Kitchen Update and Sneak Peek

It’s been 3/4 of a year since I last posted. Shame on me! Life certainly hasn’t stopped here though, in spite of my lack of documentation. About the time I posted last, my husband gave me the gift of a kitchen remodel for Mother’s Day! He’s been working hard in his (rare) spare time and it’s oooooh so close! So close!! I wanted to tell you what we’ve done so far and give you a sneak peak! (I promise to follow up with proper After photos when every detail is finished.)

First, here’s a Before photo of the crazy green kitchen we bought in spring of 2012. I’m positive it’s the reason for the deal we got on the otherwise amazing house in an amazing neighborhood. (Well that and the abundance of wallpaper and brass circa 1993.)

green kitchen before

My husband took that photo with his iphone on his first viewing of the house without me. I took the liberty of lightening up the shadows so that you can see just how green it was!

In 2014, we tackled the Big Green Monster as we had nicknamed it.

First and foremost, lots of paint! I chose a two-toned scheme for the cabinets, with chocolate brown¬†on the bottom and ecru on the top. Very practical reasons – to hide little finger smudges below and reflect light around above. The budget didn’t allow us to replace the corian counters yet (we do still have a lot of house to fix up), but thankfully they are a neutral light gray and work. Because we do want to eventually replace the counters, we didn’t want to invest in expensive tile backsplash, so we opted for painted beadboard. I used a crowbar and pulled off that short corian lip/backsplash myself before installation of the beadboard so that we get that full counter to cabinet look! Hubby bulked up the cabinetry by adding trim to the back of the peninsula and to the ends of the cabinets. He hardwired under-cabinet lighting (on a dimmer, even). All new cabinet and drawer pulls, as well as hinges. He painted over the yellow walls I never liked. We replaced the wall oven/microwave combo and range hood (still waiting on the cooktop to go). We added board and batten to the right of the peninsula (that will eventually have hooks for the kids’ backpacks). I’m SURE I’m forgetting things. So much has changed! See for yourself…

remodeled kitchen sneak peek

Still left on the To Do List… two more upper cabinet doors need one last coat of paint, trim added on the bottom of the upper cabinets, a new faucet and a window treatment over the sink. So close!!


Breakfast Room Update

Squeeeeeee!! We’re making progress! Have I mentioned how much I love progress?!

Here’s the breakfast room “before.”

breakfast room may 2012

There’s that yellow paint again! And the red, yellow, green and pink (yes, pink!) striped curtains that my husband nicknamed The Circus Tents. Haha!

And here’s how it looks now…

breakfast room in July 2012

Don’t mind the butterfly habitat. ūüėČ

So obviously, we painted. We used the same Navajo Sand color that we used in the family room because the rooms are open to one another.¬†If you look closely, you’ll see that we still haven’t cut in along the ceiling. We need a taller ladder!

The curtain fabric still has unfinished edges. I just couldn’t wait to hang it and see how it looked! I’ll get those edges sewn up this week, hopefully. It’s hard to see in photos, but the fabric is a cream and khaki stripe. It’s called Colby Stripe and I found it by the yard at Pottery Barn. Yay for “welcome to the neighborhood” 20% off coupons!

Colby Stripe - Pottery Barn - curtains breakfast room

The drapery rod was here when we bought the house (along with The Circus Tents). We decided to keep it for a¬†few reasons. One, drapery rods aren’t cheap! Two, the existing rod is 11 ft long and solid wood. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get a new 11 ft long wooden rod home from the store without strapping it to the¬†roof of my minivan. And three, while I didn’t love the finish, I do love the size and scale of¬†it.¬†So I opted to save myself the money and the frustration of buying new¬†and I spray painted the existing rod instead. It was a cherry wood finish with gold trim on the finials. I spent an afternoon with a couple of cans¬†of Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint and voila! Like new, and¬†it better suits our taste.

