Material Girl

We had a lot of materials to pick before the kitchen was reassembled.  Ideally we should have picked and purchased everything before we started.  In some cases it worked in our benefit to procrastinate, but there were a few items that didn’t come in time (oops).

After all of the appliances came in, we were able to layout the floor plan with the pre-made cabinets.  We knew we wanted tile floors for easy cleaning and stuck with the wood grained tile we saw in the showroom.

I’ve wanted butcher block counter tops for the longest time.  They warm up a crisp, white kitchen and they’re easy on the credit cards.  Unfortunately, all of the available counter tops come in a maple color which is a little too light for my taste so staining them was necessary.

Since I was pregnant throughout the kitchen renovation, I was banned from tackling any real projects.  I was delegated to the task of being project manager.  Which I would normally enjoy, but I wanted to be the project manager and boss of everything help out where I could.

For the counter tops, all I could do was pick out the stain and stand back while it(s) fumes choked me was applied by someone else.  The counter tops from Lumber Liquidators came unfinished, but we did a light sand to smooth them down before the two coats of Dark Walnut (by Minwax) stain were applied.

The next thing we needed was the back splash.  I originally wanted a timeless white or grey subway tile, but the man of the house thought it would be too much white against the cabinets.  We compromised on a smoky, blue glass tile.  Thank goodness we bought a sample before buying the whole lot because it was too dark against the counter tops and made the cabinets look out of place.

At this point, I was 7.5 months pregnant which meant we were running out of time and patience.  So I strong armed my way into back to the grey back splash I originally wanted.  It’s amazing how the phrase, “Because I’m pregnant”, magically gets husbands to do things you want.

Being so pregnant also meant that I didn’t have the time or energy to visit showroom after showroom looking for a good deal.  Thankfully I found some decently priced marble tile online.  The tile is my second favorite thing about the kitchen.  (My favorite thing deserves its own post.)  The cool, veiny Carrera marble warmed my heart as I looked at it on my screen.  It was love.  And it was cheaper than the glass tile we had picked in the showroom!  Double love.

Note for anyone who wants to purchase marble: Polished is the way to go.  It is easier to clean than honed marble because of its glossy finish.

Since we had saved so much money on the counter tops and back splash, we decided to splurge on accent tile above the stove.  When I say splurge, I mean don’t look at the price, swipe the credit card, and just pay the bill when it comes in.  The two square feet for the accent cost twice as much as the 35 square feet of back splash.  It was totally worth it.  Just look at the dreamy curves of the arabesque marble and glass.  Triple love.

The last thing we had to pick out was hardware for the cabinet.  I picked this after we got the bill for all of the tile so I was in penny pinching mode.  The tone of the kitchen was clean and simple so we needed hardware to match it.  Clean and simple=cheap.  I found these fantastic handles at Ikea.  They were a great price and seamless incorporated in the style of the kitchen.

One thing we didn’t get in time was a microwave.  We were planning to hang it underneath a cabinet, but this was one detail we didn’t plan well.  I didn’t know the standard size for mounted microwaves so the cabinet we were going to hang it from was too tall and not wide enough.  It left us with one choice of under-mount microwave.  The price of this microwave was ridiculous, you couldn’t buy it in stores, and all of the reviews said it broke within a year.  Crazy.  We’re still weighing our options on microwaves.

The last thing to do after we had picked all of the materials was to reassemble the kitchen.  Easy, right?!

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