The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Cleveland, Ohio

Our Kitchen Transformation - The Four Phases from Start to Finish

Sara Michelle B.3 Comments

Our kitchen has undergone quite the transformation since we first moved in here 7-years ago! However, we didn't do it all at once. We finished it in different phases as our time and budget would allow - since we did most of the work (with the exception of plumbing, electrical, and laying wood flooring) ourselves! Sometimes I forget how far we've come. Check it out!

PHASE I: The Original Kitchen

This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house. Two separate rooms - a galley kitchen and a breakfast nook, oak cabinets, white paint, Pergo flooring, and old appliances. I'm not going to lie, there was virtually nothing appealing about it in this state other then the potential we could see it had!


PHASE 2: Pre-Construction Perking Up

To perk up the space before doing any major changes, we painted the cabinets white, painted the walls gray, put in new lighting, and invested in new, clean appliances. Also, accessorizing and decorating can go a long way! These changes made it a much more enjoyable place to live before we were able to really renovate the following year.


PHASE 3: Demolition and Construction

Next came the fun (and messy!) part! DEMOLITION! We did most of it ourselves on the weekends over the course of a spring/summer/fall of 2012. It was a LOT of work to take down the walls, rip out the floors (the worst part of it all!) and put it all together again. We had major plumbing and electrical work done during this time as well, as several pipes and electrical lines that were in the walls had to be rerouted. It was MESSY but at all worth it! 


PHASE 4: Finishing Touches

The last phase included all of the finishing touches now that the major demotion/construction was complete. These projects - including adding custom built-ins, adding white trim work, and installing Quartz countertops, were done over the course of a couple years and have just elevated the quality, functionality, and look of the space!


As you can see, we've TOTALLY changed this kitchen from a dark, cramped, dated space to a bright, beautiful functional one! It may have taken time but it was well worth the wait!


And honestly we aren't even 100% done yet! New window treatments are coming in a few weeks, and I think if we stay in this house awhile longer we are going to resurface the cabinets and put new upper cabinets (that reach the ceiling!) along the back wall. Stay tuned! :)

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Flowers: Faux vs. Fresh

FlowersSara Michelle B.Comment

For most of my adult life,  I've been all about fresh flowers. Almost every week I would be loading up on some beautiful stems from the grocery store or clipping some hydrangeas from my yard - season permitting - to make a fresh arrangement for my dining room. Nothing too fancy or formal, just a little something simple and pretty to brighten up the space. For so long, it was just one of those simple pleasures that brought me joy!

However, somewhere along the way this joyful activity started to feel more like a CHORE! I think I'm in a season of my life where I have a lot of day-to-day responsibilities to keep my household moving and having the extra task of cutting stems, arranging flowers, refilling water, washing vases, and deadheading bouquets just became another small, stressful task on my weekly to-do list. I've been trying to find ways to simplify my life and make the most of the time, and surprising even myself - this task just isn't making the list! (At least not every single week anymore!) After all, what good are fresh flowers if you don't even get the chance to really take a deep breath and enjoy them? 

So anyway, I'm back on the faux flower wagon and have been searching for some beautiful, realistic looking flowers. As I mentioned, my arrangements are usually very simple, so I want something that isn't too overly arranged. I want them to look natural and real- like I picked them myself! Here are some AMAZING faux flowers that I found online that have just the look/feel I'm going for. They are from a company in the UK, Fox Flowers. Their tagline is "unbelievable Realistic Faux Flowers" and it is the TRUTH! (Not sponsored, just LOVE what I see here!)

They look pretty real, don't they? 

Of course I'm on a 100-day no shopping spree, so I'm not buying anything yet, but that doesn't mean I can't search and find the perfect ones in the meantime! 

What do you prefer in your home? Faux vs. Real, or a mix of both?

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January Paint Color of the Month: Benjamin Moore Polo Blue

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As I mentioned in the last post, I'm starting a few monthly feature on my blog where I select a paint color of the month to share with all of you readers! I think it will be a really fun way to share my favorite colors and answer some of the questions I am always receiving about paint colors that I recommend!

Without further ado, here is my color for January: Benjamin Moore's Polo Blue. 

I tried a LOT of different shades of navy when we were looking to paint our dining room a few years ago, and this one was by FAR my favorite! It had a little darker undertones and was a little richer than most of the other navy's we tried. It felt less nautical and bright, and a little more subdued or moody. 

We used it in our sons' room and on our exterior shutters! Couldn't be happier. I also plan on using this in another room in the very near future! Stay tuned :)


Come back February 1st to see our next featured color!

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Introducing the Paint Color of the Month

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Some of the most commonly asked questions I get from people is about paint colors - specifically, what colors would recommend or what paint colors I use in my house. Well, I've decided that once a month throughout 2018, I'm going to share one of my favorite paint colors on the blog, as well as create an archive as an easy reference tool! So excited :) 

Come back on FRIDAY for the reveal of our first official paint color of 2018!


Do you have a favorite paint color you'd like to share? Leave a comment below! I'm in major research mode right now so I would love to see what colors you love!