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!!


Family Room Redux

I haven’t shared anything house related in almost a year! Has it really been that long? Wow!

We’ve been busy living life and taking our house projects one baby step at a time, so nothing major has been completed in the last year, but there have been some things that are share worthy. I’ll try to get those up on the blog this summer!

In the meantime, I took one of those baby steps today that I want to share! Last I posted about the family room, it looked like this:

closer look family room July 2012


Had my curtains up, had my sand colored paint up, and I had the new Louis style chairs. I don’t know why the TV wasn’t on the bookcase here, I must have taken this picture after we painted and before we set the TV back up.

There have been some changes since then, this was the family room this morning:

family room in July 2013


I ended up not loving the Louis style chairs in this room, they weren’t big enough, so I moved them into other rooms. I found a wonderful consignment furniture store in my town and scored these two gorgeous wing back chairs and ottoman! The chairs are covered in a pale blue and white greek key patterned fabric, and the ottoman in a wheat colored linen (scroll down to see a better picture of them). The mirror on the mantel was actually the first thing we bought for the mantel at our last house, it was silver then. I used a combination of gold and oil-rubbed bronze spray paints to give it an antiqued gold finish and now it fits this room perfectly! The white plaques on the wall to the right were clearance finds at Ballard Designs.

Back to that baby step today: I painted the inside of the built-in bookcases! This has been on my list of ideas for several months. Today has been a rainy day and the kids have been entertaining themselves with a combo of board games and movies, so I found myself with a little free time. I figured why not? ūüôā

family room july 2013 with painted bookcases


I used a medium caramel brown and I really think it adds depth and a little richness to the room. Well worth the 2 hours of work! Of course, now I want all new tchotchkes. Happens every time I change something! ūüėČ

family room chair painted bookcase july 2013


Here’s a better look one of the chairs and the ottoman. I really do feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with my local furniture consignment store, they always have something I want to bring home!

Still on the list is to replace the green tile around the fireplace, and oh that TV! I think I might have to hire someone to come in and hang it over the mantel, hubby is a little nervous about drilling into the trim work on that wall so it may be better that we leave it to a pro.

More later, y’all! Laundry is calling!

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!

final color

Welp, painting is done!¬† There are a few touch-ups that need to be done, but otherwise the bulk of the work is over and I can show a semi-after photo!¬† (I’ll show a final-after photo when the whole room is done, of course!)

final color

I’ll admit, that dark pink was really overwhelming for me at first.¬† I walked into her room several times over the course of the day yesterday, looking at the color in different lights, trying to decide if I loved it or hated it.¬† I think I’m starting to love it.¬† And once I get all her furniture painted white, I think it will help immensely.¬† As you can see, it’s pretty cute with the white bookshelf!

Still so much to do, though… paint the crib and dresser, sew some curtains, make or buy wall art (most likely I’ll make most of it, I’ve got a¬†lot of ideas – too many actually, she doesn’t have enough wall space for everything I’d like to do)… but I’m motivated now, so hopefully I can crank it all out quickly.¬† I’m making it my goal to have it finished by her birthday at the end of April.

Oh, and speaking of making things myself… I quickly painted up a letter “E” for her bedroom door last night in-between feeding the kids dinner and Jason getting home.¬† I used a purple floral patch from her quilt as inspiration.

purple e

(I bought a “J” for Jag’s door too, but he’s decided he wants to paint it himself, so it’s in the works… )


While my Mom-in-law was visiting last week, we got to talking about all our unfinished projects.¬† I was telling her of my huge stack of unfinished sewing stuff and various other ideas I’d had and bought supplies for.¬† She told me that she calls these “UFOs” – Un-Finished Objects.

I remembered this week a project I bought supplies for several months ago – a magnetic chalkboard wall in the kitchen.¬† Since buying all the supplies, we had a change in ideas for the wall I had in mind so I had packed the cans of paint and rollers away.¬† Once I got to thinking about it again, though, I realized I had one other wall space that would work.¬† It’s much smaller than the original wall space, but actually a lot more practical in location.¬† So I won’t be able to do large fun drawings, but I will be able to write reminders to be seen as we’re leaving the house, or grocery lists or weekly menus.

