If you guys have been following along with my Instagram Stories over the last few weeks then you know already know a bit about about our renovation design process. It has been a process, but a very, very, very quick process. We had about two total weeks to finalize everything from ideas to making purchases and finalizing contractor decisions. My husband and I keep saying it was essentially home design at turbo speed.
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Here’s the good news. Demo has officially started on our house! Even before we left to come to LA for the summer, we started putting holes in the soffits to see what was up there (thankfully nothing – see ya soffit). But let’s rewind a few weeks so I can explain why we subjected ourselves to such turbo speed.
Right after we closed on the house at the end of May, we went through the process of selecting a contractor. Once that was final, it left us with about two weeks until we were heading to the beach. The biggest reason we decided to go to LA this summer was to avoid living through the renovation for as long as possible. Everyone who has lived through a renovation claims it is just about the worst thing ever. We won’t avoid it entirely, but we figured if we can skip the demo phase, that would be ideal. Carter has kindergarten events starting on July 31st so we have to be back in Arizona before the end of next month. If we wanted the contractors to make any real progress while we were gone, we had to make decisions and get everything ordered pronto.
Therefore, Kurt and I had two weeks to run around the greater Phoenix area like crazy people, picking out tile, hardware, counter tops, cabinets, appliances, paint colors and so much more. I’m not joking, there was a week where I ran upwards of 10-15 errands a day (all with kids in tow), hitting up every home improvement store imaginable. Pure chaos.
Here’s the thing. Kurt and I both absolutely love this stuff. We are lucky enough to essentially have the same taste and knew going into it what we wanted for the most part. However, we are both bargain shoppers. We both love looking around to find the best option at the best price. Most people short on time would place one giant order through a design center and overpay on 50% of it. Not us. Also, we are both too much of control freaks to put someone else in charge of home decisions. We did all the design work ourselves and hope (key word here is “hope”) it will all turn out looking amazing.
Now let me show you some of our selections. All these photos are straight off my phone, mostly taken because Kurt and I were texting ideas back and forth to each other (I don’t even want to know how much data we used earlier this month). You’ll get the amazing, high-quality photos once the rooms are complete, but these should give you an idea for our overall aesthetic. We really wanted a grey and white color scheme with wood look flooring throughout. I think we achieved that with our choices.
I’m going to start with tile because that was the bulk of the difficult decisions. We knew early on we wanted to use a few statement tiles in this house. Our last house was full of plain beige tile and I wanted the complete opposite in this house. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want it to be obnoxious, but I did want few awesome printed tiles in the right places. Places that are relatively easy to replace should the patterns go out of style. We decided to use a printed cement tile (top right one in the photo above) as our kitchen back splash. I’m obsessed with the bold geometric look and know it will be a total show stopper in the room.
Next up, let’s talk flooring. The home is a single story (we always laugh when we say we bought a ranch) and there no carpet in the house. We decided to keep the same flooring throughout with the exception of the bathrooms. We considered real wood floors, but decided against it for a variety of reasons. Mostly because the floors float on cement slabs in AZ since basements are few and far between. The floors aren’t the same as the thick ones we grew up with and let’s be honest, wood is a PAIN to maintain, especially with kids and a dog. Therefore, we decided to go with the wood look tile. It’s about 1/3 of the price as wood with the same look. We lucked out big time when we found a grey wood tile we loved on closeout for $1.78 a square foot (the one we chose is the one with the orange sticker in the photo above). Total steal which helped us big time on the budget.
I’m also obsessed with the floor tile we chose for our master bathroom (exact here). Yes, it is bold, but it is only a small space so it should make a major punch. The geometric shapes are large, which might be hard to tell from the photos. You can also get a nice view of the existing beige flagstone tile the contractors are tearing out as we speak.
We also chose a pretty cool textured tile for the walls of the kids bathtub (exact here). Yes, the bumps might be a little difficult to keep clean, but I don’t care because I love the look of it so much. We are doing a ceramic marble look tile for the floor with grey cabinets. Should look amazing.
Speaking of cabinets, we knew early on we wanted to go with a simple shaker cabinet style. We plan to do white cabinets in the kitchen and master bath and then grey in the kids bathroom. I love the grey cabinet look overall, but I thought it might be too much in the kitchen. I figured we can never go wrong with white.
Onto counter tops. This was probably the place where we had the hardest time deciding which direction we wanted to go. We decided pretty quickly to do a grey leathered marble counter top in the bathrooms (see above), but the kitchen was stumping us. Initially thought we wanted something with a little pizzazz, but we couldn’t go too crazy because of the printed cement tiles I showed you above. We spent a lot of time driving around to different stone places and going back and forth.
We ended up going with a simple white quartz with some grey marbling throughout. The printed tile shown in the photo above isn’t the exact one we are using in the kitchen, but it should give you a good idea for how it will turn out. This is a classic case where you’ll never regret going with something simple.
While we are talking kitchen, we might as briefly talk appliances. We are lucky the prior owners put in a new fridge less than three years ago, so we plan to use the existing refrigerator (aka total savings right there). Kurt’s cousin works for Whirlpool so we plan to order several other appliances through him, but we did find a few steals at a wholesale/closeout store in Phoenix called Arizona Wholesale. They sell a lot of open box, scratch and dent or floor model pieces at a 1/3 of the retail price. We were able to pick up a wine fridge and a built-in coffee maker for awesome prices. Definitely check out this store if you live in the area.
We also decided to do a statement range hood and found this gorgeous shiplap hood on Houzz. We plan to paint it some sort of grey color to coordinate with the tile and other items in the room. I can’t wait to see how this piece turns out.
Speaking of paint, that’s one area we haven’t 100% finalized just yet. However, we painted a bunch of swatches all over the walls and are leaning toward the bottom left shade in the photo above.
If you guys followed along on my Stories then you know we had a bunch of debates about the fireplace. The home currently has an old gas fireplace which needs to be moved and replaced. However, the house does not have a natural gas line and instead has a propane tank buried underground. Again, for a variety of reasons (mainly cost), we decided to install a built-in linear electric fireplace in the new house. It looks the same when it is turned off (which will be 99% of the time), doesn’t use the gas and isn’t really necessary in AZ anyway. We are using a grey marble mosaic tile for a fireplace surround. I still need to figure out what kind of mantle I want, but I think it will turn out looking amazing.
Finally, let’s talk hardware. I absolutely love all the gold hardware floating around Pinterest right now, but my husband doesn’t exactly feel the same. Also, it is really, really hard to find the same color of gold fixtures. Neither of us really love chrome or the brushed nickel and antique bronze didn’t exactly fit our vibe. Instead, we are going matte black throughout the entire house. That way we can easily mix gold or silver and still give a contemporary look. I’m excited to see how this turns out because I don’t know if I’ve ever really seen black done everywhere. We also chose matte black shower heads, faucets and door knobs. Hopefully it it as awesome as we think it will be in our heads.
Whew, that was exhausting just writing it, let alone deciding on all of it.
What do you think of our design selections? I can’t wait to show you guys the finished rooms!