Monday, May 31, 2010

My Insiration Kitchen

Inspiration: An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.

When I started my kitchen make over I knew three things. The first was that I could not afford a major remodel. The second was that I had to be able to do the work myself. The third was that THIS was the kitchen I dreamed of. When I found this picture in the pages of June 2008 Country Living Magazine, I fell in love. From the warm color on the walls to the cool stainless steal appliances. From the chunky farmhouse flooring to the dainty white dishes. This was MY kitchen. The question was how to pull it off with almost no money.

Step One: Paint

The fastest and easiest (as well as cheapest) way to make a change to any space is paint. I was a woman on a mission. Paint can be a bit tricky. The biggest mistake most people make is going to the store, finding a color they like and buying it on the spot. DO NOT BUY IT YET!! While you are still in the store, pick out TONS of colors close to the one you like. Lighting in your room will change the way the paint looks in your space. Once you have the paint chips home, tape them to the wall. Pull down the ones you hate right away and leave up the ones that might work. Over the next few days, look at the chips in all kinds of light. One color will eventually win out over the others. The color of my dream kitchen was a Valspar color - Gold 3 - with bright white accents.

Step Two: Flooring and Counter Tops

Since the first thing I knew about this makeover was that I did not have much money to spend, marble counter tops and reclaimed wood floors went out the window. Luckily (haha) for me my kitchen came with some 80's faux wood counter tops. Unfortunately the floor were a vinyl tile that does not match my dream kitchen at all. The floor didn't clash and were in good shape so they stayed. One can only do so much at a time!

Step Three: Backsplash

After seven years of a fruited tile scheme I knew I wanted something nice and neutral. There is not even a peek at the backsplash in my inspiration picture, but my guess would be white subway tiles. What I finally decided on was bead-board wall paper. And I LOVE it!

Step Four: Details

One of the things I love about the featured kitchen is the white country detailing. So I added this wood medallion to the soffet which I finished off later with crown mouldings.

I also paired down the number of appliances on my counter tops to keep the room looking fresh and clean. My kitchen isn't the one in the picture, but I still love it - all because of a little inspiration.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Getting ready to sell has become depressing. Thinking that my project list could be completed in three weeks and now staring down the face of twice that has left me deflated to say the least. I'm over getting ready. Can we just try to sell the darn house now? Nope.

In hopes of trying to keep busy I have been working on depersonalizing the house. You know. That part of selling where no one really wants to know how cute your kids are or that you collect paperclips? The beautiful black and white photos I had up of the boys in the hallway were just that kind of thing so today I exchanged them for what I had on hand. Feathers! They turned out pretty well if I say so myself.

I also had a surprise this morning when I went out back. The rose bushes in the back yard were all dead last year. I thought I had cut them all out, but one of them sprung back to life producing a single rose. My youngest had wanted to pick it for me and had broken the stem just 4 inches from the bloom so I carefully cut it and brought it in to enjoy for a while.

I have plans to plant climbing roses and heirloom tea roses at the next house. Something like these:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Laundry Day

Have you ever spent all day doing laundry. I mean, I know we all FEEL like we spend all day doing laundry for our families, but have you ever REALLY? Today is that day for me. As we are still getting ready for our big move (thanks to our old pool being a size they don't make anymore which puts 1500 sq ft of decking at risk or being demolished and us being stuck here another year) I have been trying to spend more time on our clothes - storing, washing, putting away - so that the house is ready for showings should they ever happen.  Lou and I  both have closet organizers that look best with clothing neatly folded or ironed and hung. I am not an ironing kind of girl. I have to admit that my husband often goes to work with even "wrinkle free" clothing that is wrinkled from me folding it and him not putting it away. So today I swallowed what little pride I still possessed and ironed ALL of his clothes and put them away for him. Sigh. It was funny how quickly the chore seemed to go. A good audio book helps to pass the time and if Scarlett O'Hara is up to her mischief, well the clothing practically handles its self. Having my ironing board sitting in the middle of my bedroom made me yearn for a place to take care of all of this without dragging it from the laundry closet room to be washed and dried, to the living room to be folded, to the bedroom to ironed... What I'd really love it this:

Light and bright with a huge sink, counter space to fold, a giant window, plenty of room to hang things... Perfect. Al most makes laundry day fun to day dream about bigger brighter places to do them in.

One of these too and I'll be set...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Inching Closer...

Well my deadline went flying past me two weeks ago. I was seriously bummed, but since the kids and I have been sick, it seems that we couldn't have had many showings anyway. We've gotten a lot of touch up painting and finishing of small projects done, but here a couple of pictures of the things that made a visual impact.

Kitchen chandelier from brass to black
Griffin's bedroom all neutralized and cleared out.

The older boys room has been painted, the bunk bed replaced with two twins and all the toys (except one under the bed storage box) out into storage and generally de-cluttered and cleaned....up...

Oh.... well. Easy come easy go. We'll have to work on keeping things show ready this week. Sigh.

Our last projects are to replace a couple of spots in the siding and fascia boards that have rotted a bit, finish out the sidewalk and to figure out how to replace the pool. Then on the market we go!