There are still a few things left I’d like to change. The biggest decision right now is the chandelier. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I’m not sure if I want to replace it or not.¬†I’d prefer something like these…

Source: via Stefani on Pinterest

Or maybe something like this, with shades covered in coordinating fabric.

But in all honesty, I’d rather not buy new if I don’t have to. It’s money I could spend on a bigger, fancier chandelier for the formal dining room later (oh, wait till you see the bird wallpaper in there!). And also, the vaulted ceiling in the breakfast room is so high, we’ll have to pay to have a new fixture installed (in addition to the actual cost of the fixture, of course). I’ve considered spray painting the existing chandelier, and I’ve wondered if I can find a way to add little crystals myself, to get the look I want. But it will need to be removed to be made over¬†and again, very high ceilings. I need to have hubby take a look and see what my options are there.

Last, but not least, I’m gonna need some accents in this room! I have¬†the small buffet that we brought from the last house that I plan to keep for now, as well as some shelves that hang over it. And in spite of all the windows and sliding doors in this room, there is a little wall space for some pretties. Definitely going to need something standout to sit in the center of the table for a pop of color.¬†Perhaps it’s time to shop again? ūüėČ

In other news, we’re¬†getting closer to the kitchen makeover, you guys! I’m excited and stressed. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and I want to get it right the first time! I’ll keep you posted!

Family Room Update

A little progress has been made in our family room!

Here’s the “before” of our family room. My husband took this the first time he saw the house. Apologies to our realtor for including her in the pic! (And by the way, if you ever need a realtor in the Columbia, South Carolina area – please contact me and I’ll give you her number, she’s FABULOUS!)

family room before

And here’s how the room looks now.

family room in July 2012

The biggest difference, aside from the room now being furnished, is the paint color. Almost the entire first floor of the house was painted yellow. Don’t get me wrong, yellow’s alright, but it’s not my favorite. It had to go. We opted for a beige called Navajo Sand from Home Depot.

This room has been a little bit of a struggle because of it’s size. It’s about half the size of our last family room (in a house that’s twice as big as our last!). It’s really more of a nook. There wasn’t room for comfy, overstuffed chairs like you’d normally prefer in a family room. I opted for the Louis style chairs so as to not¬†crowd the room. Definitely still need some accent pieces in there, though! Tables? Maybe a tufted bench along the empty wall on the right? Still working that out in my mind.

Here’s a closer look.

closer look family room July 2012

The biggest thing that’s sticking out at me right now is the green tile around the fireplace. It’s gotta go. I’m thinking something neutral, in brown and beige tones. Or maybe even a natural stone look. Like these…

Source: via Stefani on Pinterest

Source: via Stefani on Pinterest

Source: via Stefani on Pinterest


I’m also not loving the gray pillows on the chairs.

gray pillow on chair July 2012

There is gray in the curtain fabric, but the gray pillows on the dark gray chairs just isn’t working (although I do like the texture they add). In the formal living room of the house, I’m hoping to maybe bring in some aqua or turquoise, so I thought a way to make the rooms flow would be to put a couple of little aqua blue/green pillows on the chairs. I took pictures of a couple of fabric swatches¬†that are¬†already in consideration for the formal living room. While I love these fabrics, I’m not sure I love them here. I put the swatches over the back of the chair… what do you think?

This is¬†Magnolia Home Fashions Java Ikat¬†Spa. I’m so obsessed with ikats right now! I’m looking for excuses to use it all over the house.

Magnolia Home Fashions Java Ikat Spa swatch with room view

And this diamond bamboo print is Premier Prints Key West Village Blue/Natural. I thought it might work because it repeats the diamond pattern in the rug, but maybe that’s too much diamond?

Premier Prints Key West Village Blue and Natural swatch with room view

I’ll spend some time looking for more options this week. With all four kids out of school right now, I’m not spending a lot of real time¬†in the fabric stores… thank goodness for the ability to order swatches online!

I hope my next house update includes some before and after pics of the breakfast room. We’re oh-so-close to being done in there!

