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Home Makeover – Kitchen & Dining

Ok. Ok. Ok. I’m so freakin excited to share our latest renovation with everyone!!!! I know I said this when I shared our guest bedroom reno…this has nothing to do with pet photography. Well, actually, Teton (surprise!!!) is in some of these pictures. He doesn’t leave my side. So there. Pet photography! ;)

To give you an idea of the dining room/kitchen space when we moved in, I screen-grabbed these images from the listing. As you can see, we had very little storage, horrible and outdated appliances (actually, the refrigerator didn’t work), and gross, worn out cabinets (luckily you can’t see the sticky grime that was permanently attached to them). We knew before we bought the place that we were going to redo the kitchen pretty quickly.

condo before

This was a slow process that pretty much started as soon as we moved in. As I mentioned, the fridge, aka the big black monster, didn’t work so it was replaced right away. While we waited over a week for delivery, we had to use a cooler filled with ice. It was great! Haha! We went with a counter-depth fridge to give us more walking space.

Uptown Condo Renovation
The next thing we did was add a wall of cabinets in the dining area. We went from a 2,600 sq ft house to a 1,026 sq ft condo so we needed to add quite a bit of storage. This serves as our pantry and holds random stuff like luggage, small appliances, the ironing board, vacuum, and even my office. Yes, my office. When you live in a small space, everything has to do double duty! My computer fits nicely inside the cabinet on the left. My mouse and keyboard are on a slide-out shelf and I just pull up a chair from the dining room table during working hours. After the workday is complete, it all gets tucked away nice and neat!
Dining Room Renovation with storage
The kitchen was done in phases. The first phase was the back wall. We had a great time removing the granite counters…hahaha…all by ourselves. Tearing out the glass tile was also a fun time! ;) The best part was removing the cabinets and reconfiguring to correct some of the storage issues. We added a full-size cabinet above the fridge as well as huge drawers below the cooktop.

The island was a very, very huge challenge. I wanted it to look free floating without seeing the pony wall that was originally there. However, if we removed the pony wall, floors were going to be missing. Since those weren’t going to be redone for quite some time, we had to leave most of it. We removed one of the pony wall sides and were able to put in bigger cabinets…drawers actually. The bigger cabinetry covered up the missing floors. Yippee! We wrapped the island in a waterfall quartz countertop and added a cover panel on the bar side. My dreams of having a waterfall counter were finally fulfilled (after many confused looks)!!!

Kitchen renovation
We put in a new sink and faucet!!!! Gosh. I wish I had a better before picture of what was there. It was horrible. I’m so obsessed with the new industrial-looking combo.

Oh, and on the right you can see the new glass subway tile, drawers, and convection microwave. And no, we don’t have an oven. None of these units do. We originally thought we’d add one, but, after living a year without one, the convection microwave was really all we needed. So we decided just to upgrade ours. It’s pretty cool living in a small space and really sitting down and analyzing what you truly need. :)

Uptown Charlotte Condo Renovation
The little touches like paint, lighting, curtains, etc were added over the past year of living here. Oh, and a full-size dishwasher. We had a mini version when we moved in and that was not something we could compromise on.
Uptown Charlotte Condo Renovation
And a few before-and-afters…
Kitchen Before and After
One of the things we love most about our new place is all of the natural light from the wall of windows. That’s my favorite tree in the whole wide world out there…Lief, a Japanese Maple. She gives us privacy and a relaxing view with amazing color. I feel that the new design frames her nicely. :)
Condo before and after

Details…

Dining Room cabinets – Besta cabinets from Ikea

Chandelier – Crate & Barrel (added with a recessed light conversion kit from Home Depot)

Curtains – Ikea (our ceilings are 10-feet tall so we were glad to find these beasts)

Curtain rod – a DIY project

Kitchen cabinets – Ikea

Counters – Quartz counters from Home Depot

Tile Backsplash – Lowes

Sink – Lowes

Faucet – Lowes

Bar Pendants – Home Depot (super-cool ones that screw into recessed lights)

Track light – Lowes (just a temporary fix…not in love with it)

Paint – Martha Stewart from Home Depot and chalkboard paint from Lowes

Charlotte Skyline PrintEtsy (they have other cities too)

gosh…the only thing we kept were the garbage disposal and cooktop!

Let me know if you have questions or want to know more!!! :)

michelle bradshaw - Absolutely beautiful!!!!!! (Teton is a cutie…(-:

Escher, Petey and Odin

Escher, Petey and Odin are a trio of amazing rescued pups with a mom that has a heart of gold. Her love for dogs, friends, and family runs deep. So much so, in fact, a special someone (or someones?) gifted her with a session for her three babies…(I will never tell!). Just their special way of saying thanks for being such a wonderful person and furmom. :)

We spent a lovely evening in and around their Mount Holly neighborhood. The leaves were just past prime but we still succeeded in finding some wonderful color and a gorgeous field (that I fell in love with).

