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Remodeling, the Prequel...

Well, we've finally decided to do it. We've lived in our house for nearly 10 years, wanting to do a major remodel of the upper level for the last 1/2 of our dwelling time here...and the time has come!!

I'm equal parts excited and nervous...kinda like anticipating labor and delivery, I suppose, you know, not eager for the pain and hard work, but SO excited to see the finished product! Anyone who's read around here for awhile knows that I'm kind of, do you say...FREAKISH?!!...when it comes to major purchases.

I mean, for cryin' out loud, I spent WEEKS agonizing over whether or not I should buy an iPhone, or stick with my trusty flip phone! Sheesh. (Um, can someone tell me WHY it took me so long to make that decision?!)...and then there was last summer when our washing machine died and OH EM GEE I researched and read and shopped around and visited stores and poured over reviews...all for a dang machine that will clean my clothes.

So, you can about imagine what I'm going through right now as we begin the initial planning of our remodel. HOLY. MOLY. My mind won't stop. WON'T STOP. "What kind of hardwood floors?" "Cooktop?" "Island?" "Pantry...oooooh, pantry!!" It just goes on and on...and then we decided to add in just a little project.

You know, like moving our stairs.

Yes, you read that right...we're hoping to MOVE OUR STAIRS.

Lord help us, what are we getting into?! Where's an HGTV crew when you need 'em?

Anyway, so far, we've had a cabinet dude come out and draw up some plans for us...and I'm loving them. But of course, rethinking EVERY minute detail and taking to Twitter to ask for advice!!

And now, lucky you, I'm gonna poll ya'll for YOUR advice! Here's where we need help:

1. What kind of hardwood floors do we go with? We're going with a distressed/farmhouse type feel and I REFUSE to use oak. I am SO "oaked out". So...pine? Ash? Bamboo? Hickory? (And, in a matte finish...nothing SHINY!! I repeat, NO SHINY.) Thoughts's a sampling of the look I'm going for:

2. Built-in double ovens. Yay or nay? And, if "yay", what brand?

3. Are downdraft vents absolutely necessary (i.e. required to meet code) for a cooktop? I rarely use my overhead vent (microwave vent) right now, so I wonder if I truly need one?

4. We have 8 ft ceilings. I LOVE the staggered look for cabinets, but will it look goofy with our ceilings? Are we better off with full height, even though I don't like that look as much?

5. We're 90% sure we want to go with Knotty Alder for our cabinets...any reservations out there? Here's basically the very look that I want (via Pinterest) (and, ironically, a VERY similar layout to our kitchen plans) (imagine: raised counter on breakfast bar seating area) (how many parenthesis are possible in a sentence?):

I have approximately 87 billion other thoughts going through my mind right now, but let's start with these!

Happy Monday!


  1. Don't go with bamboo!!! We had that in our last home and it is SOFT. So lots of dents and scratches and grooves. I don't know about all the other choices you listed, but definitely look into the hardness level.

    I wish I had double ovens, but honestly only when I'm doing a holiday dinner or hosting people...mostly because everything I do involves cooking it in the oven it seems. So if you host a lot, then I say yes, otherwise probably not a big deal.

    Don't know about downdrafts, but I'd think you'd want one for the rare times you do use it.

    I think staggered isn't not going to result in the look you love. The top ones will need to be against the ceiling so it won't be open at the top. There won't be enough space above the lower ones to do anything but gather dust and look like holes. And the ones staggered down will be really short cupboards so they won't be as functional. I do think you could do the mouldings on the top still though and that will give it a nice finished look.

    I love the knotty pine cabinets!

  2. Hi! I've never commented on here before, but here goes!

    My grandpa built houses for a living and my parents have gone through the process of building several homes from the ground up as well as flipping homes. I've been along for the ride and all things housing are right up my alley. I would say to steer clear of the bamboo and pine - they're too soft. I totally agree hear ya on the oak!

    I think the staggered cabinets work and look much better when ceilings are more than 8 feet high. Can you pencil it out on the wall and see what you think? If you don't go for the full height, will all your storage needs be met? Will you have enough work space if you drop some of the cabinets down to achieve the stagger up above? Thinking about the height of the items you keep out on the counter most of the time can also help you decide about the configuration of your upper cabinets.

    Good luck! It'll be fun to see the progress and the "after" pictures!

  3. bamboo floors are great for families with no kids or pets :) Which means, we'll never have them!

  4. We have staggered cabinets with 8 ft. ceilings and I love them!


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