This post is in partnership with Kohler.
As we’ve slowly been updating every surface of our kitchen, it’s funny how easily we forget how things were before. Those yellow walls? The floating stove? Washing dishes by hand? Pfft! A distant memory! We’ve been spending an exorbitant amount of time in this room, nit-picking that 5% (of what’s actually done, that is), making lists for the coming weekends and daydreaming about the day we can lay out that runner. As I find myself spiraling when things don’t look great right this second, Scott has me take a step back and remember those yellow walls, that floating stove and dish washing marathons. There’ve been road bumps along the way, timelines delayed and a back door situation that became so mixed up, it was no longer maddening, but comical. (More on that at a later date, we can only hope!)
So for now, let’s focus on all the good that’s happening in this kitchen! At the top of our wish list was a large, single bowl sink and faucet, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have partnered with the team at Kohler for this upgrade. In conjunction with Countertop Day, our Cape Dory sink was installed, and later that night, Scott re-plumbed our touchless(!) Sensate faucet:
We opted for a classic all chrome finish on the faucet, and when paired with the sink, well, it’s just so good. The day that sink arrived on our front porch was an ecstatic one, filled with numerous texts to Scott and way, way too many of these: !! He wanted more photos from all angles, for which I happily obliged.
Our old sink and faucet combo did it’s job, but the spray handle didn’t lift correctly, and no matter how many times a day I scrubbed it, it was incapable of looking freshly spruced. It must have had a pretty rough life before us, because it never looked a day cleaner than what you see (below) on the left. This new sink, though? Beautiful. Classic. It’s sort of rocking our world right now:
While we were at it, Scott replaced the plastic plumbing with chrome plated brass, and I had a field day installing these heavy duty racks. All of our cleaning supplies were finally stripped of their cardboard boxes, and you better believe my heart skipped a beat.
Once we were good to go, we had a field day testing out the Sensate over and over (and over) again. Because it’s AC powered (we had our electrician run a power supply for this reason), there are no batteries to install, and it just works. I’ll admit to being hesitant with a touchless faucet at first – won’t it be fussy? – but a quick wave with your hand, spoon or pot will turn the water on and off!
And finally, we have a spray head that works again! It locks into a magnetic docking system in the faucet’s spout, clicking into place when not in use. The spray itself is a wide, thin blade that makes cleaning out the sink easy and fun, and at the risk of sounding like a Sensate spokeswoman (where do I sign up?), we truly love this entire set up. The only downfall is the time we waste playing with the sensor.
But of course the very best part of this entire collaboration is that they want to team up with one of you, too! Together with Kohler, we’ll be giving away a Sensate touchless faucet in the finish of your choice (a $688 value)! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. This giveaway is eligible for those located in the United States or Canada and runs through this Friday, February 27st until 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post. Good luck and happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post is in partnership with Kohler. We were gifted the Sensate faucet in chrome and the Cape Dory under mount sink in white. Thank you for supporting those that support us!
That’s what Scott and I said to each other this week, because you guys, we have counters! I was hoping to get this update out sooner, but if this kitchen re-do has proven anything, it’s that things don’t always work on our ideal timeline, and every step takes ten times longer than anticipated. In regards to counter and cabinets, there are still things that aren’t complete – trim is needed under the counters to hide leveling shims, we’re continuing to tweak the cabinets to align just so, and we need to touch up paint where we caulked the tiniest of gaps along these old uneven walls. Scott calls this the remaining 5%, but it’s that 5% that we think escalates any project from pretty good to impeccable. The cabinets are in? The counters are installed? Great! Those checklist items are 95% there. It’s that 5% that drives me absolutely batty, but it’s worth it. That 5% makes a room.
But rather than hold out until we’ve nitpicked our way through that remaining percent of cabinet and counter install, let’s just celebrate how far we’ve come since our last update!
