Week 5: Planning the Kitchen

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been spending a lot of time with our new friend Mike from the Lowe’s Kitchen Design department… but this week we finalized our kitchen design! Not going to lie, Levi and I were pretty intimidated to design the kitchen – after all, it’s a high traffic, high cost, and high impact room. I mentioned my fears to a co-worker (and one of the most inspirational design/DIY’ers) who highly recommended Lowe’s to help with the kitchen layout and design – so we made an appointment. Before our first (of four appointments), Levi and I discussed some of our kitchen wants and needs.

click on the links for the image sources: one // two // three // four

We decided to go with butcher block for the kitchen counter tops. Not only would it save us a lot of money, but we also thought it would keep the lake house from skewing too modern or urban. We settled on white cabinets for a clean look that complimented the wood counter tops. Aside from those two design ideas, we went into Lowe’s with a complete blank slate! After meeting with Mike, we started by mapping out the layout. Our laundry room is currently off the kitchen, which isn’t ideal but we definitely don’t have budget to move it. We decided to change the bi-fold doors to one door, so there wouldn’t be any dead space. We also decided to keep appliances in the same general area to save on any pricey moves.

The current kitchen design from the 1980’s

From there, we looked at couple of kitchen cabinets and landed on the allen + roth Aveley select cabinets. The cabinets we chose were mid-tier, so they balanced the features we wanted, like soft close and lots of design elements, with cost. As we worked with Mike to “place” different cabinet units into our design, Levi and I were blown away with how many features were available. We integrated a few that I’m really excited about, like a wine ledge above the refrigerator, a tool drawer for next to the stove, and a pull-out trashcan so the dog can’t get into the trash. Now, we just can’t wait for everything to arrive and get installed!

Additionally this week, we made another big purchase – a weed whacker and lawn mower. For years, Levi has been adamant that he doesn’t wait to mow a lawn…. sorry Levi! Initially we planned to buy a used lawn mower to save some money, but lawn mowers on Facebook Marketplace went so fast! Ultimately, I asked Levi to talk to his dad so we could pick up a lawn mower from Lowe’s (maybe a little bit of manipulation here – I figured if he picked the lawn mower, Levi would feel ownership of it and I will never have to mow the lawn…. we’ll see how it goes). He ended up choosing the Kobalt 80-Volt Max 16-in Straight Cordless String Trimmer and the Kobalt Brushless Lithium Ion Self-Propelled 21-in Cordless Electric Lawn Mower. In his own words: “Definitely wanted to go with a battery so we didn’t have to deal with gas or mixing the fuel. Needed something to last longer than 20 mins so went with the 80 volt over the 40 volt battery (also we saw that it was cheaper than the 40 volt so that was a plus). Kobalt is a good brand so just seemed like the logical choice.” I’m definitely not going to tell him that he ironically chose machinery that is Duke blue…

Kobalt Lawncare Equipment from Lowe’s

We tackled a few more little projects, like working on trim work in the rec room and office and removing some decorative ceiling trim in prep for tongue-and-groove ceiling panels. I made minimal progress with the free Ikea table and the bookshelf, even though I feel like I work on it every day! Regardless, we’re getting super excited for some of these rooms to finally be done!

Things We Purchased This Week: Kobalt 80-Volt Max 16-in Straight Cordless String Trimmer, Kobalt Brushless Lithium Ion Self-Propelled 21-in Cordless Electric Lawn Mower, pencil holders for the office, desk organizers for the office, duct tape, leaf bags, some more wood stain for the bookcase, some more Polyurethane topcoat paint (I originally got a Triple Coat one from Lowe’s that I’ve decided I don’t like very much), and a console table from FB marketplace.


Weird Things We Googled this Week: 300 CFM vent system, kitchen refrigerator door types, how to remove trim


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