I Can See Clearly Now

**HOUSE UPDATE !!!!!!**

I’ve been waiting a long time for this.

This piece of the puzzle has been the biggest hold up in ‘finishing’ our kitchen renovation.
And now – it is done!!


Our kitchen was installed over a year ago and Lee and I had poured over tile samples for our backsplash for a long time. We then had our tile guy, Derek, come over to quote the work and a small little question that he asked made everything grind to a halt.

“You’re planning on replacing the window, right?”
“Yup!!” [With big smiles turning slightly less toothy]
“Good – when? Because it would be a bad idea to install the tile before replacing the window.”

[Cue head smacking]

Of course. The window. We knew that all of our old, leaky, single pane windows would need to be replaced eventually but for whatever reason we didn’t think about the order of installs. Duhhh.

Or the dolla dolla bills associated with window replacing.

[Cue wallet clutching]

After a bunch of window quotes and style changes, we realized that this pricey endeavor would put the entire kitchen on hold for a bit.

And a bit ended up being over a year.

The initial quote we got was $1200 for supply and install of a new window. It blew our minds. We were scraping bits of our jaws up off the floor for weeks. We realized windows were pricey but the install was going to cost us even more than the window itself!!!

So, we decided we would tackle a window install DIY style instead, so we could “pocket” the $700 plus instead of throwing it out the proverbial window.

But $300-500 for a window was still no chump change when budget cuts had recently been made due to an addition in the fam jam and curveballs that life throws our way sometimes – so it took a long while of saving pennies for them to finally add up to somethin’ somethin’.

Which brings is to March 2014.

Kitchen window before

On one of the sunniest weekends we’ve had in the great white north lately, my dad and my man went to town removing the old window and installing the new one.

My nerves were going – quite fearful that the window we had saved for would accidentally fall and shatter – but lo and behold, all went so well you’d think they were pro’s.



I don’t even care that I have yellow spray foam as part of my kitchen decor right now. It serves as a reminder that the step I’ve been waiting for for far too long is just around the corner!!

Bring on the marble backsplash, baby!!


Overdue Updates

Yeah – we’ve been off the grid as far as updating the ol’ bloggy blog goes.  Apologies.  I’ve been focusing my spare time mostly on completing my copywriting/content writing projects, which are paying projects, so the blog has suffered.  And man, have I missed writing.

With a lack of writing, there has also been a lack of renovating though… sadly.  We accomplished so much before January that we were feeling a little tired.  And our pocketbooks were feeling the burn too.  So basically, we’ve been doing little projects to keep us moving forward but nothing crazy drastic.

We painted the entire main floor in January – covering up the aged taupe walls with a fabulous brown gray called Turbo from General Paint.  The first swipes of paint caused a little swoon in me.  No joke.  After having some painting … experiencesthat caused me to never want to paint again, this paint totally excited me all over again.  The picture looks a little purple… it isn’t.  But it’s definitely a colour that transforms in different light.

Turbo Wall Colour

Yes, I am slightly nutty… a beautiful paint colour makes me sigh and causes a bit of giddiness.  Judge away.

In February, we started the hunt for our future tile purchases.  Frankly, we wanted to take our time and not rush into a decision because our kitchen has a lot of layers, what with a two tone off-white perimeter cabinet colour vs. chocolate brown island combo, a black perimeter granite vs. a fabulous eye catching island granite.  I really wanted something that would blend but not be lost.  And I reaaally really wanted something marble for our backsplash.

While tile hunting, we were also keeping in mind our front entry tile, back entrance landing tile, and the in-lay tiled hearth by our fireplace.  All things to consider.

Lo and behold, heading to our favourite tile store, The Tile Shoppe, proved to be an inspiring trip.  I found so many options that could possibly suit our kitchen.  Isaac was my little tile helper.  He followed behind me, examining every tile sample after I had, arms crossed.  Touching the ones I touched.  Mmm hmmming options.  Nothing but hilarious from that kid.

I took a butt load of pictures so that Lee and I could mull over the options together.  The Tile Shoppe only has so many take home samples, so pictures would have to suffice until we could go together.

Tile options

Tile Options


Tile options

The next trip was when we pulled our favourites together.  Lee and I had somewhat differing tastes for our tile selection but thankfully we were able to narrow it down to one favourite each and they had samples that we could put next to our cabinets.

Tile Combos

And yes, my favourite one won !!  It was a no brainer once we got home that my first choice (and his second) was the clear winner.

Marble Backsplash Winner

However… that specific tile was on back order until who knows when.  With one exception.  The Edmonton store had just enough stock.

So, yeah.  I begged my sweet momma to go there as soon as she possibly could to snatch up 45 square feet of the absolutely stunning marble back splash.  Seriously, thanks mom !  I was freaking out when I had heard we maybe couldn’t get it because it felt like this tile was calling me by name.  Like, first, middle, and last name – I HAD to have it.  Does anyone else get these weird ‘connections’ with renovating materials !?  No ?  Just me !?!  Hmm… embarrassing…

We have a meeting with our tile guy this Friday to get a quote for the back splash.  At this point, that’s all the tile we’ve ordered, but we’ve also picked out the tile we want to do in the entrances and on the in-lay hearth.  And they aren’t going anywhere stock wise.  Don’t worry – I checked and then double checked !  The name of this renovating game has been to save our pennies until we have enough for each project and to not get ahead of ourselves.  Which is super easy to do.

