Wall art!




Wall are is something I struggle with… I hardly find myself inspired.  However while shopping for the faucet of my dreams, I happened across this piece that I thought would fit well along a tall, long, open wall in the kitchen!  I think with paint on the wall this canvas piece will really stand out!


It’s time to retire my bathroom sink as my dishwashing center!

It took some time, some finagling, and a lot of silicone but I finally have a sink, a faucet, and for the first time since I moved in… a garbage disposal.

Presenting my Home Depot finds installed in all of their amazingly beautiful glory!





As you can see, I sort of bucked the under-mount stainless sink trend that has taken the design world by storm. There is a good reason for this. I really really really wanted an under-mount sink, but I really really really didn’t want to pay an extra $350 for the installation. After some convincing I realized that unlike my beautiful friend Kaylene and her picture of perfection family, my household of one was pretty low use on the kitchen front. Was it worth it for me to pay the money for an under-mount sink when I have so much control over what happens? Probably not. Now that I had resigned myself to a top-mount, I had to find the perfect sink.

While shopping I really disliked the look of the stainless top-mount sinks. The visible edges were unattractive and frankly I despise the water spots that constantly seem to appear on the sink itself. That didn’t leave me with too many options until I found the granite composite sink that I ended up purchasing. Ah, so much to love. I love the fact it is not a shiny white sink, in fact it is a matte white with a little bit of sparkle (and those who know me know I DIE for sparkle). I also love that it is more geometric… not so rounded and pretty. It’s bold. It makes a statement, And partnered with the industrial pull down faucet? Perfection.

I’m pretty happy with my deicision to go with a top-mount sink, and in fact that $350 ended up buying not only my sink but also my faucet so I consider it money saved!

To the left of the faucet we also installed an air switch. A much nicer alternative to a standard wall switch to turn on the garbage disposal. It is costly ($60) but I like the added safety of not having to touch a switch with wet hands, but I like that it frees up the space on the wall for outlets.

With all of that being said, I do have to give a shout out to my other silent partner in this reno project… My Interior DesignMom. I like to joke around and call our relationship design (me) – review (DesignMom), but she does deserve credit for pushing me out of my comfort zone and introducing me to a different esthetic. In fact she is the one who so vehemently convinced me to go top-mount in the first place, so between my HandyDad and DesignMom I consider myself a pretty lucky homeowner! Next up (or in)? Hopefully my new hardwood floors this week!

Alas, the day has come!

This Renolista is the proud owner of new granite countertops!  Much to my surprise the installation crew showed up to my house a whole 10 minutes before my scheduled installation time… something that never happens!  They were presented with the finished product from last weekend:


It took about 6 hours to complete the leveling of the cabinets… and only resulted in one neighbor asking about the noise.  HandyDad FTW!  He was paid handsomely in margaritas… something the renolista enjoyed one too many of as well… I digress!

Drum roll please!!!!




Ah yes, working from home has never made me feel more accomplished!  You may notice I’m still lacking in floors… walls… and a backsplash but that is on the way!  You might also notice that the countertops don’t come all the way up to the window either, and there’s a reason for that!  We decided to create a differentiation in height from the countertops and build a bit of a lip.  We will then tile it with the same subway tile that I will be using for my backsplash.  At this point I’m thinking this is the direction I will be going for the backsplash:


Thoughts?  I’m planning a tight set and thought the darker grout would be a modern twist on an old standby.