Sneak peek at the playroom


Pardon the iPhone pics, but I wanted to post a quick update to the playroom/guest bedroom decorating project! This pic shows a before and after of the fabric. Previously a swag in my boy’s bedroom, now a panel in the room that will be a playroom and a guestroom.

I’m so excited to see it coming together, but there’s still so much more to do. I need to finish the curtain panels, install light fixtures, choose wall art, configure the rest of the toy storage, oh and choose a paint color for the walls because I’m not loving that tan right now. There’s also an attached bathroom that is getting a makeover as well, I’ll be sure to document!

The Breakfast Room

The breakfast room is one of my favorite rooms in the new house! It has loads of natural light and it looks straight out into the green tree tops in the backyard. This room is going to be so easy to decorate, I can’t wait for it to be done. In the meantime, I thought I’d share what I’m working on in there.

I’ve made a couple of decisions so far. The breakfast room is straight ahead when you walk in the front door, it’s one of the first things you see, and I want to make an impact. Six little black chairs weren’t doing it for me. So first thing I did was replace the end chairs with monogrammed, skirted slipcovered parsons chairs.

If I ever needed a garment¬†steamer, it’s now! Look at those poor slipcovers. I tried to use the steam mop on them, oh yes I did! Didn’t really work. I might have to break down and iron them.

Now that I’ve taken care of the chair decision, I’ve moved on to replacing the draperies. I like what’s there, I do. They actually would have gone beautifully with the decor I had in the last house! But they don’t go with all my new ideas. I’m leaving them there for now so the window isn’t totally bare while I wait for the fabric I ordered for the new panels. I decided to stay with stripes, but I’m going khaki.

So that’s 2 decisions made. Next up, paint color. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I’ve not always been a fan of the accent wall, but I’m thinking about using one in this case, on the wall where the draperies hang. I need to get some color samples and see how it works out.

Later I’ll post a little more about how I plan to reuse the buffet from the old house and the plate collection I’m starting!

Valentines Finds 2012

I have a special little something up my sleeve for my kids this year, but before I post more about that, here are some of my favorite Valentines ideas I’ve seen around Pinterest lately!

Halloween Mantel (v. 2011)

My kids have been on fall break and we went on a 10 day vacation to Florida, so I’m late with my Halloween decorations this year, but you know what they say!

As usual, I challenged myself to use what I already had on hand. The only purchases I made were the pumpkins.

halloween mantel v2011

The candle holders are a part of almost every season’s mantel. I replaced the candles with little pumpkins and just simply (lazily?) sat the candles next to the holders and I think it worked.

halloween mantel v2011 left

The spooky wire tree is a clearance purchase from Pottery Barn many years ago. It originally held little orange votive holders, but a few broke in storage so I’ve used it with silk fall leaves instead and arranged the few remaining orange votive holders on the mantel. The iron bats are also a Pottery Barn clearance find.

The skull came from a light-up, spooky sounding lantern we bought at Target a few years ago. The kids played with it until it fell apart, and rather than tossing the whole thing into the garbage, I saved the pieces to try to reuse in my decor this year. The skull worked into the mantel perfectly, I think!

Do you guys have a serious addiction to Pinterest like I do? I found the idea for painting b-o-o on little pumpkins on Pinterest. These particular little pumpkins came in a kit, six of them, a set of paints and a paint brush. I bought the kit, let my 3 oldest kids each paint a pumpkin (displayed on a shelf over my buffet) and I used the extra 3 for myself.

halloween mantel v2011 right

The iron spiders are yet another Pottery Barn clearance find. I love hitting their after-holiday sales!

And last, but not least, the broom! I love my witch’s broom! I don’t even remember where I bought it, it’s been years. I usually set it in a corner somewhere, but I have a wild 2 year old in the house this year and I worried the broom wouldn’t survive the next couple of weeks if left within her reach. My solution was to hang it right on the mantel in place of garland!

halloween mantel v2011 fullI’m already thinking about the next mantel… Thanksgiving!