Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mama's Got a Brand New Kitchen

This is the kitchen I grew up in, with the notable editions of new flooring (circa 2004 ish) and a dishwasher. Raise your hand if your parents didn't spring for the dishwasher until you were long gone!

I'll be honest though, by no means did I slave away washing dishes. Sorry, Mama.

I'm going to just state the obvious here - the kitchen was in need of some...modifications. Quaint as they were, the circa 19whoknowswhen cabinets were ready to give up the ghost.

Plus, the house is officially up for sale and the dingy, dungeoun-like quarters weren't doing anyone any favors.

You know what they say, sometimes it's gotta get worse before it gets better...

Have I ever told you about this guy? He's my Dad. He rocks a power tool like no body's business. Honest to goodness, I can't think of anything handy that my Dad can't do in his sleep.

For most of my childhood he was a supervisor on a crew that built bridges. I can't entirely put my finger on why, but I always felt immense pride over the fact that my Dad knew how to build a bridge.

He would rise before the crack of dawn each morning and come up to kiss me goodbye before he left for work. Light sleeper that I am, it always woke me up, and I loved it. Except for the time it didn't wake me up and I didn't love it. That time he inexplicably and irrationally decided to arrange my outfit for the day into the shape of an actual person, on my floor. Imagine waking at daybreak to see that. And I had only recently overcome my crippling fear of vampires, thanks to an unfortunate lapse in judgment in an older cousin...

I have no explanation for the manner in which my mind changes course on every whim and whimsy. It is a wonder that I made it through high school.

So tell me, what do you think? Pretty impressive. Pretty gosh darn sad that my mom has her dream kitchen at the precise time that a For Sale sign is stationed in her front lawn.

But I'm more of a glass-half-full girl, so let's just stick with impressive.

My Papa did 90% of the work on his own. I acted as the design consultant. We're still in retroactive contractual negotiations regarding my compensation...

It was fun helping with a kitchen that is a departure from my personal style. Plus - they went with the full-overlay cabinets that I drooled over. And granite.

A word on full overlay cabinets. If you happen to not know what this means, do me a favor and don't bother learning. Because once you do, you will start to notice full overlays everywhere. Your mind's eye will being to agree that they are just a tad superior. You will start to view yourself not as a Republican or a Democrat, not a Catholic or a Protestant, but as a Full Overlay Girl Living in a Partial Overlay world.

It's just one of those classic cases of What We Don't Know Can't Hurt Us.

I'm trying to talk them into letting me paint that table and chairs.... Baby steps.

Gratuitous focus/blur.

And that Ironstone collection is officially on my "list". You know the list I'm talking about. It's not spiteful or greedy to ask one's mother to put an item on a theoretical list of this nature. I like to think it's responsible. Forward-thinking.


My Mama made P-Dub's rolls last time I was home. And the Marlboro Man sandwich. And a peach pie. We were so carbed up and blissful.

My favorite feature of the kitchen is the tile back-splash. I originally found it here and fell in love. Lord have Mercy, it was a pain in the rear to track down, but so worth it. The beveled edges and crackle glaze beckon me. They may very well be my newest love language.

Full disclosure - it pains me a little that we didn't remove the lone article of fridge art before taking these pics. Ah well, live and let live.

Also - my dad took some serious talkin' into on the issue of using two different finishes and door-styles for the island and cabinetry.

It sure seems like he should know by now not to doubt me... Perhaps this sealed the deal?

The finishing touch - Mom's favorite verse, in one of those rub-on wall transfers.

And now, as fortune would have it, I am on the phone with Mr. Handy Fixit himself. Let's see if he has any closing remarks on this project...

In fact, let's go whole hog and do a mini interview.

FPFG: What was the most challenging aspect of planning the kitchen re-do?
*Very long pause.*
FPFG: Hello? Is this thing on?
Dad: I don't know....Oh...One of the challenging things was using a 33" sink base so that I could get the 12" cabinet into the corner there. I knew it would be a tight fit to try to squeeze that cabinet with the full-overlay into that small space.
FPFG: What is your favorite part of the final product?
Dad: It would either be the tile or the under cabinet lighting.
FPFG: Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Dad: Uh yes. There was only one thing that was not picked out ahead of time. I did not know the dimensions, sizes, thicknesses of the tile. Had I known that we were going to use the 3x6 inch tile, I would have raised all of the outlets by 3/4 of an inch, so that they would have been centered in the tile. That's the only thing that kind of bugs me.
(FPFG sidenote: We'll save the discussion on my Dad's legendary OCD tendencies for another day...)
FPFG: What was it like working with your design consultant?
Dad:Like one word? Like challenging?
FPFG: Um, no...
Dad: Well, she was very helpful. (laughing...) In all aspects. (still laughing...)
FPFG: Thanks, Pops.
(Editorial note: It has been 15 minutes and Dad is still explaining why he feels that he deserves most of the credit for the overall design...Hold the phone - he just conceded credit for the island. Whew.)

