Friday, April 26

Our Kitchen Renovation Part 2

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I'm so excited to finally show you our (mostly) finished kitchen! Do you like how I keep throwing "mostly" in there? Are you ever really done dreaming in your spaces? Usually not. In the future we'd like to have a proper pantry built and maybe even take out part of the wall along our back staircase (it lives behind the coral hutch), but that's a whole lot of Phase 3 talk and I'm ready to take a break from kitchen projects for a bit. 😉

Okay, so getting back to the current state of the kitchen... I'm SO pleased with how everything came together! The counters, the flooring, the new colors: it all feels so fresh and pretty, and it also still feels like ME. Hey, I worry. What if you make big decisions and end up having major regrets? It's a real concern. Anyway, I'm happy to report that I have 0 regrets thus far. That's definitely something to celebrate!

If you remember from my Part 1 post, I partnered with Surplus Warehouse, a home improvement warehouse store that specializes in flooring and cabinetry, for a portion of this kitchen project. I think before I go any further, I should share a little bit of behind-the-scenes. I feel like a lot of times blogs seem to wave a magic wand and there's *poof* a before and after set of pics. Renovation isn't easy, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We hired professionals to remove our old counters, install the new ones with a new sink and garbage disposal, lay the tile and grout, rehang and paint the cabinets, and it was still hard. Being without a kitchen for weeks is hard. The rest of the stuff you opt to do yourself to save money can be hard. Obviously it's worth it, but it's still hard. Let's get into our "before" and a glimpse at the process.

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A lot of people on social media were encouraging us to keep the aqua paint color, but if you scroll up, you can see how the new flooring changed the tone of the blue. Always trust your decorating gut. You're the one who lives in the space, not a person on Instagram who thinks made the wrong choice. Because this used to be the A Beautiful Mess studio, I get a lot of push-back any time I decide to change something... even after all these years. I want my home to reflect me, not a sea of strangers with opinions. I don't love this expression, but in this case it's truly applicable: YOU DO YOU.

We chose to finish the kitchen DIYing anything we were qualified to do, which was basically just a lot of painting. The yellow barn door, the back door, the hutch, the new quarter round trim, and white walls all needed a fresh coat of paint. Can we just talk about white walls for a sec? They're so fresh and bright and make a space look clean, but the minute you touch up one part of your house, you realize how much EVERYTHING ELSE needs painted. 😂 The struggle is real.

It took us the better part of 2 weeks to finish painting all of those things because, ya know, work and life take top priority. We crested the finish line, though, and now I get to share a gallery of photos all shot by Janae Hardy.

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I want to give a major shoutout to Arthur, the manager at Surplus Warehouse, before I wrap this up. We ended up having an issue with our grout and we couldn't find the same product anywhere in Springfield. He ended up driving to Rogers, AR to get us what we needed. That's a 4 hour round trip just to make sure we had the proper grout. So, as you can tell, it's been a pleasure working with Surplus Warehouse on our flooring. Major thanks to them.

We are SO pleased with our kitchen updates! It has all the elements I was going for: bright, colorful, eclectic with quality products. Oh, and the whole space feels so much bigger. Nailed it!

Now that the kitchen is done, I think I might take a breather from home projects for a bit. It's has been so lovely here in MO lately, I think it's time to get back to the garden. In the meantime, feel free to hit me with any questions you have about kitchen renovations!


Wednesday, April 17

Our Kitchen Renovation Part 1

Kitchen Reno Part 1

Hey, friends! I'm excited to be sharing this big project we've been working on for months! If you remember, last year Johnny and I officially bought this lovely historic house we'd been renting for a couple of years. Our landlords were very gracious in what they let us do to the house as far as painting and wallpapering went, but as any renter knows, you don't pour the big bucks in until you own the home. That brings us to our first official home renovation: the kitchen! I do want to start out by saying that this was already the nicest kitchen in any house I've ever lived in, so it's not that there was anything "wrong" with it. Johnny and I wanted to change some things aesthetically, and in doing that, invest in quality products that would help increase the value of our house.

Kitchen Reno Part 1

We knew we'd have to go in phases because kitchen updates are not always easy on the wallet. Phase 1 for us was having the old formica countertops ripped out and replaced with quartz. If you're curious about the old concrete skim coat, you can find that DIY here. It really was a clever project, we were just ready for something a little more classic.

After the counters went in and the tile backsplash repaired (we hired professionals for all of it), Surplus Warehouse, a home improvement warehouse store that specializes in flooring and cabinetry, reached out to me about working together. Could Phase 2 really happen so quickly? We went over to check out the selection since they are literally down the street from us, and were pleasantly surprised. When you walk in, they have a full, nice showroom. I was instantly excited, and honestly, it makes me so happy to be using a local company for our remodel!

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We met with the store manager, Arthur, and he took us back to the warehouse and explained a bit about flooring, and let us ask a bunch of questions. For a person who sometimes gets overwhelmed in large home improvement warehouses, I felt surprisingly at ease in the aisles. Everything was clearly labeled so I knew what I was looking at. They even had signs that recommended what types of projects (backsplash, flooring, etc) to use specific types of tile for. That was a big help for me. I've never gotten to renovate a kitchen before and I was a little afraid of making a rookie mistake.

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We took a couple of samples home to see how they felt in our kitchen. After spending way too many days looking at different penny tile design options on Pinterest, Johnny and I agreed on the marble hexagon tile. Ha! Sometimes you just have to really overthink something to come back around to the simpler option. Johnny placed our order with Arthur and we set up an installation date with our contractor! It was happening!

Kitchen Reno Part 1

Here is our "before" photo. Again, I think this kitchen is great, we were just ready to personalize it and make it feel even more like "us". I can't wait to write out part 2 and show you the finished product. Soon, friends!

*Special thanks to Surplus Warehouse for working with us. We're so excited to have this opportunity!



Friday, December 14

Our Palm Springs Anniversary Trip

Palm Springs
(Mural at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club but Laura Berger.)

Johnny and I recently celebrated our anniversary with a trip to Palm Springs. December is a busy month for us, so we rarely go "all out" with celebrating. This year I decided it was time to skip the overnight trip to Kansas City or St. Louis and go to where the sun would warm our faces.

We started the trip by missing our first afternoon/evening in PS because of flight delays. That part was tough. If you follow me on IG you probably know that Johnny has been dealing with a bulging disc in his lower back, so sleeping on the floor at the Denver airport was no bueno. We did make it through the night, though (obviously), and found ourselves in the warm sunshine a day later than expected.

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We stayed at a quite little place called The Desert Star. It was precious and secluded, but still VERY close to the stuff we like do when visiting Palm Springs. We spent most of our first day recovering from lack of sleep, so it was a chill(y) day getting in the pool, napping, and sitting by the fire pit.

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The next day we hit King's Highway for brunch and then headed the Cabazon Dinosaurs (my favorite!). We actually went specifically to the Ace Hotel to see the Laura Berger mural. I've been a fan of hers for a long time, so this was really fun to see in person!

After the dinos we did some shopping and sight seeing, and ate at Evzin for dinner. I don't have any pictures because I fully believe in finding the balance between being in the moment and having documented memories, but let me tell you- that was one of the best meals of my life. So, so good!

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It was a short trip, but there's no one I'd rather spend it with. (And spend those long travel days with. 😉) We've been back for a week and a half and I still haven't unpacked, though. Why is unpacking simply the worst? Any crazy unpack-the-day-I-get-home folks out there? I (lovingly) think you're aliens. 😉