Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Great Kitchen Remodel


Over Thanksgiving, we had our friend/handyman remodel the kitchen.  It was like being on HGTV except without the stylist. 

Reader beware, this post is picture and link intensive.


The 'before' is a shot we hastily took on our first walk-through of the house before we even bought it.


There was faux butcher block laminate.  There was shiny blonde laminate flooring.  It was pretty much a 1970's ad for Formica.  The sink was maybe 6" deep with the very cheapest faucet available from Lowe's.  

Not any more!!





After much (MUCH) debate, we went with Formica's Calacatta Marble 180fx laminate countertop. Yes, I replaced Formica with Formica.  And I couldn't be happier with it!  I had a hard time finding reviews of real people who actually installed it and lived with it so it was a bit of a leap of faith.  Especially on my husband and our handyman's part.  They were a tad on the unconvinced side.  

I loved the look of white on white with pops of color.  And I was able to skirt the annoying problem of our little 1600sqft-er not being able to uphold the value of real marble, or any stone, quartz, or composite.  Not to mention the, ahem, budget. 

It's been installed for 4 months so far and I've set hot pots on it, cut veggies on it and generally abused it with two small children climbing on it and trying their best to stain it.  But it has held up perfectly.

The light fixture came from Barrett Lighting and Appliance. If you live in the area, I highly recommend them.  Their prices were comparable if not better than Lowe's and their selection vast.  What you didn't see in the before pic is the miniature white ceiling fan that the previous owner's had installed.  Strange, yes?  It did come in handy a few times when I scorched something but that didn't make up for the tax it took on my eyes. 


Our handyman also installed under the cabinet lighting as a last minute request.  It has made all the difference in the world.  He had to do a bit of re-wiring and we almost said forget it but I'm SO glad we didn't!

In my dreams, I would have a Shaw apron front sink.  But for now $1,000 can go toward many other causes like oh... say, a car payment!  


So instead, we purchased this sink from Lowe's.  And a Kohler Bellera faucet.  I love the extra large compartment on the left side of the sink and small one on the right.  But unfortunately, it has scratched very easily and is my only regret in the entire remodel. I completely agree with the one reviewer who gave 1 star.  

This picture is after borax, steel wool, and several types of scrubbers.  Our Calphalon pan handles make a mark on the rim of the sink if you aren't careful when setting them down.  

UPDATE: A friend suggested I use a cleaning product called Bar Keeper's Friend.  She said it has worked wonders on her white cast iron sink!  

UPDATE 2:  Bar Keeper's Friend is the bomb.  It works like a charm!



The pelmet box on the other hand... fabulous.  If I do say so.  I followed this tutorial from Life on Mars as well as the one from Little Green Notebook.  I took a cue from the shape of Danielle's pelmet.


The ikat fabric is Robert Allen off of Etsy from Green Apple Fabrics.  At $23 per yard it is on the more expensive side of my fabric purchases but it's exactly what I imagined for the space.  And I only needed one yard even though the window is 60" wide. 

The print above the sink is from French Press Mornings.  She posted it as a free download the other day on Facebook.  She also has an Etsy shop with a lot of really pretty Scriptures.  We chose gray grout instead of white to play up the streaks in the farble.  (That's faux-marble.)


A few of my favorite little tidbits here and there...

A pie bird from my Mom.  I read a fun article on antique pie birds, or pie whistles, in a magazine a while ago.  I didn't even know what they were.  Then we saw one at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  By the way, a pie bird vents steam out of the middle of a pie so it doesn't get soggy.  Now you know.









One last time...


Oh, and my helpers!  They were very helpful in the scootching of the tripod, leaving toys in the outskirts of pictures, etc.  I can't do without them!


Update:  I had a commenter ask about seams and the standard brown Formica line... Here are a couple of pics showing you both.  

The edge does have a line but it isn't obvious since the Calacatta isn't one solid color.  This could be eliminated but doing an ogee edge or something similar, which is an option with Formica.


There's only one seam in our kitchen since the Formica comes in 4'x8' sheets.  It's in the corner and doesn't bother me at all. 