I'm linking this up on Metamorphosis Monday. Go have a look!


  1. Just my style! I love finding other kitchens similar to mine. I pick up great ideas to help me accessorize mine. Great transformation. (I laughed at your ironstone list comment...I do know the list!)

  2. That is really neat. (My parents STILL don't have a dishwasher)

  3. wowza!! the kitchen turned out amazing! way to go dad :)

    i have to tell you...i have the SAME verse over my doorway and the walls are painted yellow (in my family room) :) it's just a different font. love it!

  4. My parents had a dishwasher for a month, ripped it out...and that was that. Mom just washes them by hand.

    I am so in love with those tiles.

  5. WOW! It's a dream kitchen, just beautiful! You should be very proud, and so should your dad. If I was your mom I would highly resent living through, and then having to leave this new kitchen. I think I would purposefully boil cabbage, brussel sprouts and all manner of putrid things before each showing by the realtor....and thus sabotage the sale! Bwahahaa!

  6. The kitchen is amazing - you outdid it!!!! my sister and I are currently fighting over one lone item on "that" list - a green chair. I think I'm gonna get it - but only because I'm going to convince my mommy to move to NC to be with me - and no - there isn't a hidden agenda...wink wink

  7. Wow your Dad is amazing! Of course you are too for the design but that goes without saying!

  8. What a wonderful dad you have! My DH and FIL used to build bridges too. FIL helped build Disneyworld - how cool is that?!

    Hope you'll drop by AtticMag this week to see my home on tour,

  9. It is stunning! Why, Oh why do they have to sell? And why, Oh why do all that beautiful work to not enjoy it yourself? Really this stumps me. I love everything about it, but the backsplash tiles are my favorite...and the delicate white window coverings.

  10. I think it's all wonderful and beautiful, and I too would put the ironstone on 'the list' and I love your dad, and I think you did a great job, and I don't know what partial overlay is......and the whole vampire clothes thing is hysterical, but the ONE thing that I can't stop thinking about is how there is a for sale sign in front of the house now, and maybe your mom won't get to enjoy this for long...but maybe with theh housing market she will, but if she is wanting to sell the house quickly, then I hope she does......*deep breath* Fun post as always girl.

  11. bravo on a beautiful kitchen!

    we have full overlay(sort of)doors, quartz tops, plus we have 2 different finishes too. it was one of my "after we get settled in" projects to tile the backsplash myself with 3x6's...then somehow a backsplash was accidentally installed with the quartz, so the tile hasn't happened because i still can't decide if that would look right or not:( oh well...

    oh, and the list. yes, i have had ideas about the list but firmly believe that, ah-hem, someone would take everything on the list before i got the chance. let's just say, i have prior proof of that one:)

  12. Beautiful job on that kitchen. Great job Dad! Kitchens are so hard to do and you guys did an amazing job. Wow, can't believe they have to sell it. Hope they can enjoy it awhile. Make believe person on your floor with your scary for words, that would freak me out! oh wait it does freak me out still! ~Lulu

  13. That is a beautiful kitchen... wish it was mine!!! You are so right... that tile backsplash is GORGEOUS!!!

  14. Okay this might be my favorite post yet! You are so funny, I should really be in bed, but I didn't have internet for a day, and I am trying to catch up. Glad I did! Love the list. You are so funny. I can't believe your parents have to sell it. I would be so sad. I would love to have granite counter tops. I love the baby steps with painting the table. LOL My parents had the old paneling in their house. My dad freaked out at the thought of painting yes fake wood paneling!
    Your parents kitchen turned out really cute! Great job.
    Take Care,

  15. I love it!!! I love the mix of the cabinets with the island and I really love the backsplash!!!

  16. Shannan- It looks amazing. I can't even believe it. YOU did a great job. I mean, so did Pops but what good is good labor without great design I ask you.

