Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We finally have curtains in the dining room!

before - naked!

after - curtains!

Of course, nothing is ever easy or straight-forward in my life, and I'm on the look out for white curtains to go inside the dark curtains. Not just white, but something semi-transparent in a lattice-work or eyelet type of way. I'll know it when i see it :)

Next on the dining room list - table, chairs, chandelier...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Clearly I have a problem...

Recently, I noticed a theme in our home...

I really really like perforated and textured white ceramic tchotchkes. Thinking this junk would look good together, I placed them on my radiator cover... that was also white and perforated.

Also, I did not realize this until I looked at the photo.

After discovering this illness, I have researched further into its official name - ceramicus perforitis.

Not really - but you saw it here first.

* and everything is from Marshall's/HomeGoods/TJMaxx!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A pointless exercise in aesthetics

I've been pretty adamant so far about one thing when it comes to the house - we do it once and we do it right: no re-dos.

But the kitchen turned out to be the exception.

I was going to leave it be for awhile, but it's the kitchen! We're in here everyday, all day sometimes. We just couldn't keep it the same. And the gut-reno is maybe a few years off.

So after removing the country kitchen wallpaper as mentioned last week, I painted the wall today:

As I put it to my mother earlier today, I totally understand that what I've been doing to the kitchen is comparable to putting a band-aid on a broken leg (hence the title). This entire wall I just painted will someday be torn to bits, covered with cabinets, or tiled within an inch of its life.

- - -

A couple things I should point out...

1) A major upgrade which was totally easy, cheap, and worthwhile was staining the cabinets. As you can see in the below photo, most of the cabinets are in this condition - worn, and ragged.

I simply took an old rag, dipped a corner in a small can of Minwax Jacobean stain and ran it over the cabinets, wiping with a dry rag as I went. It made a noticeable difference in the appearance of the cabinets. Cost: $0 (I already had the stain left over from another project) and about 20 minutes of labor. Yes, I could have taken the cabinets apart and refinished or painted, but the main point of this makeover was "cheap and quick" - this step made a pretty big difference for such a tiny amount of time and money.

2) I also painted the doorbell thingy to match the wall:
Much better than yellow-ed plastic!

- - -

And because everybody loves before/after photos:

Country Blue Kitchen




The paint color is Benjamin Moore "SIlver Fox" - I used the Ben line, eggshell finish.

So far I've spent $35 on this "in progress" makeover (on a gallon of paint). And about 4 days of on-and-off labor. And a ton of elbow grease.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ok, no, THIS is my dream kitchen... almost...

How perfect is this?

I love the subway tiles with dark grout, and that the tiles reach all the way up - almost to the ceiling.

What about the antique white stove and white hood?

Also the juxtaposition of the white counter with black granite top / black island with white marble top.

But - I could do without the brass hardware. Chrome would be much better in my world.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dining Room

In West Elm, John pointed out the awesomeness of this table/chair/settee/bench arrangement. There was also a really great chandelier that I forgot to snap a photo of. erghhh.

Other dining room news: Curtains are hung. We need more clip rings. $100 later at Restoration and I think we have enough. When did clip rings become a priority in my life?

Photos soon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting rid of the ugly...

Yesterday morning the rest of the wallpapered kitchen wall looked like this:

By this morning (and why did this take me all day yesterday?) the wall looked like this:
Forgive the construction paraphernalia

The trim is painted white and the walls are patched and sanded. And my wrist is very stiff, even after ice packs and 2 Advil and a glass of wine. But the messy part is over - and that is the best feeling!

So I worked a little Photoshop magic to figure out what color paint to actually use on the wall:
The top row is the boring yet most-likely-to-be-used row:
A. A darker shade of Balboa Mist as used in dining/living room/hallway
B. Balboa Mist as used in aforementioned places
C. Cooler grey
And the bottom row, which is fun, yet probably-not-likely-to-be-used:
D. Teal blue
E. Lighter teal blue
F. Yellowy-Limey-Lemon

I think we will go with choice "A" - my main concern is down-playing the dark cabinets, and everything just seems to blend in a little better with the darker taupe-grey color.

What do you think?