The Stuff Fits Here (Eventually)!

When we last left off, we had fixed up a bungalow for another family that we don't know (it must have been an old, past life karmic debt) and we still needed to find our dream home that could hold all our stuff. Enter this 3000 square foot beauty! Nothing screams curb appeal like the color of a dirty ace bandage. BUT THE PORCH!!! This project is called We Bit Off More Than We Could Chew and has unfolded over the past 4 years. Luckily, we've been living in it for 2 years, but the first 2 were scary. This post is about the kitchen and it took every bit of those 4 years to get from the Befores to the Afters. Scroll down to see what we started with to what it has become today.


What color does one choose in the Era of the Griege? Navy Blue! I always like to think of exterior house colors in terms of men's suiting: all neutrals can mix and match together and you have a pop of color on the tie (front door). Navy, camel, white, black, gray, etc. and I'm feeling a bright persimmon/orange for the door. I'm not tooting my own horn, but after we painted the house Midnight Batik, 2 other house on the block suddenly became navy blue.

Isn't THAT inspiring?!?! Can't you just see yourself walking in the falling-apart, boarded-up front door and thinking "YES!!! This is it!"? Well that is exactly what we did and had an offer in within 30 minutes of touring this pre-gutted castle. Because we were insane. But we did have a vision.

And surprise! It's another WHITE kitchen! We did a honed/leathered granite countertop because soapstone (which would have been appropriate for a 1908 house) wasn't in the budget or in our future care routine. Also notice that the space has very little room for uppers because there are windows everywhere. The design of this took quite a while.

This is the view from the kitchen, looking back to the front door through the dining room. Whoever started the gutting and remodel prior to us must have had ADHD--"I'm going to start scraping paint a little here, a little there, some more here, SQUIRREL!" They literally started scraping every piece of painted trim just a smidge and finished stripping NOTHING...yeah...thanks for that spaz. Another blessing that they had the attention span of a gnat: they never got around to spraying popcorn texture on everything. Whew.

AHHH...so much better!! Yes, I am aware the front door isn't done yet, but we did fix the busted out window! Here is an opportunity to tell a funny story about male contractors. They assume everyone wants a tacky ceiling fan in the middle of every room. When you have a lighting fetish and a collection of Issey Miyake pendant lights, the room gets designed around the pendant. Not a gross ceiling fan Mr. Contractor.

This is a good shot of the beam "supporting" the upper 2 floors. "Supporting" is a loose term meaning "slightly better support than air". The upper floors were starting to sag, a closet door above this was unable to close, and the beam was not sitting on a foundation. Let's say it was magic holding up half the house. Magic and 100 year old stucco. We put in a steel beam, put in supports to the foundation and cleaned up this hot and dangerous mess. This is why most people shouldn't be running around removing walls when they don't know what they are doing. Anyway, doesn't this make you want to belly up to the bar for a cold one?

The bar top is a slab of Monkey Pod from Hawaii. It is a member of the pea plant family. Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, the home bar has become a great friend in the household. Frankly, every house should have 2 people and 6 refrigerators. And a glass rinser for beer-clean glasses.

The front of the bar is reclaimed fencing that we got from a lady in Prairie Village, KS. We paid her to take away her old fence. Times are weird. You will see the reclaimed wood make several appearances throughout this makeover. Themes, if you will.

You can hardly remember what this looked like 4 short years ago!!

This is where we discovered that the header was floating in space. This also created a weird bump out on the wall where the kitchen sink is.

The final piece of the puzzle for the kitchen will be the back splash, which we still cannot decide on. I'm leaning marble mosaic or a small marble subway tile, but the jury is still out on this one. Stay tuned for whatever it is that we decide!

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