Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Kitchen, So Far

So we are back after having a nice break from the ordinary and taking a visit to Nashville to visit family.  We had a great time seeing everyone and enjoyed watching Silas play with his cousin Maddux - who are 7 weeks apart and even got in a little mini trip to see Memphis, take a ride across the Mississippi and put our feet down in Arkansas.

At the Mighty Mississippi in Memphis
Now that we are back we are putting together a list of things that we want to accomplish over the next couple of months as the summer rolls in and our life gets super busy.  We have curtains we still need to hang, faucets to install, bathroom mirrors to replace, rooms left to paint, art to hang and that's just the little stuff (as I type Justin is busy working on a few of these things, what a great husband I have).  We still have the exterior painting looming in the distance.  With all of the rain lately there just hasn't been a great time to plan this kind of project.  Hopefully we will get a break from the weather and also from our busyness to start, because we are so ready for the outside to change.  We talk about this often. As you know our kitchen has gone threw a mini makeover since moving in and we have lots of plans for it in the future but we thought it was a good time to stop and take a look at how far it's come.  These are just some of the things we have done in our kitchen that we feel have made the biggest difference.

Beginnings...Oh yes, the kitchen of our dreams.  Complete paneling overload.  Painting this kitchen took almost a week to complete, but sooo worth it.  Brightening up this space helped bring it into this century and also helped open up the kitchen immensely.  All of this dark paneling was totally shrinking the space.

I'm still cringing at this monstrosity of a fan...it will be gone one day, this I promise.

Source List:  Cabinets and Trim: Off the Shelf White in Olympic No VOC paint
Back kitchen wall:  Olympic No VOC paint in Abracadabra
Side paneling wall:  Olympic No VOC paint in Tattered Sail

As you can see we added a cabinet to this long wall - this is an antique piece called a Hoosier cabinet.  We don't have a pantry so this is serving that purpose right now, it actually holds a lot more things than I thought it would, I think it's kind of cool that we are using it for it's intended purpose and not just a decor piece.

I love how this wall looks painted, It adds a lot of character to our kitchen.  Painting real wood knotty pine paneling is a pain in the butt, not gonna lie - but you can see it's well worth it.  If you are thinking of painting paneling or knotty pine in your home you can read how we did it Here and Here.  (This is also our change sorting station - we use the cash only budget method so we end up having lots of spare change by the end of the week - every penny counts.  You can read more about our envelope cash method and how we budget Here).

Oh knotty pine cabinets, how we hated thee.  And ugly cabinet hardware, and ugly faux marble back-splash and ugly countertop...ok I'll end it there although I could go on.

Ok, so all of the hated items are still not gone - like the countertops for example.  But, we are dealing with it since the cabinets looks a bajillion times better with a little lot of paint.

More Sources:  Cabinet Hardware is from Lowe's
Bamboo Blinds - "Miranda" from Home Depot
Rug - Ikea

This is the best before shot I could find of the sink/window.  I wanted you to see the reason we hung the clock where we did - not necessarily because it's a great place to check the time but because there is a huge whole behind it.  

I really love this window - I don't really love the dangling cord but once again I'm dealing because the white paint looks so great on this window trim.

Quick before shot of our backsplash.

And -after we painted over it.  It was really simple and added so much impact.  You can read about that Here.  I also love these glass canisters I picked up at Target.  I make enough sweet tea to quench five families thirsts so a huge canister of sugar at a seconds reach is awesome.  I guess I'm easy to please. 

An over the fridge shot...why not?  You can see where the two kitchen colors meet and greet.

And finally, our little eat in kitchen nook.  It's so much prettier now.

I wanted to show how we just painted right over the fuse box...no biggie and it blends in so much better now.  Eventually I plan on painting the little desk here below, still debating what color right now.

My sweet friend brought over this hydrangea from her yard, I love having fresh flowers in the house and it's so pretty I had to take a picture.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day break and we are so thankful for our wonderful Armed Forces who have served and our serving our country so humbly and honorably.  Tomorrow we have another giveaway coming at you and then we will start sharing some of the things we are getting crossed off of our list.  Take Care!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spare Room Inspiration

We have lots of projects we have our eyes set on in our home, some of them are just more pressing than others.  Our next big project will be the painting of the exterior of our house, as soon as we get a good long weekend blocked out when we have nothing else to do (this is starting to be an issue as we move into the busiest time of our year - whoops.)  So until we get to cracking on more important projects I'm dreaming about our spare room - which will hopefully one day be a totally functional and beautiful space for a home office, guest room, craft space and even play area (let's face it our entire home is a giant play area anyway.)  As I dream, I'm drooling over these particular spaces that have perfected the small space home office and guest room combo.  Before we get to the inspiration rooms let's take a look at what we have going on now.

(The day we moved in)

You might recall this shot from a few weeks back - shortly after our move in.

