April 5, 2010

Reminiscing with my Fella

My hunky fella Brian and I dropped into Bonnie’s place this afternoon to dismantle and pack up the art and home accessories I used when staging her condo for sale a few weeks ago. She’s so happy because she and her husband accepted an offer just below asking price within a day after their home went on the market! But this post isn’t about Bonnie or staging.

As Brian and I drove away with our packed SUV we found ourselves reminiscing about the first home we owned together – a lovely, large condo situated on the Fraser River here in [06.11.04] Fall LagoonNew Westminster (Vancouver, BC Canada). You see… moving through Bonnie’s place together got us talking about all the things we loved about OUR condo.

So in memory of our previous home, I’m sharing our first-ever major project completed together… our kitchen!

I LOVE kitchen remodels, don’t you?

Perhaps I should clarify. I love every aspect involved in remodelling a kitchen. I love planning the project and designing a kitchen’s layout; I love choosing materials like lighting, cabinets, tiles & all the solid surfaces; I love demolition and – of course – I love putting it all back together piece by piece. What about you? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you love the transformations but can do without the stressful, messy process :-) Then again, many of you are like me and enjoy getting completely involved!!

Here’s a photo of our kitchen before the remodel:

Kitchen - old aps and lightsI just couldn’t muster up any love for the 80s Euro-style white thermo foil cabinets! And wasn’t my furniture crazy?! It was a fun look in my previous home, but definitely not the bistro look I wanted in THIS kitchen. We liked the oak flooring, but water leaks from the dishwasher had made it pretty much unsalvageable… besides, we really wanted tile!

And that oak flooring… it was the first thing to go.

[06.10] Kitchen Reno 1

The next thing to go… the cabinets! Unfortunately I had to work the day that the cabinet install guys came in – they removed the old cupboards and installed the new ones and I couldn’t watch!! I was totally disappointed. But when I returned home later that day I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was with everything! Of course we were far from done… apart from the counter install, all the labour from this point forward would be our own.

And the first thing we did… the floors!

And what fun!!

This was the very first time we had ever ever tiled! We started by laying an anti-fracture membrane on the cement floor and then we did a dry-lay of my floor design. It was going to look fantastic!

[06.10] Kitchen Reno 3

We were using a lovely porcelain tile that looked like stone in an off-set pattern. It’s hard to see in this test-run photo, but I incorporated a slate (China Multi) trim detail too.

The next day Brian mixed the mortar and, to my surprise, set me to work trawling the mortar and setting tiles! He said to me, “You’ve watched all the HGTV programs. You know how to do it.” So there I was, on my hands and knees, working tile magic. Ha! I have to admit that I was afraid at first, but before you know it I was tiling up a storm!!

And here’s the galley-section of the finished floor!

Kitchen Floor Yep… I tiled and grouted everything you see!!

[06.11.09] Kitchen Reno 7I also tiled the eating area with a slate trim detail to define the space.

Next… the counters were installed. I opted to go with a solid surface quartz called SileStone in “Brazilian Brown” with a European profile (a thin slab). I loved these counters and would highly recommend quartz to anyone!!!Backsplash Mock-up


With the counters installed, we could finally tile the backsplash.

I want to share this funny picture… to be sure my tile pattern plan would work above the sink I cut out paper tiles and stuck them on the wall!!! :-)

Choosing the tile for the backsplash, designing how it would be laid out and – eventually – laying the tile (i.e., seeing my vision materialize) was so much fun!

The tile I chose – a tumbled travertine marble… take a look at the finished detailing over the sink:

Finished Kitchen 5

Yes :-) I tiled and grouted this, too!

And now for the final results…

Shaker style cabinets are a Cherry with a “Sugar” stain.

Kitchen 1 IMG_2095 IMG_2094 

The above 2 photos were taken the day we moved out about 2 1/2 years ago… a sad yet very, very happy day. You see ~ we were moving to our current house, and a whole lot of NEW projects!!

I hope you enjoyed my Condo’s kitchen remodel!


I know that I enjoyed reminiscing about our lovely first home!!

I’m sharing this kitchen transformation with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch and all of her terrific readers. Thanks Susan!



Danica said...

What a pretty kitchen! You're so lucky, you've gotten to "practice" with more than one kitchen. I love the tile work; I should get you to come help me with my bathroom tiles! (should I ever find them) ;)

Nancy@marcusdesign said...

Wow, this is such a great before and after post!! I agree, you've got tons of kitchen re-do experience!! And what a great thing :) The tiles are amazing, and I think shaker style cupboards are my fav. It was a very beautiful outcome, the people who bought your first place from you are really lucky!!

Christy said...

Love that redesign - and must say I also love that glass block wall in the hallway beyond the kitchen! And bravo for tiling and grouting yourself - that is hard work! Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Karen said...

Very nice! I love the "Sugar" stain on the cabinets you choose but particularly like the floor tiles & back splash. Great job!

Atticmag said...

Hi Victoria ~ ~ (waving). What a great job on the kitchen. You're so talented with the redos. Hope you'll come by Atticmag for our really useful giveaway. -- Jane F.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Just as nice as your current kitchen, Victoria! I love the border tiles on the floor. Great view from the deck.

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

Wow - you are one multi-talented girl Victoria. I can see that you are destined for a career in design - what a gorgeous kitchen!

It's fun to reminisce isn't it? We were doing it the other day about our basement family room in our first home. Some great memories!

Laura Trevey said...

This is gorgeous... I love the new flooring!

Tammy@InStitches said...

I really enjoyed seeing your kitchen redo. It looks GREAT !

Susan said...

I'm just amazed at what you did by yourself. The end result was fabulous...

BTW my kitchen backsplash needs to be tiled...any takers :)

I liked the last line, this was the day we moved out... geesh I was wondering after my first look at your photos... Am I the only one with kitchen counter junk, cooking supplies, bills, coffee maker and all that wonderful stuff our lives are made of?

Barbara Matson said...

Nice work! Sniff... wish I could re-do our kitchen. Can't wait until we find a place of our own so I can rip things out and put them back. I like your analogy of a puzzle, I love re- making things over.

Whoever designed those "European" cupboards should be hung up to dry! My sister owns a towhouse from the 80's with the same cupboards. She can't stand them. We are trying to find a economical solution. Hard to cover up those babies.

Gayle said...

Your tile work is so beautiful as is the entire kitchen!

Unknown said...

Turned out beautiful. Love the slate!

Maria Killam said...

You are a talented designer Victoria! And I can't believe you tiled it all yourself!

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