Classic Kitchen: Patience is a Virtue

kitchen renovation reality

At first I was cool, breezy, and full of excitement when each milestone was made in our kitchen remodel. That was before the project lagged on and brief moments between the hinge freakout, the great window debate of 2017 and we ran out of wine. Our 5 week kitchen is lagging on and I either want to crawl back under the covers or runaway. So guess what I’m doing?

kitchen renovation reality

Running away. We spent a week in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to take a reprieve and celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary far from the stress of the never ending kitchen. I ventured to Round Top, Texas with friends and we’ve been spending as much time as possible at the lake.

kitchen renovation reality

How did this happen? The first few weeks we were on schedule and it felt everything was coming together. But…

I ordered the wrong refrigerator based on advice from the appliance store

the carpenter mentally checked out with the cabinets in and just a finishing touches remaining

we had a huge marble stain

then the marble was further stained with a “fix”

the lights were installed in the wrong locations

the painters were busy

the microwave fell short of our expectations 

kitchen renovation reality

I have to take a step back and remind myself it’s just.a.kitchen. Nothing life altering, just a means of cooking, baking and gathering. So why the stress?

Because I don’t like the chaos of people coming and going and any added mess. I also don’t like unfinished projects lingering…I prefer a pretty little checkmark.

kitchen renovation reality

kitchen renovation reality

I do, however have a few things to share since our last kitchen update and that’s the pantry wall! I’m so excited to have a place to store all of our kitchen appliances, the girls’ plasticware, our dry goods and Staubs. As soon as I get it all organized I’ll share more! This previously underutilized space has added so much function to our kitchen. 

The marble and backsplash are in and now we’re awaiting paint. We’re so close to the finish line I can taste it, even if I don’t quite feel like I can cook in it yet. I sure miss making homemade pasta. 

kitchen renovation reality

This renovation has reminded me to be patient, kind and realize that perfection is unattainable and that’s okay. Do you have any tips for survival? SEND HELP!

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entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner

22 Comments

  • Melissa says:

    Construction projects during are so torturous. But oh my gosh, the after. It’s looking so, so beautiful! Love the cabinets, tiny brass details, and that range!! I hope the chaos wraps up real soon!

  • Lisa S says:

    Well it sounds like a standard kitchen remodel. Painful! We will be embarking on a remodel soon ourselves, and I’m overwhelmed with all the decisions and options. I had thought I settled on marble, but your post about the marble makes me wonder if it’s a good idea. I love the beauty of natural stone, but my family loves to make things like lemonade and Moscow mules! Would you recommend it or use it again? Thanks for your opinion, and for sharing your kitchen. It’s so lovely!

    • Julie says:

      I can’t say – I have a love/hate relationship with it. Etching is eliminated on honed marble with Comet. Maybe do a wood island for a dedicated messy workspace?

    • Karen says:

      If you love marble, go with marble! I used a combination of honed marble and man-made quartz. The island is 10×5 with waterfall edges, all marble. The backsplash is marble. The countertops along the wall (where I cook) is a white quartz. So I have the durable material where I need it, and did not compromise on the design/look. (And honestly, all marble would have been too much.) I love, love, love it (5 month remodel wrapped up one month ago).

      Word of advice: make sure to see all your specific materials together, especially when using various whites (or any one color). I made the mistake of assuming “super white” prefab quartz was, well – super white. Nope. After it was installed on the white shaker cabinets, it looked dingy and yellowish. There was a delay on the marble backsplash, which gave me extra time to realize I really did not like the quartz, so we pulled it off and replaced it with a cooler, cleaner white quartz (Silestone Zeus). It was a stressful $4k mistake, but now that it’s over, I’m SO GLAD I fixed it.

      Also, if your contractor is good, she/he will make sure to keep the design in mind the entire time, even if it means more time in construction. We had a one-month lag on the backsplash (by choice) – I didn’t want plastic outlets cut into the marble, so we installed the outlets into the drywall (no marble), got signed off on inspection, but then the fabricator left the country for a month. In hindsight, it was so worth waiting for his return to have gorgeous marble all along the wall without plastic outlets. My contractor steered me towards waiting (not the inspection cheating, that was my idea – teehee), eventhough at the time we were SO. OVER. IT. I’m so glad we waited, the design was kept at the forefront of the project and it was SO WORTH IT!

