Our Florida Beach Condo - Kitchen Updates

Over Memorial Day weekend, Jim and I snuck down to our new condo in Siesta Key, Florida to do a little work on the condo, get some rest, and eat some amazing meals. I had a "few" work priorities for the condo. Handy Hubby thought it was going to be "rest" weekend - he was wrong (although  not entirely). Some were mundane like rename the WiFi network and change the password, make sure the television remotes were all properly programmed, and organize the linen closet. And of course, I wanted to do a little more decorating. I shipped down one fairly large box and then carried several items in my suitcase and carried on one giant driftwood seahorse (insert limitless jokes here).

When I was there in March for the closing and quick redecorating, I really wanted to get rid of the wallpaper border in the kitchen. I'm sure it was cute in 2000 but it had definitely lost all appeal. Here's the "reveal" shot from April. After we left in April, my parents scored a new microwave at a yard sale for $25. If you look closely below you can see the broken grate. You can't see the permanently grease stained yellowness of the entire thing - yuck. That baby hit the dumpster in late April.

Here's what the wallpaper looked like up close. Purrrrrty. Not only ugly but also falling down.

I woke up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and went to work while Handy Hubby got some beauty sleep. Fortunately there were several things working in my favor - 1) most of the top layer of the paper peeled off without issue, 2) the paper was only re-glued in a few small areas, 3) the walls had not been repainted around the paper, 4) I had a plastic scraper that did not damage the existing paint.

And two hours later it looked like this. I used the most basic method. Peeled as much dry paper as possible with my hands. Most of the top layer and bout half the bottom layer came off like that. Then started soaking the bottom later with water using a wet rag. I then scraped the rest off. It mostly peeled off with no issue. The rest had to be scraped a bit more, and a few tiny spots were super stubborn so I just sanded them down and touched those up with white paint. I think those were glued with stronger glue that really didn't want to let go. It wasn't worth ruining the drywall.

You can't tell in the picture but Handy Hubby also switched out a few nasty painted over almond outlets and switches for clean white. That's 3 down and about 20 left in the rest of the condo!

The last minor kitchen update was swapping out some hideous almond track lighting for some only slightly less hideous white track lighting. Although we want to get rid of this fixture altogether, I found a brand new fixture in the master bedroom closet during the big clean out in March. I almost chucked in into the yard sale pile but in the end I kept it for some unknown reason (temporary insanity or maybe sanity?). Anyway, I pulled them out again to throw them in the yard sale pile and realized they were 10x better than what we had already up so Handy Hubby did a quick switch out just before we left for the airport on Memorial Day.

We didn't bother replacing the track rail, just the fixtures.  It's hard to tell in this cruddy iphone pic but it was a nice, unexpected and free change.

The kitchen looks so much cleaner and more modern than it did when we bought it. I'm so pleased with the results. Of course, spending time there we started to think about longer term plans. Handy Hubby would like to shrink the kitchen back by perhaps making the cabinet between the stove and fridge half as big, thus gaining a bit more space in the living room. We may also eventually lose the table and install a long island with stools instead - thus gaining seating area and also some storage below perhaps. Of course replacing the cabinets and counters would also be a nice change but that's several years down the road because there are some more urgent projects in line first!