However, before the excitement of the tile begins we will still need to install my new sink, faucet, garbage disposal and air gap!  Never in my life did I think that I would be excited about a sink.  I also got a special delivery as the installers were here:



Those would be my hardwood floors!  Between floors and countertops there is just too much excitement for one day!  I’m hoping to have the floors installed next week…  Fingers crossed!  Now that I have both the countertops and the flooring in the house I think the colors are going to work SO well with one another!  I’m planning on installing the sink etc. tomorrow to give the epoxy under the granite time to set.  I’ll post pictures once it’s done! 🙂

A treat, for the finished product

This weekend I managed to wait in line for over 45 minutes with hordes of people in the Macy’s home department.  Why you ask?  Because they had a $10 off coupon that day and I managed to get caught up in the near black friday craziness that ensues when Macy’s sends out a coupon… even a coupon for only $10 off.  I usually don’t drop dead in my tracks when I go shopping for flatware.  It’s functional and not always visually appealing.  My dearest mother bought me a new set about 2 years ago because she said my target set had to go…. only problem was that the new set wasn’t much better.  So when I found this set, I almost died.

Bellasera Bellasera3

This Bellasera set is made by Henckles and is made as one solid piece with a very interesting knife design.  It’s curved to fit the palm of your hand just right and can also be set to stand up as a unique alternative to the flat knives I’ve always purchased.  The best part?  On sale for $109.99 from $140 with an extra $10 off.  I can’t wait to break them out of their packaging and give them a new home in my new kitchen!

Good things go to those who wait…. or do they?

I’m a planner.  I planned out every piece of this kitchen before I ever started down this renovation journey.  However, just because it is planned out doesn’t mean it will work out… this is a lesson I learned this weekend while I was driving to pick up my pre-selected faucet at Ikea.  You may remember said faucet from my previous post about granite vs. quartz found here.  And also below:


I counted this as one of only a few faucets I found attractive during my search because if it’s clean lines and low price point, and considering it was Ikea I figured no rush to run over and pick up up because they’re practically a self-contained warehouse, right?  Boy was I wrong!  Not only was this bad boy sold out here locally, but also in the bay area as well!  They offered a guaranteed delivery, but even then it would make it to my house ON my installation date which is cutting it a little too close for my comfort.  So an unplanned search of my local Home Depots began.  Not one to make a choice on my first visit, we began driving to 3 HD’s in search of the (near) perfect faucet for my new kitchen.  Eventually I settled on this beauty:

HD Faucet

I really didn’t want a faucet with multiple handles because I am planning on installing an air switch for the garbage disposal and needed space for the air gap for the dishwasher, and this faucet gave me the capability to install it as a single hole vs a 3 hole.  I also appreciated the modern, sleek lines and the ability to pull down on the faucet head.  This is something the my Ikea faucet wasn’t able to do… and of course, this came at a more expensive price!  Instead of the $99 I had spent in my mind, it set me back  $150.  I’m sure I will learn to love this faucet  just as much as the previous one… but since HD doesn’t price match completely different faucets from different stores, my laziness in heading to Ikea cost me a bit more dough!

Once the faucet debacle was settled, it was on to leveling the cabinets to prep for the countertop installation!  Here’s my handydad, Jack, in all of his glory helping me with this incredibly grueling process!

leveling cabinets

Long story short, none of the cabinets were ever attached to the walls… so it was quite the process to build the supports and to move the cabinets to allow for a semi-level and quite heavy countertop.  Robert Powell did us dirty on this kitchen.  At the end of the day I took that rustic kitchen look a step further…

End result

As you can see, I can no longer use my oven or range, and I’m missing a sink.  So I had to officially take this reno living to a new level I never thought imaginable…

Bathroom kitchen

That’s right.  I’m washing my dishes in my bathroom sink.  The things we do in the name of home renovations!  You might be able to see two bowls in the picture.  Those belong to my parent’s French Bulldogs Pierre and Isabelle.  I know this blog is about the remodel/design of my new house, but I can’t help but share how cute my step-pups are!  Behold the cuteness!


They had alot of fun running around my house in the 90 degree heat this weekend.  The sniffed around, guarded from strangers, used my leather rug as a toilet, and puked from the excitement.  Even so, it was great to have some life running around my house for once instead of the bugs and dust who seem to have made quite the home here!

