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1/29/2011

New Cabinets!

We finalized our new kitchen layout this week and ordered our new cabinets (courtesy of Diamond)!  We’re one more step closer to starting our big kitchen reno in March!  YAY!!!

After sealing the deal on our new appliances (thanks again Whirlpool… you are awesome!!!) we decided that the next big thing to check off of old to-do-list is cabinets.  We shopped around at a few places (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Kitchens by Design, Cherokee Cabinets, and Cabinet Center Inc.) to try to find the best deal on cabinets.  We narrowed it down to two front-runners… Lowe’s and Kitchens by Design.  It was a very difficult choice to make, but in the end Lowe’s just couldn’t be beat!  Diamond just released their brand new Prelude line at Lowe’s… and to promote this new line the manufacturer offered a free sink base cabinet, free tilt out tray, free upgrade on the finish, and free smart stop drawers!  To top it all off, Lowe’s was running a deal of their own (through January 28) on all of their special order cabinet brands.  So, in addition to the freebies offered by Diamond we got a $1200 instant rebate at the register from Lowe’s!  We also cashed out some old Discover Rewards points for a couple hundred dollars worth of Lowe’s gift cards to put towards the purchase.  Can’t beat that!

Here are a few virtual shots of what our future layout will look like!  Not all of the details (direction of the cabinet doors, door style, trims, counter top color, etc.) are exactly right in the virtual pics (we did the best we could with the computer program) but they’re pretty darned close to what we should end up with! 

The new view from the family room into the kitchen (please note that there will also be a raised bar on the new peninsula, but again, the computer program was being stupid didn’t have that capability)

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The view from the front kitchen window down to the back end of the kitchen…

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The new open view into the family room (probably the biggest perk of the project)

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The view from the back end of the kitchen to the front window…

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Definitely a huge improvement… but then again… when you consider what we have right now anything would be an improvement!

Why a New Kitchen?

Well… the easy answer is that the old kitchen (and adjoining family room) just isn’t working for us!  Here are a few of the problems we have with it:

Problem 1: Wood Overload!  It’s just way too much with the wood paneling on the walls, old parquet floors, and tacky wood laminate covered cabinets!  I know we live in Tennessee, but we’re not living in a cabin for goodness sake!

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Problem 2: Those tacky wood laminate covered cabinets!  Underneath all of that “fake wood-looking stuff” our cabinets are actually made of avocado green metal.  I guess at some point the house’s former owners got a little tired of the all green kitchen and decided to glue this lovely stuff on the cabinets to try to dress them up a bit… Classy, huh?

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Problem 3:  Foliage-inspired laminate countertops and backsplash.  Yep… that’s the same stuff the countertops are made of glued to the walls for our backsplash.  Another nice choice by the former owners!  By the looks of the countertop (a mixture of oak, maple, clover, and other leaves), I’m guessing they were outdoorsy people.

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Problem 4: Lighting… enough said!

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Problem 5: The bowling alley galley layout.  The current layout is completely cut off from the family room, which makes cooking or washing dishes impossible to do at the same time as keeping an eye on Bailey.  Plus, the cooking area is right smack in the middle of the traffic way… and when Bailey starts chasing Sydney around the house in her walker (which happens about every other day) this can definitely be a problem!

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So, now you know what we’re dealing with.  Can you really blame us for wanting to start from scratch? I’m sure you would all do the same!

1/22/2011

New Appliances!

The first major purchase we made in preparation for our upcoming kitchen renovation was new appliances! 

In late November I was told by my boss that Whirlpool (a national partner with Habitat for Humanity) was going to be offering major discounts on their appliances just for Habitat employees!  SCORE!!!  The discount program would run through the end of 2010 and it wasn’t just on Whirlpool brand appliances, but also KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and Maytag (all of which Whirlpool owns).  The timing couldn’t have been better, so let’s just say that Craig and I were all over it!

We scoured the Whirlpool VIP site, looking through hundreds of appliances that the discount applied to.  Once we had narrowed things down to a few different options we hit our local stores to check out our favorites in person and get a better feel for their sizes and features.  We compared the Whirlpool VIP prices with the retail prices at H.H.Gregg, Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy… and each time Whirlpool was offering a better price!

In the end, we purchased a new refrigerator, dishwasher, wall over/microwave combo, cooktop with built-in downdraft, AND a new washer and dryer! 

The best part… we saved $1,810 off of the cheapest prices that were being offered at any of the retailers in the area ($4,986 off of the MSRP)!  WOO HOO!!!

I’m tellin’ ya… it was just meant to be!!!

So… here are a few pictures of what we currently have and what we’ll be replacing them with!