  17. He did a wonderful job!!! It is beautiful...and with you as a design consultant...perfect!

  18. Very nice, I love subway tiles! It really is to bad that she can't stay and enjoy it.

  19. Fantastic redo, your dad did a great job! Now, what was that designer's name again? LOL As far as the list goes no, not a bad idea. When we were younger we did the same thing with my mom letting her know while cleaning on a saturday that we liked something. Especially if you were the one stuck polishing the silver, you figured it was owed to you anyway.

    When my mother passed away and I was helping my father move into a new place I noticed a few things while unpacking. My mother had written on the back of a few pieces of art. She actually wrote, "Should I pass, I want to leave this to Amy, she bugged me enough about this picture, xoxo Mom!" She dated and signed it. I was very touched having been the one to discover these pieces but I'll tell you I'm still searching for my piece with my name on it! Its ok, my mother was my gift I don't need a material thing to remind me of her. I hope you get that Ironstone collection some day, its beautiful!

  20. Wow! Your dad did an amazing job! I hope your mom gets a kitchen just as beautiful in her new home. And I totally agree with you about getting dibs on the collection, it is gorgeous!

  21. The place looks amazing. Your pops seems awesome! Hopefully he can do a new kitchen where ever they are moving to. I was dying during the interview....that first pause? Exactly what my dad what do. "Huh? What? Oh yea, ahem." hee hee! Dads. I love mine too.

  22. how in the world do you come up with things to talk about everyday?? i wish i had a brain like yours :) anyways, your parents kitchen looks fabulous and i do believe my favorite part is the back's so perfect. they really have to be loving that new kitchen :)

  23. Amazing transformation, seriously...I love the island and that it has different cabinets then the overlays (sigh) and the color of the island, bestill my beating heart..and the subway tile....she pauses to go back and drool...amazing! That is very sweet that your dad did most of the now, can I ask why they are selling this amazing house and amaizng kitchen? Your mom better cook her hiney off while she can!

  24. Well, I'm having a hard time getting past the first picture with the cute little tiny boy on the chair. Cooking with sweet.
    And subway tile is the best. Have a great day, Flower Patch Designgirl!

  25. What a transformation. It's beautiful!!

  26. Looks great!!! Love the open space. Will be so fun to entertain there.


  27. My first comment...I love your blog! I have the exact same table and chairs that your mom has and that you want to paint. I am trying to talk my husband into it. What color would you paint them? I have redone my kitchen and have cream colored cabinets. Just wondered what color you would think would look good!

  28. Wow!!! Wonderful. And I love subway tiles too. I'm thinking about trying to incorporate some in my laundry room when we finally get to the point of finishing it:)

  29. Wow what a beautiful kitchen!! I love the island. The Bible quote is o so perfect. I would'nt mind seeing more of your moms home. Love the ironstone to!!

  30. Fun post!
    It's so true that often things finally get done just in time to sell. (at least in my life)
    Your dad sounds great----my dad was like that too. He was a civil engineer and he could do ANYTHING...make sure you get paid in cash...

  31. Just found your blog and I love your writing style. You are very witty - love the Full Overlay Girl comment.

  32. Love the kitchen! I'm currently in the process of updating my own. I want to say that I too fell in love with hand glazed crackle tile. And it was $17.50 per square foot. Now that you posted where this tile came from, it's a savings of $10 per square foot. That's huge! Not sure if we will end up using it, but still, it's nice to know where to find it cheaper! Thanks for the post.

  33. That is one gorgeous kitchen! Pat yourself on the back, just don't let your dad see;)

  34. Anonymous Renea - I'm not sure what wall color you have, or other colors that you may need to work around, but I'm thinking you should paint that table and chairs black! Or a dreamy aqua blue. That might be even more fun to work with. :)

  35. Great job on the kitchen. I bet your Mom loves it. Maybe she won't want to move now! I'm in the middle of a complete kitchen renovation. I blog the progress about every 3-4 days.

  36. I only wish everyone could really appriciate how UGLY the kitchen was for 30 years(tee-hee)! You know my favorite part is the counter tops and my verse. Thanks again to my consultant. I guess i would also wish everyone could experience how long it takes for Dad to complete an idea...about as long as finishing a project.

  37. I'm behind & just found this post. No fear - you aren't greedy, but smart! My sisters & I are always calling items of Moms for our own. We even tease that we'll pencil our names on the backs of them! At least she knows we adore her junk!