Today we will set the plywood down on the cabinets and finally be able to relax and enjoy Father’s Day!  Hope everyone had a great weekend! 🙂

They say patience is a virtue…

However patience isn’t something I’m known for! In exactly one week I will be the owner of some very new, very fancy, and very real countertops meaning my days using plywood as a support system are nearly over! I still have to make my way over to Ikea (hopefully not during the weekend as to avoid the crazy families shopping for furniture) to pick up my faucet, and have been feverishly calling my flooring company to get the delivery date of my hardwood floors. As much as it is all starting to come together, I’m still so far away! Until then, plywood and dust are what my dreams are made of! I can’t wait to post pictures of the end product!

Alas, a countertop is in my future!

Today I got word that the fabricators will be out this Friday to template the countertops, and the installation date is scheduled for June 21st! It’s all starting to come together… And I can honestly say I’ve never appreciated countertops more than I do at this time in my life! Hallelujah!

Can you ever have too many outlets?

The common sense answer to that is no, absolutely not.  Which is why I spent my Sunday tinkering around the kitchen taking my 4 outlet kitchen to 10!



And at the end of the day this kitchen became the epitome of rustic chic!


It took about 5 hours to change the wiring around due to the poor craftsmanship of previous contractors.  Why people don’t do it right the first time I will never know!  Next up is something I am very excited about!!!  I managed to pick up an open box 22 inch flat screen TV for $50 at Best Buy after gift cards and discounts which means I will have a TV in my kitchen to keep me company!  I’ve ALWAYS wanted  a TV but never had a space where I could make that happen.  So the next thing I need to do is to pull the cable for my new kitchen TV through the attic before we put up the new drywall, but I’m hoping to have it cool down a bit for that to happen.  100 degree plus an attic is far from the business!

No countertops, no dishwasher…

This is my life!


You appreciate the simple things you would normally take for granted.  I’ve never lived without a dishwasher in my life!  Now I also don’t have much of a space for them to dry either… I can’t wait for my floors to get installed so I can finally stop hand washing!

Quartz vs granite

I wanted quartz. In fact I really really REALLY wanted quartz.  What I didn’t want was the price.  The Silestone I picked out was an astonishing $80 per square foot and I just couldn’t justify the price. Even with 32 square feet of countertop space that added up to be way more than this Renolista wanted to spend.  I started out not wanting granite because it was expected.  EVERYONE has granite countertops.  It wasn’t something that would help my house stand out when I decide to move on to my next project, but in the end the price won me over and I decided on some very nice granite countertops.  After spending a few weeks researching and gathering samples I found a screaming deal on some prefab granite slabs at the Home Depot.  The color was great and matched my new flooring perfectly!  The countertops ended up being $35 per square foot PLUS and extra 10% off.  This included installation and tax, and with the help of a Home Depot gift card I ended up spending less than $1100 for both the countertops and sink!  I promptly made my way to the Home Depot to order them which meant only one thing… more demo.



You can see my laptop there… Blurred Lines and Strawberry Bubblegum made this demo process much more fun… now only if JT could actually HELP me, I’d be in heaven!  I digress.  This is the end product:


This is how my kitchen looks at this exact second.  I joke that I’m going for a rustic log cabin look, but in fact it’s miserable.  This Renolista has OCD which doesn’t allow her to enjoy the dust on every meal cooked, or the lack of space to even prep a meal.  If these countertops don’t get installed soon I am not sure how I will live!  If only I knew about these things when I started the remodel… it’s the “joy” of reno, right?

I have gone ahead and picked out not only the granite, but also the sink and faucet to accompany the installation:



All are very budget conscious but really pack the style.  The one thing I am not willing to compromise on is style for cost.  I need both.  This isn’t always easy, but so far patience and alot of shopping has sent me in the right direction!  The sink can be found at the Home Depot and is a granite composite at the bargain price of $149.  For the faucet it was really difficult to find something that caught my interest until I stumbled upon this beauty from Ikea and a great deal at only $99!  The countertop company should be out next week to template the kitchen for fabrication so I am anxiously awaiting the phone call like a kid on Christmas!  I can’t wait to have an actual kitchen again!!