Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Home Improvements

About a year ago, Jason and I began discussing the idea of updating the countertops in our kitchen. When we originally stumbled across our soon to be home, it was a spec and was halfway through the building process. We had a say-so in several things we wanted such as light fixtures, faucets, countertop color, etc. but weren’t able to install granite at the time.

Planning Stage


On the right of this picture, you’ll see a small piece of texturized laminate – it’s what was installed in our home when it was first built. The big piece of granite on the left is what we replaced the laminate with. When I originally picked out countertops for our spec home, I found a huge slab of granite in a a local hardware store that I fell in love with. In turn, we searched out the texturized laminate that matched the granite and that’s what was installed in our spec home. When Jason and I began discussing the idea to switch to granite, the granite itself was a no brainer for me – I wanted the same exact thing I saw in the hardware store several years ago. Good news for us, we found it!


We also determined that we wanted our edges to look like the edge pictured above.


After MUCH deliberation, we finally decided on a backsplash pattern similar to the one above, with on exception - the tile blocks would be in a square, not a diamond shape.


Picking out the inserts was relatively easy as well. We decided to accent our kitchen with fleur de lis d├ęcor and chose this insert which resembled a fleur de lis, but is not as strong of a fleur de lis as the ones you see in the background of the picture.



Here’s a before picture of our kitchen. Yes, I usually have drawers in the holes you see in the cabinets – and yes, my countertops are usually more crowded than what is shown. :0)


See how the countertop and backsplash was all the same? I wanted to stray away from that look altogether this time around.


My kitchen was scattered all over my breakfast area and dining room for the week!



Here’s my kitchen in the demo phase. No more countertops, sink, or backsplash!


This is when the dust started to accrue.


The granite arrived! YAY!


This is after the granite was installed, prior to the backsplash.



Here’s the backsplash…


Close-up of the tile insert.


Stove side of the kitchen



We also changed out the piece in our laundry room to granite.

Here it is….


All done!

I can’t tell you how excited I am! I feel like I’ve fallen in love all over again - I could just sit in my kitchen and stare at it all day! Part of me can’t believe that we finally went through with this project and finished it. We’ve talked about it for so long, it felt like just a dream. I’m also grateful I’ll be able to cook food again – eating out for the week grew old pretty quickly! :0)

Have you ever done any home improvements? Were you happy with the outcome?


  1. Wow, it looks fabulous! I'm completely jealous, we cannot get granite until we replace all of the cabinets because they are so old ($$$). Love the colors and backsplash!

    1. Thank you so much! We were lucky on that one - I wanted to keep the cabinets as they were, so that saved us a lot!

  2. It looks awesome! We have never tackled any large projects...painting a room every now and then is about all we can handle! :)

    1. Hah! I know what you mean, Paige! I did repaint our entire house about a year after we moved in. That was HARD work!! Thank you! :0)

  3. Looks so awesome RB! :) Yay!!

  4. Looks awesome! I love the backsplash you picked!!

  5. It looks amazing! Updating the kitchen is Phase 2 for us (probably this fall) and I can't wait!

    1. Thanks Morgan! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with! I bet you are so excited!!

  6. You kitchen looks AMAZING! How wonderful for you guys!!!!!!

  7. I love it. I love the center piece in the backsplash. I want to redo our cabinets. Hubby said no since we are not living here forever :(

    Nice job!

    1. We had that discussion too. We decided since we will be in our home for a while longer, we might as well go for it. Thank you! :0)

  8. Beautiful! Love the tile accents. :)

  9. You have a beautiful kitchen!

  10. Very nice, it looks like out of a magazine!

    1. Aww thanks that's so nice of you to say! :0)

  11. Love it!!! We completely redid our kitchen this winter (floor, cupboards, appliances, countertops) but we didn't put granite in because we were trying to cut costs. We plan on doing it in when countertops need to be replaced, but I kind-of wish we had just gone ahead and done it. Our countertops are laminate, but the "granite" look and look almost exactly like yours. So beautiful! Hope you enjoy it! I am in-love with my new kitchen as well! :)

    1. I bet your kitchen looks amazing!! I understand where you are coming from...all of this stuff can get pricey!

  12. Congrats!! Your kitchen was lovely before but it's amazing now! The granite you picked is perfect and the fleur-de-lis-inspired insert is such a nice compliment to the rest of the look.

    Enjoy getting back to your cooking routine! I'm sure it's nice to have everything back in order. :)

  13. Your kitchen looks amazing! I absolutely love it.

  14. Your countertops and the backsplash look great!

  15. I love your kitchen it looks awesome.
    This is what I miss about renting - we dont get to make improvements.
    We own a house in England still and when we purchased it we had to gut it and completely redesign it, it was so much fun :)
    Hopefully in a few years we will be ready to buy a house here and can start making some awesome plans

  16. Save your receipts and add up the cost of the remodel because you can use it to add to the cost basis of your house. If you have a $50,000 house that won't make any difference. But if you have a $500,000 house may kick you into a taxable house sale, then those costs will help you...

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