A few years ago I was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for Command Staff and General College. When we first arrived to Kansas City after being stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, (Top 8 worst cities in the world for traffic) I was convinced the zombies attacked because there was zero traffic in the entire downtown. Fast-forward a few months later, my children were picking out pumpkins for the fall season at Carolyn’s Country pumpkin patch. Dropping in at the local farmer’s markets became one of my families favorite past times. Last, my husband and I enjoyed visiting local jazz clubs, ballet and broadway theater. For the first time in all my travels around the world, I felt like I was home.Kansas City has the charm of a small town and the glitz of a large city (minus the traffic and rude people). It was the best of both worlds. I would have never thought that I would settle in Kansas City, but only a few short months after we arrived, I was in love. I could see my children growing up here, going to college and being happy. One of the things I love about Kansas is that people are genuinely kind. I think they should change the Kansas state motto to “Kansas, Kind Folk Live Here!” Thus, the house hunt began. After searching hundreds of houses online and visiting dozens in person, a few days before Christmas, we finally found our home.
Given our short timeline prior to moving overseas, we didn’t have the chance to live in the home. So we took the opportunity to renovate the kitchen, as there was a major flaw that I knew would drive me crazy when we returned to our home. Plus, as an avid HGTV viewer, I learned that you never want to live in a home during Kitchen remodel. Our home was previously owned by a male chef, and I felt the kitchen had some features that were too masculine for my taste. So I wanted to make some changes to warm it up a bit by adding some rustic/vintage accents. Additionally, there was a major issue with the location of the dishwasher, it was too far from the sink. So the first thing we wanted to do was bring the dishwasher closer to the sink. Additioanlly, we wanted to add another oven and build an island for more functionality.
Some of the aesthetic changes included updating the cabinet and drawer nobs from silver to oil rubbed bronze. We also changed out the sink from a stainless steel to white and upgraded the faucet. We opted to purchase a higher quality faucet for two reasons: they have a lifetime warranty, and since the granite is cut around the exact measurements of the faucet, if there’s a need to replace it in the future, we would have to replace the entire slab of granite. After looking at several brands we decided on the Moen Waterhill, oil rubbed bronze two-handle high arc faucet. This faucet ran at over 900 dollars, however, we paid a little more than half of that because the construction company we utilized had an account with the local Moen vendor, so we were able to get it at a lower cost.
Next I really disliked the backsplash, as it reminded me of bathroom floor tile, and the pale color washed out the kitchen cabinets. To warm up the room we picked out a backsplash with stone and glass that made the cabinets pop and warmed up the room. Last, I had the construction company fabricate a cover over the stainless steel fan that gave the kitchen some much needed charm.
The biggest challenge we had was the granite. Since we were not completing an overhaul on the kitchen we needed to find an 11-foot granite slab that matched the ones that were currently in our kitchen. Sounds simple enough right? Not so much. We learned that each slab of granite is unique to the location and time it was cut. At the end of the renovation we ended up replacing the entire granite because it was impossible to find one close enough to the ones that were there before. The renovation was painful and took much longer than we expected, however, the results were fantastic! We can’t wait to get home!