Monday, November 27, 2017

Future Kitchen Updates

Hey guys, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! 
Ours was very nice. And I even got the kitchen back to working order with a pinch of time to spare. The only hiccup being that randomly our kitchen faucet sprung a leak and the attempt to fix it was foiled by a crazy original installation which left us using our bathroom sink on Thanksgiving itself. It was not ideal but we managed to have a great day anyway. The next day Blake took a saw to the faucet and got it off, so that we could install a fancy $17 faucet and have running water in the kitchen sink again. Ha! I've never loved a bad faucet so much!

The fact that the faucet debacle happened, sped up our decision to just do the countertops now since we plan to do an undermount sink with them. (For a day we thought we'd be sibkless until that was in. But even once it was solved we still were ready to go forward with our nice finishes.)

So the plan is a 32x18" single bowl, stainless undermount sink. With this faucet. 
We debated a bridge faucet for a while but ultimately I didn't want form over function, the two handle temperature adjustment isn't for me (I've lived with two handles before.) But I've been enamored with this faucet for at least a year. It's got a vintage feel and modern sensibility. Plus great reviews.
I went with chrome because I honestly really love chrome. And while it shows water marks, a quick wipe takes it right off. We have a chrome faucet in one bathroom, and it shines so easy. We also have a moen spot resistant brushed Nickel   faucet which always looks clean so that's awesome. But then we have an American Standard brushed nickel faucet and it's NOT spot resistant and it looks terrible and is very hard to shine up. So I figured chrome is something predictable in behavior but brushed nickel  is not. Chrome is also the finish that's been around the longest, so I feel it adds to the vintage appeal. Plus it's bling-y. 

My kitchen needs a pinch of bling because I choose painted knobs for my hardware. They often say that's the jewelery of the kitchen, but  I went a different direction. We left our original visible hinges on the cabinet doors. (It didn't seem to be an viable option to add inset hidden hinges, and I decided it does give me a happy vintage feeling.) So I didn't want anymore metal on the cabinets. 

I'm hoping to achieve a sorta timeless, vintage English country vibe, with a hint of luxury, and  a whiff of modern to bring it to current times.

I'm thinking that the backsplash will be smaller scale subway tile. I've read that the smaller scale is good in a smaller space to give the illusion of more space. And somehow the regular size does look off in here. 

I'm thinking of wrapping the backsplash around the open wall over the wood counter, and extending to the ceiling. And adding 2 or 3 open shelves there.

The countertops will be a quartz in a pattern  reminiscent of marble, with a pretty flat edge. 
I LOVE marble but am not willing to care for them (or hover over people making them care for them) properly since they are easily stained and can chip.
Originally I thought I'd like an ogee edge, but after shopping and thinking I liked the clean line better.
We ordered through Menards, who by far had the most affordable quartz. And no one had a pattern I liked any better, so it was an easy choice.
Initially we thought of going with a very nice laminate (they've come a long way and you can get them without that laminate backsplash on the backside and doing that really adds the classy look to the kitchen.) But we couldn't find the right combo of print, surface texture and edge shape for us. We started doing the math and decided that since we only have 31 square feet of countertop space
(We are not doing our pass-through wood countertops in quartz. We plan to someday upgrade form pine to real butcherblock.) So at 31 sq feet it wasn't an unmanageable prince upgrade to get the real thing. That way there was every part of our wishlist (look, feel and edged finish) was checked off for our money, because while laminate is more affordable is is not free, so we decided it made sense to put more in to get more out. For resale the quartz would appeal much more in our area. We don't plan to sell anytime soon, but just assessing the investment.

So those are ordered, as well as the faucet and sink. A few more weeks till they arrive.
Next we need to knock out the old backsplash to get ready for all the installation.
But I'm not thinking we'll do much until the semester break, since Blake's in the crunch time of the year. Which is fine, I don't mind a lull in kitchen disturbances.

When we get all the knobs on the doors I'll show you a middle-after/progress photo.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I started the kitchen makeover

Well something big is happening...I'm painting our kitchen cabinets!
I knew from the first walk through I wanted to paint these. And after lots of Pinterest I ensured myself that I feel good in a white kitchen.
And after 4 years, I forced myself to start. Painting kitchen cabinets with a two year old around is not ideal. But I'm making it work.
I'm not going to make this a super long post because I'm in the middle of this project. But here's a bit of what's happening the last week or so. 

