My husband and I recently bought our first home! It has been an exciting and stressful time for our family, as any homeowner can attest to. When shopping for a home, we knew we weren't afraid of doing renovations and would love the opportunity to make a house our own. In addition to other updates throughout the interior of the home, we did a significant aesthetic renovation on our kitchen, and I am so excited to share it with you!!
We planned to spend a couple weeks doing updates before moving in so we didn't need to live in the mess of a renovation. Here is what it looked like before:
Our home was built in the late 1990s, and it shows. From the massive intercom system (remember how cool those were??), to the maple colored cabinets, to the laminate counter tops, the kitchen was a bit outdated. The kitchen does not get much natural light, so we knew we wanted to brighten it up with new lights and cool colors.
I am a VERY lucky girl because my dad has always purchased and renovated his previous homes and I've been able to watch his process. I love shopping at home improvement stores, and although I'm design-challenged, I love Pinterest and know how to put together what I like. I'm also VERY lucky because my husband isn't afraid of a big project and he usually shares my preferences for design. So... we got to work on our do-it-yourself kitchen renovation!
A lot of things happened before we took this picture... they removed the old countertops, took out that intercom and patched the wall, started painting the cabinets, and even took a saw to the island to bring it down to one level! While my dad made some great points about how a two-level island is a good design choice to separate the living room and dining room, I needed and wanted the additional counter space and had my eyes on some beautiful granite pieces, so we chose to level it!
I was lucky again here because one of our amazing friends is an electrician so he was able to move our island outlets to the sides and make sure the disposal and dishwasher were up to code. Apparently that's important! ;)
This picture above also shows the cool green that we first selected for the kitchen. I loved this color, but you'll see below that we ended up changing our minds once the kitchen came together.
One of the most drastic changes in this kitchen was the painting of the cabinets. Ideally, we would have been able to invest in new cabinets, or at least new doors, but we decided to save the money for other projects and paint the kitchen cabinets. If you're considering this project, my best piece of advice is to not do what you see in the picture above - make sure to keep the doors horizontal because we ended up with drips from the thick cabinet paint. We're still working to smooth those out, but I love how the color came out otherwise!
Easily my favorite, and most costly, update to this kitchen is the new granite countertop. My husband and I spent time shopping around to decide what we liked. We were able to combine our love for white and gray countertops to decide on this white seagull granite! Check out that island layout on the granite slab!
Installation day was an amazing day!! I love how the granite looks in the kitchen, and you can also see the new pendant lights over the island we changed out with the existing recessed lights.
We added an above the counter microwave, which you can see in this picture. I wanted to make sure I didn't have to share my counterspace with a microwave, and there was plenty of space above the stove for one. You can also see a glimpse of the gray color that we painted the walls in place of the green. It's the same gray we have in our living room so we just extended it into the kitchen. We like the continuity much more now!
Our final kitchen project was a tile backsplash. I shopped around and loved so many of the choices out there right now. I had my eye on a marble herringbone design, but it was actually too eye-catching. I wanted the granite to remain the star of the show, so we went with a basic white and gray subway tile with frost colored grout. As it was the final project, here is the final product:
So there it is! I just love how my vision came together, and I still can't believe the difference from the 90s kitchen we had before, to the one we have now! Here is a comparison of before/after renovations:
I received a mattress and bedding through my relationship with Allswell Home. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As I recently started shopping to upgrade our queen mattress to a king mattress, I realized there were endless options, and few stood out. I could spend hours shopping at multiple stores and being approached by salespeople, or I could brave the Internet and select a mattress based on online reviews. Neither option sounded great, but with our family of five, a king sized mattress has become a necessity.
With our first home purchase resulting in many renovations, I realized I did not have the time to go from store to store to shop for a mattress. I started to shop for a mattress online and reading reviews when I came across a new brand, Allswell Home. I was instantly drawn to their "Supreme Queen" mattress, formerly known as (FKA) the King. Because ladies, who is really in charge of shopping?! Who decorates and makes the bedroom a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives? We do!