Linking up here:

five days five ways | feature friday free for all



36 comments:

  1. Wow! It looks amazing! Want to come decorate my house?!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not joking, by the way. I will pay you to decorate my house...

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    2. Kari, I'd LOVE to decorate your house. You have a beautiful home and good taste! Stop second guessing yourself and go for it! :)

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    3. What if I just pay you and you can get your apron sink a lot faster? :) From the looks of things, we have very similar taste and I would totally trust you to go for it :)

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    4. I totally understand if you don't want to, I don't want to be a bug! Just putting it out there....

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  2. How are the seams in the corner? Also does it have the standard brown Formica line?
    Ive been wanting this since I saw it online but the people
    At Home Depot are trying to talk me out of it :-/ also if you don't mind me asking how much did you pay per sf?

    Nicole
    www.nicolegattophotography.com

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    1. Hi Nicole!

      Our kitchen is so small there is only one seam line in the far corner. That seems odd that the Home Depot employees are trying to talk you out of it. What are their reasons? We absolutely love ours- it's a cheap and pretty fix! I suppose there is a brown Formica line on the edge- more so than the Formica website shows on their Calacatta gallery photos. But it truly isn't that bad. I'll post a couple of pics I took with my iPhone. Like I said in the post, I'd rather have done a double ogee edge but cost wouldn't allow it and our handyman would have had to buy a new tool to do it. A curved edge option would eliminate the brown Formica line.

      Here in Texas, our Lowe's sells the 4'x8' sheets for around $90. So that's 32 square feet per sheet and $2.80/sqft.

      Hope this helps!

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  3. I totally love a white kitchen, simply because it looks clean and neat. Plus, a white kitchen is so easy to manage. What I mean by that is you can easily spot dirt on it, which would make it easier to clean. Anyway, smart choice on choosing the Formica. That is actually our countertop right now. So far, I haven’t experienced any problems with it. ->Keaton Oakes

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    1. Thanks Keaton! Can't say enough good things about it!

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  4. Amazing! You made great changes in your kitchen and I absolutely love it. While I’m still searching for my new house, I’m looking for a kitchen that’s also painted white, but I can’t find one. After purchasing this house a year ago and after saving some budget for a kitchen redo, I’m glad to be able to start my remodelling by the end of this month! Your kitchen will be my inspiration for this redo. :)

    ^- Leeanne Dyson -^

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    1. I'm so glad you were inspired, Leeanne!

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  5. Hello,

    I'm the assistant multimedia producer for HouseLogic.com, a site published by the National Association of Realtors® covering home ownership-related topics.

    Would you be interested in granting us permission to use that amazing first image of your kitchen reveal in an upcoming article? Email me at libby@houselogic.com for the details. Thanks!

    Libby

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      This is a follow-up to a post made earlier this week requesting permission to feature a photo of your kitchen reveal in an upcoming HouseLogic article. I was hoping you could let me know whether or not you're interested in granting that permission.

      If you do grant permission, please let us know how you would like your photo credit to read and if you would like us to link to your site.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Thanks,

      Libby@houselogic.com

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    2. Hi Libby,
      Thanks for your interest, I just e-mailed you!

      Delete
  6. The kitchen looks bigger, but maybe that’s just from the point of view of the shot. Regardless, the new one looks great! The white cast-iron sink is a great addition, particularly since it now sort of blends with the countertop. My only comment are those edges. Is there a way to smoothen those? It might be dangerous, especially if you have little ones at home.

    Tittle Brothers

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    1. There are options to curve the edge, much like you could with real granite or marble. Formica says their countertops can be shaped to an ogee edge, bullnose etc. We just didn't have the budget for edges! We haven't had any issues with it being dangerous with our small kiddos.

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  7. Wow this such a great article and the tips are very comprehensive. For sure many entrepreneurs with small and big businesses are going to benefit from this. Keep it up!

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  8. I stumbled across your blog looking for these Formica countertops! While I love the look of marble, the cost and upkeep have put me off and this looks like an amazing alternative so thank you so much for your lovely review!

