Planning the Pantry

Doesn’t everyone have a pantry that looks like this?

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Nope? What about this?:

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Or my favorite:

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I’m pretty sure everyone at some point in their life has had a pantry that looks like mine and we all wish we had ones that look like above:

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Yep..one scrawny little shelf, with a bunch of crap on it. That is…embarrassing.

Funny story: Every time a recipe we wanted to make had canned tomatoes, we bought canned tomatoes. If we didn’t end up making said recipe that week, the canned tomatoes stayed in the pantry and the next time a recipe called for canned tomatoes, it was added to the grocery list and bought again. Since we couldn’t see what we had in the pantry…we accumulated like 12 cans of tomatoes.

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While looking for pantry inspiration that is actually ATTAINABLE for real life people who don’t have 100s of matching glass jars, I found this gem:

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Holy yes. You can see everything, I am always looking for excuses to buy baskets, and it is totally doable for any real-life person without dropping a huge chunk of $$$ into it. We had a plan.

The next day, we measured our space and went to Home Depot to get the materials we needed for the project, which included:

  • Wood for shelves (We bought 1x4s which will hold the boards up, and 10 foot boards, which we will cut in half to create the shelves. Unlike the above picture, the two shelves on the bottom will be deeper so that we can fit some small appliances like our waffle maker, rice cooker, etc.
  • Stain and sealer for shelves (We bought Minwax Weathered Oak, decided we didn’t like that shade next to the normal oak doors, then bought Minwax Ipswich Pine)mwf_ipswichpine
  • Paint for walls (We ended up buying Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Pale Cucumber and painting the hallway + pantry walls before I took a before picture)

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And now we are in the process of staining and sealing all of the boards which will become shelves here in the next couple of days! I am so excited to get our pantry items OFF of our dining room table and organized! Hoping to have a post on that by this weekend (crossing fingers!).

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Are you going to put doors on these?

That question was the bane of Josh’s existence. I think he died a little inside every time we invited a new person into our house. He knew it was coming. The question. Dun dun dunnnnn. “Are you going to put doors on these or leave them open?” This post is about our upper cabinets.

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Now, our dishes are adorbs. Our aqua countertops match our aqua fiesta ware. I mean, it works. So I can understand why everyone asked us that question (most people actually wanted us to leave them open as shelving rather than add the doors). After the question, we went in to how we installed the lower cabinet doors because of the dirt/dust that got all over everything and how we just hadn’t gotten to the top ones yet.

But really, the reasoning behind the delay in doing our upper cabinet doors was that Josh remembered how crappy/annoying/terrible/torturous it was to notch out portions of the door and door frame in order to use our awesome hidden hardware and he wanted to delay the reoccurrence of that pain/torture as long as possible. That was, until I cracked the whip. (Just kidding- I think the excitement of almost being done with the darn kitchen outweighed the fact that he just really didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to do it either because..well…he’sjustbetterthanme. and I didn’t want to mess it up.)

After he had a few doors installed, I marked for where the hardware holes needed to go, he drilled (because again, I was afraid to mess it up), and I installed the pulls.

Now, we are the owners of some brand new, freshly painted cabinets WITH DOORS! 🙂

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Now, for our next project…stay tuned (OMG, this picture is so embarrassing):

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Sunshiny Door

Well, the lack of posts around here can be explained by a few things happening around our house.

1-We are taking a well deserved break from projects and making a conscious effort to create a balance between projects & having fun. Speaking of that, we went out of town this weekend to a friend’s cabin and had a great time! We got our redneck on, went on a hike, & I even shot a gun (Well, actually three different guns..who am I?).

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2-We are painting trim, which wouldn’t make for a very exciting blog post. Seriously, it is totally boring, but it really does make such a difference. We can see the room coming together really nicely and I cannot wait until we can get some artwork hung up and put all of the finishing touches together.

The good news is..we are about 93% done with the kitchen. While painting the trim, we realized that to paint the trim/door frame surrounding the door, we would need to remove it for a day or so. Since it has been so chilly, we had to wait until we got a warm weekend. Last weekend was our best shot, so we decided to take the plunge in painting it a pretty color at the same time (kill two birds with one stone!). We have had several paint chips taped up on the door for about 4 months, so we just chose our favorite one, bought a quart, and started priming and painting.

We left Home Depot feeling very confident in our choice and spent Saturday carefully painting. It was one of the first decisions in this entire project where we didn’t fully think through it, so that was a refreshing change! While painting, we loved the color and how it popped next to the tile color.

Well, once we installed the door, we decided we don’t exactly love it. I guess you can’t win ’em all! We are keeping it until spring, but will likely paint it either a more saturated yellow or red or turquoise or something we haven’t even thought of yet. I think we’ll agonize a bit more over our second door color decision. 🙂

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Mail time!

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For the past month, we have had our mailbox leaning up against a tree. Our mail man probably thinks we are so lazy and/or hates us. The bottom was almost completely rusted out and the door barely opened, so we bought a replacement in mid – November.  Then came Thanksgiving, and we forgot about the mailbox project. Then came December and it stayed on the back burner behind all of the holiday decorating, shopping, wrapping, etc. Now that the holidays are over and since Joshua’s company shuts down for the week between Christmas and New Year, we finally got the gorgeous replacement mailbox installed!! (I say we, but Josh did all of the work.)
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I got home from work last night and was jumping up and down in the driveway. I have officially become a lame homeowner who gets excited about a mailbox! But can’t you just see a sweet little flower bed or plants surrounding it? And can’t you imagine our mail man starting to love us, even though Tucker sometimes barks at him? I can, yall. I can.