Luxury Bedding, Perfectly Curated
To add to my excitement about the Allswell brand, I saw that they have even worked with four incredible designers to assemble limited edition bedding collections that will look like they are straight out of a showroom (or Instagram!). With one click, you can add the entire look to your cart! Of course you can later customize, but for the design-impaired like me, this was a phenomenal and easy way to shop!
Luxe Mattresses to Meet Any Need
Allswell Home has two mattress options: softer or firmer. Despite the fact that I love a soft mattress, I went with the firmer because I have been struggling with back pain for the past four years, and keep hearing that a firm mattress is best for your back. I also loved that the Firmer One mattress has both memory foam AND coils!
So, how does ordering a mattress online work? I expected delivery to take a week or so, but I was pleasantly surprised that the box appeared on my doorstep just 3 business days after I ordered!
I didn't want to deal with finding a box-spring (are you sensing a pattern here? I'm all about time-saving!), so I purchased a platform bed frame with wooden slats to support the mattress. All I had to do to set up my new Allswell Supreme Queen mattress was unbox it! Followers of my social media and blog know that I like to keep it real, so you are welcome to check out my Live unboxing of this mattress:
I had NO idea what to expect when unboxing a mattress of this size, and I definitely got a little flustered there at the end. The good news, however, was after one more pass of the included opening tool, I had a beautiful, luxe mattress!
Customer Service That Sets Them Apart
Shopping online can be a bit nerve-wracking if you are making a big purchase like a mattress. What if something goes wrong? What if you don't like it? Allswell Home Allstars have you covered. My original shipment included the mattress, two Euro pillows, and a mattress cover. The mattress cover I received was actually for a Queen bed, so I had to work through an exchange. I emailed their support team, received a personalized response within an hour apologizing profusely for the error, and had my new, correct, Supreme Queen mattress cover within a couple of days. They included the shipping label for my return, and I just had to drop it off at UPS.
In addition to an easy ordering process and painless return, they included some amazing swag with their shipment. Check out that mask!
Sleeping on an Allswell Home Mattress
It has been almost three weeks sleeping on our new mattress, and our entire family loves it! No, we don't all sleep on it every night - my three boys have their own beds, but the struggle is real, friends! Nearly every night, my husband and I have someone sneak in to join us at some point, and the Supreme Queen keeps us all happy! I don't even notice when one of my boys comes in - the mattress doesn't transfer their movement and wake me up.
Florida friends - I was also concerned about memory foam making me hot. If you're looking for a mattress that doesn't make you sweat, I've been comfortable every night so far on my Allswell Home!
Connect with Allswell Home
Last week, I was out at my local warehouse store doing some necessary shopping. I took a route along the side of the store and saw this beautiful, PLUSH carpet, just calling my name. I stood and admired it, weighed the pros and cons, and decided it was at least worth mentioning to my husband. We just moved into our house over the summer and are slowly making it into our home.
Well, usually I am pretty frugal (cheap) and stick to being realistic about what kinds of items will survive abuse from my 3 boys, my husband, and me. Somehow, though, I convinced myself, and my very logical husband, that we should buy a new white and gray carpet for our living room.
We brought it home Saturday night and I unrolled it and got it to fit nicely under the edge of the couch. I loved how the sizing turned out. There is ample space next to the couch for the baby to play, but not so much space that it makes the couch look too small. We all love it! Sunday, we all found reasons to sit on it, lay on it, and even play an exciting game of Go Fish!
Now, I am not naive. My husband and I discussed how we knew the baby would soon spit up on it, the boys would drop crumbs on it, and I'd likely drop some sort of food on it since I like to eat my breakfast at the coffee table. But, we vowed to do our best to keep it nice, at least if only for a week or two.
Enter my 6 year old. We still don't know why he did it. At last questioning, it remained, "I wanted to see what color it was." Blue, son. The crayon is blue.
So I can now tell you what does and does not seem to work on getting crayon stains out of carpet. There was not much wax, so an ice cube did not help. The iron did nothing to bring the stain to the surface (although it does tend to work for red drink stains, FYI!). My old college stand-by carpet stain remover Spot Shot did not help here. Dawn dish soap helped a bit. But it was the environmentally friendly, always economical, white vinegar for the win.
Although, a bit of blue remains, so if any of you have awesome cleaning tips, I'd love to hear them!
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!