I got to work on it yesterday just as soon as Kat went down for her afternoon nap and managed to finish it up right after the kids went to bed last night.¬† Yay for knocking out a project in one day!¬† I did 3 coats of magnetic paint and 2 coats of chalkboard paint.¬† I didn’t take a before, but here’s my semi-after:

chalkboard wall

I say semi-after because we can’t write on it for 3 days.¬† Right now it looks like nothing more than a black accent wall (and I’m not an accent wall kinda girl, so it’s bugging me).¬† Once we can start writing on it, and it’s apparent what it’s¬†purpose is, I think it’ll look better.¬† (you’ll have to please excuse the¬†condition of the¬†baseboards and doors – dogs and kids will do that.¬† one day I’ll get around to repainting them all)¬† And just FYI – that door leads to the laundry/mud room, which then leads out to the garage, so we go through it every time we leave the house.¬† To the left there are the doors to the pantry, and to the right (not pictured) is the fridge.¬† So this really is a great location for a chalkboard – it will make it easy to jot down notes or To Buy lists.

So there you have it.  The first UFO I can mark off my list!  YAY!

my poor deprived baby girl

Kat is 19 months old and she’s still sleeping in an off-white painted room with zero decor, nothing on the walls (unless you count the painting Jag did for her on his art paper and hung over her crib) and no window treatments.

I was so tickled to have a girl.¬† Not to say I wouldn’t have been thrilled to have had another boy.¬† But the idea of getting to do a pink frilly room made me so happy.¬† And yet here I’ve done nothing.¬† I’m so aggravated with myself!

My biggest problem has been my indecisiveness.¬† I’ve been back and forth with color schemes, styles, etc.¬† I couldn’t find any bedding sets in stores that I loved.¬† I tried to buy pieces of this and that to make something myself and of course I never got around to it (story of my life).

She’s still a long way off from a big girl bed, but my mother-in-law made two gorgeous twin-sized quilts for Kat and I decided to choose one and work the style and colors around it so that when we do move her into a twin bed, the rest of the room is¬†ready.¬† One is very feminine with soft colors and a scalloped¬†edge, and the other is a brighter yellow trimmed¬†quilt with pink, purple, green, etc.¬† It was a tough decision because I love them both, but I’ve settled on the brighter yellow trimmed quilt.¬† Kat has such a bright, sunny personality – it fits her.¬† ūüôā

So now I’m making the rest of the decisions.¬† I wan to keep it simple.¬† I think I’ve decided on a cherry pink for the walls.¬† It will¬†be dramatic, go well with the pinks in the quilt and I think it will really make the yellow pop.¬† I want to keep the quilt as the focal point of the bedding, so I’m going with coordinating solids for the bed skirt, sheets and curtains.¬† Something like the Pottery Barn Kids solid chambray stuff (since they always carry it, I know I can buy a couple of crib pieces now, and then buy the twin-sized sheets in a year or so for the bed).¬† I’m not sure which solid colors I’ll go with yet, but I just ordered a yellow chamois crib sheet, we’ll see how that looks.

I’ve always imagined white furniture.¬† We already have a white bookshelf in her room, and we have a pretty dresser that used to belong to her Grandma (the same Grandma who made the quilt) that¬†we planned¬†to paint white and put some pretty new pulls on.¬† I’m kinda wondering if I should consider another color though, just because of all the white in the background of the quilt.¬† Then again, the white furniture and the white on the quilt might help balance the darker color on the walls, huh?¬† Hrmmm…

Anyway, I’m excited to finally have a plan, and I’m excited that it’s going to be easy (so I know it will get done)!¬† We’re re-doing the shelving in her closet this weekend (we did Jag’s closet two weeks ago, similar to¬†this), I wonder if I can talk Jason into painting too?