Downsizing and Our Kitchen Makeover

Amanda-2

It took over a year to get our house of 25 years ready to sell.  There were children’s school work, report cards, mementos that needed to be sorted through, greeting cards I had kept, hard copy photos, etc.  Then add on what is being kept in all the other rooms – dishes, appliances, furniture, books, etc.  (and most importantly what is being sold or given away) and it can cause a few gray hairs and a rise in blood pressure. 

I look forward to sharing our kitchen makeover but first a few things I learned during my downsizing/moving journey.

 To prepare, I read books (Right Size,Right Now, Essentialism:  The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less and Moving On, and A Practical Guide to Downsizing The Family Home  I listened to podcasts (Organization Station @Home and The Frugal House – Jenny Martin) and sought the advise of those that had been on the downsizing trail before me.  Here were a few of my takeaways..

  • Keep a few things to remember others by but not everything that has been handed down or given.  By the time we were emotionally and mentally ready to downsize –  I had 3 sets of china, one set was mine, one was my moms and a set my grandmother had handed down.  I couldn’t remember the last time we used any of it.  First I offered them to my my daughter and daughter-in-law.  My daughter passed; my daughter-in-law took my grandmothers set.  I packaged them up in the following storage chests…Foldable Storage Chests .. Jumbo Storage Boxes .. Quilted China Starter Kit.  I tried to consign my mom’s set – unfortunately, there is no interest in these items anymore.  I ended up donating to my favorite thrift store – Gracie’s Cottage.  I actually moved my set with us, thinking we’d keep our formal dining room and china hutch.  That didn’t happen – the furniture ended up being to0 large and we ended up donating to Goodwill along with all of my china except for 2 dessert plates.  I’ve decided that a nice set of white plates can take you anywhere and that a fold out 6-ft table and chairs will work nicely when we have holidays at our house.
  • Only keep books that mean something to you today.  Donate to someone else that can use all the others.
  • Keep only the clothes you feel good in and will fit in the space you have.  Jeff and I were going from each having a closet to sharing one.
  • When deciding what to do with an item – ask yourself if you were to see it today for the first time would you spend money on it, want to store it, have a use for it and does it delight your heart.  If the answer isn’t yes – you are basically storing something that you have no use for.
  • We keep our lives cluttered with things.  The item(s) may be in the closet, drawers and cupboards but they also take up precious space in our mind and life.

So back to our kitchen.  We went from a 2800 square foot home to a 1600 square foot home.  It’s funny when you are looking to buy a new home it doesn’t really register what you are starting with until you do the final walk-through and then move in.  Everyone has their own taste and I believe the people who owned the house before us loved their home.  But we were looking forward to giving the house a simple open decor and discovered we were going to be busy.

Untitled design-31

Here is a picture of what the kitchen looked like when we moved in – the cabinets had seen better days and had chips that you can’t really see in the picture.  It was painted a mint green with rooster decals as a backsplash and had plaid maroon and green curtains – the small dining room area was painted blue with the same curtains.  There wasn’t a pantry and we needed to use what we considered the hall closet for our food.  After cooking scallops on the stove, we soon discovered there wasn’t any venting from stove to outside for cooking.  The garbage disposal could inhale a bowl when turned on because all the rubber in the sink drain was nonexistent.  The features we liked:  hardwood floors, decent wooden shades on all the windows, gas stove, and kitchen window.

When you first move in – the first step is to make the space functional so our time was spent unpacking boxes, buying groceries (because eating out soon loses it’s luster).  Then the dreaming starts and the realization that kitchens aren’t inexpensive.   The appliances were delivered and I want to share one the best things we spent money on was a new Kitchen-Aid dishwasher.  The family room is very close to the kitchen and the dishwasher that came with the house was LOUD.  Our new dishwasher is so quiet we sometimes have to check to make sure we turned it on.

I took all the curtains down from the windows and Jeff removed the rooster decals.  He also fixed the oven venting problem.   We then headed to Superior Stone and Cabinets and began planning.  We chose a gray toned cabinet, decided to extend our island by 18 inches to include garbage bins, and add a 18″ pantry.  I have to say that I’ve been surprised how much the pantry can hold.  We were very happy with the service we received – Superior  delivered on exactly what they promised and were in and out of our home in 3 days.  First day was demolition…2nd day was cabinets…and 3rd day was the granite.  

Untitled design-23

This was our old formica countertop.

Untitled design-30

This is the cabinet and granite samples we chose along with our flooring and paint color for the kitchen.  We were feeling pretty bold that day and took a chance of really making the kitchen ours.

Untitled design-27

This was the old sink with the nonexistent rubber part of the drain.  Yuk!  I was counting the days until my deep double stainless sink went in.

Untitled design-21

Once they demo’d the kitchen,  Jeff painted with our paint color of choice Sherman Williams Analytical Gray.  We decided to paint the entire house this color to give it a continuous flow of calm throughout the house.  It also would provide the benefit of not having to store several paint cans in the garage.  The new pantry would be placed to the left of the refrigerator.

Untitled design-24

Then it was cabinet day.  We had a trash compactor for 25 years and thought we would get another one but this has actually been a better option for us.  It encourages us to recycle.

