they are pre fab cabinets, we had to find a microwave that was shallow enough for our little situation. This over $600 microwave did the trick. Insert me rolling my eyes. But hey, it's really quiet. ha.

View from dining room: 

 I got the black stools on either Overstock or Amazon. I ordered the wrong height the first go-round, so had to send them back. Rookie mistake. 

andddd my cute little mint stool I got at Homegoods. I was already thinking I needed a cute stool for this kitchen, and when I saw this at HG one day, I snapped it up in a heart beat. :)

All in all, it happened at lightning speed. I thank my previous design contractor connections and being a good harasser of vendors for that ;)

Here is the other side of the long wall of cabinetry. to the right of the pink door. I added a cute bulletin board that I got months ago, as well as some gold hooks for keys/bags/etc. I also got that cute  "home" sign at White's Mercantile in Nashville.

Thanks for checking it out, y'all. I'm loving it!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Rtown Lane Fireplace Built In Project

I have so many design project to share with you guys. If you follow me on Instagram, you see little snippets every day of where I am at with certain projects, but I would love to do posts about each project to explain to you the longer thoughts on the decisions that are made, why we made them, and of course just to share pretty photos. 

A project that I am currently working on is in Reynoldstown, here in Atlanta. I have a cool young, hip couple that brought me on to help decorate their kitchen/living area on the main floor of their home. The house is a town home, and it is tall and kind of narrow. It's about 9' across and I think 16' long. Considering a couch is about 3.5' deep, that is not a lot of space! I actually did design work for their neighbors down the street a few months ago, so had similar challenges in that space (which I need to blog about, too!), but we came up with a totally different way to address this space. It's fun doing something different in similar spaces! Anyway, they wanted to add an electric fireplace and bookshelf wall. They loved the idea of traditional bookshelves, but with the house being a modern/transitional style, and the narrowness of the space, we couldn't get away with just a simple bookshelf design. Here's a photo of when I first visited them:

Where the sofa is is actually the bookshelf wall now. Anyway, these are family pieces that they own, and while we ditched the leather chair, side tables and coffee table, my clients wanted to keep the sofa (and there's a matching side chair) so we are having them stripped and stained a dark gray with new upholstery. It was a challenge to see them as anything other than what they are now, but I'm actually really excited to see them transformed. You guys know I appreciate history and holding onto treasured pieces, so I am all about working with family pieces to make your own. The fabric we chose is a nubby gray/cream stripe (little stripes) that feels like a nod to what was probably on there before, when the pieces were made in the 1950's, but a much more modern color story. We chose a clear tempered glass waterfall coffee table to keep from taking up too much visual space. The other tables and accessories are still TBD!

Anyway, back to the bookshelves. 

This were my (crappy) sketches:

they look better in real life. Haha!

Paddy, carpenter to the stars, came and helped make our vision a reality. Here is the day that he taped it all out for us - making my job way easier ;)

Anyway, I came up with the idea to add brass rods on the ends instead of traditional bookshelf walls, so that when you turn a corner (when you come into the room, the bookshelves are immediately on the wall beside you) you don't feel that the shelves are closing you out. Instead, you can see through them. My clients didn't want to do floating shelves over the doors, and I thought this would be a good way to give the feel of a more solid, built in piece without closing off the edges. 

Here it is in the flesh, baby:

Can you believe it! I love it! The shelves are very shallow - I think around 14-15" deep? I can't remember what we finally ended up with, but we wanted to make them as shallow as possible without it looking like a movie set or being unable to decorate them. I love the brass. 

The railroad tie mantle has significance too, which is a nice personal touch. We heavily treated and sealed it before using it indoors as a mantle piece, don't worry. You can see the hardware for the doors sitting on top of the cabinet in this pic. I love the brass plate detail as well.

We are also doing a built in bar and banquette in the kitchen! 

My clients have a fun bright orange accent wall here in their kitchen, across from this and on that wall we are doing a fun blue and white Ikat. So, we wanted something to coordinate but not fight with that over here on the bench. We ended up going with the small dotty-looking fabric that is second from the left on the middle row here! This grouping was after we had narrowed it down by about 50%. :)

Can't wait until this is all said and done and I can show you guys some more pictures. We are doing a white tulip table here as well, and the brass chandelier will be centered above it. Will follow up with more updates when I have them! 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bathroom Reno Status Update

I have huge progress on the bathroom reno! I would say it's actually about 90% there? 75?

Everything is complete except for the glass for the shower door comes in Saturday, and the linen closet has yet to be built. Also, I still don't have the towel bars (and haven't even ordered them yet -- whoops). Otherwise, though, done!

As a refresher, this is what it used to look like. The tub was on a throne because they didn't want to have to break through several inches of concrete for the plumbing, so they took the cheap/easy way, which created all kinds of problems (mainly headaches to look at, but also danger when trying to get clean).

I talked about it in my last post, but I completely rearranged the entire layout of the bathroom. Even the entry door moved. 

I ended up doing a standard tub/shower combo, because I like to take baths, and am not a "giant shower" person. I decided I wanted the part of the footprint that could be used for a huge modern shower to be instead used for a linen closet that will create lots of storage in this 1100 SF house. YES! Much better, in my opinion. 

So, here is the new view when you walk into the new door! I moved the door because if I did, I could get a 48"w vanity instead of a 38" -- like I said, the more countertop/storage, the better! 48" is a great size and there is plenty of room for things when you are trying to get ready. 

It's a dark/rainy day (all it does is rain in Atlanta now...), so it was really hard to get good pics, and I didn't bust out the fancy camera for this, so that'll have to wait until it's all said and done! for now, you get halfway-decent iPhone pics.

