Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Upgrading the Kitchen

When dear hubby and I purchased our first home in August of 2011, I actually really liked the kitchen. At first. The pull out shelving and solid Corian countertops caught my eye, blinding me from the real problems of the kitchen. (I'm sorry for the lack of quality in the before images; they were from the original house listing.) The fridge, for example, was as old as the house and a side-by-side. I’ll tell you right now … if you shop at places like Sams Club or Costco, for the love of God, go invest in a French Door refrigerator that an actually hold family sized bags of chicken and frozen pizzas. Seriously. The only problem with my new fridge was the price. It kicked my wallet’s ass. Totally worth it though. Every single penny. Think about it … it’s the one appliance you literally use Every. Single. Day. 

Anyway … I think I’m getting off topic. Oh, the countertops. Okay, so the house was built in 2001. The Corian comes with a 10 year limited warranty. In 2012, we notice a small crack in the countertops. Over the course of the next year, the crack grows to 27 inches long. Yikes. If you noticed the timeline, the warranty on the countertops expired the year before. Shit. Yeah, we said that too. Okay, well we know what our tax return will be going toward this year. New granite countertops. Yay! The installation of the granite was probably the worst experience of my life and you can read about what to look for with granite install here. But that’s a different story. 

With a new(er) fridge, and beautiful black pearl granite countertops, it was only right that we replace the microwave, stove and dishwasher; all which were the originals that came with the house. They sucked too. The microwave had a crack in the door and made this satanic screeching beep when the food was done. You guys … it was not okay. I stopped using the microwave when my husband wasn’t home. I was pretty sure it wanted to take my soul. 

Anyway, we purchased the fridge a few years ago because I couldn’t handle the original side-by-side. The other GE stainless steel appliances were purchased through Home Depot. I had kept my eye on their website for a few weeks and pretty much just waited around for a sale to pop up.

Dishwasher: Top Control Dishwasher in Stainless Steel with Stainless Steel Tub and Steam Prewash $719 (10% off originally $799). Okay, this is the best dishwasher. Ever. You wouldn’t think it’s a big deal that the tub is also stainless, but it’s super nice to open the dishwasher after it’s been run and have the inside of the dishwasher look so clean.

Oven: 6.6 cu. Ft. Double Oven Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Ovens in Stainless Steel $1,169.10 (10% off originally $1299). The double oven freaking rules. The small over heats up in minutes and it’s so much easier to bake smaller things like cookies, or a cake.

Microwave: 1.6 cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven in Stainless Steel $249.  I’m not scared for my soul when I use this, so that’s a huge plus. Haha!

Sink: The stainless steel sink came with our countertop. We purchased the faucet separately, but also at Home Depot. Or Lowes. I can’t remember now. I am very well aware that the double sinks are the thing to do now, but I absolutely hate them with a fiery passion. I totally get how people love them for food prep and keeping dirty dishes separate, but they don’t work for me. I need a big sink that I can wash a cookie sheet in without having water splash up all over my shirt and gets me all wet. Dude. That used to piss me off so much. I mean, yeah, it’s just water, but I hated it. This new giant deep sink is amazing. I totally recommend giant deep single sinks. 

Backsplash: I had originally fallen in love with a beautiful mini brick tile that I found online but when I went to go order it, the tile was no longer available and on backorder. I called up the store and asked when they would be getting a new shipment and they told me four to six weeks. Four weeks passed, and I called again. That time, they told me six to eight weeks. Wtf? Apparently their shipments come from China, and something about the weather can delay them … whatever. My mom was in visiting and I needed her help to get this backsplash installed so we decided on another tile. I paid the $60 for two-day shipping to make sure the tile got here while she was. It’s really nice. It’s called Paragon Moon Jewel Mini Brick PatternTile. We did a half backsplash that borders all of the granite and a small section above the stove. We also used a warm gray grout. It totally works with our kitchen because it pulls black from the granite, silver from the stainless steel appliances and warm neutrals from the wall paint and the oak cabinets. I'm super happy with it!

When all was cleaned and done, we had drop just around 10K into the entire kitchen - that includes the granite, fridge, stove, dishwasher, microwave, sink, faucet and backsplash. God, I hope we get that back when we sell the house. I'll let you know how that goes ...

Till next time!

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