Untitled design-28

The third day, the granite went in, as well as the stainless steel sink.  We decided to have the backsplashes done in the granite as well. They also installed the new handles on the drawers and cupboards which we had found at Home Depot.  This was so very fun to watch go in.  Time for the dishes and cookware to go into their new home.  Because I wanted to maximize my counter space, I purchased a collapsible over the sink drain

Untitled design-33

Here is a picture of our pantry.

Untitled design-26

By the next day – appliances were back in, new faucet, garbage disposal, reverse osmosis system, and soap dispenser.

Untitled design-19 

Recently Jeff has added under cupboard lighting which is amazing – a very inexpensive, easy project and of course, it comes with a remote control.  Don’t get me started on how many remote controls we have..ceiling fans, sprinklers, lights…oh my.  These lights make a huge difference and have a lot of different settings.

I’d love to hear your downsizing/moving advice or experience.

***Deliciously Inspired utilizes affiliate links to help with the cost of the site.

 

 

signature

Lessons from 3 Wise Guys

Three Wise Guys

Bringing this back from a couple of years ago.  My how fast time goes by……….

Much can be learned by taking a look at the people in the Christmas story – take the 3 wise men for instance. Matthew 2:1–2:

Three guys made their way to a stable where animals were kept.  They left their kingdoms to search for the king of kings that was born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling cloth.  They made their way past King Herod and trusted in a star to get them to their destination.  They walked in faith and experienced amazing joy.  They gave their best.

The older I get the more I want my Christmas season to have the elements the wise men exhibit.  I don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of the shopping malls.  I don’t need to know if I picked up the best item for someone.  Don’t get me wrong I put love and thought in my gifts but I’ve found it is easy to overspend the more I’m out and about.  I want to have more moments at home reading, studying, sipping a hot drink and enjoying my Christmas tree.  I want to  leave what the world tells me is important and invest my time in gifts that give long after December 25th is over.  

My mom handed down the manger display we had as children.  It’s not an expensive set monetarily but it is one of my favorite Christmas items to place on my coffee table.  When my 18-month-old grandson came to the house a few days ago and picked up the cow and I began to tell him about Christmas and the baby.  My heart was touched when he picked up baby Jesus and kissed him.  Now that is a Christmas moment.

So here’s to leaving the busyness of the season and searching for the babe in the manager, of not missing the joy and  bringing our best which has nothing to do with the amount of gifts under the tree.  Each time we have time with a loved one or do something kind for another we are blessed.  Maybe I’m on my way to becoming a wise woman 🙂

Here is an easy almond cookie recipe to make for the holidays – you can switch up the sprinkle with holiday colors.  HERE

Almond Cookies - Powdered

signature

Makeover – Part 3 – Rehearsal Dinner

Part 3 of this series was going to be more about the backyard but I decided to take a break from the outside and bring you inside for the rehearsal dinner.  Mason jars, burlap and a sign that says Happy Ever After graced the window sill.  If you missed earlier posts in this series, they can be found    Part 1 – The Wall       Part 2 – Front Yard

Happily Ever After

When working on a event to celebrate a special occasion, it is always helpful to do a quiet study of the people you are honoring.   It this situation, I had quite a few ideas of their likes and dislikes by what they had chosen already for their wedding.  

Our son had requested a special bbq place he likes for the ordering the smoked brisket, turkey and beans; and the invite for the rehearsal dinner had a burlap, bbq look so I ran with that theme and began gathering from around my house, shopping on Amazon and a little shopping here and there:

IMG_0451

Soon my dining room table became my staging area.  One of favorites things used were two old quilts a friend had given me. 

IMG_1483

One of the quilts was used on our dining table as a table covering with a picture of the couple in a frame.  Include others in helping.  It creates memories, allows others to give and honestly at this point, the extra help is valuable.  

IMG_1463

My mom worked diligently on the tags for the hair towel wraps the girls in the bridal party were receiving, as well as other projects.  

IMG_1462

My aunt used her expert needle work skills sewing buttons on the towel wraps and also assisted on other projects to get ready for festivities.  These two women saved me hours of work.  While they worked on their projects, 

IMG_1465

I was baking easy cheesy drop biscuits (recipe will be posted soon) and …..

IMG_0425

making potato salad and …..

IMG_1468

combining a Kale salad and …..

IMG_0332

brought out the Monster Cookies from the freezer for dessert.  Tip:  The cookies were baked and frozen a couple of weeks earlier.  Tip:  Think about what you can do ahead. 

IMG_1481

Here is a picture of the beverage center.  We used the small cooler as our ice chest.  We also had a cooler in the backyard with bottled beverages.

IMG_1477

The 2nd quilt was used in the dessert area.  Boxes of different heights under the quilt created a fun display.

IMG_1480

All the fresh flowers were purchased for $15.00 from our local Safeway store.  The cookbook under the picture was handed down from my grandmother and it reminded me of her on this important evening. 

The evening was a success as we all ate, visited and laughed in anticipation of the wedding the next day.

One more picture…

IMG_0644

Lessons Learned

  1.  Study those you will be honoring.  Find what delights their hearts.  
  2. Stay within a budget
  3. Repurpose what you have in your home or borrow.
  4. Ask others for help 
  5. Do what you can ahead 
  6. Inspiration will often come a closer to the event.  Trust it will all come together.
  7. Decide what you will wear ahead of time and have it clean and ready to throw on – the day will be busy.
  8. Have your house professionally cleaned.
  9. Have FUN!

Have you hosted a wedding at your home?  Please share any tips you may have for those that may be planning this in their future.

signature