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First Home Fix

First time home buyers, sprucing the place up with limited time and budget.

The day has finally come!  It was a BIG week for The Fixers.  We finally had our kitchen countertops installed along with the rest of our brand spankin’ new appliances!  As promised, here’s a post with some pictures.

Let’s start with the lovely before.  Please note the”Oh so 70’s” and “Oh so familiar”  Harvest Gold Linoleum Flooring (shout out to Gina and Brett for helping us remove this bad boy):

Our Kitchen Before

And now, the After:

Kitchen After

So here’s what we did:

  • Painted the existing upper cabinets since they were in decent shape (Benjamin Moore Dove White)
  • Closed a doorway and moved our new fridge (GE Profile with bottom freezer drawer) to where the doorway used to be
  • Added lower cabinets from Lowes, the Shenandoah Brand and painted them to match the uppers and one glass front upper above the sink
  • Added hardwood floors (Stained in Miniwax Provencial with a satin finish)
  • Carrera white marble countertops with an Ogee Edge
  • 24′ Rohl Shaw’s Apron Front Farmhouse sink from Asco Plumbing in Stamford, CT (Lauren V. is the best!)
  • Danze faucet also from Asco (thanks again Lauren!!)
  • Appliances compliments of Del-Mar Appliances in Delaware (Bruce, Beth, Joanne and Frank we can’t thank you enough).  Del-Mar is the absolute best appliance store by the way!  We went with all GE profile appliances-single double wall oven mounted under the countertop, new dishwasher, microwave with a vented hood and an induction cooktop
  • We pulled a lot of favors here…fortunately we’re blessed with the best family ever.  Thank you everyone for listening to us and helping us throughout this ordeal.  Here are some  shout outs: Thanks for pointing us in the right direction, for helping getting us get some amazing prices (Cousin Ron, Dad, and Mom), for washing our dishes when we didn’t have a sink (Mom), for giving us some great ideas (Moms and Dads and company like Footer, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Fran, Aunt Jo, Aunt Darlene, Aunt Caroline), moral support and prep work (our cutie cousins Amanda, Gina, Lauren, Brett and great friends like Stan) and last but not least…for cooking meals for us when we overdosed on take-out (Mom, Aunts, Friends and neighbors too)! xoxo
  • We still have a few things left to do, like the back-splash and hardware knobs and pulls.  In the meantime, we’re learning how to cook again and trying to figure out how to use these new gadgets.   Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted!

Picture courtesy of House Beautiful

As we told you earlier, we decided to go with the Honed Carrera Marble for our galley kitchen countertops.  We thought we knew what wanted and were all done thinking about this…until…the fabricator asked us a question that made us think twice: “Why honed?  It will look old, dull, and show stains”.  Well, I’m okay with old, that’s kind of like antique and I love antique but dull and stained, that’s another story.  We went back to the drawing board and did some research.  Here’s what we learned.  When it comes to marble countertops, you have to pick what you think is the lesser of two evils: staining or etching.  Honed, in some cases is actually marble with the polished removed.  By removing the polish, the stone becomes porous again and stains can sink in.  The polish on the other hand, can act as a stain barrier, however, anything acidic like lemon juice or wine (both are necessary in a kitchen) will etch the polish.  We thought about both scenarios and decided to go with the honed.  The reason being, staining can be minimized with a good sealer.  Etching on the other hand, is hard to avoid, and in order to repair it, we’d have to call in a polisher.  What about appearance?  Well, the honed is said to age gracefully, showing it’s age but with pride.  Where the polished may highlight the flaws that add up over the years.

White Marble Countertops...Not practicle, but it sure is pretty!

Granite vs. Marble?  So, we did the research and as far as durability, granite certainly comes out on top!  But, I just loooove the look of an all white kitchen with white marble countertops.  I tried to be practical, I swear.  I even tried to find a granite that looks like marble… it just wasn’t the same.  We even sought the help of an expert, a knowledgable and patient stone sales woman.  After viewing slab after slab of beautiful rocks (and she had a lot of slabs) she finally said the magic words that made the decision, “You obviously love the marble, why not just get it”.  There you have it, marble it is!  Carrera honed marble to be exact.  It is stunning!  For those of you who are curious, there really aren’t any truly white granites, however, there were a few that almost made the cut.  Kashmir White and Wine River were definite contenders in the granite category.  For the marbles, it was between Carrera and Calacutta.  I found Carrera to have a lot of gray, where the Calacutta had some gold undertones which would have looked beautiful with our provencial stained hardwood floors.  We would have went with the Calacutta, until we found out the price.  Budget you ask?  Well both choices aren’t exactly budget friendly, but the Carrera vs. Kashmir turned out to be pretty close in price.  And to answer the question above…yes, we have lost our marbles.  Can anyone recommend some great cutting boards?  Can’t wait to post pictures of a finished kitchen.  Stay tuned…

Picture courtesy of