January has been an expensive month for us! Now that we don't have any plans to move in the foreseeable future, we are working on making some improvements that we didn't have time or money for before we left for Japan. It's kind of fun, because even Kurt has been into decorating and making things look really nice.
First up was our kitchen. The previous owner purchased a few large slaps of granite but never had the time or money to stall it. The granite has been sitting outside by our hot tub since we moved in. I had several nightmares where a huge redwood tree fell over and broke the granite slabs into pieces, so we decided that was the first project!
We actually had the granite installed while we were still in Tokyo so that we wouldn't be without a kitchen. They look even better in person and I love my new sink and faucet. It's a Blanco silgranite sink and is amazing! We also switched out the very outdated kitchen handles for some new oil rubbed bronze ones. Nothing in our house is standard (which also means more expensive), so it took 3 different tries to find some handles that actually fit.
It's really hard to see in the picture, but the 3 things hanging above the stove are hand wood carvings from Thailand. We loved them. The fruit bowl is also hand carved from Thailand.
Next up is a new fireplace insert, which again will be expensive because nothing is standard. :( The previous owners used our house as a second vacation home - they were not full time tenants. Because of that the current fireplace is not very efficient and was used mainly for looks. We try to burn firewood 100% of the time because we're on propane, which is expensive.
After that we're saving up for a new bathroom vanity for the girls and flooring. The current carpet was installed to sell the house...and it's light...which doesn't work in the woods! Also, my dining room is carpeted. :( Not cool. So we'll be removing a bunch of carpet and installing a distressed hickory (still deciding between hardwood and laminate) and new carpet in a darker color.