I introduce Petey, the shy but so, so sweet white Boxer/Hound/Bulldog mix; Odin, the little Chi/Jack Russell mix that loves his big brothers; and Escher, the goofy big Dane/Lab/Boxer guy that was our comic relief. :)

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Charlotte NC Pet Photographer
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This could possibly be one of my favorite kissy picture. We were under high-tension power-lines with houses in the background, but at the right angle, these two look like the only ones around for miles. Love, love, love.
Mount Holly Dog Photographer
Thanks for being such a wonderful mom and friend, Jen!!!

Charlie and Cooper

Gorgeous young pups + a fantastic waterfront yard + perfect weather =  this session!

Seriously, Charlie and Cooper rocked this one out!

Cooper is a 4-month-old Golden with the most beautiful white fur and goofy long legs. Any puppy will steal your heart but Cooper is really, really good at it. Watching this clumsy sweetheart bounce around his yard was way too much for my dog-loving heart to handle. Yeah, I wanted to steal him.

Not to be outdone, Charlie, a one-year-old Yorkie-mix, worked his cute little face for the camera. This momma’s boy happily showed me around his incredible backyard while keeping me on my toes.

What a lucky, lucky family these two have!!!

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Sunset on the dock simply was too magical to comprehend. Love…
Charlotte NC Dog Photography
Charlotte NC Dog Photographer
These two. My heart is like butter. It was a pleasure working with you…
Lake Norman Pet Portraits

Brutus, Caesar and Diesel

It’s a horrible feeling thinking something is going to happen to your beloved pet. Trust me…I just went through a scare with my cat, Teton. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was pretty sure he was heading down the road to Rainbow Bridge. Thankfully, with the help of the AMAZING staff at Independence Veterinary Clinic, Teton was better and back to his old self by Monday. Wow. It was a really long and tear-filled weekend.

That same relief is, I’m sure, what Brutus’ mom felt after he got the all-clear from his liver shunt surgery. You see, Brutus was born with a congenital birth defect which allows some blood coming from his stomach to bypass the liver. Those nasty toxins go straight into his bloodstream which is a recipe for disaster. This condition is very rare in cats and it manifested itself as blindness after Brutus was neutered (the blindness thankfully went away).

Brutus had surgery on August 26th. It was very risky with not a ton of success in cats. We, of course, immediately scheduled a session should the unthinkable occur. Brutus also had his Abyssinian brother, Caesar, join in.

Thankfully, after much observation and many tests, Brutus has gotten the all-clear and the liver shunt has been corrected. I couldn’t be more happy for this seriously sweet and wonderful family. What a huge sigh of relief we all felt. With the good news, they even added on a third kitten after our original session! The little guy is named Diesel and we decided to have a fun little session with him in the studio!

I hope you enjoy some of the images from these kitty sessions. Virtual hugs to this entire family!!!!

Because these guys are hard to tell apart, I’ll start off with the main focus of the shoot…Brutus! I’m head over heals about these kitties on this animal print goodness!!!

Charlotte NC Cat Photographer
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Charlotte NC Cat Photographer
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This curious guy is Caesar. He definitely did his best to steal the spotlight. He kinda did. ;)
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Charlotte NC Pet Photography
Love between mom and Brutus…
Pet Portrait Photographer
On to the crazy boy Diesel!!! I mean, he’s an adorable kitten let loose in a studio full of toys. This is awesomeness!
Charlotte NC Abyssinian Kitten
Abyssinian Cat Photos
His jig…
Charlotte NC Kitten Portraits
Abyssinian Kitten Photographer
Charlotte NC Cat Photography
Cute Kitten Photos
Charlotte NC Kitten Photographer
The absolute favorite pastime of Diesel’s is to attack the cowhide rug. So of course we had to include that!
Abyssinian Kitten Photos
North Carolina Pet Portrait
North Carolina Kitten Photography
Brutus2
OMG!
North Carolina Kitten Portrait
Charlotte NC Pet Photographer
Thanks again to this fab kitty family. I’m so glad everyone is happy and healthy! I hope you enjoy your wall art and album for years and years!!!! :)

jennifer - Love love these the images and cats are stunning! So glad brutus is doing well

Beth - These cats are gorgeous! I’m glad Brutus is doing well and what fun it must be with 3 cats now. Beautiful photos!

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