Top doors down, primed then painted.
I decided on using Valspar paint. I was so overwhelmed by the choices and hoping for good durablilty. But I've been very happy with everything I've used Valspar on. And I used this specific one (furniture paint) on my adorandak chairs with them living outdoors in the rain and the paint has held up very well. There is only mind chipping, but these chairs are so old it might be the stuff under the paint coming off. Most parts of the chairs look great. So I figured it would work in a kitchen where there is no rain.
And I started with Valspar bonding primer first.

I asked Blake to take down a pointless decorative board over the sink. We removed the cabinet over the fridge. (Something better is being brainstormed. As well as the vent hood I have hated very passionately. It was the weirdest shape on the front and off white.

We found an time capsule

Blake sanded everything for me.

I got the upper doors done and they look fabulous. The took two coats of primer. 2 coasts of paint on the backs and I called that good. But on the fronts I did three.

Living in the house right now is a bit tricky. I blocked the door ways with the fridge and a couch to keep the two year old out. So getting food to the table is a workout. But hopefully I'll be done this week.

Here's one coat of primer.

Two coats.
And that's where we stand today.

The room already feels super different! Brighter and more spacious. I'm really excited.
So two to three coats of paint to go. With 8 hours of drying time in between. (Rush it and it peels or stays tacky.)

I'm not sure when, but long term other stuff will be changed outa new countertops and backsplash. And a new range hood.
I'm really thinking through lots of details that will impact the overall composition. I'll keep you updated as things come together.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Garage Door Makeover

Ok, so first off, I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. I’m just having a hard time finding time to blog in this season. All my free time (when Bronny is sleeping) I’m using for projects (or teaching the older kiddos.) And most the time he is awake is just not a great time for typing. So it’s just not been happening. Right now I’m attempting to fit it in during “Oooo we just got new Play Doh! time.”

So Today I want to show you a project I am seriously proud of. (Unfortunately the photo quality isn’t to the level of pride I have for it, but I just wanted to get it shown.)

Because Befores and Afters NEVER get old…. Here’s our house before we owned it (Thank you Google Earth for the shocking truth!)

But where I really want you to look (I know…there is SO MUCH to take in) is the garage door.

 Because I need to show work in progress...

And this was us at the end of this summer.
I tried to find some close up photos I have of the garage door, but my computer wasn’t in the mood to load them. 

So you’ll just have listen for a minute instead. The garage door (well really the general garage area) is pretty much the first thing this house presents to a viewer. (Especially back when the yard was a jungle hiding the rest of the house.) And so when we pulled up to view this house, I immediately noted the garage as a point of change.

If you look from the picture above, to the picture below -- we did change the light fixtures. That made me SO happy. The old ones scale, light bulb placement, and color were so off for the house. These fit so much better.
The garage door itself is a material I’m not used to seeing as a garage door. It’s something like hardboard, but it’s got faux (large scale) wood grain. It’s really ugly. It wasn’t in great shape, but it’s still very functional.  

A bit ago I painted it flat black just to kinda hide some of it’s ew factor. And it worked well. The faux grain chilled out a bit, and the oldness hide itself.
Still old looking, but better, espeically from far away. (But I wanted to show you with this photo, what this door really is made of.)

But then...

One day, while brainstorming house stuff, I had a moment where I thought…Wait, if people add trim to doors inside their house to make them prettier without getting new doors….why can’t I do that to my garage door. I asked a smart DIY friend of mine what she thought about it’s possibility, and she thought that as long as it was not so thick as to get in the way of the door opening, and not so heavy as to make the garage door opening strain, it should be doable.
(I didn’t ask Blake at that moment because I had JUST asked him to do about probably 6 other house projects that week, and if this was just impossible I wanted to save him the mental effort of my requests.)

So then I started looking at garage doors and trying to figure out what I could add to mine to make it look nice.

Enter this look: (I’d show you think Pintrest pics I saved…but crabby computer says no.)

Blake bought hardboard, he cut it (And I think the store cut it a bit for us initially?) and we painted the backside for some extra water sealing out protection.