    Here's my question ;) I just got a sample in the post of the laminate and it has a weird shiny pattern over the top - is this what you have? If so, do you like it? I'm a little put off by it but yours looks so great that I'm a bit torn! Just that real marble wouldn't have any kind of shiny pattern and I'm not sure how I feel about it! Any feedback would be so gratefully received! Thank you so much, your kitchen really does look beautiful.

    If you don't wish to respond here, would you be so kind as to email me at swoonworthyblog at gmail dot com ?

    Thank you!

    Kimberly x

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  9. So glad I found your blog!! We are preparing to remodel our kitchen in the spring and while I have this exact laminate in our bathroom (and LOVE it!) I wasn't sure about using it in the kitchen....thanks for the inspiration and for sealing the deal so to speak! :)

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  10. ah, thank you so much for the review on the calcutta formica! We're getting ready to do a kitchen remodel & I've been trying to find something like carrara marble but I was hesitant with going with formica but your kitchen is beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  11. Looks so amazing! I really want to either get this Calacatta by formica or the Calcutta by Wilsonart. When we first looked at these at lowes I initially loved the wilsonart Calcutta because it was smooth surface and I did not like the etched surface but your kitchen looks amazing! I wish I could see a big slab of the formica in person. Does the etching look funny in person or do you not notice it as much? Ive been so curious if it makes it look more realistic or if it makes it look more like laminate... but regardless in your kitchen it looks Amazing! so beautifully done good job!! Please let me know about the etching if you can!!!! :)

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    1. We've since moved houses and towns or I'd take a good picture of the etching. At first I thought it was an odd finish for Formica to choose but if it was perfectly smooth I think it would be immediately apparent that it is indeed laminate instead of stone. So while there is a texture to the surface, it is not glaringly obvious unless you put your nose 6 inches from the counter. :)

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  12. Love your work and the choice of the light fixture.
    I wonder if you know the brand or the model number of it? I would love one of that beautiful light fixture in my own kitchen too ;)

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    1. So far I've been able to track down that it's from World Imports. If you call Barrett Lighting and Appliance in Tyler, TX (866-534-8101) you should be able to order it and have it shipped. I texted a pic of it to one of the sales ladies, Melissa, so maybe you could do the same and ask to order it. Or take the pic and info to your local lighting store and ask if they can order from World Imports. We've moved so that's all the info I've been able to gather on it! Best wishes that you can order it! I'll let you know if she supplies me with any more info.

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    2. OK! She was great and gave me the model number- 61406-42 from World Imports:
      10" diameter 14" height
      10' chain, 12' wire
      canopy 5"D
      takes 4- 60w candelabra bulbs

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    3. The sales lady said it's best to search for it on the internet since shipping costs from Tyler would render Barrett Appliance's price noncompetitive.

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  13. Nice countertops! Have you had trouble keeping them stain-free or had other maintenance issues?

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  14. Anon- we moved out of the house a while ago but lived with the countertops for about seven months. During that time we had zero trouble with staining, scratching or any other maintenance issues. Now I'm sure if you used the surface consistently as a cutting board then you'd see some scratching. But I don't think anyone would recommend that.

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  15. Thanks so much for the info on the countertops! We have been considering going with this exact laminate for a while now, and this might just be the push we need! :)

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  16. Hi, there,
    During the month of May, Formica Corporation will be promoting "Makeover Monday" and showcasing fantastic Formica® brand kitchen makeovers. Would you mind if we utilized two of your photos (with link-back credit, of course) on our Facebook page? Please reach out to me at angie.hall@formica.com with any questions.

    Thanks!

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  17. I am really very happy to find this particular site. I just wanted to say thank you for this huge read!! I absolutely enjoying every petite bit of it and I have you bookmarked to test out new substance you post.

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  18. Thank you for posting the pics of your kitchen remodel. It's still hard to find good pics of the 180FX laminate.

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  19. what is the backsplash please?

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  20. i'm happy to find your blog. We are in the process of picking out counter tops and my husband really didn't want to fo laminate again but I have a budget and I like how it looks. Did you handyman make your counter tops or did you use a big box store? I just called a place and they change 28 per foot. that seems high doesn't it? Any regrets now that you've had it for a while? where did you get your backsplash?

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