Kitchen Update, continued

Removing stainless backsplash

We are working on a very minimum (read: less expensive) “renovation” of our kitchen. To save money we are keeping all appliances, all cabinets and only replacing the granite countertops, faucet, and stainless backsplash. We will have a professional cabinet maker (thanks, dad!) repaint/repair only the cabinet doors that have water damage and otherwise we aren’t making any other changes to the space. That is the plan. Our budget was <$15,000 for this entire project including labor, freight shipping on stone, materials, fabrication and new fixtures, but as of now I’m tracking to $13,500 total and that is my expected total cost (or less).

I found the stone at Marmi Natural Stone channeling Waterworks Prunella Keystone. The stone that I selected is called Calacatta Violette and is the same material as the Waterworks Prunella. We were able to make two, 2 cm, honed and cracked (yes, cracked) pieces work for our kitchen to save a bit of money. The slabs were shipped from Marmi and arrived at our fabricator Stone City (Chicago) last week.

Stone City just taped up the slabs for approval.

Slab from Marmi taped up by Stone City Chicago

I have done this entire project remotely and have seen nothing in person yet, only online pictures.

I have yet to see these slabs in person!

This weekend we attempted to DIY the removal of our stainless backsplash. It was honestly really tough! We got 50% of the way through which is great, but we had to call in some help for the second half. It is still not complete.

The stainless backsplash is in process of being removed

The stainless backsplash was glued to the wall and behind the stove it was loose. This wall is now completely removed. We used an industrial suction cup (for removing glass) to pull the stainless out. We also used a heat gun, but unclear how much that helped us. The wall behind the sink is not done. We couldn’t get that off.

It took 2-days to take off this backsplash and we did minor damage

Wow. My husband did a lot of work here. It was hard and time-consuming. But – it was “FREE”! Only one more piece of stainless left to remove. Theoretically, it should be easier because it is smaller and a simple rectangle shape, but it is glued down more, behind the faucet, and it’s currently not lifting up for us.

Paint scratch from removal that we will repair

It was frustrating to scrape the paint on the cabinets, but my dad assured me that this wasn’t such a big deal (we can fix it). We will have a professional tile this wall. I have not selected tiles yet! Please send ideas! The wall behind the sink will be a slab of the Prunella / Calacatta Violette marble. I’m leaning towards cream fired square tiles for behind the stove.

Kitchen Update

Slowly renovating our kitchen on a budget

One of our first projects after we moved into our apartment was opening up our kitchen by removing the overhead cabinets. The cabinets were wired for lighting and were heavy, but otherwise the removal was relatively straightforward. (That being said, my dad and husband did the heavy lifting so I was merely watching!)

Before: Our kitchen

The kitchen is relatively small so the overhead cabinets took up a lot of space and closed off the kitchen even more than it already was.

After: We think this made a huge difference in opening up the space!

The peninsula granite has a hole in it from where electrical was previously installed in the breadbox – slightly annoying, but certainly not unlivable. We’ve gotten great use out of this kitchen for just over a year, and I’m ready to upgrade within budget. I have had the hardest time justifying an upgrade in this kitchen given how timeless it already is, but with a tight budget we were comfortable moving forward.
Our current Rohl faucet is badly leaking, so we removed the regulator to allow the water to flow more freely (vs. spray in all directions) and found a replacement faucet from Devol Kitchens. I wrote about our new faucet here. It was much cheaper than alternative options in the U.S. by Rohl on build.com and we saved a material amount of money importing this faucet from the UK, including duty and shipping. We went with with a similar Rohl faucet in unfinished brass with a separate spray. We will DIY remove and install to save $450 (the quote we received from our fabricator).

Our new faucet from Devol Kitchens, by Rohl, in un-lacquered brass

We are planning to keep our current Shaw’s farmhouse sink and all of our appliances, replacing only the counters and backsplash with honed marble. When we were working on our bathrooms, I found a material at Waterworks that I really loved. The material has become relatively “trendy” now, but I really like it and generally my philosophy is that everything including gray / white eventually looks dated so I’d prefer to just do what I want today and “use it up”.

Inspiration counter from Waterworks Chicago and a slab from Marmi Natural Stone

After some google image searching, I found two slabs at Marmi Natural Stone that matched my vision and I’ve worked with them to procure our materials. We are working with Stone City in Chicago on the fabrication and installation. Stay tuned!

