Some of you have asked for pictures of our kitchen remodel, so I finally took some decent photos of the finished areas. I’m still not done adding the charm of decorating and there isn’t a single picture on the wall or a quilt for that matter. If you’re not interested in the kitchen photos, skip to the end of this post for a delicious watermelon quinoa salad recipe that is perfect for the warmer weather.
Our kitchen, dining room and family room were divided by walls and very outdated. We took out two walls and rebuilt another so that the flow is better and it’s a more open area. Here is a picture taken the day before demolition:
And here it is after:
I love the white cabinets and the granite counter tops. The flooring is wide planked engineered wood. It warms up the whole house. We added a wet bar area and double ovens (combo steam oven on top and convection oven below) to one section of the kitchen that was previously a brick wall. I also love having an extra sink in this area.
The kitchen island is a wonderful thing. I have more counter space than I know what to do with (not really). It has deep drawers to hold my dishes and cookware. We opted for a microwave drawer in the island that can be used as a warming drawer, too.
In the dining room, we converted an old sliding door into a french door with side panes. Now we’ve got beautiful, natural light that fills the entire space. It also motivates me to keep the yard clean and the flowers blooming.
The family/living room has also been overhauled with new furniture, gas fireplace and media cabinets. That big TV is all about Mr. Crafty Quilter. I sacrificed my mantle so he could have the big screen. I did get a nice kitchen out of the deal, though! That leather recliner will be finding a new home as soon as the new chair arrives.
Our entrance hall is new and shiney as well. We raised the ceiling and added all new crown molding throughout. Boy does that dress a place up!
Every day I walk into this new space, it’s a gift. It was long overdue, but I know how lucky I am to have the means to do it (and live through it). We couldn’t have done it without our amazing general contractor (Frank Cali), our wonderful cabinet maker (Woodenbridge) and our talented designer (Hellen at Design Loft). Thank you, all! We finished a week early and we are completely happy customers!
It might take me another six months to get all of the final furniture pieces, artwork and window treatments in place. I’m still hesitant to hammer a nail into the walls, but I did manage to add the “Home Sweet Home” sign above the kitchen sink. I love it so much! I ordered it from LittleBoxSigns on Etsy. They were reasonable and prompt. I asked them to add “Est. 1984” which is the year we got married; I love the personalized touch.
Since we’re in the kitchen, let’s talk recipes! I ordered a delicious watermelon salad from Eureka! a few weeks ago, and I did my best to recreate it. It has a wonderful mix of sweet and savory taste that’s not too overwhelming. This is a great way to use a watermelon that isn’t as sweet as that thump on the shell promised.
There are a lot of substitutions that you can make if you don’t have the exact ingredients. I started with a base of arugula and spinach. You can make it from just one type of green if you don’t have them both. I used 1/4 of a watermelon (cubed) and added quinoa, cucumber, walnuts and feta cheese. You could try it with mango, almonds and no cheese. The quinoa adds a little substance to the salad and I love the flavor and texture.
Watermelon Quinoa Salad
This is the perfect recipe for your summer menu! Cubed watermelon is mixed with arugula and/or spinach and combined with quinoa, walnuts and feta cheese. You’ll love the dressing, too, in this sweet and savory salad.
Watermelon Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/4 small watermelon (cubed)
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
- 1 cucumber (cubed)
- 1/4 cup walnuts or almonds (toasted (optional))
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
Soy sauce vinaigrette dressing
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp agave nectar or honey
Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Combine the Soy sauce vinaigrette dressing ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar. Shake or stir well.
Toss the dressing with the salad and enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new kitchen and living area. If you want any more details about types of appliances, faucets, paint colors, etc., just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Try out the recipe and let me know what you think! I’ve made it twice and both times there were no leftovers – that’s always a good sign!