Saturday, January 28, 2017

Choosing Wide Plank Flooring for the Kitchen

We are making major progress in our kitchen! As i mentioned in my last post, installing hardwood floors in the #grazianobungalow kitchen was the most daunting "to do" on our project list for that room. The existing gray tile that was in the space wasn't terrible, but something about the tile made the kitchen feel so cold. I knew that hardwoods would really warm up the space and give the whole house a better flow. I mean....just look at these kitchens that I was swooning over as inspiration!

We decided it was best to tackle the hardwoods sooner rather than later, given that we were already sanding/staining the existing hardwoods in multiple other rooms. If your whole home is going to be a dust storm, it's definitely better to weather the storm all at once! And given how the few items that we moved into our kitchen looked after the floors were complete (completely white from dust), I'm so glad that we did this before moving the majority of our kitchen possessions in.

And now for the hardest part of the process...choosing the actual wood! Given the fact that there are thousands of options out there for floors, they are a big commitment financially, and that hardwoods are pretty permanent,  this was a BIG (and somewhat stressful) decision. Here were the things we knew we wanted which narrowed down the search:

  1. Wide Plank. I've always loved the look of wide plank floors so I knew that if we were going to spend the money to replace the tile, I wanted to go wide. We only looked at floors where the planks were at least 7 inches wide.
  2. Light in color to flow well with the adjoining family room, where we stained the hardwoods in a very faint coat of "Weathered Oak." We wanted to stay in the light brown/gray/white-washed range of colors. 
  3. Oak. The rest of the hardwoods throughout the house are white oak, so we wanted to stay in the oak/white oak/french oak family.
  4. Visual Interest. If I could have taken old reclaimed barn planks and used them as floors, I would have! I really wanted floors that looked slightly distressed, where you could see the knots/grains/irregularities that I love oak so much for. 
  5. Inexpensive. The kitchen's square footage is fairly large and we are on a new homeowner budget. We really wanted to stay under $8 per square foot!
Here are some examples of the types of floors we were looking for:
Given the cost, we knew right of the bat that if we wanted wide plank floors, we would have to go with engineered hardwoods vs. real hardwoods. Going with real wide plank hardwoods automatically puts you above $10/sqft, which was out of our budget. Engineered hardwoods have come a long way - to the point that we really couldn't even tell the difference between what was real and what was engineered in the samples we looked at. Plus, engineered wood is so much more durable and easy to clean! After a lot of research, here were our main contenders:

^ Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1. Palladio Wide Plank French Oak floors: These floors are wire brushed with a lime wash, which gives them a beautiful "washed" look. I had seen them in person in a friends apartment and fell in love with them immediately. The only issue was that you have to be a contractor to get them! Josh literally made up a company (Graziano LLC) to call around and get a wholesale quote - $7.49 per square foot. Within budget! 

2. Floor & Decor Montpellier Oak floors: My dad first spotted these on Pinterest, and after reading this blog post about them, they seemed to fit exactly with what we were looking for. They looked gorgeous in photos and at $5.95/sqft for over 9 inch wide boards, you really couldn't beat the price! However, with no Floor & Decor location within driving distance of us, sadly the shipping would have cost us almost the same amount as the floors themselves. The samples we ordered were also slightly darker in person than we wanted. 

3. Veneto White Oak floors: The entire Design Group 47 showroom in Peabody is done with these engineered wire brushed floors, and they are insanely beautiful. They evoke the feeling of walking through an old barn and have so many interesting details in each plank, yet look so sleek and modern against a white kitchen. When we finally got these prices out they came in at a little over $10/sqft, which was sadly a little high. 

4. Wayfair Engineered Oak Flooring: The obvious first place for me to look was Wayfair, where we ordered samples of #4, #5, #6 which were all wide plank floor options that were reasonably priced. I love how on Wayfair you can sort by wood type (oak), plank size (wide), price and even installation type. That made it super easy to narrow it down to exactly the options we were looking for! 

Our final decision? Drum roll please....we went with the Palladios! At the end of the day, we weren't in love with any of the Wayfair options, and the Montpellier & Veneto floors would have been too expensive. We chose the "Whiskey" color and ordered them through Wood Pro in Salem, NH, who were great to work with. These floors were my favorites from the beginning of our search anyway, and we are so, so happy with the decision. Here are some down & dirty photos of the process...
^ tile demo
^tiles gone! 
^Here you can see the difference between the wide plank floors and the regular hardwoods in our family room. So happy with how the colors flow together!
So the kitchen floors are officially complete and we are so happy with them. Sometimes I just stand there and stare at them, or sit down with Mac and rub my hand over them to feel how smooth they are (I'm pretty obsessed). This kitchen is slowly turning into my dream kitchen, and we've loved spending our first few nights cooking and eating dinner here. We have a few things left on our kitchen to-do list (we are hanging the floating shelves this weekend!), but then can't wait to share the finished space. Stay tuned! 

Kitchen Project list:
1. Remove tile and install hardwood floors
2. Install pendant lights over counter
3. Install open shelving on either side of the sink
4. Swap knobs, pulls, and faucet to brass
5. Paint walls white
6. Choose new counter stools
7. Potentially add a backsplash

Friday, January 6, 2017

#GrazianoBungalow - The Kitchen (Before)

Welcome inside our new home!!

I'll be sharing progress posts and photos as we begin updating every room in the house, and today I'm starting with the kitchen. The kitchen is truly the heart of any home and where we knew we would spend the most time, so it's the space we wanted to tackle first. Out of all the rooms in the house I also think it was already the most "complete" upon moving in, which made it a bit less daunting as our first focus.

The kitchen has great bones, and is the largest room in our entire home. This was a major selling point for us when we originally looked at the house, given that kitchen renovations can be very expensive and the majority of the houses that we had been looking needed extensive ones. It already had great light, high-quality white cabinets, granite counter-tops, newer appliances, and more counter space that we could have asked for, especially coming from our little galley kitchen in the city. The french doors leading out to the patio and the large bay window over the sink didn't hurt either - overall it just had such great vibes! Here are what the listing photos looked like as well as what it looked like the first week we stepped inside:


Listing Photos:
Move in shot:
So much potential, right??

The list of changes we want to make in the kitchen are below! The majority of these changes were easy and are actually already underway, with the largest and most major project being installing engineered hardwood floors. The current gray tile isn't awful, but there is just something so warm and welcoming about having hardwoods in the kitchen and I think they will drastically transform the space. We just barely made a decision on the type of wood (which was SO HARD), and I will share more about that process soon.

Project list:
1. Remove tile and install hardwood floors
2. Install pendant lights over counter (you can see a sneak peek of the ones we ordered in the photo above)
3. Install open shelving on either side of the sink
4. Swap knobs, pulls, and faucet to brass
5. Paint walls white (currently they are a yellow/cream color)
6. Choose new counter stools
7. Potentially add a backsplash

In the meantime, here is the mood board I created that will be serving as inspiration to finish the space! As you can see, the goal is to incorporate lots of white and natural wood tones and add a fun vintage rug for a pop of color. I call it "modern farmhouse" - something that blends my love for country kitchens but also my love for more modern decor. We can't wait to share the "after" - stay tuned!