Tag Archives: kitchen

Kitchen Remodel Progress

Hello folks! I wanted to do a quick post on our kitchen remodel progress. We started six weeks ago and the contractor finally finished last Saturday.  We MADE IT (!!) through the stress of going through a major remodel and eating out of a make-shift kitchen and wondering when the contractor will be done. I will share more about the remodel experience and about installing IKEA cabinets in the next few posts. And for those who’ve been waiting to see the “before” pictures, I want to save them for the final reveal, so that you will have a good side by side comparison. For now, here’s how our gross, UgLY, 1970’s kitchen transformed in the last 6 weeks!

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Obviously, the last few pictures are not the final reveal. I’ll have much better pictures taken with my DSLR for the final post in way better lighting. We started moving into the new kitchen and figuring out the window treatment, picking out the fabric for the banquette seating, shopping for decorations, etc. You know, the real fun part of remodeling! There is no set deadline for everything to be done but we desperately need some window covering so that the whole neighborhood stops driving by and peeking into our lives! (We like our neighbors, but still…)

In my last remodel post, I mentioned about sharing a design board of all the components. Well, sorry, I didn’t get around to making a design board but I made a list of the materials we used:

  • Cabinets: IKEA Bodbyn doors in gray (island) and off-white (the rest)
  • Quartz Countertop: LG Viatera in Cirrus
  • Vinyl Floors: RC Vinyl in Walnut
  • Backsplash Tiles: Jeffrey Court 3×12 in Allegro White from Home Depot
  • Farmhouse Sink: IKEA Domsjo double bowl sink
  • Faucet: IKEA Glittran
  • Over the sink lighting: Style Selections 5.52-in Polished Chrome Mini Crystal Pendant from Lowes
  • Dining area lighting: Possini Euro Metairie 20″W Silver Fabric Crystal Chandelier from Lamps Plus
  • Island Hood: Frigidaire
  • Dishwasher: Whirlpool
  • Refrigerator: LG
  • Cooktop and Oven: Kenmore Pro
  • White paint: Valspar’s “Soft Wool” in semi-gloss finish from Lowes for the ceiling/trims/doors & Behr’s color match in the off-white cabinet color. The Soft Wool color did NOT match the cabinets all that well. It is on the whiter/lighter side. So, I got some color matched paint and repainted the upper cabinet’s crown molding. Much better now!
  • Grey wall paint: Benjamin Moore’s “Stonington Gray” in semi-gloss finish

My favorite element in the kitchen is the ~~beautiful~~ over the sink lighting from Lowes. It is absolutely gorgeous in person with all the crystals glowing and sparkling in the light. Second is the gray wall paint color (Stonington Gray) by Benjamin Moore. We’ve had a wall color change once, which went from Behr’s “Historical Ruins” greige color to this one. Our front door is painted with Historical Ruins and it looks very nice against the blue exterior of our house. But in the kitchen, this greige ended up looking too green unfortunately. BM’s Stonington Gray has a blue tint to the grey but not in the slightest bad way.  It is clean, soothing and sophisticated, which is what we wanted for the kitchen.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Feel free to leave a comment or question below and I will do my best to get back to you soon!

Free Digital Art Download from the New York Public Library

When you find something good, it’s best to share with others! While I was looking for some artwork to be hung on our kitchen walls, I stumbled upon an article that led me to the New York Public Library’s digital download site. I went on it and it is freakin’

AWESOME!!!! It has a huge collection of botanical prints, ancient maps, old book covers, historic photographs, etc, etc. They’re high resolution prints that you can download and print all for FREE. You don’t even need a library card to do it. If this kind of art is for you, you are in for a treat!  Here’s a sampling of what’s available. I’m looking for botanical prints, specifically fruits and herb pictures, so these are perfect!  You can get these here.  Have fun!!

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<Some prints of herbs>

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<I love these black and white drawings of trees.>

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Quartz Countertop Shopping

Shopping for quartz countertops can be overwhelming due to all the wonderful options out there! We’re skipping all the major brand names (Ceasarstone, Silestone, Cambria) and going for the lesser-known ones to make our selection for our new kitchen! We found that the generic ones (that usually “copy” the major brands’ designs) are cheaper in price and slightly lesser in quality (90% quartz versus 93%).  But the 3% difference is not a big deal according to all the quartz vendors we’ve been talking to. So far, our top choice is from LG Viatera quartz in Cirrus.

LG Viatera Quartz in Cirrus
Cirrus

When you look at it in person (which I recommend that you do for any countertops/flooring/back splash tiles, etc.), it’s grayer than what the website describes it to be (“White with subtle hints of gray”). Since we’re going with white cabinets and a gray island (IKEA BODBYN), we wanted the countertop to be in the gray family but nothing too dark or crazy. There were many contenders in the last few weeks but so far, this is the winner.

IKEA Bodbyn Kitchen

IKEA Bobdyn Kitchen

Ideally, we would love to have a Carrara marble countertop. But the maintenance seems too daunting for all the Korean food we’re going to be cooking! Can you imagine spilling kimchee jigae all over your beautiful marble top and having red stains all over your expensive investment?! But we do LOVE the look of Carrara marble… It was funny how we were immediately drawn to it every time we went to a showroom. One time, we saw a sample of it with a bunch of quartz samples and thought, ‘OMG! We finally found THE ONE quartz manufacturer that got it right!! They made their quartz look exactly like Carrara marble!’ Ha! We were promptly told that it was marble with a chuckle.  Wishful thinking…

So we had no choice but to resort to quartz stone that resembled marble (we didn’t want to deal with the maintenance of granite either.) Most of the marble-like quartz we’ve seen were too blue-cheesy for our taste. Or the veining was too dark or pronounced against the light background. But close contenders were: PentalQuartz’s Onixaa, Silestone’s Lagoon, Silestone’s Ariel, MSI Q quartz’s Cashmere Carrara and a few others. I’ve been Pinteresting like crazy to my kitchen board of all of these options. Feel free to check it out here!

We’re starting our kitchen remodel planning waaaaay early, like several months before.  But we wouldn’t be the Lee Sisters if we didn’t start this early! Last year’s remodel was getting rid of our carpet throughout the house and re-flooring with laminate, painting the house inside and out, replacing our central AC/heating, updating our electrical, and refurnishing a few rooms from scratch. This year’s going to be gutting out the kitchen, combining the current kitchen space with the adjoining dining room to make one big kitchen with an island. In the last few weeks, we’ve measured, drew up our own blueprint, shopped and researched countless hours online (Google image search to the rescue!), drove over to the Anaheim stone and tile district, Home Depot/Lowe’s trips, Floor and Decor (which we just got in our town a few weeks ago), and talked to as many pros in the industry for estimates and tips.  It feels so much better now that I have a ballpark of what things are going to cost. We’re hoping to meet our budget and I think we will if we balance our splurges with economic options. But we’re also being realistic and setting aside some contingency fund (for possible mold, asbestos, termite – the three monster problems I really wish we have none of!)  This planning stage is exciting but also could be anxiety-producing, as there seems so much to do and go through to reach the end. But I’m just imagining a pristine white kitchen with just the right accents to be the reward and that would be worth all the trouble.

My next post will include a design board of all of our kitchen remodel components. Stay tuned!