  • Jill says:

    It is super gorgeous! I would be afraid to let my kids in it, ha! Here’s to hoping everything can be wrapped up quickly and thoroughly!

  • Matty says:

    So same here, except we have been embarking on bath not kitchen, most recently. 2 days into the $30k++, 2 bathroom job in our small D.C. Row house, I land on crutches. And with that, we are one functional man down in our household. Utter chaos ensues! And $$$$ of both medical and scope creep bills start raining in. #fun #notsomuch So take a deep breathe and remind yourself that things could always be worse, like life and limb. Also, you have goreous taste and keen attention to detail. I was loosing sleep over grout colors (seriously, wtf?!?!!?) while recovering from knee surgery and parenting a toddler, and my day job is providing lifesaving health care services to women and families in Africa. #savemefromthemadness

    • Julie says:

      Oh no! I’m so sorry – that must be stressful! Let me know if I can help. I find making decisions for others is easier than myself! Hope you’re feeling better.

  • Sharon says:

    I needed to read this! Our master bath and kitchen remodel started in April! (I live in Cape Girardeau and had emailed you about stoves- ended up with LaCornue). Anyhoo, we still aren’t done! Yes, there are greater problems out there but I can’t even rest or think in this chaos! So, we are leaving for three weeks! I can’t take it! The most recent setback was that they scratched not one, but two!!!, slabs of hand-picked Lincoln Calacutta marble! Still no island top. Is this kitchen going to be everything I dreamed of? Yes! Will it be worth the pain of doing it? Yes. Would I ever do this again? Not on your life while I’m living in a place! Brutal! Thanks for focusing on the positive. I’m having a hard time doing that! 🙂

    • Julie says:

      I recall! It sounds gorgeous! You’re hilarious – I hope you enjoy a nice {well deserved} getaway! Keep me posted on your kitchen progress and have a beautiful trip!

  • Robin says:

    What color paint are you cabinets? And what marble is that? It’s gorgeous! What pendants are you putting over your island? The same ones as before? I loved them. We are redoing our countertops and we have creamy white cabinets and subway tile. I want the marble look so badly, but when I show people the samples, they all say it’s too plain and too white..It makes me crazy! I love a simple, timeless look. I like to change colors with the seasons with accessories, greenery, etc..Now everyone is making me question myself! I’m afraid I’ll be sorry if we change them now..we have a very busy quartz that looks like granite. It’s not me at all, although it IS warm..and not stark. Now I’m afraid I’m making a mistake changing them out. Send help too! 🙂

    • Julie says:

      It’s Olympia Danby marble. I had brass lanterns custom made that we recently installed – I need to photograph when the kids return to school this week. It’s so hard to make a commitment like that, but if you don’t love your quartz, go for it! I love how warm and informal the soft feel of them makes the kitchen.

  • Danielle says:

    This is stunning! Somehow, even though there are so many “trends” featured, it is absolutely classic and really stands out. I can’t wait for the full reveal and breakdown of what you chose. Oh, and I have a kitchen full of honed marble- get used to scratches, water marks, etc. it will just become part of it eventually and you stop noticing! It’s all part of the charm 🙂

  • Lori Rice says:

    We just finished up a full kitchen remodel a few weeks ago. I was thrilled that it only took 7 weeks to get ours back to being functional, with about 9 weeks to have all the finishing touches done. It’s worth it, but if feels like it will never end. Hang in there!

    Where did you get that knife set in the marble block in the last picture? That is beautiful!

  • Alana says:

    Julie..it is stunning. I love the soft color on the cabinets and the marble and gold accents. You are a true talent. Would love to know the color but if you need to wait until you post the full details of remodel I can wait 😉

  • Jennifer says:

    We’re getting ready to paint some cabinets at our lake house, and I just love the creamy white you chose for your cabinets! Could you share the color (and is the wall color the same?) I think this would brighten up the kitchen without it being too stark white. I just love your kitchen!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! I need to take a snapshot of the can – I had it custom matched to our Lacanche. I’ll try to get on it next week!

  • Tonya says:

    Absolutely stunning!

  • I just went through a major renovation myself and this sounds so familiar! It looks beautiful so far can’t wait to see the end result.

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