Saturday, March 31, 2012

Frame Wall

We finally got around to putting up the frame wall that I have been working on for awhile now. I wasn't sure how to get started- should we somehow plan it out? Measure the space, lay it out on the floor?  Should we put up templates first (as seen on my favorite blog Young House Love)? In the end we decided to just dive in and start nailing way. We started with a big picture in the middle and just kind of built off of that. And thankfully it worked out. I still have one frame to fill and a tiny frame to add (the one sitting on the cabinet now- It's a picture of my grandparents from right around the time they got engaged) but for the most part it's good to go...

I definitely think I will end up changing a few of them over time but for now I think it's a good mix of pictures, art and memories. 
Starting from top left going clockwise- Napkin from our wedding (says Eat Drink and be Married), picture from our honeymoon in Mexico, "You are my Sunshine" print purchased on Etsy, the next 2 small ones are from pages of interior design magazines (just prints that I liked), the picture on the bottom is a drawing I bought in Prague (of Prague) from a local artist on the street (back in 2003), the wedding cake is a card that was given to us at our wedding, then a black and white picture from our wedding. 

 Front and center- one of my favorite wedding pictures, below that is a card I gave to Greg for Valentine's Day a couple years ago.

Starting from the top- the green and white flowers is a piece of wrapping paper, the #3 is a table number from our wedding- 3 being a very symbolic number for us- Our wedding date (as well as my grandparents married for 58+ years), Greg's baseball number and it also has significant meaning in the Greek Orthodox religion and the wedding ceremony (everything is done 3 times). Below that is a post card from Oahu, Hawaii (our most recent vacation just last month) and then the menu from our wedding. The black and white pictures are engagement, wedding and honeymoon respectively. Then another favorite wedding shot.
Obviously there are lots of items from our wedding since it was just last year- I had these mementos in a box and I figured why not put them where we can see them? I'm sure most of these will be replaced eventually- especially once we start a family in the future (lots of baby pictures I'm sure). But for now they are where we can enjoy them and remember that special time. 

I think this space will end up being a great place to showcase those happy moments that help shape our life together. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kitchen Inspirations

This is the fun part. I have tons of pics saved but here are some of my favorites...
image via here

image via here

Clearly loving white cabinets- very simple, classic, timeless. I definitely want open shelving- specifically rustic wood shelves to counteract the bright white cabinets. I want the floor to be dark since there will be so much white. There are wood floors on either side of the kitchen so I want to do some kind of tile to break up the wood. We plan to take down the cabinets that are over the island now in order to open the room up even more. In their place we will hang pendant lights. We are really lucky that the kitchen is already completely open to the huge family room in the back of the house. I think I've said before that this is totally what sold us on the house. 
The 'faux brick' by the kitchen table is coming down and we will be adding an entire wall of cabinets on that side. There is a 2 seater table there now but with the diningroom and the barstools at the island it just doesn't seem necessary to have so many eating/seating areas. We will also (hopefully) move the stove to that wall and the open shelves will be above that. The fridge will stay where it is now but will be centered with pantries built all around it. The sink and dishwasher will also stay where they are.

image via here 

I have wanted Carrera marble countertops for awhile- unfortunately, I heard they are high maintenance and after researching it more we decided they are not the right option for us. I love to cook and I don't want to always be worried that I will stain the counter. I am really set on having some kind of white countertops because I love the white on white look. Right now I'm thinking it might end up being some type of Corian, quartz or quartzite. This is something we have to do more research on and go look at all the different options in person. Since I can't have my Carrera counters I think we might do Carrera marble subway tiles for the backsplash. We went to The Tile Shop last weekend and found some really awesome options- and surprisingly not that expensive. 

image via here

image via here

image via here

We also found a floor tile that we fell in love with. It's so not what I set out wanting so I was actually really surprised that I ended up liking it so much. I thought I wanted a very natural looking dark gray/brown porcelain or ceramic tile- something almost slate-like.  We also looked at natural slate while we were there and after seeing it on a bigger scale I realized it was not what I pictured at all. So we concentrated on the porcelain and ceramics and it quickly became clear that I do not like the classic square-shape tile. I was really drawn to the rectangular shapes. The salesman who was helping us (really awesome btw) totally got the look we were going for and when he showed us this one I think we both thought it was 'the one'. We took a sample home (along with one other very classic gray rectangular tile which we ended up hating once we put it on the floor at home) and we love it. It's very dark gray with shades of brown and it actually has a shimmer to it- that's the part that surprised me. I'm not so much a shimmer/sparkle fan but something about this is just awesome. It has this metallic kind of quality which I think will look so cool with the white cabinets. And the browns in it go with our dark wood floors.

So little by little we are getting closer to making decisions. It has actually worked out really well so far because Greg and I have been agreeing on most things- hopefully that will last throughout this whole process. Next on the list are countertops and the actual layout of the kitchen and cabinet selection.

Meantime I am still putting some finishing touches on my mini livingroom makeover- pics to come soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And it begins...

There has been lots of work going on at The Hotzoglou house (as usual...) TV's being mounted (yes, Greg got a new TV), new furniture being delivered and old furniture sold, and the best part- a new fridge. The kitchen renovation has officially begun. A couple weeks ago we started researching appliances figuring that was the best place to start since everything would be built around them. So of course on a "let's just go look" trip to PC Richards we left with a new fridge. But it was exactly what I wanted so of course we just had to get it. Stainless steel, counter depth, no water/ice dispenser on the outside. Love it.
Greg had to take the cabinet down that was above the fridge to make room for the new one (and of course, spackle/sand/paint)- here it is in all it's stainless steel glory.

It's so exciting to get started- the kitchen is really our last BIG inside project for the house which is even more exciting. I have been saving and pinning pictures for awhile now and we are pretty set on what we want- white cabinets, some kind of white counter top, dark tile floors, some open shelving and a whole added wall of cabinetry. I get so giddy just typing about it. It has been our plan for awhile to tackle the kitchen this year and originally we thought we could do it during the Spring but now it is upon us and we far from ready. It's definitely a process and I want us to take our time and make sure we find exactly what we want- while also staying on budget. So the new plan is to spend the next couple months picking out all of our materials and then start in the Fall so we can enjoy our summer. Greg is going to being doing a bulk of the reno himself and this baby is getting demo-ed down to the studs and subfloor so the plan is to have everything in house before we actually start the demo- that way there is minimal time without a kitchen (a girl can hope, right?)

We did give the kitchen a face lift our second year in the house- here is our kitchen on move in day-

It's so weird looking at it now. Within the first couple weeks the (very old) oven in the wall and cooktop came out replaced by a stainless steel stove my mom found on Craigslist for a steal. Greg built cubbies for the microwave and my cookbooks where the oven used to be. It stayed like that for awhile until we were ready to paint the cabinets (white) and walls (super dark gray)- just to hold us over until we were ready for the big reno. Of course painting the cabinets was a much bigger job than I anticipated (isn't that always the case?) but Greg did an awesome job as always. Notice how I say Greg and not 'we'. Not sure if I mentioned it  but I'm not really 'allowed' to help on such projects. We are both much happier that way.

Some during pics, oh the fun...

And how our kitchen looks today...

 The white cabinets brightened the room by leaps and bounds and it has definitely made it more livable the past couple years while we worked on the other rooms. We've been talking about it for almost 4 years now so it's exciting to start seeing it come to life.  More to come on our plans and inspirations.