And today, so still not great and in desperate need of some attention but it's a little better right?  Ok maybe not but we can at least walk through the room now.

Now let's take a gander at some sweet design perfection:

I love absolutely everything about this space - the room color, the ceilings, the awesome day bed, the built-ins, the list goes on.  How awesome is it that this small space has so much and still feels so roomy?  Love it.

I love the idea of using closet space as an office area to maximize a room's layout.  We happen to have an entire wall of closets in our space room so this is an option we might think about.

Ok, this next office area is so gorgeous.  I love the blend of old - the barn sliding doors- with the ultra modern and sleek desk.  I just love the pairing of both of those styles and this is done so beautifully. 

How cute is this office/guest room?  So tiny, yet so light and airy - totally functional.  I especially love the stripes on the wall and the fold out bed.

And finally, this bright sunny spot.  I could see myself spending a lot of time crafting, relaxing, reading, whatever in this room.  It's a little shabby, a little chic, a little modern, plenty bright and so cheery.  My favorite thing - that day bed.  

So these are just a few things we are thinking about over here.  Do you like any of these spaces?  Have another office/guest room space you would like share....comment below!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ikea Hack - Rast 3 Drawer Chest

As you know, we live in a small house and have limited space for storage - so every inch counts for us.  Our master bedroom is particularly small so we have made an effort to make it feel as large as possible, mainly by not adding lots of furniture.  Up until this point we have had our bed and a small antique dresser in our room and that's it.  We do have ample space on either side of the bed and have been wanting to add some sort of side table/storage option on either side, mainly for the added storage but also for some added decor and color.  We didn't want to spend much of course, so we began searching Craigslist and thrift stores for something that would work.  I'll be honest, it's hard to find a cheap solution, let alonne two cheap solutions that would work together.   Along comes Ikea.  I think this has become one of our favorite stores, have you noticed a trend?  They had lots of options but the smallest and cheapest was perfect for us.  So here's what we decided on:

This is the Rast 3 Drawer Chest from Ikea, it cost a mere $39.99 - which believe me was totally cheap, even compared to things I found on Craigslist.  The problem though, it's pretty ugly in it's raw state so we needed to vamp it up a bit.  I have been wanting to add more yellow accents to our gray and white beginnings so this project was the perfect chance.  The instructions tell you to assemble first before you paint or stain and that's what we did.  If you have never bought anything from Ikea you must know that this furniture comes in a lot of pieces and is packed tight.  Justin did say though that is was pretty easy to put together and he did it really fast. 

The instructions also say to sand before you do anything.  Hmmm, skipped that step but we still love the result.  I think the non-sanding left a textured look, which we like.  You can still see the wood grain texture which is kind of cool.  We added two coats of paint and that was that.  

As far as knobs go, we wanted to buy something new but couldn't find anything cheap enough that we liked right now so we will keep looking.  Instead, I spray painted the knobs with a silver paint in the meantime.  

We love the yellow color so much, it's not too bright and overwhelming but it's plenty bold enough to make a statement.  We used Olympic no VOC paint in a satin finish, color name - Belgian Waffle.  We also added these great table lamps (also purchased at Ikea).  I love how the pattern on the lamp ties in the fabric in our doorway.  

We love how this bedroom is coming together and we love the added storage we now have in our bedroom!

We still have things to add like some sort of artwork, we want to add shelving and maybe even a sitting chair - as long as it doesn't overwhelm.  But until then we are totally enjoying our little retreat called our bedroom.

We Have a Winner!

This week's giveaway winner is #50 - Michele P.!  Congratulations!   Thanks so much to everyone for participating!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekly Verse

We are winding down after several crazy days full of much love for our students and our graduating class in our youth group.  We are so blessed to work with and know so many wonderful young adults.  We know that God has awesome things in store for this class of 2011.

Here is the verse we are focusing on this week, come and join us!

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:35

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Glammin' it Up

So far, this has to be one of our most favorite things we have changed about this house yet.  Intrigued?  We think you might even be surprised.  One of our original house lights has bit the dust and has been replaced with a much bolder lighting choice.  That said light happens to be our master bedroom light.  So it's time for the step by step replay and new light reveal that we know all of you are anxious for.

Here's a quick before shot so you all can refresh your mind with our awesome original lighting:

First off, we went over to our non-labeled fuse box and played around with the fuses until we had the right one turned off.  Then, we discussed how we need to start labeling these things so we don't take fifteen minutes trying to figure it out each time.

Next, we simply removed the old light cover by screwing off the cap and exposing the actual light fixture and also a missed spot from a previous ceiling paint job (not done by us).  We have already found that we will have to eventually re-paint our ceilings one day - not something we are looking forward to.  In the meantime, we could use one of those ceiling medallions instead to cover this area but we haven't don that yet either.

After that we just unscrewed the fixture and disconnected all of the wiring.

Then we screwed in the new bracket that will hold the new light in place.

