Simply Cait plans a KITCHEN! (the before pictures)

Let’s just move right on past the fact that I haven’t posted since October and focus on the real excitement: We are finally remodeling our kitchen!!! When we bought our home 2.5 years ago, we knew we’d want to remodel it eventually.  It has a number of not so redeeming qualities: a cream colored refrigerator with a faux wood grain handle, black stove, and a portable dishwasher (we actually do not dislike this nearly as much as we thought we would).  “Those are just appliances!” you say.  Well, let me introduce you to 70 year old cabinets and a gorgeous beige, laminate counter top along with some orangey cream colored linoleum.  If you could hear the weird screech that the faucet makes when you run hot water, you’d give us high fives and major props for waiting this long to tackle the project!

#simplycaitskitchen | Before | www.simplycait.com

Look at those beauties! {insert whistle here}

Look at those beauties! {insert whistle here}

Can I also mention that there is a ceiling fan in our kitchen.  This has to be a man’s design decision.  Any woman I mention this to is equally as horrified as I am at the idea of that dust flying around an area where you prepare food… and I won’t get started on the dog hair from our “non shedding” dog that somehow gets up there.  Hence the reason why it has been turned on approximately once.  That would be the very first time when we realized it is a terrible idea. 😉

Simply Cait's Kitchen | Before | www.simplycait.com

Here’s the view from the dining room to give you an idea of the layout.

View into Kitchen | Before | www.simplycait.com

As I post these pictures, I can look at the kitchen objectively and acknowledge that it needs a facelift really bad.  Maybe even more than I realized.  Sometimes you can live in your home so long that you don’t even notice the uglies.  And when your home is filled with laughter and love, who the heck cares anyway?  I struggle with interior design, because I love it and it’s my absolute passion, but when I take a step back I know that it isn’t what really matters.  There are so many things that should (and have) come before it.  But now I’m looking at those pictures up on the screen and I know it’s time.  This kitchen needs it.  It needs it bad.  And so we’ll begin!

Follow me on instagram to get sneak peeks of our kitchen remodeling journey.

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Backyard Update

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

We’ve been working hard on our backyard plan and have a lot of progress to report!  It has been a lot of work and pretty exhausting, but we took a much needed break this last weekend to spend some time with family and friends and celebrate Father’s Day.  It was amazing to host in our own backyard and have a bit more space to move around and enjoy the sunshine… just enough fuel to keep us going!

 

Here’s a reminder of what the backyard looked like when we first got started:

Before

before

 

before

before

before

before

 

The first project we took on was adding the screening between our house and neighbors.

#simplycaitsbackyard | www.SimplyCait.com

 

#simplycaitsbackyard | www.SimplyCait.com

#simplycaitsbackyard | www.SimplyCait.com

If you like to see pictures side by side like me, you’re in luck.  Here’s the evolution!

Before and After | www.SimplyCait.com

{You may have had a sneak peek of the tree planting if you follow me on instagram.}

 

The peony bushes that were originally in our yard started blooming!  Oh how I wish those things would bloom all summer…

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

 

After building the retaining wall, the next logical step was to put in our new fence.  We decided to go with a white vinyl privacy fence because after all this work, the less maintenance the better.  I thought that choosing vinyl would be  a somewhat controversial decision, but we have received so many compliments on it (and absolutely love it ourselves) that I am 100% sure that it was the right decision for us and our property.  My dad and brother did the majority of the fence install themselves, so I’m not going to do a tutorial, but I’ll post soon about how we chose our fence and the realities of the install vs. the instructions online.

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

As you can see from the side by side below, we also patched the burnt out grass with new sod that we took from the retaining wall project.

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

 

And then in true “if you give a mouse a cookie” fashion, we needed some landscaping along the fence in the corner that isn’t going to be covered by the deck we have planned.  Here’s the before:

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

{The fence is fairly shiny in this picture, but you don’t notice it as much when you’re in the yard in person.  When we were deciding whether or not to DIY it, we got bids from local fence companies and they said that the sheen diminishes after 2-3 years in the sun.}

Below is the “after.”  We got the hostas and daylilies for free from neighbors on Nextdoor.  I chose to do a Northern Bayberry, rose, and Strawberry Sundae hydrangea bush in the corner to add a bit of height and interest.  Throughout the yard, I tried to pick plants that would bloom at various times throughout the summer (or the majority of the summer in some cases) and have color interest in the fall.  I didn’t want to shrink the yard with too many plants, so I did alternating hostas and Spirea Snowmounds for a lush border.  We clearly still have to do edging and mulch.  That will be this weekend’s project.  Woo!  {Note: the edge of the grass line is where our yard used to stop.  Adding the retaining wall and pushing the fence line out gave us about 4-5 more feet of usable yard space}

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

 

The rose bush in the corner started blooming the day after I took that picture.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

 

And, yes, I have pink flamingos in my yard.  My dad was horrified when I told him that I bought two.  I love them!  They add a little personality to the fairly formal color palette.  And, I think they give off a strong “life of the party” vibe. 😉

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

 

We also planted clematis vines along the front chain link fence for some more natural screening.  It’s not much to look at right now, but I’m very excited to see how big they get this summer and next year.  The one the previous owners planted is amazing right now with hundreds of blooms.  I can’t wait until the whole fence is covered in the vines and flowers.

Backyard Update | www.SimplyCait.com

 

The next big project will be our deck.  Over the weekend, my dad made a scale drawing of the deck plan and all of our furniture so I could plan out the space.  (One of my major weaknesses)  Isn’t he amazing?  I certainly am lucky.

Deck Space Planning | www.SimplyCait.com

Stay tuned for more updates.  We still have a lot of projects planned to fully realize our vision!

 

What outdoor projects do you have planned for this summer?  Are you a little bit at a time person or a power through and do it all at once type?

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