Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Kitchen Conundrum

Little bit of a life update for ya:

Last week Blake was on a business trip to China. My mom came to stay with us for all but one of the days he was gone, and I was able to go through tons of stuff to get ready to move.
I went through all our bins of baby clothes, the girls current clothes, and my clothes (Blake had already gone through his) and I got rid of anything we didn't need to keep, and packed up a bunch of stuff we don't need on hand.
Then we went through the toys. Jasmine did a good job of picking out what she wants to keep here, stuff she'd be ok with sending to the new house and toys she doesn't want anymore. (I was really surprised how smoothly that went. She did it with my mom, who is queen of children, so I think that is the major reason why.)
I went through all my craft/sewing stuff. Threw out any garbage in there (somehow I collected some literal garbage in there -- it was like the bags they came in and receipts, but it was a surprising amount.) And then I put it all in order and such (wrapped up ribbon after ribbon, put all the loose buttons together...) I'd say that project felt the most cathartic.
And I also went through our medicine/linen closet/bathroom stuff. (Got rid of any expired or useless stuff. Reorganized.)

I sent 6 big Rubbermaid bins of clothes and toys with my mom to her house just to kind of clear out some space, and she is gonna hang on to them for now.

So getting all that done was pretty huge. Those are the kinds of things I find REALLY hard to do with two small kids. My mom is so awesome to have helped me keep the girls busy (not to mention come stay with us and keep me alive!) So now I feel like I am off the hook here until I really need to pack. (Although I just can't accept that, and keep thinking there is something I need to be doing....oh I know....I need to sell a bunch of stuff on craigslist!)

I missed Blake so bad while he was gone.
We went to see "Gravity" before he left (since my mom could baby sit) (Every single preview looked so good! And I leaned over to Blake and said, "I can't tell if all these movies coming out are awesome, or if its just that I haven't seen a movie in a REALLY long time!" -- Date night in Iowa usually doesn't happen. I mean to fix that in IL. Its so much harder though with food allergies. Anyway.)
The fact that Gravity is a stress-crash-festival made me have to do a constant mental check that it won't be Blake's international flight (there or back!) (Its totally a great movie, just don't watch it the night before your husband flies to China, when you aren't used to him leaving the country without you!)

Besides that...I've of course been online (pinning) trying to plan as much as I can about the new house. Some of it needs to be figured out fast, others don't but I can't help myself. I love solving home situations. Its killing me that I don't have every space in that house's measurements so I can't figure everything out. (About a month until we should close. I'm so so ready.)

But my biggest mystery in that house is how will I solve the kitchen floor issue?

Currently the kitchen is barely an eat in kitchen -- if you put a tiny table in a corner, you could eat in there, but it would feel cramped.
But then there is (what they kinda hilariously named) a breakfast nook room next to it. (Its hilariously named because its not a nook, but a room that is much bigger than the kitchen.) They have one of those funny pass through windows from one to the other. And we want to open up the space to make one good sized kitchen.

This makes SO much sense to do. So we want to do it right away. But we aren't ready (monetarily or with decisions on what we want) to really redo the kitchen.
I have no (and I mean no) idea what kind of flooring I'd want in my kitchen long term. I've read and asked about all the options and just don't know what'd I'd like. 
I also don't know how I'd like the kitchen laid out ideally or anything. 
I like Young House Love's "rule" on living in a house at least a year before they redo a kitchen, so they can see how they work in the space.
So I don't plan on doing much right off the bat, other than pull down wall paper and paint both spaces (become one) white. (Maybe pull down the backsplash (?) since I just don't like it. I don't hate it, but I don't like it. We'll see.) 

The problem is, once you take down the wall, there will be a gap in the flooring that will need to be filled.
And then the room with be 1/3 greyish (looks like it should be white and is dirty, but its actually grey) ceramic tile, and 2/3 honey parquet.
I have a near-disorder-need to make this look acceptable to me.
I've thought about ways to change the floor to a temporary whole room fix, but I've since decided it's not worth the money. (Like cheap linoleum covering it all -- but that would be like $500 to do...not worth it, I might be able to do a end result for that much, depending on choice. Or painting the honey parquet white. But crabby guys on the internet tell me that it won't work. And that paint isn't free either.) So I think I need to make this all work. 
Once the walls aren't yellow, it won't feel so overbearing.
But I'm trying to come up with a transition between the two to make this look ok.

This is the only photo I can find that might give me a clue:

Of course this was done on purpose, so they can pull it off WAY better than I'm gonna. (And this still isn't something I'd choose to do if I was starting from scratch.) But it gets my gears turning.

 Here's a close up of what I'm working with tile wise. (I'm gonna fix the grout with Grout Renew and pick a color as close to the tile as possible. Since I'd rather the tile be staggered, I want the grout line as invisible as possible.)

Here's where the tile (which is the same) from the entry meets up with the parquet.

And kitchen again.

Any thoughts?

Blake was thinking since it's never gonna be normal, to just go bold and dark with the gap filler solution, as like a border partition. 
(Which will go across the whole room, we'll tear out what's in the doorway too. And we might even tear out one row of good tile to make it wider, depending on everything.)

Where as (before I got to talk to him) I was thinking of trying to ease the transition, blending style. Like a mosaic with both tones. 

Or most recently I was thinking of those ceramic tiles made to look like wood floors in a white wash tone. (I was thinking two rows of those.)

Here are a few other ideas I pinned along those lines.

But Blake may have a good point.

This whole thing just annoys me because I WANT so BAD to solve this mystery, as if there is an actual solution out there I need to find.
Its not gonna be forever, but it is gonna be a while that I'll need to look at it.

Do you have any ideas?

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