What's Driving My Home Renos

Since choosing to downsize from our 4 bed, 3.5 bath home to our now 3 bed, 2 bath home I have been set on making this home our most functional and comfortable one yet.  Downsizing has been so great because I have donated (and sometimes sold) so many things that I (we) didn't need. It is so much easier to keep a smaller home clean (less closets and bathrooms!) although looking at my home on any given day, you wouldn't think so (I'm trying!). So far in the 12 months we've been here, we've done mostly cosmetic work, paint, and of course giving our kitchen it's facelift. There are still so many things I'd like to do to get the home I feel reflects me and the way our family lives.

I've got 2 projects brewing and I'm excited/ scared because #2 (happening hopefully this spring) will require more dust and demolition than my kitchen! And guess what? It's the kitchen! No, not my lovely white cupboards, or farmhouse sink, or butcher block countertops, but we are taking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, replacing the floors in both rooms and adding an island. The wall I originally loved having there is starting to feel like it doesn't have a place here anymore. Where once my girls sat at the kitchen table while I cooked are now chipping in and all 3 of my girls really enjoy doing so. 

Charlize, now 12, enjoys baking and decorating cakes. She'll often walk to the stove while I'm making dinner and start stirring something on the stovetop. Did I ever do that? I do not remember, but it makes me laugh when she does it. So clearly having multiple cooks in the house requires a larger kitchen, or at least a larger prep surface. Again, I don't want to spend a lot of money but I think this reno will cost at least half if not the same as our last kitchen reno.  So I'm hoping maybe...$2000.
We need new tile (about $700 + grout etc.) new island (DIY, $300), new radiant heating!!! ($???) plus all the little things, rewiring the electrical outlets, etc.

Here's the wish list & inspiration

// Open concept island //

I think having a completely closed island would be nice for storage purposes but unless you have a huge kitchen I feel they just make it look smaller, so I'm going for a more airy look (with some storage) but not a huge piece of furniture sitting in the middle of my room. I've wiggled my kitchen table to the middle of my kitchen as a mock up to see what size works well. And the kitchen table was a decent size, but the island will end up being 5' long by 32" in depth. Here's the inspiration.

There should be a minimum space of 36" between the island and stove/wall/cupboard on the opposite side. Your oven/dishwasher door should be able to open fully and then some. My dad's last home had an island in a rather small space but it felt cosy. So I'm going for it, even if there is only about 40" of space surrounding the island.  It will feel so much more open with the wall gone anyway. Perfect for having friends and family over.

I like all the storage options this island offers for cookbooks, fresh produce, bottles of wine, onions, garlic and potatoes! Maybe painted white it would look a little less rustic and a little more refined.

But, I'm definitely incorporating seating at this island because why not? If there's room, I'm doing it! Maybe I can even sit will I cook! I may just need to add a TV in there!

I love, love, love the simplicity of this island. It's so soothing and grounds this otherwise light and airy kitchen.  I can definitely see something like this in my kitchen. What's lovely too is it isn't permanent.

I am loving the look however, of a polished concrete worktop and matching grey stone floors. It will look beautiful with the rest of the kitchen.

// Inspiration //

This floor!!! It will look stunning adjacent the wood floor in the living room and give my white cabinetry some extra pop!

I saved this photo from Remodelista under "d" for "dreaming". I really hoped I could add some extra cabinetry to house our coffee machine and make a little breakfast bar on the back wall of the kitchen. I guess it depends what we are left with for room. I can dream anyway.

So clearly what drives me is expression of self and family. The other morning Brooklyn said "it feels so good to be home, it's so relaxing and quiet."  And I knew what she meant as we sat at the kitchen table, eating our breakfast basking in the new warm glow of the early morning sun that now shines into our kitchen (we may need to add some curtains for that). And I thought, I'm succeeding making the girls feel at home here. Making lots of memories right here in this kitchen. My our favourite place to be! 

What drives your renos? Investment? Family? A good challenge?  I'd love to know!


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Maira Gall