Today I thought I’d share an update about what we’re working on as far as home projects right now. However, I don’t have any exciting “After” photos to share so I thought I’d include a few snaps of the flowers that are currently in bloom. Nothing makes me happier then seeing these pretty flowers at this time of year, our iceberg roses (in their 3rd year) are exceptional right now. I have shared this source before but these low-maintenance plants are my new favorite blooming shrub.
When I planted this rose it was a skinny, 12 inch stick with a few roots, now three years later it’s a showstopper. I obviously didn’t cut it back far enough over the winter but will tame it once this current bloom is over. It should bloom again several times through fall so it is easy to keep cut back to a manageable size without hurting the flower production. I have another one on the other side of the walkway that I planted last year (same variety) that is blooming but not quite as robustly, I am hoping it catches up next year.
These pink roses are the Drift Peach Blush, and prove you should never overlook the sad, half-dead looking sale plants at the end of summer, at least not in this variety. I grabbed these in August two years ago on clearance and I am not sad I did. The plants are now healthy and full of blooms and also are a low-maintenance variety. A friend who does landscape design suggested pairing this variety along our border with limelight hydrangeas for a pretty combination, which I plan to do.
Now for our next big project– I hinted in our weekly newsletter about this but I excited that we’ve taken the first steps toward an upgrade in our kitchen. I have been hoping to do this, especially in this last year when I have taken so much comfort in being in our kitchen and cooking and baking. When we built the house three years ago I didn’t love any of the builder kitchen selections so we decided to take the basics and then upgrade the space on our own. I didn’t anticipate it taking three years to get to this project then, but I am very glad I lived with the kitchen before I made decisions about what I wanted to change. I’ll share a more detailed post as we begin the process about what exactly we are selecting but today I wanted to share the overall plan.
One big change we are making is to switch out the counters for a quieter, durable quartz from the very busy granite (that was free from the builder). While I love the look of marble, I had that in my coastal home years ago and the maintenance completely stressed me out so I know I don’t want that again. I selected quartz as it looks like marble but can stand up to being in a real, working kitchen. I found a company that fabricates the counters on site and so those are my actual slabs in the top picture. With most things these days having long delivery times, the counters should be installed within just a few weeks.
| kitchen table | chairs | shelving | rug | chandelier |
We will also be adding a row of cabinets for more storage and to create a bar area against the back wall in our breakfast room (I’ll be selling the hutch if anyone local is interested), and probably adding open shelving above. Again, this could have been done with the builder but they offered a desk set up which wasn’t what we wanted in the space so we opted to design it ourselves. I have stacks of platters and overflow glasses stuffed in my pantry so it will be nice to have things better organized. We also plan to add a beverage fridge and some larger drawers, it will be so nice to have this area for serving when we have guests.
The final major change is that we’ll be upgrading our range. To be honest, this was a big part of my husband coming on board to my ideas in here, because honestly this range while brand new, has been a huge disappointment. It just doesn’t cook things, and the dishwasher that came with the home has also been a big troublemaker. I suppose the saying “they don’t make them like they used to” rings true, just ask the 20 year old refrigerator in my garage that keeps chugging along! I have spent way too many hours researching commercial-style ranges and have figured that piece out, but the first step is to get the lower cabinets moved over to accommodate a larger range. Right now, that is the piece holding up the counter installation but once we get that done the rest of all this should move along fairly quickly. We’ll also plan to add lights above the island and a tile backsplash.
We’ve really loved living in this home, especially with as much time “at home” that we had this last year. This is the final change to truly make it feel like our space so I am excited to kick this all off. While I have been mindful in my decision process about keeping the appropriate value in our home, this investment will bring this space up to where it needs to be when we decide to sell this home (no time soon). We have always known this is not our forever home, much as we love it, so these changes have always been part of the plan from an investment perspective but I am glad to first be able to enjoy the upgrades while still living here. More importantly, I find so much joy from cooking and entertaining these days, especially as my kids have reached the age where we enjoy hanging out together, and I know this will be even more true now that we can open our home and exercise the gift of hospitality again.
Update: You can see the kitchen finished HERE!
So while this project will be thrilling once it is finished, it doesn’t offer much blog eye candy in the meantime. Thankfully we are keeping the cabinets and flooring so we won’t have to live through too much disruption. We’re also having a small project done to finish off another bedroom in our basement, hopefully simultaneously, making it easier and more comfortable for guests (hint hint, Christy!) so while things promise to be a little chaotic in the weeks ahead, it should all be worth it in the end.
To leave you with some happiness, for those of you who share our adoration of dogs here is a quick Auggie update (our rescue cavalier). He is not only the sweetest thing but he also makes me laugh on a daily basis. I constantly find him sitting in a chair be it on the porch, at the table or out on the deck. I am fully convinced he’s sure he’s human and is hoping if he sits here long enough someone will bring him something delicious to eat!
I started snapping pictures of him this weekend when I realized how often he climbs into a chair to be part of things so I thought I’d share a few I took of him for laughs. He’s truly been such a joy for our family over the last two years.
Have a wonderful day!
I was so happy when you builder installed dishwasher started to become problematic. We never really liked it but couldn’t quite justify replacing it. Oh I had been researching replacement for months waiting for a problem so I was ready when the time came for a decision.
I hear of dishwasher issues across the board in my neighborhood, you are not alone. Ours is literally falling apart after only 3 years. I will definitely not be replacing with the same brand. XO
Blackwell Diane says
I’m really interested in what range and dishwasher you choose.
I’ll be sure to share!
Kathy Evans, Australia says
Wonderful ideas as always. I really love the dark wood of those floors. Thank you for adding the photos of Auggie. He is absolutely beautiful. I wish he could meet my Molly who is almost identical in colour. She is from a British lineage and therefore her ears are a little longer. KCC are such a loveable breed.
Thank you Kathy–I wish our dogs could meet as well, we are completely smitten with this breed. I think Auggie’s ear situation was due to some unfortunate grooming, though they are growing out now! His are shorter than some KCC’s I have seen though? Have a great day! Amy
OK, so I followed your link to your marble countertops and then there was a link there about your coastal home which took me to a post from August 2011. I feel like I have been reading this blog for 10 years but maybe not?? Do you have a link to a house tour of that home once it was finished? I want to know if Irene hit your area and if you made the September deadline???
Can’t wait to see your updated kitchen – it has always seemed small from my 1D perspective so would love to see how you have it organized! We put in a dry bar area in our breakfast area in one of the homes that we lived in and it was great. Having it upgraded with a beverage cooler will be really nice for you.
I loved your comment! I had to dig but I round the home tour from our coastal home here: https://www.11magnolialane.com/amys-updated-house-tour/
The photos are not great, sorry! Yes the home weathered the hurricane just fine, they build them especially to withstand the high winds these days on the coast.
I agree that this kitchen is small, but there is a very large pantry behind the range wall where I can store more things, it’s really nice to have that to keep everything in one place. I just need to work on it to make it a little prettier. Thanks for writing and for all the years of reading! XO, Amy