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Well, I have recently found out something pretty big about myself…..

……*drumroll please*……

I really do love a contemporary kitchen, and I mean L-O-V-E.

Who’da thunk it?  But I do….very much.  I mean when did I start liking shiny white laminate, lighter wood look, sparkling quartz counters, & flat panel cabinets?

 They are so clean looking & glamorous & sexy & sleek & shiny & exotic.  How can you resist really?  For all you skeptics out there that think a contemporary/modern kitchen is cold, prepare to have your mind blown.  All of those preconceived notions & images will hopefully be gone forever.

Never say never folks…..

  Here are some of my favorites!  Enjoy!

This is my FAVORITE one.  I’m not even a red or grey person & I would have this kitchen in a heartbeat.  It all just works.  Love that floor.  Love everything.

Can I just say WOW.  That wall of windows is to die for.  Amazing.  Love how it brings the outdoors in & yet is so clean & warm at the same time.

More of that light wood look that I didn’t think I liked, but apparently I do.  Oh, & how bout’ that window?  Go big or go home I say.

That soapstone sink & counter sucked me right in.

This one goes out to my inner club goin’ girl.  Gah I love me some LED’s & thick glass.  I think this look would make one heck of an outdoor bar/kitchen entertaining space.

Those glass door uppers had me at hello.

This one screams feminine to me with that gorg mother of pearl backsplash.  Love the creamy palette and how they went with an off-white vs a bright white.  Me likey mucho gusto.

This one gives off eclectic modern farmhouse vibes to me, but with that all white look that a lot of people adore.

LOVE the 2-tone mix of cabinet colors!  One of my favorite looks.

EXTRA-THICK counter & waterfall island.  Nuff said.  It looks like calacatta marble to me & boy is it B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

These give me that tropical-zen-islander look that I long for…man I wish I was in Hawaii or Fiji right now.

Boom.  Just like that I do a 180.  I really do lean more to the masculine side when it comes to design.

ok, so this probably wouldn’t have made it in my stash if it didn’t have those FABULOUS sparkly quartz counters.  I do like the high gloss white cabinets–but typically I’m not a black-white-grey-red combo type of person.

Ok…this isn’t really my everyday style either–too bold.  But I appreciate it & like the color combo bc turquoise happens to be one of my favorite colors.

Phew!  That was a lot of kitchens.  So, I gave both my boyfriend & my mom (separately) the challenge to pick their favorite out of all of them under the condition they couldn’t change a thing & would have to live with it just how it’s pictured.  Well, well, what do you know, “Mr. & Mrs. didn’t think they liked the lighter wood look either” are now converted because their favorite was my favorite.  Guess this one takes the cake.

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Who doesn’t love a good before & after home improvement project?  I know I do!  This particular project all came about from simply being bored.  Yes, you read it correctly.  I don’t know about you, but when I get bored I usually clean, organize, workout…..maybe…oh I don’t know, read a book?  I can’t say the same for Eddie (my bf), when he gets bored he builds massive structures.  What I mean by massive structures, is this…..

Before…

After…

For those of you thinking, “Ok, annnnd….what’s the big deal about that?”  The big deal is he has no background or experience in masonry, or anything construction for that matter; he’s been in sales his whole life and before that he played hockey.  So, ladies & gentlemen this just goes to show you can do anything you set your mind to!  He did his homework, took his time, & it was all worth it in the end.  It looks absolutely AMAZING (and it’s not even finished)!

Now, I don’t want anyone to think this was a piece of cake…because THAT it was not!  He had to keep his eyes on the prize because GOOD masonry is not exactly easy or easy on the back & body for that matter.  I helped with what I could, mainly emotional support (aka my opinion haha), leveling, & helping with the downslope of the curved walls.  I CAN’T TELL you how many people stopped & asked for his card or just to say how good it looked, which is all good encouragement!

Now, the fun part of the whole project is underway:  the fit & finish.  The possibilities are absolutely endless on what you can do, and therefore, makes it that much harder to choose!  After much thought, we went with a good ol’ stucco finish.  I always knew that there were TONS of different stucco finishes, but after all this I can now say I know the proper terms for them as well ;).  We decided on what some may refer to as a “Santa Barbara” finish, which has a smooth, burned trowel look.

This is what it looked like right after stuccoing…

This is what it looked like after stucco dried & cured…

This is what it looks like with the wall mount lights and a coat of dry-lock (no paint, caps, or landscaping yet)…

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This is what it looks like today with the addition of grass and a mulched bed (no paint, caps, or landscaping yet)…

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Below is what I like to call our “inspiration” photo.  We are going for an “old world” classic look and the faux technique on the arched wall with the contrast of the thick wall molding along with the italian cypress is A LOT to be inspired about!

Next step….sealing & painting and ordering the pier & wall caps……oh boy!  Stay tuned for updates!!

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