(New Bracket)

Next step was to start wiring the new light into place.  Just match the colors - white (neutral), black (hot wires) and green/copper (ground).  Then cap all of your wires to hold them in place.

Finally, we hooked our new light to the bracket and screwed in the base to finish.

Now came a confusing part for us, the light bulbs.  We purchased our light at Ikea and decided that we would just buy some bulbs once we got ready to install it.  Hmmm, didn't check to see what kind of bulbs, we just assumed and guess what happens when you do that, you guess right - we assumed wrong.  So, off to the store to buy the correct bulbs.  After we had the bulbs in and the fuse back on we were ready to gaze at our new light fixture...aren't you wondering what it looks like?

Ta da...It's a sparkly, pretty chandelier!  

Not kidding, we are absolutely loving this light and loving the feel it gives our new bedroom.  I had to kind of talk Justin into it, but once it was home and up he was loving it too.  I'm telling you, adding a new light fixture will do wonders for your room, it can absolutely change the entire style and feeling.  It's also fairly easy to replace lighting fixtures so don't be afraid of this kind of project.  If we can do it, you can to!  This room has gone from master cave to master glam.  I can't wait to show you what else is going on in there, it looks so totally different than when we first moved in. Until that day, I will leave you with some more shots of our new favorite thing.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Etsy Seller Feature & Giveaway: Sammys Grammy

This giveaway is now closed!

We're excited to feature another Etsy seller with you today !  Sammy's Grammy is a lovely shop full of beautiful re-fashioned and transformed vintage pieces that have been handcrafted into new works of art.  Rita, the shop owner, is such a thoughtful person who finds beauty in so many things, I think that's how she creates such beautiful and timeless pieces. You can find her stop here: SammysGrammy Etsy Shop.  I personally love her refashioned vintage jewelry and lace headbands.  She has also made a lovely pair of earrings to giveaway to one of our awesome readers, find out below how to enter to win!  Take some time to get to know Sammy's Grammy!

A little bit about Sammy's Grammy:  My name is Rita and I am Sammy's grammy. She's 8 years old.  I live in western New York, on the shores of Lake Ontario, in the fingerlakes region. It's wine country, loads and loads of grape vines. And along Lake Ontario's shores is a fruit belt (apples, mainly but also peaches, pears, pumpkins, lotsa corn) Lots of maple trees tapped in springtime to boil up maple syrup.

What do you create?  I do "needlework". Therefore whatever I make, I use some kind of needle. it's usually hand sewn or hand knitted, hand beaded. I love using a vintage component in my creations thus repurposing - leaving as small a carbon footprint as I can. I'll repurpose a bunch of old jewelry into one new smashing piece. With the vintage linens - they are completely transformed. A vintage towel will become an angel, a vintage doily will become a purse or a shrug, a vintage pillowcase will become a child's dress. 

I have just opened a second shop, called "needleworx" to showcase all the things I love to make but do not have a vintage component. They may have an upcycled component, like the silk pillow I made from a second hand men's shirt. 


When did you start creating?  I started to create as a small child, watching Grandmom stitching on her Singer foot treadle machine. I wanted a turn. She let me. Pretty soon I was making clothing, nothing complicated, of course. Halter tops for my sisters and myself. As I grew up, I continued sewing because I always wanted the latest fashions and usually was unable to afford them, so I made them, often reusing fabric in the process. 

Why did you choose your medium?  As a young wife and mother, the draperies I wanted always cost more that I had so I had to make them too. This habit of wanting to be surrounded by beautiful things is what led me to "estate sailing". And the rest is history. 

Why did you choose your shop name?  I have a granddaughter named Samantha (Sammy).

What inspires you?  Because both my grandmothers did handwork and were patient with a little girl who wanted to learn, these were skills that I grew in as I matured. We are experiencing a renaissance, presently, of these arts but the actual items that the Victorians used by necessity are not needed any longer, or modern materials have replace the old. For example in a Victorian household, every piece of linen (dish towels-bath towels-sheets-pillowcases-napkins-tablecloths-underclothing) was embellished with hand crocheted lace!!! Just not so any longer. I, personally love the luxury of a lace trimmed pillowcase to sleep on rather than a polyester and cotton mass produced, no iron, one. 

What are your most cherished handmade items? The hand crocheted tablecloth my grandmother made for me for a wedding gift and a small doll coat made of wool crepe with a lace collar (which I now have on a teddy bear) which my other grandmother made for me.

To Enter to Win these lovely earrings made by Rita:

Just leave a comment below with your email address!

Extra Entries and chances to win (Leave another comment for each additional item for extra chances to win!):

1. Follow this Blog
2. Leave a comment stating your favorite item from Rita's Etsy Shop
3. Become a fan of Sammys Grammy on Facebook
4. Share this Giveaway on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks so much for joining us today - you have until Sunday night to enter and we will announce the winner on Monday! Winner will be picked from random using random.org. Have fun!