Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kitchen Renovation- The Reveal!

This has been the summer of home renovations. I already shared about our master bathroom addition. You can read about it and see pictures here.

After we finished the bathroom, we moved onto the kitchen. Back in February, after we added the master bedroom closets (pics here), we got the idea to change the playroom into the master bath instead of doing an addition to the house. Doing this saved us a lot of money and I got the hairbrained idea to use it on a kitchen renovation. I wanted to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room and make it a large open room. Jack thought I was crazy, but after talking to a contractor about how to take the wall down, he decided we could do it. We did all the work ourselves except for taking out the fireplace and putting in the load bearing beam. We hired a contractor to help with that. Here is what the kitchen and dining room looked like when we bought the house.

I wanted to take out that fireplace and the whole wall with the wall paper on one side and the appliances on the other. I also wanted to take out the half wall between the kitchen and playroom. And we did! We moved the appliances over the new wall we built for the master bath and tore the walls down!

The results are AH-MAZING! Seriously. Transformed into my dream house. So, without further ado, here is our new kitchen/dining room combo.

We tore up the original kitchen floor, took out the wall, installed a beam, patched all the sheetrock, painted, put down new harwood floors in the kitchen area and matched them up with the originals in the dining room, refinished the floors, created a cased opening into the hallway, and lots of little decor touches.

 The beam was so long it had to come in through the window!

 Weaving the new hardwood floors in with the old ones. We got utility grade oak from Lumber Liquidators for only 99cents a square foot. It matches really well!

Jack built the gorgeous island in the center of the kitchen. I love it. He even ran electricity to it so I can use a mixer and blender and such on it. I did a shiplap type treatment around the 3 sides and I got the stools at Target. The top is a two pieces of cabinet grade ash from Lowes that Jack joined and I stained. It was so much cheaper than buying butcher block!

 I did the same shiplap on the bottom of the dining room walls and covered over the navy blue that was there. It looks great!

I also sanded and stained the butcher block counter top we already installed when we moved in. I stained it darker to match the island and farm table.

Jack and I sometimes sit in our new kitchen and I say, "I can't believe we did this!" But we did and we did it on a dime, too! It's going to be a great place for family dinners and BCM leadership gatherings and Bible studies and homeschool for years and years to come.

Here is the transformation in before and after pictures. 

And that pretty much sums up the Blankenship summer! We did manage a beach vacation back in May and a weekend in Virginia in June with Jack's parents and a weekend in June at the lake with my family. Maybe one day I'll get those pics posted, but school starts next week, so don't hold your breath!

I guess you can call us the new Chip and Joana Gaines! We took out a wall and put in a kitchen island, with "shiplap." So, what do you think of our Fixer Upper??? :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday Eden!

My darling girl,

I can hardly believe it has been 5 years since God blessed our family with sugar and spice and everything nice! You are such a precious gift to this family.

At 5 years old, you are spunky and sassy. There's never a doubt that you are in charge when you are around! You still love all things princess and girly. Aunt Stacey got you a make-up set for your birthday- oh goodness!- and I imagine it will be a daily application! You love pink and purple and you want to wear dresses everyday. BUT- you also love to climb trees and hold worms and go fishing. My girly tomboy.

You love the pool and you have become a really good swimmer! You passed the swim test this year at the pool when you were still 4! Your best friends are Olivia Kiehn and Olivia Mueller. You call them the "red Olivia" and the "brown Olivia" because of their hair color.

You love music and singing. Your Dad and I are always amazed at how quickly you can pick up a song and know the words. My favorite is watching you worship in church. You raise your hands with abandon and sing with all your heart to the Lord. I love it. You also love to dance. You took tap and ballet this year and did 2 numbers in your recital. You had the biggest smile on your face the entire time you were on stage.

Eden, you are beautiful inside and out.  You are a sweet friend, a loving sister and a wonderful little girl. We love you so much! I am praying that God would already be working in your heart and that you would know Him as the only true source of significance and beauty. I love you so much. Everyday you tell me that I am your best friend. I hope that never changes. Your dad adores you, as do your brothers. I hope you always always know how very loved you are.

Happy 5th Birthday, princess!! We love you, no matter what, forever and ever!