Entries from December 19th, 2019

my new kitchen must-haves

I pinch myself every day that, A, we have a finished kitchen, but even more so, B, that it is bright and open (goodbye wall) and feels like a beautiful part of the home instead of just a utilitarian space (with a big thanks to Café Appliances coming in with the matte white finish and customizable hardware colors… and a new pantry which keeps the counters uncluttered), but most of all that it is exactly right for our family. It really is a dream and since it’s now part of the same room as the family room, it’s where we spend the majority of our time at home together. It’s been so nice finally settling into the new heart of the home and just in time for the holidays.

For a quick re-cap… we moved into our fixer house in July 2018, construction began November 1st of the same year and we moved out into a rental house until April 1st 2019. When we moved back in, the kitchen was fully functional but we didn’t have hardware, trim, island panels etc (basically all of the finishing touches). We worked with a contractor for all the new framing and structural work, drywall, plumbing and the flooring so when we moved back in, his work was done. It then took us from April to October to do all the finish work ourselves. These photos we took along the way so you will see some progression even through this post. I’ll be sharing more in depth about each project we did ourselves but I also wanted to give a quick realistic timeline of what it looks like when there is a lot of DIY involved (and are a working mom with two kids). The good news is we got it to a functioning space in 6 months, before we moved back in, and was able to use it while we deliberated and didn’t rush to choose all the finishing touches at the same time.

So how did we do it? I am sharing my own personal list of must-haves for my kitchen and they might (probably will) be different from yours but I have received SO many “why” questions throughout the process on IG stories that I thought I’d give you the run down and hopefully answer all your burning questions along the way.

Here is a look back at the floorplan of how it was pre-renovation.

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sss new studio first look!

Oh, hi! It’s me, just casually welcoming you into my brand-new built-from-scratch studio. (But really, someone pinch me; is this even real?!) This project went lightning-fast—especially since our home renovation is on 1.5 years and counting. Of course, a studio has a lot less going on than a house, and I got a real taste for myself the difference between renovating versus building from the ground up. Things tend to go more smoothly when everything is new and you aren’t discovering and fixing one problem after the other. Even though it was so much easier, my heart still lives for the renovation. Call me a glutton for punishment, but there is something so satisfying about taking a structure that is on the down-and-out and breathing new life into it to make it something beautiful and functional. However, an accessory building that complements an existing structure was pretty dang satisfying to create, as well. Now onto the tour!

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Archie Finally got his Bunk Beds

A year and a half ago we pulled up to #samuelfamilyfixer for the very first time (having bought it sight unseen, it was already ours) and pop pop was there to greet us and record our first tour of the house. I shared it in my IG stories and it still is live in the highlights under  the first “SAMUEL FIXER” if you haven’t seen it yet. Archie, who was 3 at the time, was thrilled that the house was “already builded!” but when it came to checking out the bedrooms he was VERY distraught over the fact that there were no bunk beds (he also didn’t even have a bedroom at the time which I guess didn’t phase him as much). We had told him in LA that maybe in the new house we will build him some bunk beds and that boy does not forget A thing.  Well it took us a few months but we did build him a bedroom and we kept our promise on the bunk beds.

I’ll share more of his bedroom soon but for now here is how we made the bunks. I should preface this by saying we made this up as we went along so I wouldn’t swear by my instructions. Please use them as inspiration and check with a contractor if you are not a well versed DIY-er.

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