Then Blake did awesome math and cutting to create my plans. Then he glued the backs and then brad nailed the pieces into place.
After that I painted everything black and almost died of joy overload because it looked SO GOOD!
But we needed to caulk it all to keep water from getting behind it. There was mild drama initially because we couldn’t find a good caulk for what we were doing. The first one needed WEEKS to cure before we could paint and I didn’t like the glaring white edges staring at me for weeks and embarrassing me to the neighborhood. (I’m totally cool with my house looking like GARBAGE inside as we do these projects because I don’t have to show people until I am done, and wasn’t embarrassed by the outside’s badness initially because I knew we could change it. But I learned in this garage door process that I am not impervious to fear of judgement. Because this whole process what very much a risk (I found no other blog resources showing a project like this and I didn’t know if it wasn’t doing to fail big time), and I hated doing it in front of an audience. Even painting the door black was a design risk, and as people took their walks that day, I was so self conscience. I was so afraid it would be UGLY and that people would judge me for it. It was an interesting emotional experiment during this project.)
Anyway -- I wasn’t about to have white caulk pushing all those emotional buttons for a couple weeks. 
There was black caulk, but it wasn’t paintable (and we all know it wouldn’t be the SAME black, so it would ALWAYS show.) So that wouldn’t work.

But it turned out that we just needed to shop another store and found an exterior caulk that could be painted in a short amount of time.

So Blake caulked the door and I laughed inside about how it actually just kinda looked period appropriate. I feel like midcentury doors regularly accented the raised panels. (However, I did not want it to stay that way.)

Finally I got to go back over it again paint everything again. And it was good.

I mean, I really can barely stand how nice it wound up being.

Even that faux wood grain looks right now.

We did this a few months ago now, and I still crane my neck when coming and going from the house to watch the garage door from every angle and enjoy the crazy good improvement.

The garage door still works great.  It’s rained a bunch with no issues. And we saved big bucks just facelifting what we had.
I’m super happy about it.

We still have another project up our sleeve for the garage area visual improvement. But that might be a next year thing now because the weather finally cooled down.



I’m still just giddy over this!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Living Room Refresh

So, it was only a few months ago that I showed you a mirror, that I had made over, hung up over my sectional in the living  room.
But, you know me I'm always changing everything.
This makeover was kind of an accident. One day I bought a throw blanket for the room (on clearance for $15.) It was white, and putting it in the space inspired me to bring in a lot more fresh elements.
I wound up having everything I needed on hand, so this may cover cost me no more then the clearance throw blanket. But it made a significant difference in the room. It's much cheerier now.

These pillows are all made from scraps of fabric that I had laying around. Which are used to recover pillows I already owned. I wanted a lot of texture, but not a lot of color so this worked out great.

This pillow was made from a tiny bit of fridge I had left after adding it to my throw blanket in my family room. I just sewed it down the center, two times facing each other, and so it up-and-down it to hold it in place.

These pillows, were made from scraps of cotton blanket. And I will be in my own yard to give it extra interest.  And for the biggest pillow I made my own tassels from the yarn. The yard is one of those Kenzie are in it's like the current thinner as it's woven, so it gives a lot of nice texture. ( and I actually got it for free once when ordering a different yarn online. Extra bonus! )

The art I have up and there was kind of an accident but I kind a love it. I want of scraping off old art thinking I would paint on this again that really like that was left over. So I'm calling it an abstract art. It works for me for now you know me I'll probably change it later.

So that's the living room now it's looking a lot brighter. I feel like it's more welcoming this way. Which is nice since the first room you see you when you walk into the house.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Throw Blanket Upgrade

I bought three throw blankets I found on clearance for $10 each at a grocery store (Mejier) a few months ago. 
This was great because we had been needing a third blanket in the family  room in the morning. (There was an odd man out thing going on.)
So I was excited to grab these, but I didn't like  the edges at all --they were too plain.

So I crocheted a chain stitch in a thick yarn and then sewed it down the side seams.

And I took some fringe off a vintage blanket I have that could stand well enough on its own with out the fringe, and added it to the bottom and top of each blanket.

I like them infinitely more now.

I think they look a lot prettier, and more classy, and meaningful.

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