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!

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!

Ooooh! Pretty new fabric!

I haven’t posted about my plans for decorating the family room yet, so I’ll combine that post with my Squeeee!! post about my family room drapery fabric arriving 6 weeks earlier than I expected! YAY!

I bit the bullet and ordered the fabric I’d been thinking about since week 2 in our new house. Order was placed about 3 weeks ago and I was told it’d be a minimum of 9 weeks for delivery, so you can imagine my surprise when this big roll of fabric arrived on my doorstep yesterday!

Although it’s¬†backlit and colors aren’t really showing true, you can get a little bit of an idea of what I’m going for with this photo. I agonized over chairs. AGONIZED. Our family room is really more of a nook than a true room. It’s small and right in the center of the house, off the kitchen. There just wasn’t room for comfy over-stuffed chairs like we’d typically want in a family room. I considered wingback chairs for a while and decided against because of their height. I ended up with¬†2 of¬†these Louis XV chairs that I found on Overstock. I don’t like to buy furniture without seeing it in person or trying it out, but I took a chance and I love them!

The rug is a simple diamond pattern. Everyone thinks I’m crazy for going with light colors with 4 kids and a dog, but it’s stain-guarded and so far everything has come up off of it easily. At this stage in our lives, any floor covering I buy is considered temporary, I’m sure I’ll need to replace it in 2-3 years so I didn’t¬†want to spend¬†a lot. It’s low pile, but surprisingly soft considering how little I spent!

I originally ordered a swatch of the¬†fabric from Pottery Barn¬†as an option for the upholstery on the wingback chairs I was considering then. I remember thinking, “I don’t like this for chairs, but it’d make beautiful curtains. Wish they sold it by the yard.” So I checked and don’t you know, they do!

And not pictured is the sofa. Honestly, the sofa isn’t at all what I went out looking for. But we really need it to be leather and we need it to be a dark color. After having a tan microfiber sofa¬†in the last house, I learned my lesson. So we chose something that first and foremost met the color and care requirements, and then after that picked the most comfortable. I was thinking something a little more streamlined, but I did have a requirement of a higher back so that we could really sink into the sofa when we cuddle up to watch tv… this is where all these requirements landed us. It’s so soft, I love sitting in it!

Oh, and in the top picture, you can see a small paint chip taped to the wall above the fabric. Paint color is still up in the air. That chip was my favorite of the stack I brought home, but I’m not committed to it yet. I think I need a fresh stack of chips now that I have the fabric and see where it takes me.

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!

Decorating the Little Girls’ Playroom

In our new house, we have an extra bedroom suite¬†on the first floor that we’ve decided to¬†make into a playroom for the wee¬†girls in the family. This way, they don’t have much need for going up and down stairs, they can be near me while I do laundry, cook, etc. and I’ll¬†also have a space where I can toss the toys in and close the door when we have an unexpected visitor. And since we have¬†the occasional overnight guests, we also need this room to be a guest bedroom.

Ah, the fun of finding a balance between toys and comfortable guest quarters! Quite the challenge! I want it to be a bright, fun, stimulating room for the kiddos – a space that’s not too fancy so that they can play and I won’t worry too much about dirt and destruction. And I want it to be a haven for guests, a room where they can relax and hopefully makes them want to come again!

Here’s what I’m starting with. Pretty basic beige room with beige carpet and blinds. The window treatments weren’t left for us in this room, just an incomplete set of hardware. There’s a basic closet to the left of the doorway, and a full bathroom.

playroom before

My starting point with this room are the curtains. The previous owner left some homemade swags in one of the bedrooms upstairs. When I say homemade, I mean she bought fabric and hung it, tucking the raw edges back so you couldn’t see them.

While the fabric isn’t exactly what I would have chosen myself for the playroom, it’s¬†bright and cute, there’s lots of it right off the bolt, and most importantly, it’s FREE! There is an accent fabric, too… long, narrow pieces of pink with green polka dots. Perfect for adding a band of trim along the bottom of the panels!

Because we want to eventually let our oldest move into this room in his teenage years (putting a little distance between him and all the girls), I don’t want to spend too much or do anything too permanent like built-ins. Ikea¬†to the rescue! The Ektorp¬†slipcovered¬†sofa bed (in svanby green)… not too light in color that it shows every smudge from their shoes, but not so dark that it’s serious and grownup. And it matches the curtain fabric!

And while we’re at Ikea, I think these Birkeland¬†nightstands would look really cute flanking the sofa bed, doubling as end tables. Both toy storage and a place for guests to put their phones, glasses, books, glass of water and whatever else they may need at night.

An extra little touch that I came across today are these throw pillows. They just happen to belong to the same fabric line as the curtains (yay for ebay!).

I’m still working out the other details, like paint color, curtain hardware, lighting, wall art¬†and of course toy storage beyond the random bins we have in there now. I’ll update as the room comes together!

prettying up the house

Is “prettying” a word, and if so, did I spell it correctly?

Anyway.¬† Speaking of cameras and pictures…

in my foyer

this is what I’ve done in my foyer.¬† I’ve been collecting a variety of stuff to decorate my house with for a couple of years now, and a lot of those items still haven’t been hung or set out.¬† Seriously, two posts previous when I said I’m a slacker?¬† I meant it!

So this is where I finally started.¬† Right inside my front door.¬† The mail/postcard rack was a clearance find at Pottery Barn last year.¬† Frames were purchased during one of Michael’s 50% off sales year before last (hence the old prints in them – I need to update those), antique cameras were gifts from my antique-savvy Mom several years ago (there are a lot more I haven’t put out yet!) and the little red table was actually a recent find, 30% off at World Market (I also got a smaller, matching one that is sitting on the opposite side of the front door but I have nothing on it or over it yet).

A little progress in my Finally Decorate the House project!¬† ūüôā