I surprised myself and the night before painting the room, I decided to go navy. Not sure what came over me, but I love it! I got the mirror from Homegoods, the vanity light from Lamps Plus, and the vanity (which includes cararra marble countertop) from Amazon. I love all of them. The light is hung about 4" too high, which yes, drives me nuts. They didn't ask me where I wanted it, and just assumed, and it's way high. I might move it, but have a lot on my plate right now, so it's on the back burner. 

I ended up going with the white/black basket weave tile from Floor & Decor. I didn't do marble because it was going to be about $1800 for the entire floor and that came out way higher than I wanted, eeks. So, I went with the classic black and white version, and love it just as much. In fact, I think I like it better with the countertops also being marble. And it was about $200 for the entire bathroom... much better! 

The place I decided to splurge was on the Kohler faucet. I have loved this faucet from their Purist series forever, and have used it with clients. It feels so nice to turn on and off, and the design just can't compare with other similar versions. I tried to make myself love a cheaper version, and I just couldn't do it.

The vanity came with brushed nickel pulls, which wasn't the look I wanted, so I replaced them with these brass ones from It was really hard to find pulls this size- they are 6.25" spread and that's big! So, I had to do fairly modern pulls, but most everything in the bath is pretty traditional, so it's okay. The knobs for the doors will be in soon. 

I did a mix of brass and silver tones. I wanted all the silver tones to be polished nickel, but I couldn't find a shower/tub faucet locally, so I had to do chrome. It was a good place to save a buck, and you don't really notice from a distance. I think that one was only around $125 from Home Depot, and it looks pretty good. I like mixing metals and you guys know I love brass, but I kept all the "permanent" elements (faucets, glass door hardware) silver toned, and all the ones that can easily be replaced (hardware/light fixture) in the silver tone family,  since I think most people (aka future buyers after me) think that is a bit more standard. 

I love the tub, which is clean lined and squared off - a bit more modern than your average tub. I got it at Home Depot, too. At the last minute, I decided to add penny tile to the background of the niche and it's a fun little addition :)

I know this view is a little lacking right now, but to the left here, is where the linen closet will be. I also got a new traditional looking low-flow toilet which I am very happy with. Also from Home Depot. Toilet paper for days. haha. This is also where the old tub used to be! It's hard to get a photo from the vantage point that it used to be, because the door moved.

This is the kind of look I'm going to go for with the linen closet. Probably will look like a combo of built-in and standalone furniture. 

Mine will have doors, and most likely no drawers. It will need to hold a lot and act like a normal closet.

That's it for now, I guess! Wish me luck with the rest...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bathroom Renovation At The Westview House

So, I'm jumping around, and this post also has nothing to do with any work I've been doing, but instead more documenting the house I bought and the renovations I'm doing.

I showed you guys the weird bathroom: 

The back part, where the tub is, used to be part of the patio. The current laundry room is also part of the converted patio. So, since the tub area was over concrete (patio) the guy who owned the house before me, wanted to put a tub there without having to drill through (what I learned was 8"thick) concrete. So, he LIFTED the tub on top of the concrete, and in order for it to go there, it had to be raised. hence the hilarious stairs. It has been really funny taking showers in there. You have to walk UP, then step back down. It's actually pretty dangerous, but at least I have a handrail. haha! It's all pretty awful, and the tan travertine tile just isn't my thing. Neither is the vanity. 


Here is what it looks like now:

I decided to move the door over to the right. It used to be on the left of where it is in this photo. Can you see? I did this in order to have a larger vanity. I could've only gotten a 40" one before, if I'd done the vanity to the right when you walk in, but now I can get a 48" one, and a better view, in my opinion.

So this is what the old floor plan looked like:

And this is the new floor plan (except the linen closet and toilet are not that far away from each other. Probably only like 3'):

And a very quick sketch of elevations I drew really quick for you guys. I know some people aren't visual, so my words may not make sense. Hopefully this helps.

I'm getting way more storage, and I feel like this floor plan makes a whole lot more sense than the old one did. They were trying to cut corners by not drilling through that concrete, which I guess makes sense, but in the long run, just drill through the concrete - it's worth the couple hundred extra dollars! Especially when you probably spent that building the lovely staircase ;)

After we started gutting it, the contractor told me that there were not one but TWO layers of tile on the floor, and that the porch floor was 8" thick, so not fun at all to drill through. Poor guy. But they did a great job. Tomorrow the rough ins for plumbing happens.

I selected this faucet:

I bought it in polished nickel. I have used it a lot in brushed brass and I do love that look, but decided that this one was probably better for a fickle designer like me :) I can do brass pulls on the vanity to get my brass fix. And I do love polished nickel. 

I plan to change out the hardware to something brass. 

Today, I selected tile. I'm going to go with this one (which I have loved and used a lot for clients, too):

Here it is in the space. I have also marked out the tub and vanity here! Initially, it was going to be a regular wall, to the ceiling where that 2x4 is. But, last night after the contractor left, I had an epiphany which is to do a pony wall there instead, then do glass shower doors on the front and side, to let all that pretty light filter in to the rest of the room. Call me crazy, but I do love a shower curtain and I wanted to do that in here. However, practicality is going to win out so that we can get some sparkle and light in this bathroom. And yes I know glass shower doors are nice and pretty, too :)

Glorious shot of the tub! ha. I do like it though, because it's squared off and not round.

Going to go with this cheap classic in the tub. 

I guess that's it for now... standby! I will post more. Also, feel free to follow along for more progress and also some Insta-stories at my Instagram handle, @kfddesigns.