Refrigerator

Currently this lovely Amana top freezer option

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Soon to be this (KitchenAid KFIS27CXMS)

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Dishwasher

Currently this 1961 avocado green KitchenAid option.  On the up side it still works pretty well, but on the down side the door literally weighs 10 lbs.or more.  I’m worried every day that Bailey is going to climb on it and get clobbered.

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Soon to be this (KitchenAid KUDC03FVSS)

dishwasher

Oven

Currently this 1961 avocado green Frigidaire Custom Deluxe beauty.  One of the burners only cooks on high.  Another burner doesn’t work at all  The oven temperature can swing + or – 100 degrees when you bake (nope, not kidding).  And instead of having one normal sized oven we currently have two very narrow ones which can make cooking a big dinner pretty difficult.

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Soon to be this (KitchenAid KEMS308SSS) and this (KitchenAid KECD867XBL)

   oven & microwave combo cooktop with downdraft

Washer & Dryer

Currently this old Whirlpool washer and Kenmore Dryer (Which always takes at least two 70 minute cycles to dry one load of clothes).

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Soon to be this (Whirlpool WFW9750WW) and this (Whirlpool WED9750WW)

        washer  dryer

I can’t tell you how excited we are about our new appliances!  Can’t wait until they’re delivered and installed!!!

Let me just give one last shout out to WhirlpoolYOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!  As a Habitat for Humanity employee I was already a BIG Whirlpool fan, but now I’m definitely in love for life! 

**Most of you probably don’t know this, but Whirlpool has been in partnership with Habitat for Humanity since 1999!  Since then, Whirlpool has donated a free refrigerator and range to every new Habitat house built in North America!  That’s 90,000 appliances or nearly $50 million worth of products!  And, as if that’s not enough, every year thousands of Whirlpool employees volunteer their time to Habitat!  How awesome is that!  So, if you’re in the market for some new appliances, I strongly recommend you buy Whirlpool!  Just think of it as good karma or paying it forward!**

1/21/2011

A Much Overdue Dining Room Quick Change…

I just realized that I never posted about the work we did in our dining room back in early December.  I don’t know why (with Bailey’s birthday, Christmas, work, and everything else going on) I didn’t think to post it before now?!?  Anyway, I guess better late than never…

In the past 5+ years of living in our house we haven’t done a thing in the dining room other than move our furniture in.  So we decided to patch a few cracks/holes, paint (a color that would jive with the taupe color we painted in the living room), and hang curtains (that match the curtains in the living room, tying in the two spaces).  We still have a lot finishing touches to take care of—crown molding, new light fixture, new door, new furniture, and new flooring—but these things will have to wait until after our big kitchen/den reno is complete in a few months! 

Anyway, back to the humble dining room paint job and curtains…

So, here’s a way before picture… (I forgot to snap a before with our furniture and set up, so here’s a picture of the dining room from when Craig bought the house… just imagine the same white walls, same awful green carpet, but with different furniture… that’s what our before looked like)…

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Here are a couple during…

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And an after (please keep in mind we are far from done in here… just giving y’all a sneak peak)

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I finally hung my $15 estate sale find… the frame and matting pictured above, or course, had been redone.  I LOVE the look of it in the room!

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The wall with the curtains originally was an exterior wall on the house.  When the previous owners decided to close in the car port to make a bonus room they built on a short hallway connecting the bonus room to the kitchen.  By hanging the curtains and sheers we are now able to hide our lovely view of the paneled back hallway… sure am sorry to have lost that!

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We threw around several ideas for dealing with our misplaced window (even considered knocking it out for a large open doorway as part of our upcoming reno), before finally settling on the path of least resistance.  In the end, I think we made the smartest choice… taking the window out just would have created some major traffic flow issues and wouldn’t have worked with the floor plan of the adjoining kitchen.

Now that this post is done… the next renovation-focused post should be kitchen related!!!  I can’t tell you how SO SUPER EXCITED I am about that!!!

1/10/2011

Should it Stay or Should it Go?

So here’s the problem… Bailey’s hair is really getting long… and uncontrollable!  If left to its own devices it will inevitably take over her beautiful face! 

Amazingly, she doesn’t seem to mind so much, but it just drives me crazy

We’ve tried all sorts of things to try to contain it…

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…like bows… but they rarely last more than a couple of minutes…

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…and clips  (you know, tiny ones that she won’t notice as much)… but eventually she does notice them and they’re yanked out too…

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…and a “Pebbles” ponytail on top of her head… which thus far she doesn’t seem to mess with. 

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Unfortunately, Craig simply HATES this last option.  His solution to the hair problem… cut her hair!

Personally… I feel like she’s still way too young for a haircut… I mean she is still my baby after all!

So, I’m posing the question to you guys… should it stay or should it go?!?

1/01/2011

Step By Step... Ooh Baby!

Gonna get to you girl...

Step by step... Ooh baby...

video

...Really want you in my world!