We’ve also installed a large single bowl sink and touchless faucet, both of which have changed our entire workflow in the best possible way. We’ll share more details on that in a separate post, but these counters! We had no idea that there would be such a heated debate on black vs. white countertops, and you all raised some great points on the pros and cons of each. In the end, we switched gears entirely and chose white macauba quartzite (be still my heart) from MGSI and had them installed by local fabricators. Once the hard part of choosing the stone was behind us, working with our fabricators has been, hands down, the smoothest part of our kitchen journey. They not only had me come in to help with layout, but because the veining on our slab ran diagonally, they agreed to make their cuts on a diagonal as well. This resulted in a pattern that ran parallel along our wall, helping to ease our obsessive minds. Bonus: we had enough leftover from our slab to cut a small round tabletop that – eventually – we’ll be using in our living room!
On a side note, I just realized the above stove photo was taken at 1:37. Who loves Empire Records? And just because.
Also, that unfortunate refrigerator surround was resolved! A new, wider panel was put in place, and as a result, all those cabinets bumped out. The difference is everything, as is the filled-in gap above our stove with the microwave. On the same day as the fridge tweak, the microwave was installed by our contractors – a necessity for proper ventilation (because in no way did we feel comfortable cutting a hole to the exterior of our house). We’ve since moved all our stuff back into the kitchen and made a big, legitimate grocery run to celebrate! Even after putting everything away, there’s a lot of empty space for room to grow. That felt momentous after months of digging through boxes for plates, forks and coffee.
The sea of white cabinets will get some contrast once we add dark hardware, and our island (so close) will add oomph! as well. You’ll notice that our drywall isn’t perfect above the counters, but it’ll do for tile installation. Our under cabinet lighting wire is still exposed, but we’re making progress there, too. Our biggest hold up so far is that back wall, as we’re still stunted by the non-existent sidelights and transom, leaving that project at a stand still. (“Back order” is a dirty, dirty word, and to say we’re frustrated doesn’t cover it!) In any case, our weekend to-do lists keep growing instead of shrinking (why! how!), but the dominoes have been tipped, and now we’re full steam ahead.
PS… We’re sharing our best tips with Bali Blinds on what to look for when buying vintage. Take a look!
This little home update officially kicks off our Ace Hardware partnership this year, and for that, we are so happy and thankful! We’ve always had such a great time working with the team behind that name, and we love that although they provide us with month-to-month post guidelines, they allow us to choose the projects that are relevant to our home and current projects. To start, they’ve asked us to share a seasonal maintenance task around our home, and being that it’s February in Chicago (and because we’re still picking up on this old house’s quirks), we have a quick tip that has made a huge impact in keeping our rooms just that much warmer.
Having lived in our well insulated condo for 7 years prior to this home, we were absolutely, hands down, spoiled by our low cost gas and electric bills. (Last year, our friends that live in that yellow-brick-building never, ever turned on their heat – at all. Living on the third floor, they reaped the benefits of the rising heat from the units below them!) But since moving into this home, we’ve sprayed foam in every crack and crevice, patched up old cable holes, and as we update every old outlet and switch, we’ve been cushioning them with little coats – at least, that’s what I like to call it!
A house of this age is full of winter weather surprises, and I was surprised by the amount of cold air that was working its way into our rooms. An electrical plate on its own won’t block all that freezing air.
With our kitchen electrical now complete, we first used these foam outlet seals (aka outlet coats, ha), cut them to fit, and snugged them onto all the exterior wall plugs. The seals come in any shape – rocker panels, single switch, and so on – but we picked up the standard outlet seals to cut down to size for rockers or the circular outlets, the two common sizes in our home.
With the plate in place, we capped the outlets for extra credit, and my goodness. Drafts? Gone. No more. Coming from a well insulated apartment to a drafty home, I’ve never understood just All the Ways cold air was able to slip through the cracks (literally), but it’s a small cost update that, simply put, works. Side note: These foam seals are not recommended on dimmer switches, but they work like a dream in every other scenario.
We have a bigger kitchen update to come later this week (so many scraggly ends before we can check another item off the punch list!), but to welcome another year with Ace the right way, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. Giveaway runs through Friday, February 20th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post. Good luck and happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own.
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