Over sink lighting!

One thing we were glad we accomplished before Thanksgiving was the over sink lighting. Washing dishes for 10 people after a big meal would NOT have been fun with this oh-so-bright light over the sink-:

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Long story short, we ripped the other light fixture out when we started sanding the cabinets and didn’t have a fixture for a few months. On one of my trips to Lowe’s, I took my obligatory “Hm, I think I like this!” picture so that I could text it over to Josh. Turns out he liked it and a few days later on another trip to Lowe’s, we bought it!

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The great thing about it is that you can choose your own glass shades to suit your style (or when you get tired of a set, you can go buy another set without having to get a whole new light). We initially chose a clear glass shade, then decided we would rather go with a frosted glass so that we could get the energy efficient light bulbs.

YAY for little changes that make a big impact!

Mortar, and Tile, and Grout-OH MY!

It took us a few trips to several stores and lots of samples for us to come to an agreement on the kitchen tile.

One of our first “we love this” tiles was a special order tile from Home Depot that I cannot hunt down online. It was a dark grey (almost black) tile that was very textured and came in the long rectangular tiles that I really, really wanted. Those tiles were ~$4 per square foot, so it was on the high end of our budget AND was a bit too dark/modern looking for our little rustic home.

The second one we loved was from the Floor Trader. The man who assisted us at Floor Trader was amazingly helpful and truly helped us narrow down what we like/dislike/etc. We took a few samples home with us and really fell in love with one in particular called “Fitch Rainbow.” It was a really beautiful gray colored tile with a bit of brown/taupe mixed in. We weren’t sure why it was called Rainbow, but we decided to take our search to google to hopefully see the tile in action in a room. This is what we found:

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Uh…what? The tile on our sample board looked nothing like that, although it did have a note on the board that said the color variation between tiles is ‘high.’ We determined this one was definitely not for us. It was too busy for such a large space and again, was too modern and too expensive at ~$5 per square foot. Plus, it just kind of looked weird to us. I don’t know. (Fitch had some really beautiful lighter colored tiles, so I am by NO means talking bad about the brand..This particular tile just wasn’t the right fit for this room right now.)

This is when I had my ‘a-ha!’ moment with the long, plank-like tiles. They were definitely what I had my heart set on after seeing many, many inspiration photos on pinterest. They are lovely, but they just aren’t the right fit for our house and they were far more expensive than the more widely available square tiles. So, we went back out on another trip.

This time, with our eyes re-opened to the possibility of square tiles, we stumbled upon this little gem at Lowe’s:

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Heyyyy. It is gray and has a little bit of beige/taupe in it AND was under $1.50 per square foot. We bought a sample to take home and finally decided that this one was definitely a winner. Plus, with the price and the fact that it is an in-stock tile = major winner.  After doing all of the prep work, we were very excited to get started with the installation process.

The measuring/planning process was the hardest part of the entire installation. Our instructional book (we call it “The Bible,” and it was a gift from my dad for our housewarming party) told us to center the tiles on doors, sinks, or other focal points in the room. Uhh…it has four doors, a sink and a huge fireplace/brick focal wall. To make the planning process simpler, the book told us to create a ‘Guide Stick’ so that we could mark where cuts would be in the corners of the room without having to literally place tiles in each configuration during the planning process. Below is Josh making the guide stick.

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We ended up deciding to center the tiles on the brick wall/fireplace because it required the least amount of awkward cuts and in our opinion is the star of the show in the room (after my baller gourmet cooking, of course). After coming to that decision (four hours after we started!), we snapped a chalk line to mark the center of the room so that we could start placing the tiles!

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About five hours later, we had completed the installation of over 100 tiles!

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Where the hearth was previously, we poured several batches of self-leveling concrete to make it level with the rest of the cement board in the room. We debated using a different tile or natural slab to make the hearth different, but decided to save time and have one less decision to make that we would install this tile all the way up to the fireplace.

While Josh was out of town, my friend Taylor and Josh’s brother Aaron (who really should just be a freaking character in our blog from now on. I might put a picture of him on our ‘about us’ section) came over to help install the rest of the full sized tiles. I think Josh was totally worried the whole time we were working on it, but our section ended up pretty okay, other than a few things that the grout ended up masking a little. haha! We’ve never said we were professionals!

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When Josh came back home, we jumped right in to the grouting process. Josh went around the room to scrape off any extra mortar that smooshed up between the tiles so that the grout would evenly distribute and I made sure the tiles were vacuumed and cleaned really well.

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For the grouting process, Josh mixed and spread the grout and I wiped everything down with the grout sponge. YAY. We love it. It is awesome. I want to do snow angels in the center of the room and snuggle with it.

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Now all that we have to do to completely finish the floor is seal the grout! Merry Christmas to us!!! 🙂

Hello, beautiful thing!

Oh hayyyy. Long time no post.. My reasoning is because 1. We’ve been in and out of town so not many projects are getting done and 2. We were still sanding, sanding, sanding, and posts all about sanding are boring. Soooo anywho… Remember this guy?

AC Unit at Move-In

Well, lookie what we got…

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It has been a few weeks since the installation of our AC unit, but man has it been glorious. We had major humidity issues in the house early on (mildew forming on walls, etc), so the AC was much needed.

WAHOO! Now we are a bunch of dollars poorer, but at least we can breathe in our own house without the fear of getting mildew poisoning. Is that a thing? If not, I just made it a thing.