Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Front Entrance Vision

Our front door is in an awkward spot. This is the view from the street. It is around the corner to the right.

Here's what the side view used to look like. The white door IS NOT the front door. That is the door to the kitchen. The front door is behind the spruce on the right. Not very inviting huh.

But I've got big plans for this! Lot's of landscaping headed our way this summer. And we've already started. Today we had the spruce in front of the front door taken down. Let there be light!

And now you can see the front door! Thank you Eager Beaver Tree Service!

Look at that beautiful pediment! So, of course, as with any new project, I start getting ideas, making plans and drawings, getting super excited. And then it takes us forever to complete it. Meh... But check out how I envision this space...

Isn't it pretty! Looks like a decent house now! Hopefully, one day, we can see this in real life... ;) Here's the long list of things we need to do:
-Paint the blue trim white.
-Build two new fences (mostly for the dogs)
-Build a deck
-Pour a new curved concrete path to emphasize the "front door" (even though everyone will still probably use the kitchen door)
-Add flagstone to the kitchen door and in various other spots
-Add decomposed granite patio
-New front door
-Add some Aspen trees for privacy for our neighbors

How much, I wonder, is all that gonna cost? Hmmm...  Anyone need a graphic designer???  I'm available! ;)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kitchen Island

I'm pretty stoked how this bad boy came out. It's funny how some things work out.

After installing all the grey kitchen cabinets I started preparing and searching for an island. I really wanted a rustic antique wood piece but knew it would be hard to find the perfect size.

In my original drawing I had a rectangular shaped island. I started by measuring 40-48" from each wall of cabinets and taped off a shape on the floor. (Didn't get a shot of that :( Sorry.) I knew I wanted this to be super functional and have decent storage as well as room for stools on the other side. So the width between the refrigerator and dishwasher had to be about 45 to 48 inches but the other length could vary.

Coincidentally, in December I had purchased these bathroom vanities from Habitat for Humanity for my master bathroom...

They're super nice - solid wood, dove-tailed drawers and in good condition. I got the sink cabinet and set of drawers for $40 and another set for only $10 more. At the time I didn't know what I was going to do with the other set but certainly couldn't pass them up!!

After searching and searching online for an island that would fit (and that we could afford!), I was getting a bit discouraged. And then a light went off. I decided to measure the second set of vanity cabinets and, wouldn't you freaking know it, they measured to 45 inches wide! I presented the idea to my husband and he looked at me like I was smoking the Rocky Mountain good stuff. But I had to remind him that we needed to take advantage of what we physically had and how we need to save money for other things yet to come. (Like the master bathroom!) We moved the cabinets into place in my marked area in the kitchen and decided to "feel" them out. We both agreed that they would be functional so the rest of the planning continued.

I knew I was going to paint the cabinets. I was thinking of a cool color like peacock blue or some sort of green. But had to come up with a countertop first. We really wanted a white-ish colored hard countertop for the grey cabinets. Either a carrera marble or a quartz. But, dang, that stuff is super expensive here! So we went with butcher block. Whatever the counter for the island will be, has to go with butcher block or the white counter (if that ever happens). And looky what I found at at Habitat...

A slab of steel grey granite. Go ahead and guess at the size of this thing... go ahead... nah, you'll never guess. 47 by 49 inches! Holy crap what are the odds?! It was a little darker than what I wanted and the edges weren't finished so a little effort would have to be put into it. But it was $100 bucks and fit the vanity cabinets perfectly so we nabbed it.

We measured out the rest of the base so that the counter would hang an inch over each side. Got trim and beadboard and painted everything white.

We bought an angle grinder to finish the edges. I really like that they are a little rough and uneven. I didn't want this shiny and sparkly. The hubster did a good job. ;) We grabbed a couple of neighbors and the four of us plopped this thing on the base.

I found these cool tarnished brass pulls on Ebay and put them on today. Now I can finally use the drawers! Need to get a couple of pulls for the doors and I think we're done! So a totally custom island that fits this funky kitchen perfectly cost us about $200. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kitchen Progress!

So living in a chaotic construction zone during the holidays with numerous house-guest visits and birthdays to deal with has made the last couple months... can't quite come up with the perfect words to describe it right now but I think you know what I mean. My last post was when our kitchen appliances arrived - WAY back in November. Well, as of last Saturday, all of my appliances are now installed and fully operational. I have not had a kitchen sink in SIX MONTHS! We've been using our upstairs bathroom! Or hotel bathrooms...

The above photo is a temporary solution but it has made life SO much better. I started putting together our cabinets almost a month ago. We can't get the quartz countertops and apron sink that we want right now so we're settling for Ikea butcher block. I had this piece from our last house that I was using as a desk in my office. I'm glad I lugged it here from California! I got the cast iron Kohler sink from Habitat for Humanity (I'm there almost every week!) for $10 and the faucet from Home Depot. After waiting about three weeks for the plumbers to finally show up I now have a functioning sink!


We have to make the two-hour trip to Denver to get more butcher block so the rest of my counters consist of a random white shelf, and cardboard. HAHAHA! Since most of the cabinets are installed and screwed to the walls we started filling them. Finally able to get some of the boxes unpacked and out of the garage. And we will have white subway tile for the backsplash but, to protect the drywall, I put up a vinyl shelf liner. It's cute! But I need to get more to cover the rest of the wall.