Now, for the handy motivating To Do List based on things that we’ve been putting off/have the materials already purchased:

  • Fawn over back splash tiles tonight
  • Confirm Friday’s appointment with Derek from Bosch Tile for tile install quotes
  • Hopefully book an install date
  • Price out new shingles for the garage as sadly, this is their last season with us and has become an ASAP project.  Boo.
  • Finish painting the closet doors from our walk in closet and the baby room/guest room closet – yeah, they’ve been up for months primed but not painted.  Tisk tisk.
  • Finish dapping and doing paint touch ups on the master bedroom and baby room/guest room baseboards.
  • Do paint touch ups throughout
  • Install baseboards and door casings and door headers
  • Do second coat of paint in living room

Then there is the Impending Project List once our wee To Do List is completed, which really is a list that goes on and on:

  • Repair brick mortar at the bottom of the fireplace (Lee ripped out the raised tile hearth last week and there are 5 bricks that need some love).  Oh, by the way, we are keeping the bricks and the wood burning fireplace.  $6000+ for stone and a gas fireplace was a wee bit stiff… so we’re updating what we’ve got instead !
  • Paint the brass fireplace trim
  • Stain the bricks with a concrete stain
  • Finish the hardwood in front of the fireplace and install the tile in-lay hearth
  • Find/build a mantle for the fireplace.  Do we ever have some cool ideas !!
  • Texture the main floor living space ceiling
  • Install pot light covers
  • Etc etc etc !!!

So – stay tuned.  I have so many posts that I want to write, so hopefully I can pull them out on a weekly basis !  Writing about reno projects, big or small, have gotten me excited again.

Kitchen Cabinet Reveal

Ok. So, I’m way behind the eight ball here but our kitchen cabinets were installed approximately a month ok, two months ago. Yup. And our granite counters were installed about 2 weeks after that. Which leaves a lot of time in between of major slacking on my shoulders for not sharing more than just one Facebook/Instagram photo.

Tut tut.

I suppose one could add the flurry of Christmas, a flu bug, and a continuation of morning all day sickness into the mix as to why updates are slow to be shared. Oh, and I also started a contract position writing content for a graphic design firm. Add in corresponding with the cabinet company, the rewiring of our house and hosting friends and family… things have been busy busy. So, I take back the tut tut that I tutted to myself. I’m a busy gal and too often these days I’m just finding less and less time. You can say that I’m looking forward to a slightly less chaotic 2013.  Haha… says the girl who is going to be adding a new baby into the mix in July.

A girl can dream right?!?

Anyway, without any further ado, I present to you photos starting at the beginning of our renovations to the current state of our kitchen transformation, cabinet close ups and granite counters!!

This was our view from the front door… when there were multiple walls, a formal dining room in the middle of the house, and it was a maze to get to the kitchen.

The view from the front door

So, after confirming that none of the walls were load bearing, we started taking them down.

Taking out walls

We moved the final standing wall 2 feet over to the left to open up more space by the window after removing the existing cabinetry.  And then we started tearing out carpets and started putting in our new hardwood.

Cabinet & Floor Tear Out

The start of hardwood install

Hardwood is in, potlights installed, and the walls and ceiling drywalled in preparation for new cabinets !  This also meant having absolutely zero kitchen access.  Linen closets, front closets and boxes were full of everything that belonged in the kitchen… I can’t even express how much anticipation there was for the new cabinets to be installed and for life to resume to normalcy.  Or something that resembled normalcy…

Ready for cabinets !

Erik from Signature Kitchens installing the cabinets.  A wee bit insane… but it always gets worse before it gets better.

Cabinet install time !

A fuzzy shot of the installed cabinets !

Cabinets installed

Cricket white cabinets on the perimeter and our long handled hardware on the doors.  In love !!

Perimeter cabinet colour and handles

Our 8 foot by 6 foot chocolate maple island, to contrast the perimeter.  Gotta love a bit of contrast !  The island will eventually seat 6.  Also in the island are two side storage cupboards and the portion you see has a big hole on the left for the built in microwave, the garbage and recycling pull out cupboard, and more pots and pans drawers.

Island colour

6 big, burly men later, we had our granite pieces in place and installed.  Helllooooo dolly.

Island granite

With countertops on, the kitchen was looking like a kitchen again !  TAAA DAAAA !

Kitchen !


Still to come, a full kitchen reveal once some other things happen.

You know, things like the selection and installation of some amazing tile backsplash, the installation of our new stainless steel appliances, and a new wall colour (it’s already been painted on the other walls on the main floor, and it was first coat love !  Shout out to Tam and Dustin for doing the second coat while Lee, Isaac and I gallavant around in Houston over the past couple weeks).

Oh, other things on the docket are curtains, baseboards, door casing, the eventual demolition of the brick fireplace, the install of a gas insert fireplace, new stonework, and the completion of hardwood floors.

Less chaotic. Haha. Right.