Confessions of an Absentee Blogger and Kitchen Renovation Musings

Updated: Nov 25, 2019


Hi everyone! I know, I know, it has been a long time since I last posted...too long!


At some point in the late summer I mentioned we would be renovating our kitchen, then BOOM, we were suddenly doing a powder room renovation for the One Room Challenge. Where exactly did that kitchen go?


Well, we are once again, slowly chipping away at the kitchen diy list!


Here is where we began...the existing kitchen

existing kitchen


This is the kitchen, exactly the same as when we moved here nearly two decades ago. It has been loved and well worn by four kids and three dogs.


What you can't see in this photo is how disgusting the grout had become on the tile countertops. No matter how often I cleaned, scrubbed and sealed them they looked so dingy! The cast iron enameled sink had a couple of good sized dings in it from a small child trying to load a large cast iron skillet. Also, the solid oak floors are very worn especially in front of the sink, dishwasher and refrigerator.


Getting ready for new countertops


Our first step in the renovation was to have new quartz countertops installed. My husband and I did the demolition of the tile countertops and backsplash.


Demolition is always a messy business. We always end up with dust and debris everywhere. We have learned to shut off the house fan while working and to sweep it all up on a regular basis.


Another challenging part of the demolition was for us to preserve the cabinets, as they will not be replaced, but are to be painted later. When prying things off with a crowbar and swinging around a sledgehammer, it is easy to occasionally miss and nick a cabinet which I was guilty of this more than once - oops!


kitchen in process



We selected a faint marble-effect quartz pattern from Pental Quartz and had a local fabricator-installer do this significant part of the job. We are able to diy many of the jobs ourselves, but this particular part of the job of fabricating and installing very heavy slabs of quartz was beyond our skill set! We know our limits and it was worth it to pay an expert company to complete the job.


We also removed a 24" wide upper cabinet that was to the left of the window. It really opens up the space, as you can see. We are currently debating about shelving around the window. The original plan was to have wide shelving to span the entire 9' sink and counter area, but we are considering limiting it to the wall areas to the right and left of the window, to preserve as much open view through the window as possible.


What remains to be done?


We have been working on tiling the backsplash. A little spoiler, we are tiling the window wall all the way up to the ceiling rather than stopping at the traditional 18" high backsplash. I will have some photos in my next blog post.


The big question this week is what color, exactly, will we use for the cabinets and island?? I have something dark in mind, like a dark gray or navy, because I love high contrast. I have seriously chosen the color three different times, but have yet to pull the trigger, so to speak and actually buy the paint. That then leads to me choosing another similar color, and so on and so on. I keep wondering, "Do I want dark gray, a gray navy, or that teal-navy color I love??? Will I still love the color once I get the cabinets painted???"


Jeepers! I have a much easier time helping clients select colors for their homes, but when it comes to my own home, I can so easily vacillate. I think I am getting closer to finalizing...I will keep you posted!


Eventually, we will refinish the wood floors and possibly stain the red oak something slightly darker. It is yet to be determined as I need to get some estimates on having the floors refinished professionally versus renting a drum sander and doing the job ourselves, which means subjecting ourselves to massive amounts of dust and mess and hours of work.


I hope you will have a great week! I always love to hear from you so send me your comments and questions by email: Valerie@hillandvalleydesign.com or check out my Instagram feed @hillandvalley.design.



Hill and Valley Design | Seattle, WA | valerie@hillandvalleydesign.com

© 2019 by Hill and Valley Design. All rights reserved.