Ann Sacks Kelly Wearstler custom floors, in production

Sample received from production

The custom floors have been in production for approx 4 weeks now and I just got my first peek at them! I misunderstood the timeline and had thought they would be delivered in 4-6 weeks, but both the production process AND shipping EACH take 4-6 weeks. Needless to say, the floors are not here yet!

As a reminder, the rendering of the stones we selected, for our specific floorplan, looked like this:

Production just came back with a swatch of floor for approval before they start to produce the entire footprint. Here it is:

It has a nice neutral look to it, while being bold and forward. It will go really well in this traditional home. The only stone that is missing from this swatch is the rubicon black (stripe), but otherwise this is the finished product.

I’m very excited for these floors to be installed.

Master bathroom demo

The master bathroom demo is underway and all floors and the privacy wall have been removed. The master bathroom previously had hex tiles and a very traditional look and feel with 1930’s style fixtures that will be kept.

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The master bathroom floors and privacy wall are gone

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The Perrin & Rowe fixtures will be updated to an unlacquered brass from Waterworks

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The floors will be replaced with a custom Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks geometric design

All fixtures will be replaced with Waterworks unlacquered brass Highgate and Easton Classic fixtures.

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Waterworks Highgate Faucet with White Porcelain Lever Handles

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Waterworks Highgate Thermostatic Valve Trim

The hand shower will be removed and an in-wall shower head will be added. The fixtures have been delivered as we wait for the ceramic trim and baseboards to arrive with medicine cabinets, lighting, ceiling fan and geometric floor design to be ordered.

[A tiny] Bathroom remodel

This bathroom is teensie. Let’s flash back to the listing photo:

Small Guest Bathroom, Tiny Bathroom renovation
Listing photos are always so perfect

Here is the bathroom today:

Bathroom Guest
The bathroom, prior to renovation

The bathroom is nice, but it doesn’t have a tub and the floor tiles are not our favorite, so I will change them when we add the tub. The shower hardware is mixed brands and even has two “hot” knobs instead of one hot and one cold (why did that happen!?). We will keep the sink and toilet to save some money on this project.

I will be working in a space that is 6’1″ x 4’10” at its longest points.

Gold Coast Small Bathroom Renovation
The bathroom is approximately 73″ deep

And I will be fitting in a bathtub.

Gold Coast bathroom renovation
Width is 58″ from tile to tile, and the standard bathtub is 60″

We have started shopping for tiles and I’m tired of the all whites and grays. I am really working on getting away from what we’ve been seeing and selecting different things for this home.

Basketweave Tiles
This is NOT what I will be doing

Here are some different tile patterns that I liked at Waterworks (with different color schemes):

 

 

I also like the Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks tiles. These patterns are so fun.

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Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks Doheny Small

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Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks Liaison Collection

We will add a better vanity and have already removed the existing mirror and shelf. I will be selling everything that is salvageable on Ebay and Chairish.

Gold Coast bathroom update
ย The shelf and mirror have been removed and will be replaced with a lit medicine cabinet.

There are two medicine cabinets that I think are great for this space. The Astoria Medicine Cabinet from Restoration Hardware has a 1930’s look and is $455, or $364 for members for the polished chrome. It is 18 1/4″ wide x 30″ tall.

Astoria
The small Astoria Medicine Cabinet from RH is the right dimension and has a 1930s look

The Kohler Verdera Medicine Cabinet is $911 (or $683.25 if you shop at Build.com) and is 20″ wide x 30″ tall. It has awesome lighting and would remove the necessity to put a light over the mirror, which would be nice. And yes – these lights DO make you look better!

Verdera
Kohler Verdera has electrical in the cabinet which helps keeps counters clean

Instead of replacing the toilet which is from the Duravit 1930’s Collection, we have ordered the soft close cover and will keep it and the matching pedestal sink.

Gold Coast bathroom update
We have removed the hooks and will replace the base board with a ceramic version

To replace the toilet and sink it would cost $1,500+ so we are keeping the budget lower by keeping. However, we will replace the sink tap and drain.

Gold Coast bathroom update
The mirror and shelf have been removed the sink hardware will be replaced (the finish is chipped)

We will be replacing all of the sink and shower hardware, adding the bath filler and tub, re-tiling the floors, replacing the toilet seat and adding a medicine cabinet. My next step is to have my plumber price out this work and confirm that we can fit a 60″ bathtub in the space!