Home Renovation Part Two: I Know a Sweet Little Breakfast Spot

Today in Part Two of our home renovation, I am talking about breakfast, as in the breakfast bar we put in as part of our renovation this year. This was one of the lower budget items but one of the Best decisions we made.

In our house, the dining room flows right into the living room so I guess the builders of our houses were way ahead of their time in creating "open concept" in the 1950's. The challenge is, at some point, a cabinet was installed in the kitchen which made the wall between the kitchen and the dining room basically dead space. You couldn't really put anything on either side that was functional. We have often wondered if the cabinet was double wall oven that was taken out at one point, because the cabinet is very quirky, but that is a whole other project.

When you live in a smaller house, it is all about Better uses of space. About two years ago, I started thinking about opening up the wall in between the kitchen and dining rooms and putting in a breakfast bar. Since we don't have an eat in kitchen we eat all of our meals at the dining room table. Having a breakfast bar would be a Good place for well...breakfast but would also come in handy for entertaining. So we rolled this into the current renovation plan.

While I know "open concept" is where it is at in home design, I am not one of those people who wants to tear down every wall in our house. Even though the wall separating the kitchen and dining room is load bearing we could have opened up both, but chose just the one wall for the breakfast bar.

So this is basically our "before" photo. There is no true "before" photo because I didn't realize that when it was #demoday for the bathroom it would also include opening up this wall too. Typically I do not like surprises but this was a Good surprise.

We went with a very neutral, creamy quartz counter top as the other counter tops in our kitchen are sort of a green color that were installed by the previous owners. We were able to get a remnant and chose quartz because it is non-porous which is Better for this space.  

The minor challenge, and there's always a challenge, came with the paint. During the process I was worried about matching the paint as the kitchen is a terracotta color and the living room/dining room area is a very neutral beige. Running Daddy thought we might have the paint from when the interior was painted several years go but...

Ok, this is how this went down. Running Daddy was getting ready to go away on a business trip again for two full weeks. He was leaving on a Sunday and the painters were scheduled to start both the breakfast bar area and the bathroom the next day. Hockey Guy had a 6:30 a.m. hockey game so when we got home I took a little Sunday morning nap. My lupus was bothering me and I had a lot to do with Running Daddy being gone the next two weeks. When I got up from my nap, Running Daddy said to me "so, I just looked for the paint, and we don't have it any more." Did I mention, the painters were coming the next day? I looked at Running Daddy and said "I am going to need you to make me a coffee and give me a minute to figure this out."  At that moment I thought "WWJD?" as in "What Would Joanna Gaines Do?" 

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As I drank that very Good coffee, I thought, I am going to head up to the Village Hardware store and see if they can help me. Village Hardware is the kind of place that when you walk in, three people ask if you have been helped. They also sell Benjamin Moore paint, if anyone can help me...they could. I have never color matched paint before, so they told me that if I brought them a dime sized paint chip from behind a switch plate they could color match it.

It's a Good we figured this out at 11:30 a.m. and the hardware store is around the corner because it basically took all afternoon. I brought them back the paint chips and they made me samples of the two different paints. As Running Daddy got ready to leave I applied the paint samples to the wall and then let them dry.  About two hours later, we had almost an exact match. Hockey Guy and I headed back to the hardware store for the finished gallons of paint and then to Noodles and Company to grab some take out because by that point it was 4:30 p.m. and I was simply done for the day.

We had lots and lots of discussion about what kinds of stools to buy. Pretty much the entire time I wanted a backless saddle stool so that we could tuck them under the counter when not in use and I didn't want a swivel. After probably three weeks of looking at every option on the internet, I found these stools which were exactly what I wanted. When Running Daddy came home from week one of his trip and saw how nicely they fit under the breakfast bar, he was convinced.

For lighting, our electrician recommended that we not go with pendant lights as I originally planned and go with two small recessed lights instead. Putting in pendant lights would semi obstruct the wooded view we now had from the kitchen. This is where it comes in handy to listen to the professionals.

We have been very Good about keeping the bar clutter free. I am adamant about only having salt and pepper, a napkin holder and the occasional small bud vase of flowers on this space. 

The end result is a space we use all the time. It has created opportunities for Hockey Guy and I have to have really Good conversations. It is also a space for Running Daddy to sit, have a beer and chat with me while I am doing something in the kitchen. 

Opening this wall helped make the kitchen, which is a pretty decent size for the era of the home, feel even bigger. Instead of having that dead space, it is now totally open and functional. The view of the woods is so beautiful and I cannot wait to see it come this fall. The additional natural light coming in and the installed proper lighting help add to the warmth of the house.

This breakfast bar is something that we use every day and really adds to the design element of our house. We are loving our Good Better Best breakfast bar.

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