We'll be trimming out the opening with a nice painted white ledge and trim moulding at some point. I have no clue when we'll be getting to that. My husband and I have taken over this project from the contractor so all the little finishing touches will most likely be done on the weekends.

Here's the "before" shot of the kitchen from when we bought it. Hopefully I can get a really nice "after" shot in a couple weeks!

Monday, November 21, 2016


Hooray! My kitchen appliances arrived! Too bad they're going to be sitting here for a while until the rest of the kitchen is ready. :(  But I have to say that ordering these through Coscto was an awesome experience. I ordered them last week - they were having a Black Friday sale that I couldn't pass up. Whirlpool refrigerator, double oven, dishwasher and microwave, delivered (from Denver 2 hours away), and removal of old appliances. And they would have installed them if my kitchen were ready. All for a grand total of $2700! Can't beat that! Everyone was very professional and communicative. And they delivery guys were super stoked they didn't have to install them. Haha!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Kitchen Update

This kitchen is going to be super kick ass! Lot's have happened already....

Cabinets gone and walls were torn out. Why is that stove still there?? ;)

Let the light in!! New half wall made with the original 2x4"s from 1906 that will look into the dining room and a fancy beam to help hold up this old house. I'm pretty sure this is going to be my favorite spot. From the sink you can see all the way out to the green space. Life will happen here!

I ordered my cabinets and appliances today. I hope I get them sooner that the suggested three weeks but I know how those things work. Sigh....  You can check out the elevations I made in the mean time:

We're going to try and make a custom hood with reclaimed wood. Maybe there will be enough of the old floor boards to work with!

We ordered the Platinum Grey shaker style cabinets from This is the first time I've ever ordered something this big without seeing them in person. They better be good! But they're a fabulous price so we went for it. I also ordered our appliances from Costco because they were having an awesome "Black Friday" sale. A little ahead of schedule but I'm not complaining! They should be available about the same time as the cabinets. It would REALLY be nice to have a working kitchen before Christmas!

FYI, I created a board on my Pinterest profile and have been pinning like crazy. Feel free to follow along there too!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Victorian Farmhouse Adventure

I'm back!!! I can't believe it's been so long. And let me tell you, life has changed drastically for the better! We ditched Southern California and moved to Colorado. And loving every minute of it. I've been dreaming about this move for a long time and I'm ecstatic that we were finally able to do it. But while we didn't get the acreage we wanted, we found a huge house that backs up to a green space. So there's plenty of breathing room. And... it's a major gut job. On to our next adventure of house renovations!!!

So this house was built in 1906 and, at some point before the 80's, it was moved to this location from a few miles up the valley. We'll be looking into it's original location and maybe someone knows when exactly it was moved. But there have been some good renovations done before we bought it - like electrical, some decent plumbing and a nice new furnace. There's a lot more that we're planning and have already started.

Let me start by showing you the floor plan of the house when we purchased it.

The major areas that we're focusing on are the upper left bathrooms and laundry, opening up the living room and kitchen and refinishing the original heart pine floors. And we're doing everything all at once! Well, luckily this time we are able to hire a super fabulous contractor to help and I think he's going to be my new best friend ;)

Here are some photos of how it looked when we bought it...

Yes, that is a stove in the center of the kitchen.

The washer and dryer were in the master bath 4 inches away from the toilet! I'm a crazy multi-tasker, but I didn't really want to fold laundry while on the pot. ;) Plus it wasn't to code. The electric water heater was under the stairs. We'll be moving that and changing it to a fancy-pants tankless.

Here was the hall powder room. Not bad but you'll see how I want to rearrange this.

This is the living room. It's in good condition except for the only entrance into it was a small doorway. That will be opened up nicely.

And here is what we hope to accomplish...

First, we're moving the laundry into the hall closet. Then we're making the hall powder into a full bathroom. The master bath will get moved around and we'll be adding closets. The wall to the living room is blown out and the wall above the kitchen sink will be opened up. The office turns into the dining room and the old dining room will be my daughters' room. And I'll be getting a brand new kitchen without a stove in the middle. :D

We've converted the upstairs to a two-bedroom apartment so that we can live in the house. We spent 8 weeks in a hotel prior to this - didn't really want to keep doing that!

Here are some before shots of the upstairs...

There's a nice space at the top of the stairs that I turned into a kitchenette. We turned the blue on blue room into our main living area.

This is a small room/closet off the blue room that is currently our cozy master bedroom ;P

Here's the upstairs bath. I want to move that tub to the new master downstairs and refinish it. I'm crossing my fingers we can get it down the stairs. I had a hard time filling it up the first few times because all I could think of was that scene in the Money Pitt with Tom Hanks. I'm getting a little more comfortable now. But we REALLY would like a shower now! ;)

I started ripping off that wall paper immediately. And we got a new faucet for the sink. This will all be redone in the future but we need to finish the main floor first.

There's SO much going on right now but I'll finish this post here. Stay tuned for more updates on the Colorado Victorian Farmhouse reno! Make sure you follow my Instagram too. @katchstudios  Lots to see there also!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Rattan Chevron Moss Green Table

I've been a cleaning and organizing freak lately! Look at me go - another project in the bag! This little desk has been sitting in my garage for, oh, almost 2 years. Poor thing. It's so cute! And now...

So pretty! I sprayed it with Moss Green Satin from Rust-Oleum. And surprisingly, it only took one can. Well, I ran out before I could paint the back but since I can't see that I'm not going to go back to the store. ;) Now I just need to decide on drawer pulls....