Home Depot Patio Style Challenge Sneak Peak.

I could just sing with glee that spring is finally here-(ish)!
It’s supposed to get up to 75 degrees this week (which is the temperature I imagine Heaven to be set at all. The. Time).
I was just about to put my house up for sale and move back to Arizona but then the sun came out and all was right with my world again.

This patio has been the backdrop for quite a few parties.
There was this fun soirée, then an all boys party, we can’t forget this fun fiesta and then I did this project
After all the fun parties winter inevitably hits and our patio becomes a cold, barren wasteland where junk hibernates for the season.
I’ve been freezing my hiney off trying to get this eye sore of a patio ready for spring…

IMG_1465 with logo

I had a little help in the motivation department.
I’m participating in the Home Depot Style Challenge again…this time it’s all about the patio.
(See my Holiday Challenge Reveal).
I can’t show you the full patio reveal just yet but I can give you a little sneak peak tease.
4men1ladyThe full reveal is coming soon.
In the meantime, anyone else have any fun plans to decorate their outdoor spaces this spring?

Reviewing my own house – kitchen cabinets.

This week’s plan was to go through every aspect of my kitchen and give you a full review…
then I had a little procedure done…
which took me out…
so the Mr. took off work…
and mom came to help out too…
so I took full advantage of recovering in bed while catching up on episodes of Survivor…
it’s been great…
(except for that pesky recovery part).
No need to be alarmed, all is well and fine.
I’ll share the full scoop with you soon.

On with the kitchen review.
As a refresher, we’ve been living in our 1970′s remodeled rambler for a little over 2 years now. Monday I shared my thoughts on counter tops.
Today we’re talking cabinets.

The prospects of remodeling a house is exciting when you’re in the pre-remodel stage.
You think, “I finally get to use all the ideas of been pinning!!”
You jump right in to things, line up bids, shop for stuff, talk to contractors…then reality sets in…and your big budget you’ve set aside looks like chump change in comparison to your wish list.

When it came to cabinets the first decision was what kind of door style we wanted.
I knew I wanted clean lines and a shaker style door.
Then we needed to decide on a cabinet style. There are three main choices.

Inset: Doors/drawers are flush with the cabinet frame.
Full Overlay: A minimal gap of the cabinet frame is shown between doors. Doors/drawers are meant to fully cover the frame for a seamless look.
Partial Overlay: The doors /cabinets only partially cover the cabinet frame.

Hands down, my favorite look is the inset. It has such a custom look. However, after gathering bids they were also the most expensive because every drawer had to be custom cut to fit the opening. After all my research I soon realized we were on Ikea budget.

At this time a neighbor gave me the name of a cabinet maker she used with a warning that he was good but very slow. Our construction was moving at a snails pace anyway so I decided to see what he had to offer. “A” was a one man show who worked out of his garage. He had a pretty good portfolio and promised impeccable craftsmanship (I think, there was a bit of language barrier). He also promised that if anything went wrong he would be there to fix it right away. When I showed him a picture of what I wanted, which were inset cabinets. he said “no problem”. In fact, he said “no problem” a lot. And the price?? Same price as the Ikea cabinets! Sold!



Now what I learned about someone who says, “no problem” A LOT and has reviews about being slow is that you will spend a lot of time hounding them.

“No problem” actually means, “BIG problem”.

The other thing I learned…put down a deposit but don’t pay them a cent until the project is completely done. I mean every last hinge is secure.

“A” did really great work despite him being flaky but that flakiness was enough to hold things up and caused big issues. I think he also learned he’d never do inlay cabinets again without charging a pricey fee.


We’ve only had one problem with his work and that is he used a skin overlay on the sides of the upper side cabinets which has come off every cabinet side. His promise about coming back to fix any problem didn’t hold. In fact, he no longer answers his phone for anyone and his voice mail is full. Not a good sign. We really don’t know what to do about the problem. If we were going to properly fix it we would completely replace each skin. But then we get in to the tiling issues. We could just put some more glue to adhere it but I fear that would be a temporary fix. We’re handy but this is one job I’d rather leave to a professional which means “money, money, money, mo-ney…MONEY“!

On a different note we’ve had some other issues with the inset design of the cabinets (which is no fault of “A’s”).


If there is anything even slightly sticking out of the cabinet or drawer when you go to close it, it leaves big gashes in the frame. Fine for adults who can be careful but try telling a kid to be careful…never happens. That’s not just something that can be easily fixed. It’s pretty permanent.


As a result, we have several gashes in a few of our cabinet frames.

That last thing that is sort of frustrating about inset cabinets is that because the door is flush with the cabinet frame you loose about a half inch of depth space. You wouldn’t think it’s a big deal but that 1/2″ is just enough that full size dinner plates and other larger dishes won’t fit.

Another question we get a lot is how we like having our microwave down low?


We actually made a space for our microwave to fit in the lower island cabinet not because it functions best down there, not because of design element but merely because there was no other place to put it. I personally think the easiest place to use and access a microwave is right on the counter but it sticks out like a sore thumb as well as takes up valuable counter space. It’s been just fine having it down below. The boys can access it easily (with adult supervision, of course) and it’s out anyone’s sight line. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it.

As far as the white…it’s been tricky. You all know that I love white but it’s constant upkeep. My white sofas are easier to maintain than white cabinets. If you want them to stay clean you have to wipe them on a daily basis (which I don’t, which means they’re always something dirty on them somewhere). Because cabinets get so much daily wear and tear the paint is rubbing off in some places which means they’ll have to be re-painted soon down the road. Ugh.

Cabinet style: Wouldn’t ever do inset cabinets again. Next time I would opt for full-overlay.
Cabinet maker: Would use a well-known reputable company next time that warranties their cabinets and work.
Color: White has been tricky but I would probably paint only the upper cabinets white and the the lower cabinets a darker color.

What kind of cabinets do you have? Are you happy with them?

Read our review on Calacatta Marble and Soapstone counter tops here.

DIY cement planters, candle holders and garden balls.

Good morning friends!

I’ve went a little nuts with cement last week and made several DIY creations.

Cement collage

I am guest posting on Remodelaholic today where I share complete instructions and directions on making these cement creations! Enjoy!