Count On It

So, our countertops were awful.  Apparently the trend in the early 90s when our house was built, was to leave an exposed oak edge and cover the whole surface in tacky colors of patterned laminate.  Just like the large sleeves on satin and lace bridesmaids dresses, it was time that this trend became a part of history.

So let’s get down to business-  counter tops aren’t cheap.  Decent granite counter tops cost between $25-60/square foot depending how on you have them installed and how large your slabs would be.  Geez, I don’t know about you, but we don’t have the kind of money laying around.  Before I started brainstorming about kitchen counter top options, I measured my area.  Our kitchen has about 48.5 square feet of countertops.  That wasn’t even including a back splash.  I am no math major, but that would put us in the $1300-2900 range just for the materials!  No way Jose.  Here in the Culbertson house, we are on a pretty tight budget.  If this kitchen was going to get a makeover, it was going to be done on the cheap.  After doing some research, I ran across this piece of goodness.

Lagan Butcher Block Counter top Slab

As I was sitting on our couch, little bells began to ring and behold, a halo of light surrounded my Mac Book and it hit me- these were our new counter tops.  At $59 for a 96 inch long piece, I calculated that we would need 3 pieces to do all of our counter space.  It was like finding your wedding dress, I just knew they were the ones.

Again, we are on a tight budget, so I got creative in how to make $180 to be able to purchase these babies in cold hard cash.  I’ll explain later in a different post.🙂

Any who- one day in the early part of April, we convinced my parents to take a spontaneous trip to IKEA so we could pick these up.  We knew they wouldn’t fit in my sweet Mazda or Hub’s red Hyundai, so we took Dad’s SUV and trailer down to strap them in.  I don’t have any pictures from the event, but I can brag about the fact that I tweeted about it and IKEA tweeted me back!
At the end of the day, we had 3 pieces of the large slabs of Lagan counter top, a new light, mesh trash can, and 4 free meals courtesy of IKEA.  I bet you probably want to know how the counter tops turned out.  Check back!

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Kitchen Pinspiration

Just like every female (and the few choice males), I am lovin’ Pinterest.  Before starting our kitchen redo, I spent hours searching the different styles of kitchens and what the best options are.  Here are some of the looks that I am diggin’.

Butcher Block and White cabinets from DecorPad

Chevron rug, hardwoods, and white cabinets

Love the green and white accents

IKEA butcher block from This & That

Taylor Swift’s kitchen. This solidified my love for butcher block and big white sinks

In a few weeks we will see how close my vision comes to my new reality!

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We’re so Blue

The space above cabinets- you know what I’m talking about.  It can either collect lots of dust or showcase specially selected items.  Not ours.  Ours was painted blue.  We are talking painters-tape-all-of-the-time-in-your-face blue.  The kind of blue that clashes with the already hideous colonial blue laminate countertops and even different colored blue peel and stick tile floor.  Don’t believe me?

See, I wasn’t kidding!  We had a blue stripe problem.  Perhaps the previous owners were trying to create a racing stripe effect in the kitchen?  Who knows, but we knew that we needed to get rid of it.  Thanks so a sweet gift card I scored from earned credit card points and a coupon, we got enough paint to turn our blue and ivory kitchen into a fresh white canvas.

(yes, I know I'm painting in the wrong direction. This was just the first of many coats)

It gave us a fight though.  We bought a gallon of Valspar Contractors Finish eggshell paint in Moonlight Snow and got to work.  We bought the Contractors Finish because I think we had planned to paint it a different color originally and just wanted a super basic white to take the edge off of the off white grossness and deep blue strip.  It took me about 2 days to paint the whole kitchen because of a few things.  1. I’m lazy, 2. there are a gazillion different surfaces in that kitchen, and 3. the blue stripe sucked up 4 layers of paint.  I think after all of that effort, we decided that Moonlight Snow was the perfect color for a little while.  It has held up pretty well to our messiness around the stove.  Perhaps in the future we will add some type of backsplash behind the kitchen part, but for now, we are totally happy.  Everybody get out your keys and shake them because “hey, hey, hey good bye” blue stripe.

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New Kids on the Block

We’re the Culbertsons.

We are some of the freshest, and whitest, meat here in West Virginia.  We live in a clearance house.  Or at least that is how I refer to it.  Thanks to the housing market being so low right now, we were able to get our house for around 99k less than what the previous owners were trying to sell it for less than a year before.  Needless to say, we put in an offer about an hour after stepping foot into it.  Maybe it was the desperation of not knowing where we were going to live once we got married or maybe it was the huge potential that this house packed, we knew it had to be ours.  So, two weeks after we got home from our honeymoon, we moved in.

Since then, we have been balancing full time jobs, seminary, baseball coaching, getting involved with our amazing church, nurturing our super needy and decrepitly old cat, and trying to fight off the stigma of being true West Virginians.  We have all of our teeth, we aren’t cousins who married each other, and we only have had a major appliance on our back porch for a few hours.  No worries, we moved it so we are now appliance free in both the front and back yards!

Hopefully this blog will be helpful in keeping our family all across the country up to date with what is going on with our lives.  At this moment, our kitchen is a hott mess as it is currently cabinet door less.  No worries, I’ve been documenting the whole process so you can see exactly what we’ve been doing.

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